Brian and Cory walked through 10 ideas for personalized products to sell in your eCommerce store.
You can join these webinars when they are recorded by subscribing to our newsletter on this page!
Partner: GoDaddy Pro
We are proud to be in partnership with GoDaddy. Click here to find out more about GoDaddy Pro – it's an outstanding way to get started with your eCommerce website. Use the promotion with Commerce Journey to get an amazing deal on your WooCommerce-powered website hosting.
Machine Transcript – 10 Ideas for Personalized Products to Sell in Your eCommerce Store
Brian Krogsgard 00:01
Hello, and welcome to another Commerce Journey webinar. My name is Brian Krogsgard. I'm here with my partner Cory Miller. Hey, Cory. Hey, good to see you. Today, we are talking about ideas for selling Personalized Products and dig into what that means. First of all, we want to say thanks to our partner for this webinar and all webinars. That's GoDaddy Pro, go to Commerce Journey.com slash go dash webinar. Get started today, if you want to sell the products that you see in this webinar, then you need to go to Commerce Journey.com slash go dash webinar, it is the best place to get started to have the lowest barrier to entry and the lowest cost because for $1, you get three months and they bundle all kinds of amazing stuff worth literally hundreds of dollars into that package. There's no better way to beta test your store. So that's kind of the way I like to think of it. You'll even get your domain out of that. Cory, you know, it's time to start selling some stuff. And we wanted to lower the barriers to entry today.
Cory Miller 01:05
I'm pumped, as we were talking this through, I was like I can't I got inspired about my own stuff. You and I have talked about like throwing around the idea for months now of starting an experimental store, a showcase store that we can kind of walk through. And today just kind of talking through some of these ideas. I was like, oh, man, this might be fun. I mean, this could be really, really fun. I've always wanted to do anyway. But like, I feel like I'm a step further now. And I hope those that are listening in, can also do the same and take some inspiration and ideas from this and take a next step. Like really run this is like step two of what we imagined step one is the so one thing challenge, which we've got going on right now. Yeah, and this is really a step two for that you said earlier, and I like that a lot.
Brian Krogsgard 01:54
Yeah, let's hit that next slide, we'll talk about some of what we're trying to achieve here. Because, you know, it's it's difficult if you're trying to get started with eCommerce, and you're going through the process of product design and figuring out like, all of the nuance in creating totally custom products, like you got to do manufacturing, and sourcing and all this stuff. And there are places out there that can help you go so far in terms of getting started with a much lower initial cost. And we're going to talk about what that means. This allows you as we say, here, to sell something without even knowing how to make it you don't have to know how to make the products that we're talking about, what you're going to do is you're going to be able to leverage your existing audience, their interests, the ecosystem that you live in, and cater the products to them. So you're taking something generic, and then you're making it unique and personalized. Now, of course, this does not mean like monogramming it with BK or cm or something like that. It doesn't even necessarily mean putting, like your company name on it. These are a lot of the products that we're going to talk about are similar to swag. But we're talking about making it even more generic than that. So if I were to use an example, you know, I could say, Okay, well, here's my post status mug, this is you know, our WordPress side of the business will post as mug is very cool. But this is more like take taking the post ass out of it, and then instead cater it to something more broad to the industry. So here's a coaster that says, democratize publishing, that is not specific to say like, Oh, this is for post data. So this is for WordPress, this was just a general concept that they put on an item. And that is something that we can do with so many things. We can do it based on location. In my situation. It's Alabama, it's yours. It's Oklahoma or Oklahoma City. Or it could be a genre. So like I'm interested in cryptocurrency and Bitcoin stuff, and I have a big audience in that space. So I could make, you know, mugs with the Bitcoin logo on them. We're going to talk about these types of things, why they're simple, affordable, how easy they are to customize, and why they're effective. And we're gonna try to get creative. We want to spark your brain to take some of these ideas and make them your own to fit into your audience, leverage your identity, leverage your audience's desires to belong in where they are. does all that makes sense? Cory?
Cory Miller 04:33
Yeah, I want to go back to one thing here, which is start with your audience. I mean, it's so critical to start building your audience now, even before you got a store or something to sell, start building your audience. Brian I will attest to it's much easier to take a snowball that's already going then to try to start one from scratch, which is what we've used over a minimum for other projects in the personal brands to help start this one. But I would say right now, start building your audience. Today, yesterday, and then this is a connection once you've started kind of getting that audience off the ground that can be just as simple as a Facebook page, then you can leverage some of these ideas we're going to give you today to kind of test the market. And I really like this, how we framed it because step one is just, you know, the challenge, we had to sell one thing your house that's just like to get through the motions of doing something. This is our step two of just saying like, All right, now start to think creatively in about your audience and all that. And one thing on this here I want to just lean in on for a second is leverage identity belonging and scarcity. Okay, so let identity and belonging I know, for instance, Brian is a huge Auburn fans, Auburn football fan, Auburn, anything fan, but so you can, you can see examples of like fan things that have spun around every organization on the planet from football to, you know,
Brian Krogsgard 06:00
some there are seven, there are seven and eight figure revenue businesses that are centered around selling sports stuff for one team. And they're very, they're generic things. They're no different than this Yeti mug, but they've got the Auburn logo, this one has a company that we love on it, a new GoDaddy company for what it's worth. But this is this is the mid zone of that personalization, we're talking about going up a notch, go into something that's beyond your name, or your your company and going to the belonging, whether it's Auburn or something else. As a side note, if you're starting to brand stuff with a university, or something that's highly trademarked, you need to be careful about that. But it can also be a leg up, Cory, if you know how to navigate those waters of Hey, how do I use, you know, a collegiate logo in my stuff, like you're in a unique group, and maybe you pay $1,000 to get through those walls. But now you have way less competition, because you're in and now you can set yourself apart with your design and your ideas. And there's a lot of opportunity there. I think
Cory Miller 07:07
I've got a great example, actually, I know somebody in that specific industry you're talking about, she's in Oklahoma City kickoff couture. And they have licensed apparel through I want to say seven or eight stores. They don't earn on certain stores, colleges and universities. So there's the whole licensing venue of all that. But you know, sports are a great example of that identity and belonging, you know, go down, I just passed somebody that had a Texas a&m plate on the front further truck, they're trying to identify as an Aggie, they're part and then if I were an Aggie, I'd go. That's part of my tribe, you know, we talked about find your people find your tribe find your place. And so we will have all in depth conversations about identity and belonging, because that's so powerful as a marketing tool. But the last one to mention as we get to these ideas, think about scarcity. You don't have to produce an unlimited, you don't have to sell an unlimited thing. You could say, this is a batch. So like, Brian, you held up your Yeti mug, for instance, like, you could do it personally, around some slogan or something that you're thinking through with your tribe, and only say, we're only selling 50 of these. That's it. So think through identity belonging and scarcity as it applies to your audience, your tribe as we go through these ideas.
Brian Krogsgard 08:26
Yeah, for sure.
Cory Miller 08:30
That leads us to the why. Yeah, why we're we're proposing this and why are we giving you these ideas is because first and foremost, this is a very low cost, low energy experiment to start building with your audience. I really liked Brian as we were preparing for this, you really talked to that. It's like, Hey, listen, let's frame this in the in the sense of this is the second the second step we've been talking about, where you start putting things out there getting people used to do it, you know, seeing products come out from you, you're not have the investment that you have with like buying stock, putting it in your you know, garage like lead bars, for instance. So I want to talk about the the why and everything behind this.
Brian Krogsgard 09:18
Yeah, so these are not like heavily engineered goods. These are pretty simple. Some of them are going to be as simple as a piece of paper. You know, if we talk about posters I've been collecting while while we were idea, you know, going through the ideas I've been collecting stuff that I have that fits these criteria. Well, it could be a poster but the the magic is in the design, what's on the poster. Now that is limited by you your creative juices or you know, maybe a freelancer that you hire to visualize your idea if it's on a poster, sometimes it's even easier. Sometimes it's a few dollar coffee mug that you buy in bulk. Like say you buy 50 of them for your first experiment and you get them with Custom print on top. When I got these post status mugs, I did these for the purposes of swag and giving to partners and customers and stuff. I don't know how many that we had made of these maybe 100, hundred and 50. And this is a really nice quality matte finish coffee mug to color thing on top of it. And these were like four or five bucks apiece, Max. So this is not a complex product. We're not sitting here designing how do we engineer and manufacture this thing for like six months, which is what you can do. If you're making something super custom. What you're doing is you're leveraging the design that you put on top of the generic product. And that is allowing you to sell to like your cult or your you know, your your tribe, and you're doing it for an extremely low cost. But you know what? you'd much rather sell this coffee mug with a logo or a design or a picture, or a slogan that is going to identify with your audience versus if you just sold a navy blue coffee mug. Well, you're never going to compete selling navy blue coffee mugs literally anybody can do that. But we're saying what can you do to take a $4 navy blue coffee mug and turn it into a $12 community mug that I can sell to people that want it because it's got that extra connection on it.
Cory Miller 11:32
Brian have you ever heard of Eskimo Joe's?
Brian Krogsgard 11:34
Cory Miller 11:36
He never heard of Eskimo Joe's.
Brian Krogsgard 11:38
I don't think so I need to look it up. Maybe I have and just can't remember.
Cory Miller 11:40
Okay. When you talk about a cult? You know customer cult. We talked about that a lot. Because I'm a big fan of building a customer cult. Eskimo Joe's just comes to mind. It's a very Oklahoma thing. But it's broader than that. And the brand penetration they have is insane. Okay. Now, Eskimo Joe's has an I'll show I'll pull up their site here in a sec.
Brian Krogsgard 11:47
I'm looking at it now. It does sound familiar to me. Now. We have a similar one. there's a there's a beach one called Fuddruckers. It's a it's another restaurant themed cult like that.
Cory Miller 12:21
Well, okay, so Eskimo Joe's started out… Well, we'll talk about that was shirts, but then we give the main differences. This is an insane business. Now besides the restaurant, the T-shirt business is way bigger. And we'll talk about T-shirts first and foremost. But the only thing different about them is they have what we're talking about. They have illustrations that resonate with their tribe. Okay. And I think about a couple of items as you're looking as we talked to some of these things. Once you think about things. Have you heard of Johnny Cupcakes?
Brian Krogsgard 12:50
No, you're coming up with stuff I have no idea what it is
Cory Miller 12:52
another shirt business and I should have waited for the shirt slide. But another shirt business that it's it's really insanely awesome cool shirts, I own one by the way. And they built a cult around it. But the only thing difference is they have their own art on the same T-shirt you and I can buy and sell.
Brian Krogsgard 13:11
You know a very 90's one that I think of with that is I don't know if you remember the Guy Harvey shirts. Maybe it was more of a Southern thing. But it was like, here's a T-shirt. And they're famous for putting a pocket on a T-shirt. And they had these, I don't even know what they are like these cheesy fish designs on the front. And it was like a southern slash countries, you know type of shirt and they just connected but it was simple. It was just a white T-shirt with a design on it.
Cory Miller 13:38
That's okay, use the word connected, connecting to a group of people that identify similarly. And so when you think about all this, this is why this is such a beautiful topic. I mean great for you, Brian, kudos for coming up with this topic. Because you can apply it in such a great way if you just get creative thinking about the group of people you're serving or want to serve. Okay, before we keep going, we're gonna we're gonna take some of our steam out of our product ideas, and I don't want to do that I've already done it. But here's some resources real quick. We'll share these again in the show notes, real thread for T-shirts and other things Tlaunch Printful.com Custom Ink.com and Etsy for ideas and inspiration. Yeah, you can take something that somebody else has done in totally different niche and then apply it to yours. Don't break their copyright
Brian Krogsgard 14:26
I want to dig in a little bit. Yeah, I want to dig into actually specifically some of the benefits and some of the nuance for these real thread you're actually buying like if you buy T-shirts or whatever you're buying from them. You can buy 12 or you can buy 200 or 1001 of the things that they have though is you could fulfill those orders yourself but they actually have a fulfillment program where it they'll deliver it for use but you're paying like a monthly basis or something for them to store it for you but like that's another way to like, prevent yourself from doing a lot of work. Tlaunch and Printful actually know one of the people that works at Tlaunch. But both of these are print on demand specific companies. So in these instances, you can make one of them and you could sell one of them, you're not limited to, you know, you have to buy 100 To get started, your profit goes up when you can buy 100 to get started. And you can either take the risk of you end up with 100 of these in your house, or, but better off is you made 100 of them, and you got it for half the price of print on demand services. So that's a big thing to think about with like the Tlaunch or the Printful types. Custom Ink is more along the lines of Real Thread, but they have a broader array of products like kind of any swag thing that you can think of from pins to T-shirts, whereas Real Thread is things that are threaded mostly. And then Etsy. You say ideas and inspiration, totally agree. Great example. One other thing is if you have something really custom, you could probably cut a deal with someone that's really good at making something on Etsy. Here's an example. I made cornhole boards for a conference that we put on and I made custom cornhole bags. Well, what I should have done is bought those cornhole bags from someone on Etsy that knew how to do it really well, because I spent way too much energy time to make a low quality cornhole bag. And if someone on Etsy is a good as good at this, you can probably cut a side deal with them to get them to fulfill more of your order, if you you know, if you want to do more than like one at a time. So those those resources alone are going to get you so far down the road in terms of thinking through what you might be able to sell.
Cory Miller 16:40
And I've used principles, specifically, some of their quality own stuff has been a little bit deep. That's why I know you like real thread. But real, like real dread is like super high quality printed stuff. I mean, super high quality. And if you're just trying to get one or two prototypes to show somebody, in fact, I ordered a mug of an illustration I had commissioned to do. And I wanted to see the mug on it. And I was like, okay, but you know, you could use those type of things to prototype something, put it on your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, whatever else send out to your MLS like and see if there's some interest in it, you know? Yeah, absolutely. So I love all these sites. Because now in today, here's the beauty. In today's age, you don't have to have like you said, Brian 100 by 100 things and put them in your, you know, your garage, you you can use these type of on demand printing and other type of fulfillment services, and actually never even touched the product. Yeah. Okay, for sure. Let's get into the products. That's, that's their money. That's why we why you're here.
Brian Krogsgard 17:43
Yeah. And, you know, we're going to go through a lot of stuff. You can get more complex, but we want to share, like, what can you do that is pretty darn straightforward. shirts and hats. I mean, Cory, I don't know how much money is spent on this stuff every year, but it's got to be hundreds of millions of dollars. So what it comes down to is, how do you connect to the customer? And how good is your design? How, how well does it stand out? So do you want to talk abouT-shirts and hats a little bit?
Cory Miller 18:13
Oh God, if I could be reincarnated as a shirt entrepreneur, I would do it. You know this, I geek out abouT-shirts. I love shirts. I'm the swag guy. We we actually brought us bought a screen printing press. As part of my former business I themes for a short time, terrible decision mistake, by the way, we ended up giving away. Screen printing is tough work. However, I love finance. Yeah, I'm a geek about this. And that's one of the things too is fun. Find your thing, find your product that you're interested in. You'll hear me talk about these in just a second mugs and stuff. BuT-shirts, my thing. I mean, this dresser over here, you can see has all kinds of old shirts that I've collected over the years. But, you know, particularly if you think about like, we were just talking about Johnny Cupcakes, she can Google them. But also, I think it's called the good life. Brian, that's one of the bigger brands like I see. But again, look, it's the same shirt. But they're they're blame bringing identity and belonging into the shirts that I mean, I see stickers on the back of cars and trucks and things like that. It's a tribe that back to your word is connected, they're connecting to their audience with identity and purpose and belonging and a cause.
Brian Krogsgard 19:28
I have always over thought when I've done swag, I'll put it that way. And one of the things I've done when I've tried to pick out swag to send to people or giveaway is I wanted to say what is something that people would wear because of the identity on it that has nothing to do with my company or my or myself? So like even when I did swag, I thought of it in terms of how can it connect and what I found was the things that people like are high quality materials. So if you have a If you're going to do this, do it with a quality hat, do it with a quality shirt, like, you know, there are 100 different types of shirts if you use the cheapest, like, you know, start starchiness, low thread, whatever T-shirt is not going to be good people aren't gonna wear it. But you do like a tri blend, you know, whatever, like all, all these different things like people are just going to wear it because it's comfortable. And they're going to buy it because it connects. And there's so many examples of this. But that…
Cory Miller 20:38
The one I wanted to show everybody is this, Oklahoma shirt company.com. And so they've got a shirt of the Month Club. Oh, there's Oklahoma State, by the way. University in the university example. But so for $12 a month, you get the shirt. Now, this takes in all kinds of things that we just talked about. identity, I'm an okie, you know, I don't actually subscribe. But I've wanted to number two, belonging. So identity and belonging go hand in hand, but then scarcity. Now you can get some of these shirts after the fact. But this club, I believe gets the shirt first. And I just love this as an example, I've told you about this before. And it's just to pick your mind. Like you can even combine business models a little bit and say what if I could do like mug, some item we're going to talk about in a subscription in some kind of membership too. And again, if I could be reincarnated as a different entrepreneur, I would be a T-shirt entrepreneur and still, you know, make a living. So I love this kind of stuff.
Brian Krogsgard 21:40
Yeah, that's awesome. Okay, there's a whole company that does this stuff in Birmingham called yellow hammer creative. And it's a very similar concept, but they are now I'd say near famous for creating locally for creating this one specific shirt that just says it's nice to have you in Birmingham, and Korea, I'm gonna link it to you to be able to open up but like this is a great example of like, very simple, but you connect with people at a root level. But it's also a very quality T-shirt. And you know what they're able to sell this thing for $24 apiece, and I know the price of these shirts, it's more than double, probably triple the actual cost. If you scroll down a little bit more. Little bit more. Yeah, that is nice to have you in Birmingham logo. This is almost like one of those staple things that you just start to see around your city. And whether it's your city or your state, or your college or your industry. If you can start if you can develop a design that connects with people, then it really can go a long way they have sold 10s of thousands of these shirts. And this gets into a lot of the stuff that we'll talk about from a product perspective. But what sets them apart is a quality material and a quality design. And one of the things that I've seen start to really stand out is bringing simplicity to your design. So you don't necessarily know whether you're good at designing a product or not. until you find out whether people will buy it. But when you're trying to figure out how to set up your structure your design, consider simplicity, because I think one of the things people do is they overcomplicate the design of what they're trying to sell. And I think simplicity goes a really long way in this stuff.
Cory Miller 23:29
Yeah, can I love all of your mentions here, because I've seen a lot of this. There's a Cleveland shirt company too. And it's like CLE, and I love all their stuff. And when I was in Cleveland, I had to geek out on this,
Brian Krogsgard 23:43
oh, there's a billion dollar companies taking the airport initials and putting them on a hat. Like, you know, like the BHM airport, or what's the Oklahoma one, you know, like those airport hats, I think that's actually a big business like Airport hats something. But people just connect with that it they're they're finding identity and where they live in finding that identity, where you live is a huge thing like any of us, any of us no matter where you live, especially if you're mid market or small market, that's an area you need to consider about selling stuff is create something nice and sell it based on local branding. The one that I think is underdeveloped is more industry specific. So we talked earlier, I'm in the crypto stuff well, I think there's a lot of stuff that I could make, and I could slap a Bitcoin or an Etherium logo on it, and I could sell a bunch of them. But it's because I have an audience. It's a cult like audience of people that are really into that stuff. And then I'm combining these factors of quality products quality designs, and I think I could sell them anyway. All right, so that's shirts and hats. You can go in so deep on like the on just this but…
Cory Miller 24:55
Yeah. And but again, you're given what we're trying to do here is give you a framework to think about this to have ideas and inspiration that are yours that connect with your tribe. Like just from what you were saying I was writing down. So geography, location, where are we located? Or really a nuanced that so geo geography like, you know, Nashville, Oklahoma City Birmingham, okay, but it goes to be location, you know, like location independent, or beaches or mountains or you know what I mean like that kind of thing. Team and organization cause job specific, like democratize publishing, you know, some of the besT-shirts that I think you could have sold with post statuses is around like, I think you've got one that says I make the internet. Yeah, I've got one that would, that would have sold.
Brian Krogsgard 25:48
Yeah, I should, I should have gone and grabbed them. But these are very, I mean, very simple ideas. And I had one that said, it just says internet and big orange letters. And then it says, I make the like, on top of it really small. But it's like you're just walking around with your internet T-shirt. So I always thought that was cool. And then I have another one that says publish. And it's like a button with a mouse pointer over it. And it just has published written on the front. Now that goes along with a conference name that we had. But the idea was simplicity, and trying to connect to an idea in my industry. So in our industry of open source software, you know, I make the internet, like we power the web, hit the public because…
Cory Miller 26:28
a cause related to a job, you know, it's connecting to your audience. And when you see those things, you instantly go if you're in that audience, you go, that's me. And I think it'd be funny to if you really get it, most of us that work on the internet like this. Our parents are some of most of our friends don't understand what we do. And so it'd be funny to walk into Thanksgiving with I make the internet, you know, oh, yes, that me, you know, spurs conversation.
Brian Krogsgard 26:29
Cory Miller 26:29
Okay. So now we're on drinkware. And all these sort of things like coasters. And this is another favorite of mine. And yours too. Brian, I'd love for you to share some stories about, you know, these custom Yeti tumblers that I've had engraved for my wife and other people. I love that can you expand a little bit on the story analogy about that?
Brian Krogsgard 27:16
Yeah, and this is one where it's interesting, I've got one here too. This is a Yeti, yours is a Yeti, but you're not limited by having to use something with a brand. Now you get a premium, if you're using a brand like Yeti or some of the other, you know, like outdoor z, tumbler types. But you're paying a premium to like the these are extraordinarily expensive all by themselves, maybe you get a bulk rate with a few dollars off the end of the day, you're paying a ton. However, there are generic providers for these, I think, what do they call them, like air insulated mugs. So like they pressurize air, that's what keeps it warm or cool on the interior. And a place like Tlaunch. I know the guy that actually fulfills a lot of the orders for Tlaunch and their tumblers. They're more generic from my engineering perspective. But they did a ton of research into finding quality materials. It's just not a Yeti. But it can be 1350 instead of say, like 2350, you know, which is probably what it would be for a Yeti or you know, one of the other big brands, and you still have that complete flexibility in terms of what you put on it from a design perspective. So that's a huge thing to consider when you're doing these people may not need like, the name brand, you are the name brand like that you are the idea that they want to connect with. It's not the fact that it's a Yeti. Putting a brand on it is more the type of thing I think, personally, if you want to impress someone that's like your customer is swag. Like, yeah, if post status gives away something to partners, like, they're gonna be like, wow, they gave me a Yeti. And maybe that's worth the extra 10 bucks. But if you're looking for profit margin and an eCommerce business, that's gonna be really hard to achieve. Because you know what, they can price it against a Yeti without your logo on it or without your design on it. Whereas this, they're not pricing it against anything. It's generic, and it's purely priced on the connectivity to the cause or the idea like we've talked about.
Cory Miller 29:16
Well, and I hate to keep using sports references, but there's, you know, shirt companies here too, you know, comma city that Oklahoma City Thunder is a big deal. Well, they're using colors similar but they're not using the logos not you need to you know, I'm not giving you legal advice
Brian Krogsgard 29:32
A lot of trademark issues there. Yeah.
Cory Miller 29:34
Yeah. But like you come up with if there's a saying or something around that and you're linking it back to a tribe. You know, that's really powerful. So this drinkware thing I love you know, it is used quite a bit in swag, but it's just you mentioned this Yeti logo right here. Okay. how powerful this is because I this is an identity thing for a ton of people so that they put this sticker that ships with this on the back of their truck. That's pretty powerful
Brian Krogsgard 30:01
Yes, just insane,
Cory Miller 30:03
Yeah, think through that with what you're doing with these.
Brian Krogsgard 30:07
And if you want to connect, in addition to, hey, you know, these places we talked about, go to a retail store near you, people are doing this. They're not unique products. And they're selling these in physical locations, brick and mortar, extraordinarily expensive things to run. But you go in there, and you look at it, and it's the same type of stuff. But they're, they're kind of isolating themselves by the fact that they have walked in traffic. And it's inherently local by being, you know, a brick and mortar store. Another drinkware type of thing that we didn't talk about specifically yet with the tumblers. But it's coasters. And another thing that has made eCommerce powerful is, you know, these laser cutters, and especially whether it's these little wooden coasters, like bamboo, or pine, or cork or leather, there's tons of different styles of coasters I talked about the slight one, the slight one has a screenprint design on it. But these wooden ones, these are all done by laser cutters. And the advent of the laser cutter has made these extraordinarily affordable. So that there could be something like a coaster design where your profit margin is actually quite high. Because you might have a, let's say, $1 50, I've had these made before, you might pay like $1 50 per coaster, because you buy 1000 of them, well, then you sell them in a four pack for like 12 or $15 with your custom design on it. And you're making maybe a 200% profit margin before you take out your other expenses and stuff. And now you've got a very low cost item that's easy, easily accessible. Tons of people can manufacture these, and you're selling them because you have a cool design on it. That is a win win win right there. Because this is not an expensive thing. Also, this is very cheap to ship. Think about that. So yeah, it's easy to think, Oh, I need these big expensive, you know, mugs and stuff, make an upsell for your coasters or make it specific or but like I could just sell or cross sell or a bundle. That's a big winner is putting these coasters in there.
Cory Miller 32:21
Yeah. All that goes back to you know, customizing that look at this eye toward your audience. Right. So I was on to lunch and just trying to share those bamboo coasters they have. But I thought we were talking about this and prep for this webinar. The doormat, okay, so like, if you're like me, we have contactless delivery. And on everything it says, you know, leave on the front doorstep. So like, here's an idea for you, you know, welcome. But could you leave off the stuff right?
Brian Krogsgard 32:50
Leave back in here. Not me. Yeah, I have to leave deliveries here.
Cory Miller 32:56
And again, not to just do something kitschy, but to say, like, is this something that could come out of your audience and just an idea, but I saw this and I was like, Oh, I want a doormat. Like I'm gonna I'm gonna have to figure out how to do this because a doormat that says something nice.
Brian Krogsgard 33:12
Oh, delivery landing pad or something like that.
Cory Miller 33:15
Yeah. Welcome packages. Yeah. Okay, so that's, that's on drinkware. And coasters, we can guess. I mean,
Brian Krogsgard 33:24
there also a ton of other ideas on this, like koozies, or whatever you call them. And wherever you live, like, that's a huge thing in the South. People love to identify with those koozies tailgate with their favorite koozie those are and they're also extremely cheap to make.
Cory Miller 33:39
And if you're doing if you're having somebody like Printful, or Tlaunch, or somebody else make it, there's some items you could think about just being like, like the coasters, you've mentioned, Brian. And if they cost like, $1 50, maybe that's just to get your message out and get your brand out there. You know, do it for a little bit over cost, you know, just to seed it so that you can sell the bigger ticket like tumbler or a doormat flag, whatever else. Okay. So number three here, we just said is framed and hanging stuff like, you know, posters, picture frames with this kind of art and things like that. Like, for instance, I just had the, the illustration done about the snowball about building a business building an eCommerce business feels like rolling a snowball up the hill, I had a mug made, I had a poster sent to my thing as a prototype. I could use that put that on my social media or whatever. But I just love those kind of hand drawn illustration type things.
Brian Krogsgard 34:42
And what you did with that, whether you knew it or not, was you were prototyping your ability to sell this more broadly, to take this idea and make it something that you could share with other people. And that was a big deal. So there's someone that I really admire who makes very simple products. And I have one of their posters in my hand. And this is the people behind field notes and Aaron draplin, fantastic designer, we're not going to design stuff as cool as him. But he made these posters. And he also does feel notes, his notebooks this way. And I don't know if you can see it, but this says, Alabama on it. And it's a map of Alabama, with logos of famous Alabama companies that make up the state of Alabama. And actually, I saw him speak. And he designed this for the fact that he was coming there. And people bought these like hotcakes, you know, like, so he goes, and he speaks somewhere. And he sells 100 posters on top of what everything else he was doing. Well, hot tip, printing off a color poster cost a couple bucks, you sell them for like 12. So he made $10, a person on top of the ticket cost or whatever else, it was like for him to go down there and speak. And he localized it, he connected to the people he was with. And I think field notes is like, it is a case study in simple, well designed quality products. Now they started way simpler, like they have a lot of products now. But they started by saying hey, here's a cool notebook that I wanted. Here's a pencil that I want, like, extraordinarily simple products, blended with fantastic design, and then a a cult like brand over time. But simplicity and quality are evident throughout everything that he does.
Cory Miller 36:33
We're gonna have to do one on cults, customer cults, because we did that enough. But okay, so maybe you have artistic thing and can do, you know, translate that all I love those that can just draw and design. I'm a hack on all that stuff.
Brian Krogsgard 36:50
Oh, if you're an illustrator, you have a leg up on all of us.
Cory Miller 36:52
Oh, yeah. But even if you don't, aren't an illustrator, just like me, I'm not I have it, I share what I want. And I find an illustrator. And there's places that you can find from, you need to, you know, use your discretion but fiber, and there's other places from 99 designs crowdspring that you can find to have somebody illustrate your idea. And I found somebody that I use one on one, I love it, I'm choosing my best kept secret, she does my hand-drawn stuff. And it's just fantastic. So I want to show you
Brian Krogsgard 37:26
what you're doing there is maybe you're spending 50 or 100 bucks, and you're bootstrapping an idea that is way cheaper than most of your like product research that you're going to do
Cory Miller 37:36
For a couple hundred dollars, I got an illustration here. Now I spent more for this one. But I found illustrator, and had him do all of this now in breaking it out. And I told them ahead of time, here's what I want to use it for. So this doesn't really work well on the mug, by the way, you know, it probably doesn't work well on a shirt. But it could work on a framed poster, you know, in different things. Here's some more illustrations, I've done this one too, you know, we could we could have had that. Again, I think all three of those are different. All four of these are different illustrators, by the way. So you can find these people out there and have them do that kind of stuff for your friend and hand in hand stuff.
Brian Krogsgard 38:17
Yeah, posters are one of those, it does not have to be this picture of an eagle with an inspirational quote on it or whatever it can be that just a people sell them. But you can develop something that's that simple. And that connects to your audience, that's going to be the case and every single one of these, but posters is one that they're pretty easy to ship, like you, you know, roll them up in a tube or something. And they are really cheap to manufacture. And you can make something a high quality print or manufacturer for really an affordable price. So you're hitting that sweet spot.
Cory Miller 38:54
Well, like Printful, they have a whole section on the frame stuff. Now, I would highly suggest you test one or two out before you you know, put it on your store. And the beauty of a lot of these things just like Tlaunch here is they're integrated with the most popular eCommerce software on the planet. So like Tlaunches integrated actually catered to Shopify stores. Printful here you can integrate with WooCommerce and WordPress, things like that. So I love that stuff. Because, again, it's just things I use myself, so lean into those things that you care about that you're interested in. And so you can see mine ahead of time, right? Like I'm the big trend guy.
Brian Krogsgard 39:32
Oh yeah, you're a Europe, poster type of person. I don't have anywhere to hang posters. But I
Cory Miller 39:38
hope to someday I've tried to you know, the beauty of that is you get these things out with your audience and they're hitting on it and see what they do see how they use it, see how encourage them to get creative and post their ways of using this on your social media and things like that. Like I mentioned Eskimo Joe's Okay, so like you can go in there and I think They have pictures of people wearing the Eskimo shirt all over the world. You know that kind of stuff where you, you use that your community leverage your community to show you what does what people like, my favorite of this is backpacks made by Tom Ben, they're my absolute favorite. In fact, aren't you kind of you like backpacks, don't you, Brian?
Brian Krogsgard 40:22
Yeah, actually. This was swag. But these are the Timbuktu backpacks. And yeah, so I'm gonna both praise it, and pay and critique it at once. Yep, so this is a high quality backpack. They put a patch on it to personalize it to where we were. Now, the mistake they made here is they put too specific of a patch. It says, you know, the conference, the place the year on the patch? Well, it's been 11 years since this day, this is still a great backpack, but I don't connect with this patch anymore. Now, if this was just the WordPress logo, I would remember I got this at that conference 10 years ago, and that was awesome. I love that thing. I still use it every day. But I'm connecting with the broader idea of WordPress, or, you know, like something more generic, but still community driven. And so my critique is take the great product. And I have two of these, actually, I have another one. This is a computer bag for another conference. And it's like, I want to cover these up with like a leather logo, have just the WordPress logo. And I feel like I'm shaming the conference and doing that. But they're great products. But they're for something that was 10 years ago, but I can still connect with the point of what they were trying to do when they gave me those. But yeah, I love backpacks, and I love computer bags, you're in a higher dollar territory there. So you're gonna make a lower profit percentage, but it still might add up from $1 perspective to where you can tack on 15 $20 profit, and it's hardly visible.
Cory Miller 42:03
So that leaves us number four. And we're, you can see how good we get about this. Yeah,
Brian Krogsgard 42:09
we're gonna have to skip like the last half dozen.
Cory Miller 42:12
I will say kids, like, this is another thing to think through it like kids, even right now. Okay, now, we said kids apparel here too. But think about it. My kids are in the other room on distance learning virtual learning. So, you know, we go back from the geek crowd, right, Brian? So like, one of the cool swag things I think you could turn into here is a supplement or something gets packaged with something, is it we all get to see this little tag that you can like, pull over your camera? So for privacy? Yeah. What if you did that for your kids? Think of all the cool stuff you do for you get to conferences and other stuff, but could be a plus one for your tribe, for their kids, like their own little mousepad or, you know, all those kind of things that you could do and put something that resonates? resonates are key word resonates with that community?
Brian Krogsgard 43:03
Yeah, for sure. And if you want to find something where people do not consider cost nearly as much as they do for themselves, it's with their kids. And we might as well as pets. That was my ex was like, yeah, you know, you make you theme something for kids stuff, or pet stuff. And man, people go right to it. And price is much less of a consideration rather than the connectivity that they get. Or sometimes it's just the fun like, how much like how well do you think something like quarantine baby? Like one Z's could do right now. Like you could totally sell a onesy of this. Like I'm a quarantine baby Joey like some kind of joke about that, like humor stuff. Theme centric stuff, time centric stuff. All that does really well. In seasonals. Yeah, seasonal, seasonal.
Cory Miller 44:01
We've got more things to add to this gifts. Think about all your all we've talked about today. And thinking about it for gifts for your audience to give to their loved ones or people they care about. With kids apparel brand. I'm thinking we're recording this in October 2020. I'm thinking how Wayne's coming in it's going to look different this year. So, you know, again, there's this whole, how do you apply that seasonal thing to a particular market of your audience, kids, and then pets was plus one at pets. I tried to edit and I was advancing slides and stuff. But like, these are all ideas. Just think through this is like this matrix of like, Hey, who are they connected? who they love? They have kids at home, could this Connect? Is there a seasonal thing? Are there pets out? Like that's extending your audience and what you can sell to them even broader?
Brian Krogsgard 44:51
Oh, yeah. I mean, you talk about attaching to the moment as well. Everybody in the world has been buying masks and it's You're probably a little late to the mask trend. But it just adds to something that some of these companies have been able to put out like real thread, the first four items on their, on their website, I think were custom masks. And I'm thinking about, hey, football season just started back. And I was looking at some of these teams, and they'd have like the little logo for the NFL team or the college team on the corner of the mask. And I'm like, Oh, those are pretty cool. And you could have like a corporate mask design or whatever like that, or like, you know, something, specifically, it just added a product line to the moment. And this won't be the last thing that you can come up with something that's time sensitive, and attractive to an audience. But that was an obvious, obviously a big example. Alright, let's break through some of these.
Cory Miller 45:48
Again, you're connecting these things, think see how they, these aren't separate siloed things they can work in tandem for an audience or a bigger audience, audience of your audience. But custom Fagor would you share a little bit about this, because you have more experience with this?
Brian Krogsgard 46:02
Yeah, the masculine would be one example, I need to look up the fabric store. I'll do that while we're talking about the next one. But there's a couple other things that I wanted to point out. All right one, so this was custom fabric that I had made. And you can choose from all types of different things. And I actually made custom pillows with my mom. And we made custom pillows for conference because we wanted to put our logo and our sponsors logos on pillows that we put on the chairs around the conference. But use your imagination here, it doesn't have to be corporate, it can be for your idea for whatever your, whatever you're selling, and you put it on something like a pillow, or something else. That's not like a T-shirt type of fabric. But in this instance, you can use one fabric and if you sew it yourself or you have it sewn locally or something like that, you achieve a lot of things you can say, hey, this was locally manufactured. But it's also at the same time. It's customized based on a fabric that you order. And it's obviously branded towards whatever you're trying to sell. Another one that I have is blankets. So this is a blanket design. And the whole thing is like this, I don't know what they call like an immersion print something like that, where they can print something gigantic with your same design. So this is similar to like your iceberg concept. Whatever you can put on a poster, you can put on a blanket, how about that. And these are, these are cool, because you can, you know, sell these. And it's got, you know, same idea, same idea of connectivity. And these end up on someone's couch or their chair. My kids love these ones. And they have owls on them. So my kids call them their owl blankets. And it's a piece of swag that we got from a company which is incredible, like, the lastingness have a blanket relative to some of the other things that you know, you can sell, those can be super popular. kitchen towels is another one that I love that same company that I mentioned before in Birmingham, the yellow hammer creative they sell the kitchen hand towels with these, you know Birmingham themes or like how many people have like Lake swag or like beach house swag, where you again, you're identifying with Lake life or fishing or being at the beach. And you're putting it on something that goes in the home. And custom fabrics can get you a long way. In that regard. While you see
Cory Miller 48:28
Oh, this is totally out of date. This is totally out of order. I mean, but back to some of the wood and things like that, or kitchen accessories or drinkware things like that, like some shop here in Oklahoma sells a cutting board of the state, you know,
Brian Krogsgard 48:46
yeah, shaped as the state, those are hugely popular.
Cory Miller 48:50
And connect this around. So like could you have think through the themes that you're talking through? If it's like life for something, we have that hair, like you follow? There's this little, I don't know, it's like a skeleton of a fish somehow, but that that's part of their tribe. They're the light people, right? Like you follow people. How do you connect that with? Like, for instance, the custom fabric, and things like that? Okay, shall we go on?
Brian Krogsgard 49:13
Yeah, please go.
Cory Miller 49:15
Now this is what I want to talk about because I haven't done it but I want to do it. In fact, a couple months ago really research doing our own journal I use today now this Lego journal. I love it. I'm I've been a kind of handwritten blend guy with digital and handwritten stuff that journal. Now you've seen a whole industry pop up of here is my workflow process for managing my day or whatever. And then they turn that into a printed material type notebook. This doesn't have to be journals. By the way, it can also be a calendar I wanted to share too. Are you looking up something?
Brian Krogsgard 49:55
Yeah, I was. I was looking up where I bought custom fabric from but actually Look for more.
Cory Miller 50:01
Okay, yeah, please do so because I'm curious too. But like this is an author that uses this, this calendar, his start finish calendar trying to find to finish calendar but like things like this from journals, all of these places like even Zazzle and lulu.com have journals that you can customize. So take, again, that whole thought, think through what your audience does anticipate some of their needs. And then brand it like
Brian Krogsgard 50:31
and think through the work you're putting into there, like a calendar like this. If it or a journal driven calendar, wall driven calendar doesn't matter. You could be, you know, they handle like the inner 90%. And you are customizing like the opening page, the closing page, maybe you customize a line that goes on every page like a header, maybe you put a picture on each month, something like that, that's the role that you're playing your overall work is not that much though, because they're taking care of all the other details. The fabric store that I think I used was spoonflower.com. And it's another one where it's just quality fabric, lots of choices, and you can do custom or use the ones that they provide to you. I had a great experience with them. And they even did like
Cory Miller 51:21
this is so cool.
Brian Krogsgard 51:22
Yeah, they even do like custom bedding and stuff like that. So there's, I mean, there's so much you can do. In these scenarios. Again, sometimes you can get something like pre cut for a specific type of product. So like maybe all you have to do is buy the pillow that goes inside of the pre built, you know, pillowcase or maybe you sew the whole thing yourself, it's just how are you going to market that? How are you gonna brand it? How are you gonna sell it to your audience, but you own this, like, there, there are more companies than ever that are going to help you get like 70, 80 90% of the way with this product. And then you own that last, that last mile of the journey and make it yours and bring your ability to profit forward.
Cory Miller 52:06
We're gonna have to trademark that for Commerce Journey “Own the last mile” I love that. Um,
Brian Krogsgard 52:13
this is okay. Idea calls end up like that's basically what this webinar is, is just going ham on talking up ideas.
Cory Miller 52:22
I know because I want to follow up with you and go like, Hey, this is cool. I like this idea. I like this idea. Okay, platters I have no idea. I've never done this before, but your thought was on platters?
Brian Krogsgard 52:33
Yeah, there's one called our platters calm. I specifically think about this with I would call it semi collegiate. You don't have to be, you know,
Cory Miller 52:44
maybe are like semi collegiate. I like that, like, because I don't break to think
Brian Krogsgard 52:52
that's right, I don't necessarily need to like, go and get Auburn's permission if I if I'm not using the Auburn logo, or if I'm not using a specific word trademark, but I could kind of dance around the edges like I could make it orange and blue. And maybe I can put something that's not trademarked but you know, connects to an Auburn fan. On the middle. There are our planner.com is one there are other services though, they are going to help you again get 80 90% of the way there. And you can make these anything. And I really again, whether it's like life, beach life, you know, like small town connectivity, the state of Alabama or state of Texas or whatever that kind of stuff goes. I mean, perfectly with this kind of platter concept.
Cory Miller 53:43
Well, to your to your point on themes. So take a word that your audience loves that's part connected part of them their cause, and then own that word, like so this made me think about the platter thing. My wife has some wine glass, like to tell which is your wine glass. And you take them out but you don't pick them out by name. You pick them out by you know, funny, quirky names and stuff. So again, like connecting that back to your tribe. That is absolutely key. But I saw this powers not thought of the word power. But and connected that back.
Brian Krogsgard 54:17
you know what it made me think of? I was just thinking, what if you just did some that were silly, like not silly, necessarily. But like, it could be all kinds of things. I'm thinking of one like, what if you put the labels for something on the platter, like a platter that says gluten free or vegan or vegetarian or for a kid's plate? What if you drew a design on it where the kids could like play with it, like habits sectioned off and it's like, your meat goes here. Your veggie goes here and it's like a balanced meal plate. Like some of that stuff. I think there's so many things that you can do. That are a lot of fun.
Cory Miller 54:58
We're gonna go along but that's okay. I think this is great stuff. We're really down on this. Check out big law journal.com. When you're talking about kids stuff, what you were just saying for the kids, like, so they took the idea that the growth mindset, there's two kinds of mindsets based on the book called mindset by Carol Dweck, fixed and growth mindset. And this whole site is nothing but digital products that you can have sourced from these companies on demand print companies about basically the growth mindset for kids. I bought this, it's awesome. I love this whole thing. Check big life journal out for another idea they use commonly see like, this is the printable type stuff you can get from them. I love that. Sorry, I segued into that, but I really loved your idea of like, a kid's plate that is functional and learning.
Brian Krogsgard 55:48
Yeah, we are constantly battling our kids to Oh, yeah, you know, eat their full meal. And, like, sometimes they're quirky, like, they don't want their food to touch, or they want to go one thing at a time. Or they're like, I don't want to eat my veggies. And I just have this image in my head of like a balanced diet plate for kids. And it's not like a picture of a steak and a picture of carrots and a picture of a piece of bread or cheese or something. And it's divided into these triangles. And you're essentially like showing the food pyramid on the plate. And you can teach your kids while they eat and they can have fun like, Oh, look, there's my veggies, I need to clear this section. And I can think of some fun stuff with that I think would work really well. You The world is your oyster because you have all these services that whether it's T-shirts, or hopefully now you're getting to the point where you can get way outside that talk about platters and plates and cutting boards and things like that. You can you can set yourself apart from whoever your competition is, by going deeper than they go.
Cory Miller 56:50
Yep. Well, you're mashing up things from this whole list here to take kids take platters take eating, take a theme applied to it, which is education. And you've got this Venn diagram of like intersection where you ended up with like a plate, you know, so that's super, super cool. Okay, mass, we've talked about this a little bit, but I love connecting all this together. Like here, again, let's play off the kids theme for a second mass that the whole family can wear that coordinate, you know, mass just for kids, I bought a mass that was just my kids. Well, my daughter that was like, a little nose of a kitty cat and that kind of stuff. Like, you know, you've seen this with some of those things. But I mean, use your creativity. And maybe it's not masses, your exclusive thing. But how can that be an add on that supplements? What you're doing within your community? Your customer cult?
Brian Krogsgard 57:42
Oh, yeah, we bought masks for our kids that we you know, we wear them all over the place when we play or we go even outside. And if we go inside, certainly. But they've got camo ones. They've got Captain America ones. But something cool. They've got some that are the school will build local schools logo like in the corner. And there are stores like the local goods stores, they're selling them and they're putting like, our school districts logo in the little corner of the mask that is a product that they've been able to adapt based on the times and then personalize it to the community. And there you go.
Cory Miller 58:17
Well, let me let me reaffirm this for a second of your mass and back to your custom fabric. So I didn't want a traditional mask I have those right that go in here. But I saw somebody in New Mexico and I thought was the coolest thing on earth. But he just took it's it's nothing groundbreaking, but he took is just a handkerchief and wore it and I was like, that'd be cool. Like I ordered a set of handkerchiefs that are just all kinds of colors that I use. So one they were cheap, too. They readily available, I just have 12 of them right for nothing. But back to your custom fabric thought here is what if you could have your own handkerchief and have something unique? Like this isn't something that everybody you know wears is the typical you expect this button like cure Auburn, could it be Auburn colors, could it be, you know, a slogan or a cause or something like that, and then you add this fabric in there. I mean, maybe there's an idea mixed in there. So I love mashing.
Brian Krogsgard 59:18
And I want to give one warning. We're talking about all kinds of ideas, you do not want to execute on all of these, you may want, you may want a broad set of you know, like, maybe you got some kitchen stuff in some wearable things. You need to focus on an idea on a community on a narrow audience that has the right fit between size and reach ability and whatnot. I like the local ones. And I like the idea driven ones because you can target them whether it's in person, like go to a farmers market and sell your stuff or a specific idea of like maybe there maybe that's easier to target in online ads or something. So can siddur that don't say like, oh, here's my baby stuff with, you know, beach themed stuff in here over here. I've got some other stuff, but it's about poker or like, you know, like do things that are completely different sides of the world. You don't want to go and do everything you're not you're not a big box store. You're not one of these gigantic, you know, 10,000 skew online stores you're trying to narrow down.
Cory Miller 1:00:25
Yep, connection. Okay, wallets. Could you share your thoughts on this, I'm really curious, she showed something to me earlier. And I was really excited to hear
Brian Krogsgard 1:00:33
Yeah, there's some of the print on demand services do these. And there's also if you want to do 100 of them, or something, you could do them fulfilled. But they make, you know, the Velcro wallets that you have, when you're a kid, I think those are super cool. And you do the same type of connectivity based on your audience. But I love the Velcro wallets because they're really cheap, right, you know, you can make a $6 Velcro wallet, but sell it for, say 15 or $18. And you're putting something fun or clever or catchy on it. The other type that you can do though, is get something that's a little nicer. And you can kind of go up market, you can get Custom Leather wallets, I love making leather goods, so you can buy them from a local producer, you can buy them maybe in bulk. But then what you can do is you can brand them so dang, I don't have it in front of me, I actually have these brass thing, black brass like branding, medallions, and you can either use a stamp or a heating iron, and you could do it yourself. So I could buy, say 100 wallets or that fit what I want. Or your I do have this in front of me. So I learned how to, you know, make these notebooks. So I made this leather notebook for myself. And what I wanted to do that I haven't done yet, but this just holds a regular notebook inside, but I made my own leather notebook. You don't have to know how to make your own leather notebook. But you could find somebody that can you could buy a bunch of them. And then you take that stamp and you do a heat stamp on the on the item yourself whether it's a wallet or notebook or whatever else. And now you've done the same thing. You've personalized it. And you've got an upmarket type of good with something like this, like these sell for maybe $200, you know, a handmade leather notebook, and you've personalized it, whether you personalize it, or they do. But that's an idea where like you're really going outside the box, right? And I was thinking about that with the wallets. A lot of times they'll just do the laser cutters, they'll like burn it in with the laser cutter. Or you can use like the branded stamp with the heat or you can do the pressure one, there's a lot of different ways to do it. But I think it can really connect with something like wallets, key chains, notebooks, etc. But that's where you can dig in, you go down the leather road, it's a long journey, you learn a lot, but it can be a lot of fun.
Cory Miller 1:03:00
Well mash that up again, so leather your notebook with my little Lego thing. These I insert, you know, every time right, but my leather one, like I might, I bought a couple of these, but I might have my you know, generic paper, you know, over here in a stack that comes from staples or something but my leather notebook is what I use to make it like really personable because my thing with the journals, mashing this up is like I don't always know instantly which one is the one I'm using, but it was my leather thing now I'm going to talk to you offline about leather goods and how we how I get a Custom Leather like thing with all the brains on it, you know,
Brian Krogsgard 1:03:41
yeah, what I did with this is I actually made it to where it can be combined with another thing so these are those replaceable moleskin notebooks that go on the interior of this so I made the outside but it fits on the inside with something that's like really well known so someone looking for moleskin leather notebook covers would be able to find that if I sold it
Cory Miller 1:04:04
Yep. Okay, so that's wallets now last but not least is one of my favorites, by the way. The box. So I've talked about this before, but there's an awesome art therapist in Santa Fe, New Mexico and she sells emotional well being boxes. So so as just an example think of a box right? That that is you shipped to the post office or UPS or whatever, and that you put a combination of things inside the box that you curate the contents of the box. Now, you're still having to purchase stuff. But we put this last but not least we almost said it was a bonus just to think through a membership that I send you something in a box who doesn't like to get mail. By the way, my daughter got a new pair of glasses from Warby Parker and I was even excited to open the box you know, take us inside. So think of a box and think of things you can put a box in the box themes of seasonal stuff. Things that for, like we talked about with kids for pets, things that you can order ship personalized. Now this is probably going to be a little bit more complex than just shipping like a frame thing that Printful or Tlaunch customizes for you and sends and does all the fulfillment. But what can you put in a box that your people would be delighted to get every single month?
Brian Krogsgard 1:05:20
Yes, if whether it's a subscription box, or if it's just a bundle of multiple products, we talked earlier about what like bundling the mug with the coasters. You could also do a partnership, bundle your custom mug and the coaster and send a bag of your favorite type of coffee. And you know you're buying from the coffee, maybe they'll promote it for you. There's so many things, you can do that. And if you can do it on subscription, you really are on to something.
Cory Miller 1:05:48
Okay, so our friend AJ, mutual friend AJ loves coffee just as much as you do, Brian, and he started the little club with, you know, you would buy bags for other people. But again, to your point of, hey, it's a random new bean, you've never thought of before that you go out, all you have to do is go do the legwork. Find out the drop, you know, like if you're going to use elemental in Oklahoma City, for instance. And that month, you know, you give them your list and they ship it out for you perhaps or so that you have a membership subscription, what's in the box that you get now, that's surprise stuff. I've seen a lot of that done for kids, a lot of a done for pets, things like that, again, can you apply the localized thing I love your term for that earlier, your geographic your lifestyle, some kind of interest group or cause that you could put in the box that they get? That's really, really cool.
Brian Krogsgard 1:06:42
I want to finish personally with talking about the progression that you can take as a seller and as a creator. Okay, so let's go back to the basics. Let's go to our T-shirt. I'm going to do a T-shirt. Cory with the state of Alabama outlined there is no simpler design. I know for a fact I could sell this though, right? It's just it's just a connectivity to my state, state of Alabama outlined on this T-shirt. Now, when I first sell this, what am I going to do? I'm going to test whether or not I can sell this and I'm going to use Tlaunch or something to sell them one at a time. And I'm going to put them out there maybe to my friends and say, Hey, I designed this thing. It's a super, you know, baseline T-shirt, what do you think? Next step, hey, 10 people bought those, that was awesome. Now I'm going to use real thread and I'm going to up my quality, I'm gonna get 100 of them printed at once. Hey, that was awesome. Now I'm going to do it with two or three designs, look at that, I still sold more. And then maybe maybe one day, it does get to the point like you guys did it I themes too soon, or outside of your primary business objectives. And it's like, you know what, it makes sense for us to become professional screen printers. Because now we're buying T-shirt blanks for $4 a piece. And one day a week out of our eCommerce lives, we're printing 500 shirts, and then that's our inventory. And now we're doing this, we're bringing down our cost each time that one T-shirt, maybe had a cost basis of like $15 or something like that on Tlaunch and I sold it for 21, I made six bucks, then you go to real thread, maybe your cost basis is moved from $15 down to $11. So you're making $10 shirt. Now you're screen printing, you're doing it yourself, Well, maybe now your cost basis is down to six or $7. And you're selling it for 21 your markup increases without changing the price. But you're scaling it with your ability to do it with your ability to sell it with your ability to progress and go forward as a business. You don't have to start with your own screen printing and you know, buying 1000 of them and hoping you can sell them. That's a lot of stress on you as an eCommerce seller and a business owner. You're starting with where your business is you're being realistic, and their tools, their services and their quality products out there to assist you with meeting you where you are in your in your sales journey.
Cory Miller 1:09:10
And remember why you're doing it, you know, is to build your audience continue to build your customer, cult to test things and keep it anchored on that. You know, and I love your thought of you start with real threads may or Printful like maybe did does your prototype on Limited Edition. And then when you're ready to scale up or you know, take the next step you got a real threat. And you've shown a great progression there. And that's the best way I think to bootstrap a side hustle eCommerce store and to grow and a great way as you do it.
Brian Krogsgard 1:09:41
And lastly, don't get discouraged. You could put out you know I could say I have so much confidence I'm going to sell this Alabama outline T-shirt. Well, I might not and you know what I missed out on my nothing sale from a print on demand. Then what did I spend on that maybe the domain name or something Do it five more times do it 10 more times, eventually, the people that work hard are going to hit a when they're going to have success. And when you when you land on it when something connects, dive in, and then you can hit the progression from there.
Cory Miller 1:10:18
Brian Krogsgard 1:10:19
y drop. Let's go. Thanks for joining us. Go to commercejourney.com to check out this webinar and more and check out our partners at Commerce Journey.com slash go dash webinar. Take one of these ideas we just gave you like, way more than the 10 or whatever we teased with. You can do it. We trust you. Get out there, sell something. Join us on this journey facebook.com slash Commerce Journey too just connect with us wherever is convenient for you. Thanks for being here. We'll talk to you next time.