Transcript Episode 88
Episode 88: Impact Entrepreneurship and Building a Product Business with Emily Grey
[00:00:00] Welcome to the 100 degrees of Entrepreneurship podcast, the show for purpose driven entrepreneurs who wanna get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expand it to your purpose, and grow your business in a big way. I’m your host Stephanie Zaki, a globe TRO cfo, whose mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers, to grow their impact and their income.
Let’s dive in.
Hey everybody. Welcome to a hundred Degrees of Entrepreneurship. I’m really excited to have you on the show today because I have my friend Emily Gray on, and I have been following along with Emily’s Journey online long before I ever knew her in person, . Um, I actually heard her on Jenna Kutcher’s podcast like three years ago, four years ago maybe.
And it was just really fascinated and impressed with her story, and so I followed her on Instagram and then, Fate would have it. I did [00:01:00] share this in my conversation with Emily, but we ended up in a mastermind together this year with Rachel Rogers, and so it’s been so cool to kind of get to know her business from the inside and know her a little bit more as a person, and she just, she has a beautiful journey to share with you a.
and I’m excited for you to hear that story. But she also has just such amazing encouragement and advice and I really look up to her as a model for impact entrepreneurship. And she explains a little bit more about what that means to her and how she lives out her drive to really be impact focused and what she does in her business.
She also shares some really great tips for. Product based businesses. So if you are a maker or some other product based business, um, definitely this is the episode to listen to. Emily is the person to follow, and even if you’re not, she just shares some beautiful motivational pep talks for all of us that I was like kind of almost tearing up at the end because I was like, I needed to hear this.
Um, so she’s got some great practical tips for all of us on really [00:02:00] how to set our brands apart from others. So let me read you her official fancy bio and then we’ll get right into the interview. So, with the past career on Wall Street as a vice president of Communications and Change management, Emily Gray brings her, win them over know.
Delightful enthusiasm and everyday wit to encourage women to use their influence for good. She’s a speaker, small business coach and impact entrepreneur with a special focus on helping makers and brand owners land and grow wholesale accounts. Seven years ago, Emily founded her brick and mortar and online boutique, the Flourish Market.
Building it to a million dollar business in less than three years with zero paid advertising. She’s also the founder of the Locality, a co-working space and incubator program for 60 women in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s spoken on national stages for Rachel Rogers, Brendan Burchard, and Alt Summit, and her advice for indie brands has been sought after and featured in Forbes, Shopify, Create, and C.
And on the largest wholesale platform fair. Y’all are going to [00:03:00] love Emily. You’re gonna love her energy, love her spirit, and you are absolutely gonna wanna listen until the end because she is sharing about a really exciting opportunity that she has coming up later this month, actually, I think yeah, later this month when this episode’s going live.
Listen in. I hope you love this episode, and Emily is all over Instagram, so she’s gonna share her handle. Be sure to follow Emily, Go over and say hi to her and share if you’re gonna join what she’s got. Cooking up, uh, latest month. So I hope you love this one and let’s get into it.
Awesome. Hey everybody. Welcome. Of entrepreneurship. I’m super excited to have Emily Gray on the podcast with me today. Welcome, Emily. Uh, I’m really glad to be here, Stephanie. A long time coming. I know that, uh, we’ve talked about this for a while, so I’m glad to finally be here. Yeah. Thank you so much. And I have told you this before, [00:04:00] but I’ve been sort of following along with your journey for years now.
I heard you on Jenna Cher’s podcast four years, three years ago, I dunno, a long time ago. And then as fate would have it, we ended up in the same mastermind this year with Rachel Rogers. So it’s been great to just get to know you and know your business a little bit more over this last year. But I would love if you could tell our listeners like, what is your business today?
What do you. Yes. Okay. So I do two things and I haven’t figured out a way. Maybe some of you listening are like, I do a couple things and I’m not sure how to group it together, and I’m not sure that I can, So I’m gonna tell you the two things that I do. One, for those of you interested in using your purchasing power for good, for gifting, or for yourself.
I own a clothing. Boutique called The Flourish Market. We are a brick and mortar store in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, but we have a heavy eCommerce presence as well. We carry over 200 brands, all of which are [00:05:00] impact driven. Their product. The background behind it is explained on our website, so we ship all over the continental us.
For 2 95 flat rate shipping. So hit us up there and if you happen to be local to Raleigh and we don’t know each other yet, please come in and introduce yourself to me and my team. So that’s number one. And then number two is out of that business. So I’ve been running that for about. Seven years now, um, out of that business.
Uh, two and a half years ago, I launched something called The Wholesale Way. And I have a course and community for makers and brand owners, all of which are impact driven, where I help them land their products onto store shelves. And that came out out of getting pitch emails and, you know, samples in the mail and meeting makers and brand owners doing.
Incredible work right at, at markets and, and hearing from them over the phone and email and, and just thinking, Gosh, I just wish I could make time for every single one of them. Um, you know, if they just changed this little part of their pitch email or changed this about their product [00:06:00] packaging, their products would fly off the store shelves.
And so I created that coaching program, that course, and then the community to really help get, you know, have more equity on store shelves and to help folks. I know there’s so many of you listening, hopefully, that are product based businesses, um, you know, Just really flourish. Awesome. Thank you so much.
And I think the connection between the two businesses is like really solid, so it totally makes sense to me. But you did not start your career in retail or fashioned or any of this. You started with a career on Wall Street in the corporate world, right? Like so what was that transition? How did you begin and how did you get to owning a brick and mortar store in Raleigh, North Carolina?
Yes. It’s so funny. You know, I’ve shared this story so many times and every time someone asks it in my head, I’m like, I guess it was a pretty crazy transition. I think for those of us who start our own businesses, we forget, right? How wild that is. [00:07:00] You know, to people, especially onlookers who aren’t in business and sadly can go to the, their grave with their business idea.
Never, never trying it. So pouring one out for everyone listening who has started something or is about to start something. Right? Um, so yes, I was a vice president of communications and change management for an investment bank, a 55,000 employees. So I did. Eight years. Um, I was based mostly in London. I did that work all over Europe and Asia and New York City, um, and across the Americas.
And what that fancy dancing title meant in corporate jargon is that I was really tasked with the role of when there was economic chaos all around. So I did this job in 2000 and. Yes. PTSD on that, right? Um, when the economy collapsed, but whether there was good economic chaos, bad economic chaos, or just shifts that like were somewhere in between, it was my job to take all that information.[00:08:00]
Gather it into speaking points and to communicate that to middle and senior managers at the bank and help them, help teach them how to still lead their teams through change and still accomplish their goals. Um, so before I tell about Flourish Market, you can see that tie to what I do through the wholesale way.
Um, I’m a change manager at heart. I don. People to fear a recession or to fear navigating the pandemic. And so I love being able to cut through the chaos and tell people how to apply this change and what we need to be doing in a shifting, like in real time environment. Like what does that mean for your business and what do you tangibly need to do?
So that’s the tie there. I’m change manager at heart, but basically at the age of 30, I had a third of life crisis. Um, one of my customers once coined at that. I was like, That’s a really good way, way of saying that. Yeah. And. I just knew that. So I loved my job, I loved my team, and it wasn’t, a lot of people’s stories are I was burned out by corporate.
Um, that, that actually wasn’t my [00:09:00] story. My story was inner turmoil for a couple of years of like, I should be more happy. I should, I get paid a lot, you know, I have a job I love. I, I, um, you know, I work with a team that I love. I’m getting all this amazing training. I should be happy, I should be grateful.
But actually I needed to quit shutting myself is what a therapist will, and I just had to come to terms with like where my heart and my gut was being pulled. And that was, I wasn’t clear on it at the time, but to use my skillset, I had hone in corporate to. Make a difference in another industry besides investment thinking.
Um, and, and at my story is of, I didn’t have that clarity of what that was going to be when I left, um, I was in a very privileged spot. I had savings, you know, And I was like, All right, I’m gonna take six months off the economy. At that time I was like, I can get another job, or I can come back here, to be honest.
But I was like, I wanna figure this out. And that was July, 2015. And, uh, around that same time, I was obsessed with the tiny house shows. I saw. I was [00:10:00] searching one night on Pinterest for tiny houses and I saw a fashion truck. It was a little mini boutique on wheels. It had come up in my search. I was like, What is this?
I clicked on it and it was a, an article on LA’s first fashion truck, and that’s when it clicked for me. I was like, Wait a minute. Okay. I had been volunteering my vacation time in different countries around the world and also the USA with nonprofits and social enterprise. Helping them when people over to their fundraising efforts are helping them win people over to buying their fairly made goods.
And I was like, Okay, I have some contacts. I’ve never worked in a boutique before. I’m pretty sure I’ve never even shopped in a boutique. But what if I tried this right? And I don’t know what came over me, but somehow that idea outweighed. What people would think of me. I think I had just because those years of Turla, I was just ready to freaking take some action.
Like I was like, pooper, get off the pot. Like let’s, let’s try this. And so I did. I took $8,000 of my savings. I [00:11:00] exchanged that in cash in a sketchy bank parking lot in Western North Carolina and bought myself in that old uniform delivery track. And in October of 20 15, 3 months later, after 41 different friends helped.
Turned that into a little mini boutique on wheels. I launched the Flourish Market. Um, I did a $5,000 Kickstarter to help brace funds for me to buy initial inventory. I carried 10 brands at the time, and I did over a hundred popups that first year. Um, so that’s how I started, right? That was like my, like small, interesting wild beginnings.
Um, in year two, I got a brick and mortar store. I applied for some grants that were like dollar for dollar matching by year three. Um, we hit a million dollars in sales and I’ve never taken out a loan and I’ve never paid a penny for advertising for the flourish market. I pay back my initial investment to myself in the first six weeks.
I know that speaks to you as like, you know, with, with what you do, Stephanie, but I have always been very risk averse and I like sharing that part of my story. Not to brag, but to say [00:12:00] that’s how I coach. And you can do that too. And I don’t want having people, I think you. Seed money. There’s lots of places people can go for grants and seed money, cuz I was very privileged to have that $8,000.
Right. But I don’t want, I see, you know, coaches saying, Hey, you need to take out a loan for a hundred thousand dollars, or you need to run ads, you need to put 50,000 into that budget. And that’s just not how I built my business. And that’s the way I coached too. And I. Feel like a lot of students come to me, or a lot of fellow boutique owners even come to me and they have heard that, okay, they do need to take out that $50,000 loan to do X, Y, or Z, or hey, you gotta pay to play, so you have to spend, you know, at least $10,000 in ads.
To have that brand visibility, and I don’t think that’s true. I think we have to look at what’s working for our business and how we can do more of that. And that’s how I built my business is I’m very, very risk averse with money and I’ve taken a close look at my numbers and focused on what has worked to grow my bottom line.
What is [00:13:00] not, How can I leave that behind and how can I do more of what’s getting. Financial results and where I have gaps. Okay. I will spend budget towards a coach or a mentor, or maybe even an online program that can help me fill in those gaps. But I have also just grown like strategically. We’ve grown around 30% per year minus the pandemic.
We didn’t grow that year, but we stayed like pretty much even, which. I am calling that a huge win of 2020 cuz we were shut down for quite some time. But yeah. Now going into, we’re about to celebrate seven years in business. We’re now multimillion dollar business with, with no debt. I’m so, Excited about things we have coming up and we get to, you know, do really cool things like host free retreats for makers and brand owners.
We do that every march. Um, people flying from around the world. My customers sponsor that through their purchases with us. We get to host, you know, amazing events around, um, LGBTQ plus allyship. Um, talking about race and [00:14:00] equity. We get to be involved in conversations in our community and offer our boutique space up for free for.
Really important topics and fundraising events. And we get to also bring our community members, um, we call ’em the Flourish fam, our customers who are near and far. We get to bring them into virtual conversations and host virtual events as well around international topics. People always ask me when I’m gonna open up another boutique, and I’m like, literally never
It’s a lot of work and we just truly want to engage with, you know, use what we have right now and, um, further that. Yeah, I’ve seen you sort of refer to yourself as an impact entrepreneur, and I really like, I see that in, in everything that you do at the flourish market and in the wholesale way. So like when you think about that term impact entrepreneur, what, what does that mean to you?
I guess, you know, maybe you just described it a little bit, but I think that’s awesome. So what does that mean to. I, I’ve never been asked. That’s a good [00:15:00] question. What came up for me, as you were asking that is I know what it doesn’t mean, and it doesn’t mean making excuses or complaining around things that are going wrong in the world.
I think there’s some space to do that right and get out our righteous anger and our frustration. There’s absolutely a space for that. However, Impact driven brand owners and impact driven people, they will jump in with a solution and they’ll come in behind, you know, local leaders or nonprofit leaders who really know what’s up and are running, you know, conversations or programs that really help move forward in a positive way.
Um, good work. So I feel like when I’m thinking through like, what does that mean for me as an impact driven brand owner, it. I’m not sitting on the sidelines like I it like, and it looks different ways. So a lot of that looks like sending a percentage of our sales to our strategic nonprofit partners. Um, right now, um, you know, at the time of this [00:16:00] recording, Pakistan is flooding.
Um, we’re recording this in the end of August, right. So Pakistan is flooding. I just got back this past weekend. We do a private label clothing collection out of there. So right now that means having our customers, imagining them dollar for dollar for a crisis fund that will be given to Farina, the local leader in Pakistan, to do what that however she knows will that will be stewarded best.
Right? It’s not a handout, it’s a partnership in saying like, Wow, you’re going through something really, really hard and we’re partners. Other times that means speaking out on our social media or hosting events to invite people into divisive conversations where we can, you know, work to educate and understand things at a deeper level and at the end of the day, for me, Being a leader, right?
Impact driven, brand owner, but also a leader. It means doing a heck of a lot of internal work in unlearning some things that I’ve learned about being a woman or just racism, all these things, right? [00:17:00] That I’m, I’m actively having to unlearn so that I can show up in a way that is helpful and not hurtful. So that was a long answer, kind.
That was a good question. That really got me thinking. I think that’s a beautiful answer because I think that just goes to show, like I know a lot of listeners, a lot of the clients that I work with were all, you know, we all sort of throw around this term purpose driven or like impact focus, but what that means is different to different people.
And I think it looks different in different times of the year and like eras in this country and like just, it looks different. It can mean a lot of different things, but I love the way that you. Explain it. Cause I really do see you as a leader in this space and one that a lot of people can really look up to.
And like you are, you’re doing the right things, you’re trying really hard, and I think you, you really put yourself out there in a way that you are super visible. You’re a great example of what an impact entrepreneur can look like. So I think that was a great answer. Thank you. [00:18:00] In your journey from corporate into.
Putting your savings into buying this passion truck and like, did you get pushback along the way from anyone sort of inside your circle or even like outside your, your sort of inner circle? Like what is she doing? She had this C making a bunch of money and now she is happening. Did you get pushback or were people like, ok, we know Emily, we know that she can do anything she puts her mind to, so like, let’s go for it.
I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, but yes, there were, I would say two types of pushback I rescue. So the first, So here’s the deal. I was so scared to do this, and people were like, Where’d you find the courage? Well, I didn’t, I went basically pooping in my pants. Okay, . So I always tell people the visual of like, it’s like I felt like I was going skydiving, but I had to be shoved out of the plane.
And the whole like first few years felt like, like as the wind’s hitting you and just like you don’t have goggles on , just like. Just can’t [00:19:00] get a need like air in. Um, so that would be an accurate visual of how I felt. Um, but two types of pushback. One, you know, to do this because I didn’t feel courageous.
I trick myself because I know that my pride is too high to not follow through on something I’ve said I’m gonna do. So I’m like, I can use this to a benefit. And so around. By birthday table in July of 2015, I was turning 30. I just announced to my friends as I was shaking what I was gonna do and their face , like no one really knew what to say.
And here’s what they were going through internally. They were like, Wait, I have a lot of benefits of Emily having this cushy corporate job. Cause they used to fly my friends over the world. They would get some massages when they come travel with me, the nicest wine with my boss. And so I think for them it was.
Oh, okay. This means something negative to me, . But at the end of the day, they did come through and help. All right. But this, the big of the second pushback that I, that came up for me when you were asking me that question, was [00:20:00] not just my thoughts in my head of what I thought I was and was not capable of.
But it was actually a step further of not what I think I’m capable of, but what my perception of my friends and acquaintances, mm-hmm. think I’m capable of. So I had all these narratives and stories of what they must be thinking and saying behind my back, which may or may not have been true. Who knows?
Right. But I mean, actually I feel like what the narrative was in my head of what they must be thinking was probably. Way worse than what was in actuality happening in, in their brains and in conversations. Right. And so yeah, major pushback. But I would say that the biggest thing was, was, was in my head.
Right? And so it was really helpful in therapy to finally like talk that out cuz my therapist was really good at like, Asked me like, What are you most afraid of? What are you okay? Go deeper. Go deeper. And I think at the end of the day that’s, as I continue to pull that thread, when I finally said that out loud, it’s when the garment fell apart and it was like, Okay, now we can start over and re knitting [00:21:00] this, right?
Because we are starting from scratch and like you’ve said, everything you needed to say. So I, and I know other people go through that, right? As a coach, I hear that all the time. And when I can get people to. That level of thinking, once we say it out loud, it loses so much power. Yeah. Oh, that’s beautiful.
Thank you so much for, for sharing that. I feel like I can, I can totally relate because I hold myself to like the highest standard and I imagine that everybody else must be like, Wow, she makes one tiny little mistake. Like she’s a massive failure. Like nobody’s thinking that, like absolutely no one, but it’s all, it’s in my head.
So I think that, um, just the way that you explained that was, was beautiful.
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What helped turn things for you? Was it that you were able to pay back your loan to yourself in like the first six weeks? Like what was your sort of first turning point of success where you felt. I got this. Like, I can do this. This is, this is my thing. I, I’ve got this. Ooh, I’ve never hit that turning point.
This is an ongoing, internal discussion for me. Um, are you Ingram three. I, Yeah. But yes, I am okay. If anyone else will see as an Ingram three maybe can identify with this. But for me, the goal post keeps moving of like, it’s never enough. I’m ne, you know, and in my head I’ll be like, when I get to X, Y, or [00:23:00] Z, then I will feel like I have got this down.
Um, and so, you know, I don’t know if I’ll ever. Feel that way. You know, it’s something I talk about in therapy a lot, my worthiness and measuring up, and that comes from a childhood of feeling as though, you know, I was never perfect enough. Right. In dance or at home or in school, right? And so it’s like a very deep, uh, struggle of mine.
Um, but what I can say is, is helpful, is knowing my numbers. And I’m not just saying that because I’m talking to you. But, um, I know that like makes your heart sink, but you know, truly I had to really take a hard look in the. Of, Okay. Wow. I know I have runway, but let me look at exactly how much, Let me look at exactly.
Okay. If I could cut this and cut this and, all right. We’re, we’re closed down, but I know we’re gonna pivot and maybe sell some things online, but really, I felt so empowered. Around that goal post, Right, That I keep moving, just knowing what is coming in and going out every month and what [00:24:00] I can expect to see with retail.
You know, November and December are big months, so every summer I’m like, Oh my God, we’re gonna fail. And . During the pandemic though, I actually went through this exercise and it was a very scary time to be a business owner, you know, for everyone. And I was looking at what was going out, what was coming in, and now what was not coming in with us being shut down and.
It really was empowering because I could see the gap and what we needed to make up, and I think a lot of people are scared to look at their numbers. Maybe in the pandemic or even now. I find that a lot with my clientele. They just don’t wanna look. But I’m here to tell you, it is way less anxiety inducing when you just know the facts.
Okay? So if you think you’re behind and you have a paid your taxes or whatever it is, I know that can feel shameful and you can feel very stuck. However, to get unstuck, We need the facts. And that can be a very scary thing of facing your numbers, but it’s also very scary to not know them. Right? So you got two scaries.
One, [00:25:00] not knowing your numbers. The second scary is knowing your numbers and not being where you know you need to be, but at least the second scary when you face it has a better outcome. okay on the end. And so, you know, that’s where I feel like I had a really good idea of my numbers and felt like I had a good handle on it.
But during the pandemic, I put some. Operational things in place and regular meetings with my accountant. I really deeply understood like payroll taxes and things that, you know, I just outsourced to her. But I was like, Okay, if I did X, Y, and Z, what would that implicate like at the end of the year, You know, if I did X, Y, or Z with my personal, like what I take home, what are the implications?
And so sitting with her is a guide, Was. Helpful. Right. And so I feel like, although you know, my answer to you is I’ve never hit that moment of, Okay, I’ve got this. And I actually think when people hit that, there always comes a time when they don’t feel that way and then they have to hit that again. But for me, having never hit that and honestly never expecting to anytime soon, just because of a lot of internal worthiness work I have to [00:26:00] do.
For me what’s most helpful right now is just knowing the facts, knowing where I want to get financially, and making a. To achieve that. . I love that. And I think, um, yeah, everything you said obviously like makes me so happy. I love to our clients all the time and it becomes like less of this scary, giant financial problem.
Like when you know that number, whenever you know what that gap is, you’re like, Okay, well if the gap is $20,000, great. How can I make another $20,000? Like, it’s just a matter of doing more of what you already know how to do versus like, Oh my gosh, I’m so far from my goal. Like, you know, It becomes way more actionable than just like this big scary unknown.
So I love that. We love Access . Exactly, yes. We, You can’t stop us from taking action. So specifically for, Cause I definitely know we have like, we have some eCommerce, we have some product based [00:27:00] businesses in our audience right now. I would just love to kinda hear from you, since you are an expert in. Any tips that you have for makers, for brand owners, what you see them doing wrong, like sort of biggest pitfalls or how they can get their products onto store shelves?
Would love to hear a little bit more. Oh, I love this question. Okay. I’ll give a tip, like overall whether you want to get your products on store shelves or not. Um, and then I’ll give some specific for like ACEing your wholesale. Okay. So my biggest tip, no one wants to hear. Maybe 10% of people are already doing this and they’re like, Yes, I’m on the right track, but.
You have got to start showing your face. And showing the behind the scenes, all right? Because whether you’re looking to target retail partners or going direct to consumer, as we stare down a potential recession, as we stare down moving into an endemic phase, one of the amazing things, alright, the pandemic.
In one hand, we are holding how crappy and [00:28:00] awful that was. In the other hand, we can hold some things that went positive and one of those things are actually, I have some stats. Let me, let me just pull this, I’m gonna pull this up in real time to you guys because I, I’m talking to a numbers podcast and let’s, let’s do the stats.
Okay, here we go. All right, so one of the, The cool things that happened during the pandemic is that people started realizing the power of their purchase , which have we waited for years for that You guys, for those who’s been business like me for years, it’s like, hello, does anyone care about Saturday, uh, small business Saturday?
Does anyone care about makers? They’re gonna make you know, like it? What do you care about? And so for the first time ever in 2022, I really started seeing at the beginning of the year, I’m an economics nerd. You. Well, we really started seeing on trend reports for the first time percentages coming in that people were reporting on.
So couple of stats for you guys that love stats. So, IBM’s report in early 20, it was like March of 2022, indicated that 44% of all consumers [00:29:00] would call themselves purpose driven shopper. Okay. And then Forester firm. Yeah. Huge, right? I would say that was maybe negative 1% pre pandemic. Yeah. But what happens is people call businesses got of of business and they’re like, Wow, I don’t only vote on my ballot, I vote through my dollars, right?
Mm-hmm. and so Forester firm. I love them. I to wear anything they predict comes true. It’s pretty wild, but I follow them closely. But they, they are predicting that by the end of 2022 that more than 50% of adults will regularly purchase from brands that align with their personal values. 50% by the end of this year.
And I, the, the more podcasts and, and experts I’ve been tuning into, if we do stare down a recession, they expect that percentage to increase. All right. And so in a world where people are like, you know, Amazon’s killing brick and mortar, like Amazon’s taking over, Well yes, they’re taking some parts of the pie.
Honestly guys, when we look at stats and look at [00:30:00] economic spinning reports, like the game is not over for us. We’re just freaking getting started, right? And so one last stat, which I think is awesome, is that barter firm is also predicting that through 20 24, 70 2% of US retail cells will still happen in brick and mortar.
72%. Wow. So I’m like, that’s why I’m passionate about wholesale because I’m like, if you put a CEO hat on, my friends, 72% is a big part of the pie. Go where the money is, put your products where the money is. Mm-hmm. and I mentioned these stats that are in alignment with, you know, people shopping their values because, I want you to put yourself out there and you’re behind the scenes and, and show your brand values in the behind the scenes.
If you’re fair trade, if you use echo conscious materials, if you are, um, you know, a black business owner, LGBTQ plus business owner, wherever your values are and who you are, show up because when you show up, That grows that no, like and trust factor with people. Okay. And then also when you [00:31:00] share the behind the scenes of how your products are made, and you know, do that with dignity.
I think we all know that. But if you’re in partnering with people who aren’t you to make your products, but that also, that increases the perceived value of your products, right? And so people. Know why you have to charge more than the sweat shop versions on Amazon. Mm-hmm. . So it’s just a really great time to put yourself out there.
Put your behind the scenes out there. I actually do this on my account, so you can see how I do that for my business at Emily Gray underway. We also do it on the Flourish Market account. So at the Flourish market, um, the people love behind the scenes. All right? Yes. They love it. So that’s my biggest overall tip.
Now, if you are wanting to get into wholesale, I’ll give. I’ll do, I’ll do three short tips. Obviously I have more and come follow me for more. But, um, the first one I would say is if you are reaching out via a pitch email, um, never call a store, never cold call or cold walk into a store. That’s totally [00:32:00] outdated advice.
But when you’re pitching, first biggest mistake I see is you make it about your brand in the first few sentences. Um, and it’s like a mass copy and paste. Even if you use like the founder’s name or the buyer’s name of the. Instead, the first two sentences should be all about that boot, that boutique. All right.
You gotta show them you know them, that you’ve done your research. All right. So that’s my starter tip. Okay. My, Do you have have to have gone in there before? Like do you have to have physically been to the boutique before or like, Okay, so you’re, you could be pitching like a store that’s across the country.
Yep. So my students, I teach them to spend two to four hours a month doing, around that time, the way I teach how to do like a cater pitch email. They can pitch anywhere from like four to 30 boutiques in that time. And in two to four hours they’re making like thousands of dollars initially off those orders.
And they’re getting reorders and reorders and reorders. So they’re not doing popups. They are not, I mean, Clients literally replace all their revenue from popups with wholesale, even though the [00:33:00] margins are 50% off. You know? So it’s, yes, you can email anyone. I mean, obviously some strategy behind it, who your product’s gonna sell for.
Right. Okay. Um, my second tip is your brand values. Okay. That I mentioned earlier. They need to be on your. Product packaging, Okay? Mm-hmm. . So especially like female owned, right? Or, um, you know, certified fair trade, things like that. All right? So we gotta have own product packaging because in retail, if consumers are shopping in alignment with their values, Let’s put our values on our product up packaging.
All right? So they know. And then the third tip I would give is to pitch us. So many people come to me and brand owners, they’re like, Well, I, you know, I only have 200 followers. Like I’m just an itty bitty brand. I have to like, build up to, to pitch. Like I’m not big enough yet. Let me tell you the one question we ask when we receive your pitch email, we’re not thinking, Ugh, they’re bothering us.
We are [00:34:00] solely looking at your products and asking one question, Will this. That’s it. We don’t care about your Instagram following. We, we literally, No, I, So I try to share that in hopes of you guys, reach out and pitch us. Do it because you’re our brand partners and we need you to succeed. The only way the Flourish market and other retailers stay in business is if we have kick butt products from amazing brands that our customers love and they give us money in exchange for those products else we.
Our numbers don’t work. And so, so many people are afraid to pitch retailers because they think they have to have X, Y, or Z Instagram followers, or they have to have a hundred units of each of their products, and it’s simply not true. My, my students are getting started like, like some of them straight out the gator just starting their brand for the first time and you know, they’re getting couple of wholesale accounts and then they’re gradually building from there.
So I hope that helps fight imposter syndrome for anyone out there who thought they were too small to pitch someone. [00:35:00] I love that. You’re right. Cause what do you care how many Instagram followers they have? This doesn’t matter at all. Yeah. Oh, that’s so good. I really appreciate that. And I love like your first tip about showing your face.
I do find like, just from a consumer perspective, I love seeing the behind the scenes. So if y’all are not, anyone was listening, if you’re not following Emily on Instagram, both the S market and her personal Instagram, you need to, because you’re on the scenes, like when you go to market and you’re, you know, you’re asking your audience like, Do you like this?
Would you like, Like I didn’t even know that was like something. You know, that retail shops did. And so it’s so cool to see behind the scenes. Um, and so I love that and I think that’s tip for other business owners as well. You don’t be a product business, but if you’re an accountant or you’re whatever, um, I think that building that sort of personal, um, Yeah, that personality behind the brand is so important and I can definitely see the value in doing that for products as well.
Um, That is [00:36:00] awesome. So you,
for, for, does Q4 look like for. Q4 is always for the flourish market, the buckle up quarter. Um, obviously that is, we do over, not obviously, I’ll tell you, we do over 50%, almost 60% of our sales for the year, mid-October through mid-December. So we are gearing up. So what it looks like for me is massive amounts of rest over the next like month and a half.
Mm-hmm. , um, Uh, so giddy up, then we can like go hard, uh, for those really key things where we know, right, this is our big time to thrive, right? And so I can fully be present and always tell that with my clients as well, product based business owners for most of them, right? It’s like very focused within November and December for the holidays.
And so it’s like, okay, how can we be all in on that in like two XR revenue during that biggest time? And how can we rest in the summer? We don’t need to always be going, so that’s [00:37:00] for the flourish minute, For the wholesale way, I am super stoked because I know this is airing, I think in November. I feel like we should have some holiday tunes playing.
Yeah, that’s great. But um, so makers and brand owners, I don’t even know if you’re listening to this to November, cause I know you guys are slammed, but I have been doing lots of, um, August and September workshops at the time of leading of, of recording this. But I’m excited because I’m putting my workshop format into what I think will be a week long challenge.
In January. I’m super hyped about it. Stephanie and I were geeking out about it before we press record. Um, and I’d love for you to be a part of that. Okay, I’m gonna do it. I don’t know the price point yet. It’s gonna be very accessible. And what I’m gonna do is be spending one to two hours with you a day for a week, um, and breaking down, um, wholesaling two boutiques and nailing your pitch email.
So you’re actually gonna walk away from the challenge with your full pitch email written. I’ll give you my word for word email template. I’ll show exactly how to do the research and do those two sentences up front. And I’m gonna give you like everything you [00:38:00] know, not only to get started. So a lot of people who come to my workshops ha have never even started.
They have the idea for their product. And then we have some people who have a couple of retail accounts, but they’re like, I don’t, I wanna legitimize this wholesale kind of leg. And then some people who come and my students, some of my students, they’re working on their, they’re trying to land and get to their 3000 account by the end of next year.
So, wow, my tips are for everyone and will really help you start. Or scale the wholesale income stream. So I’m super excited to do that live. Um, we’re gonna have a live q and a portion, so if you want in on that, go to And Stephanie hope you can link this cuz my website. Yeah, I’m glad to advise my name so long, but it is Emily Gray, so g r e y Emily Gray co.com/the challenge.
Okay. So I’m super stoked to welcome you and do me a favor. Hit me up on Instagram and let me know you signed up and that you came from this podcast. Let me know what you’re most excited about. [00:39:00] I, it’s me and my dms. Okay. So I love hearing from product based business owners. No one else has my password for my account.
Now they do for Flourish Market. But reach out, let me know who you are because the truth is when people do our workshops for every workshop we got, A hundred plus people on, we’re buying from about six to 10 of those brands cause we’ve never heard of you before. Now we know you exist. So this is the way that we are finding the new up and coming brands or even big established brands that for some reason we haven’t heard from.
So sign up at back slash the challenge and then come reach out on Instagram and let me know you signed up. Let me know you exist and uh, yeah, we’ll take the party from. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. And y’all, if you dunno, Emily, like this is going to be awesome. I know you have so much goodness up your sleeve for this challenge.
I think it’s gonna be so great. And I love that like you’re actually finding new brands to carry in your own store from this challenge. Like that’s so [00:40:00] cool. That’s just a sort of like added bonus for everybody that joins is like, Hey, there’s this possibility on here too. I love. It’s amazing and it you, I don’t want you guys to be the best kept secret, right?
I know it is comfortable hiding and doing what you’ve always done, but you know, if you’re looking to, to grow your impact and grow your bottom line, like start of that. You know, earlier at seven you asked me, like, you didn’t ask me like where I found the courage, but it was kind of like, how did you like get to that point where you launched and did people think you were crazy?
And the truth is, Courage, baguettes courage. Okay, so just you signing up for this challenge, just you listening to this podcast, right? That is a step of courage, all right? Even if you’re doing it in private, no one knows you’re listening to it. Signing up for the challenge. That is a step of courage, and it’s these little things, right, of putting ourselves out there.
Like you can’t expect to be found if you want to have huge bottom line by or grow your bottom line in a huge way, but you can’t be expected to be found by like Target or anthropology or. Any of these big stores, right? You can’t [00:41:00] just expect to be found. You have to show up and put yourself out there. And so that’s what I would say is how I built my business is gradually like putting myself out there a little bit by little bit, even when my knees are shaking, as I said earlier, even when I felt like I had to put my pants.
Um, so I always ask literally on every podcast interview that I do for people to reach out to me in dms because I know that’s a stretch for you. I know that is a stretch of courage. I want you to know I’m a safe space to land, and I want you to do that. I want you to put yourself out there, sign up for the challenge.
Um, we’ll be talking more about mindset, things like that, and not in the poo way. Guys, I really, um, I teach in a different way, I promise, and we have a lot of fun. We’ll laugh a lot, but yes, I’m, I’m really proud of you for, for showing up today. Listen to the podcast and then putting yourself out there. That was so good.
Even if, even if you’re not a product based business, even if you’re not gonna join Emily’s child, I feel like I just got a little motivational pep talk from [00:42:00] Emily, so I appreciate that so much. . Um, I always like to ask, we talk so much about work and I know you’re engram three, but what do, do disconnect from work?
Like, what’s one of your favorite things to do to just like totally disconnect from? If you ever do . Oh, I totally do. I had to learn, I, I learned the hard way after burning out four years ago or so that I, I needed to like loop this in. And my employees, I get five weeks of vacation. Um, so one thing, I love paddle boarding and you guys, I have a 70 pound pit bull named Henry Gray.
And I take him paddle boarding and it’s just the cutest thing. I used to take him kayaking, but he flipped my kayak and sunk it one time. So it’s like a whole situation, . Um, so now we do paddle boarding. Um, so I do that. I also love getting out of the country and vacationing, so I find that when I change up where my feet are in a drastic way, so probably like a three hour flight or more, that, that’s just really [00:43:00] helpful, especially if I get out of the American culture.
Which is so easy to get caught up in, of like, um, the rat race and the hustle, so, I’m going to the middle of nowhere, France in, um, October. My partner is a rock climber. Mm-hmm. . And so it’s a rock climbing trip that I’ve tacked onto and I will be just detoxing there for two and a half weeks. And I’ve already looked up little bakeries and stuff I’m gonna read and then just being with my friends.
Laughing so hard, talking about the heavy things, everything in between, and just being present into life that exists outside of the personal or business to-do list. That is really how I disconnect. And there’s that building accountability, right? When you tell people you’re showing up. For a dinner or you invite them over.
That’s, that’s one big thing that I use because if it’s a commitment to myself, sometimes I will not do that. But when others are involved, um, and there’s a community aspect to [00:44:00] it that helps me stay on track with what I really want out of life. I love that. I love that you understand the importance of that, and you’re really intentional about creating that time for yourself.
I think that’s, that’s so important and it’s so easy to not do, um, especially as a very driven, motivated person when it comes to work. So, um, yeah. Thank you so much for sharing all that. Emily. I. Always enjoy talking to you. I really appreciate your time and our conversation today. And just one more time, where can our listeners find you?
Where’s the best place to find you? You mentioned Instagram, but tell us your handles and or your website again. Yes. I’m gonna give you two things, which is breaking all the rules of what everyone says. To do on a podcast, but I want you to go to Emily Gray co.com/the challenge. If you’re a product based business owner, I want you to join that again.
It’s gonna be a really accessible price point and I just put a price on it cause I actually want you to show up, um, and it’s gonna be all live. It’s gonna be awesome. Um, and then. The second thing I want you to do, and this is [00:45:00] even if you’re not a product based business owner, come say hello on Instagram over at Emily Gray underway.
Let me know you exist even if you’re not a product based business owner. Um, I’d love to check out what you’re up to because if you’re listening to this podcast, you are most likely in the impact driven space and we truly are better together. Awesome. Yay. Thank you so much. Yes. We will link to everything in our show notes and we’ll have all of your info over on our Instagram when this goes live.
And yeah, just thank you so much again, Emily. I really appreciate your time and all of your wisdom that you shared with us. Thanks, Stephanie. Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100 degrees consulting.com/podcast. Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on Instagram at Stephanie dot s k r y and I’ll be sure to share.
Thanks for being here, friends, and I’ll see you next time.[00:46:00]
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