We spoke with Kirstyn about how the pandemic turned her side hobby into a thriving business.
Intro: [00:00:00] Welcome to the LA Business Podcast, a forum for business owners and senior executives to share the experiences about the elements that drive their success. Your host is Robert Brill, CEO of Brillmedia.co
Robert Brill: [00:00:15] All right. Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of the LA Business Podcast today our guest is Kirstyn Shaw Founder at The Very Best Cookie In The Whole Wide World.
Thanks for being on the show. So this is super exciting. Tell us about The Very Best Cookie In The Whole Wide World. And is it chocolatey?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:00:39] Oh my gosh. It’s so chocolatey. I think the chocolate might outrank the cookie OJ cookie. They’re delicious. So I did a pandemic pivot. I lost my job at the beginning of the pandemic.
And I’m very much a busy body. And the first month of quarantine, I was just running all over town, ding dong ditching all of my friends with chocolate chip cookies. And I have been working on this recipe for probably a decade. And people have been telling me for years, I should sell them. And I’ve done them for friends’ weddings and party favors and miscellaneous events over the years.
But the timing was right and I set up a shop on Shopify and that was five months ago.
Robert Brill: [00:01:22] Okay. So what, how are things going over the last five months?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:01:26] They’re pretty good. I’ve got about 45,000 in sales. I haven’t done any marketing yet. It’s all been word of mouth and a little bit of press. But yeah, slowly growing.
Robert Brill: [00:01:38] That’s incredible. So, what do you, what do you think is the reason for the sale for the, the amount of traction you’re getting?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:01:46] I mean, the cookies are really good. I think a lot of people are buying them for themselves and then, sending them as gifts to friends, they make a great way to brighten up somebody’s day.
I have greeting cards on the website also, so that kind of inspires people to look at events that they have in their life and send them as gifts. I think it’s also very nostalgic and it’s just, it’s a happy product, you know, who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies.
Robert Brill: [00:02:14] So where can, where can we buy them? Cause like I’m ready to buy.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:02:18] I know. Well, are you keto? I need a keto cookie.
Robert Brill: [00:02:21] I am Keto, but I’m recently off Keto.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:02:24] Oh, perfect. I’ll have to send you some for your cheat day. The website is theverybestcookie.com.
Robert Brill: [00:02:30] The very best cookie.com. Fantastic. So, I mean like, and, and how, how much, how do you charge for them?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:02:38] I have a Shopify website, so it is $25 for a six pack of cookies and I deliver locally and ship nationwide.
Robert Brill: [00:02:45] Wow. So are you going after Milk Bar?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:02:48] I mean, I don’t really think there’s any competition there. I mean, they’re a huge brand. I would love to be on the same level as they are, but.
Robert Brill: [00:02:58] But they started small. I mean, they, they were like one shop.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:03:02] Yep.
Robert Brill: [00:03:02] And a tiny shop at that. Like the type of shop where you have to wait outside while you’re, while the, while your pro your cookies or your ice cream is being made to actually be inside. That’s incredible. So, what what’s in the best, the most delicious cookie in the whole wide world.
Sorry, I got the name wrong. I think The Very Best Cookie In The Whole Wide World.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:03:28] So the dough has a resting process at rest for a couple of days. And I think that allows the flavors to really caramelize and develop. And then I use three different kinds of chocolate. There’s a chocolate chip and two different kinds of Belgian chocolate, a super dark.
And I like regular dark chocolate. And they’re really big bars that I hand chop. So it gets a really chocolatey layer throughout the whole cookie. And they’re topped with sea salt to balance out all that chocolate. And it’s just a delicious treat. Well, that sounds fantastic. So what did you do?
Robert Brill: [00:04:02] I see on LinkedIn here, the playground, Natalie Attired, Co-founder Kiko Clothing. Tell us about how you got to the, how you got to this place.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:04:13] Yeah. So I’ve been an entrepreneur in LA for, that’s 25, so almost 15 years. My background is fashion. I have an ecofriendly clothing line with my mom for a number of years.
That’s the Kiki clothing. And then we shut that down in 2015, and I helped her launch a women’s subscription clothing company, but that wasn’t really my calling. So I got a job working in hospitality. I was, serving at a restaurant called Rose Cafe in Venice. A while I kind of figured out my next moves and being an entrepreneur in LA, I really found that there was a need for, king of a mixed use coworking space that had all the amenities that you use on a daily basis on site.
So that’s what I’ve been working on the past two years on the playground. So it was a coworking space that was going to include fitness studios, childcare, beauty services, and a cafe was a pretty big project.
Robert Brill: [00:05:08] So, this is not your first entrepreneurial gig. You’ve done this a few times. What are some of the challenges that you’ve found over, over your journey here with Natalie Attired, with the Playground now with The Very Best Cookie In The Whole Wide World?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:05:24] I think customer acquisition has always been a huge problem. All of the companies I’ve worked for have pretty much been bootstrapped. So not having a huge money for marketing has been a big problem and just kind of trying to grow tech that.
I’m still doing that. I haven’t gone the Facebook, Instagram ads route yet, just because for me at this point, what converts the best is getting a cookie in someone’s hands.
Robert Brill: [00:05:55] How do you do that? How do you, how are you doing that now?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:05:58] Oh my gosh. Well, when I first started, this was maybe like three weeks into the business.
I created a postcard, actually have some sitting in front of me that says you forgot something, but I think we should try it anyways. For those of you that aren’t familiar with. E-commerce, there’s what is called an abandoned cart. And you can go in and see all the customer’s information. So I selected a handful of people who had abandoned their cart, that didn’t live in an apartment building.
So I knew I would have access to their front door to leave a sample pack of cookies with the postcard and I did that with a handful of people, but I got bit by a dog at the last house. So that scared me.
Robert Brill: [00:06:40] So, I’m sorry. So basically someone went to your site, they abandoned cart and you gave them cookies anyway.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:06:48] And it worked three of the four people that I sent him to buy cookies, but I haven’t figured out another way to do that that’s less invasive.
Robert Brill: [00:06:57] Yeah. You don’t want to risk getting bit by dog. Jeez. That’s what I like about that is that it’s, you know, it’s usually the most unscalable stuff that works really well.
And we get a lot of learnings out of that. And when you get a lot of learnings, you can then find ways in, time to like scale that. How do you scale that?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:07:18] And when have you ever abandoned your cart and then gotten a free product from that company like that? Nobody does that. I think its fun and it builds brand loyalty and people loved it.
Robert Brill: [00:07:29] So, I mean, you must have a fair amount of word of mouth coming in. Like you must have a pretty robust network.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:07:34] Yeah. And just being an entrepreneur in LA for so long, I already had a big network to start. And because I had sent everybody cookies for a month, people already knew how good they were, you know, so it grew pretty organically at the beginning.
And now I’m at the point where I really need to figure out how to spread my wings and get more customers.
Robert Brill: [00:07:58] Well, I definitely have some ideas on how you can do that, but maybe that’s a, that’s a conversation that that’s me pitching you, but that’s what we do. Right. That’s how we scale our business. We help customers grow and drive leads and sales and fantastic return on ad spend.
But you’re right trial is to key key element here. Do you have a way of lowering the costs so that maybe you’re not, maybe I’m thinking about the sample tactic, right. Instead of spending $25 for six cookies, can you spend like five or $10 for like, you know, five, my dollar packet as a sample.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:08:35] I do have a $10 option on the website, but it’s more of a secret item. So I need to start, I need to take that, take the curtain away from that. And start posting it. It’s hard though, because, with shipping, I have to use FedEx today and the shipping on the actually losing money on the shipping. So to spend $10 to ship a product, that’s $10 is silly, right?
It’s worth more for local people. But my delivery charge is also $10. So I need a storefront or some way for people to access those. Where you’re not paying as much for delivery as you are for the cookie.
Robert Brill: [00:09:16] I hear you. So you really need to make money on the second and third purchase. You know, one of the things that I’ve been hearing in marketing circles is that the next wave that’s going to drive business is going to be recurring revenue offers.
If you can turn this into a recurring revenue, the once a month, $25 cookies subscription. Or $50 cookie subscription goldmine.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:09:44] Yeah. So I’ve actually been working on a strategy for that. I do have a subscription option on the website now, but I haven’t really been pushing it, but one other tactic I tried last month was, and this wasn’t with the subscription, but a free add on sample pack of flavors that I’m testing.
So anybody that ordered that we’ve got a free sample pack. So I want to turn. Add that model to the subscription. So anybody that has a subscription gets to be kind of in the inside circle helped me develop new flavors, gets to vote on it, gets to give their feedback. And I think that people love that. I love that as a customer.
Robert Brill: [00:10:21] What are you new flavors?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:10:25] The sinner was the winner. It’s a cinnamon sugar topping on the regular butter face.
Robert Brill: [00:10:30] That sounds great.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:10:31] It’s so good it’s a problem.
Robert Brill: [00:10:35] So, I mean, it sounds like you’re pretty happy with your pandemic pivot.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:10:40] Yeah. I love it. I’m literally delivering boxes of joy to people’s doorsteps. I’m very lucky.
Robert Brill: [00:10:46] It could be, this could end up being a massive business. This could be your, I mean, why not? Why wouldn’t it be. Do you, where do you, where do you make these? Where do you make the cookies?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:10:58] So I’m working out of a commercial kitchen. Now I’ve moved into Foodies, Urban Kitchen. It’s in Sun Valley.
So I do all of my production there, but I’m still doing a lot of baking from home. I’m only there once a week. So I take off orders as needed throughout the week, but do a book of my, I do all of my production at the commercial facility. And most of my shipping.
Robert Brill: [00:11:22] Is that the future of like businesses like yours, where the cost is diminished and it’s scalable.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:11:29] Yeah. I’ve actually been thinking about since I’ve been in the coworking world for the last two years of even pivoting that business, I think there’s definitely a need for, you know, smaller makers to have professional kitchen spaces to be able to manufacture out of. And I got lucky with this one, but if I were to, switch my model to focus more on like door dash and all of those, it’s not in a residential neighborhood.
So it really impedes my, you know, the customers that I’d be able to deliver to. Cause I think with door dash it’s like a three mile radius. One of those commercial kitchens, that’s kind of set up as a coworking space in, like I was thinking of West Adams neighborhood, so that you’re, you’ve got a great radius of residential housing, but it’s super freeway accessible and, you’ve got easy access to freeways and customers and makers and all that.
Robert Brill: [00:12:35] What, can you find about the, neighborhood? Like, are there any trends or patterns that you find about where your customers are?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:12:45] Oh my gosh. They’re all over the place you think? I mean, my product is definitely not a cheap product. $25 for six pack of cookies is pretty high up there, but I get customers.
I mean, I’m, it’s only me in this business now, so I’m the one that’s delivering all the cookies. You would think that it would be like the bougie neighborhoods of LA, but it’s definitely not. It’s definitely all over the place.
Robert Brill: [00:13:08] Do you think people are ordering. So, let me ask you, there’s some, so many places I want to go with this.
The first question I have is are you finding that you’re connecting with people who you have no. That you don’t know ultimately.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:13:22] So funny, you asked me that question cause I was just telling my girlfriends the other day. I’m so emotionally attached to my customers now and the community that I’ve built on Instagram.
From like bakers around the country that I’ve somehow randomly found and customers and all the interactions that I have with them. I think also because our human interaction is more limited now because we’re not seeing friends and family in person as much, but it it’s so fulfilling. And it just brings me so much joy to have all these new friends on social media.
Robert Brill: [00:13:58] But I imagine, I imagine when you started, you knew everyone who was ordering, right?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:14:03] Yeah. At the beginning, I definitely did people you knew for sure. Yeah. Tons of new friends on Instagram of people. Like people I’ve never met before, like a customer yesterday invited me into her home to go pick a passion fruit from the vine in her backyard.
So now I have a bag full of passion fruit from a stranger that’s just like randomly found me on Instagram and, and, and so do so.
Robert Brill: [00:14:30] So it sounds like people are finding you off of Instagram like that. Like what about any like Facebook or Pinterest, like is Instagram your main platform?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:14:37] Yeah, Pinterest I haven’t really had time to delve into, um, Facebook too, but I think because it’s such a visual product and there’s so much noise on Facebook right now.
I mean, I guess there is on Instagram too, but Instagram is definitely how most people find me.
Robert Brill: [00:14:56] Wow. That’s incredible. And what is your, what is your, do you have an Instagram strategy? Like what are you doing to get people to find you?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:15:03] I have no strategy. I need help with that. I, yeah. A lot of people just share the cookies when they get them.
I have a little postcard that says, like, make sure you tag us on Instagram sharing is caring that goes out with every order just to remind people. But, I know that there is an app for Shopify that really encourages, users to post user generated content, both in reviews and images and all of that. I just haven’t had the time to. Install it, figure it out.
Robert Brill: [00:15:39] Yeah. That’s fascinating. Like it, I think, I think it it’s a Testament to the fact that you have good, good cookies. Like not like marketing doesn’t counter the whether or not you have good, you know, good product. You can market, you have the best marketing in the world, but if people don’t want your product, like my little, just go out of business and you have the opposite, you have the best, the very best cookie in the whole wide world and no marketing strategy or very little marketing strategy, which is a detriment to the product.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:16:12] Still. The marketing is not my strong suit. I’m more, I like spreadsheets and numbers and facts. That I can spend all day in Excel this is new to me.
Robert Brill: [00:16:25] Yeah. The creative part, the design part. That’s yeah, but I mean, you’ve done this three times now. Like, you’re you you’re now this is your third business.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:16:34] The clothing company was so long ago. I mean, we started that in 2008 and ran it through 2015 and our model, we had a direct sales model. So we had a sales reps around the country that would do in home trunk shows and it was kind of we tried to pivot to adding e-commerce, but our market just wasn’t there yet and it wasn’t successful.
So this is my first time really having to market and do everything for an ecom business.
Robert Brill: [00:17:07] Right. And how, and what were your challenges starting up? Like when you like, was it setting up Shopify? Was it like, did everything fall? Yeah.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:17:17] Shpify’s amazing. It’s so easy. I had built our whole website before on WordPress.
But WordPress has changed so much in that five or six years that I’ve used it. It was it’s over my head now, but Shopify is fantastic. It has all of the emails built in to the system. So every time a customer places, an order or all of that, you can modify the text and the colors and whatever to your branding, but it’s ready to go.
So it’s a really great out of the box solution. The hardest part getting started. I was doing everything out of my home kitchen, and I was growing faster than my kitchen could support. So at the beginning I was having to shut off orders cause I couldn’t really get more than a hundred orders a week out of my home kitchen.
Robert Brill: [00:18:02] And how did you, how did you overcome that?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:18:05] I moved into the commercial space. So before my capacity was probably, 800 cookies a week, I’d say. And that would be like me working from 5:00 AM until midnight every day.
Robert Brill: [00:18:21] Oh geez.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:18:22] And now I can do 800 cookies in four hours.
Robert Brill: [00:18:25] Wow. So you’re cooking this, you’re cooking every single cookie or is someone else helping you with
Kristyn Shaw: [00:18:34] this?
So when I’m at the commercial space, they have two assistants that helped me. So they it’s called a co-packing facility. So they really are the ones that are handling the production. So usually when I’m there, they’re the ones who are mixing and doing all of that. We’ve, you know, worked out the kinks on the recipe and I am baking off and packaging and shipping. Cause that’s my big shipping day that I’m there.
Robert Brill: [00:18:58] Right. So you’re, you’re keeping close to the customer. Like I it’s really great market research. Are you asking people. Like, what do you find that? What do you, what are you fulfilling in these, in these, like, it’s such an interesting, like, like psychology. I think when a person finds a small business and $45,000 in sales is not small at this point, but you know, like a business who does, who didn’t exist a year ago.
And takes a chance and buys the cookies based on photos and testimony. Right? What do you, what are you finding about these people? Are they young, younger and or older, higher income, lower income? Do they, are they just the type of people who are adventurous?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:19:46] Honestly, I think it’s everybody. I have one fantastic customer that just loves supporting a small female owned business and loves that. I just, you know, made something out of nothing during this pandemic. And she has literally said cookies to every single person that she knows. And then, like I said, I have people who are living in, not the wealthy neighborhoods of LA and this is just a treat for them. Or they heard about it from, you know, their cousin or their friend.
And they just, I, I think that there’s also a movement happening where people are wanting to support small businesses and they’re starting to care more where their product come from, comes from, you know, which is something that’s always been very important to me and why I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur.
Mmm. So I think that, you know, people finally are jumping on board with that.
Robert Brill: [00:20:39] Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s interesting. I think, I, I think that I re that really resonates with me. There’s there’s going to be, everything gets shifted when there’s like, I don’t know if we’re in a recession or depression, or if we’re not in all the stock market says we’re high.
The rest of the world says we’re not doing so well. Right. The rest of the economic metrics, but I think there’s, I think what happens when people are scared is there’s a, there’s a number one, a flight to value anything that’s lower cost, a treat that might’ve been $300 in the past. Now you can do a $25 treat and darn it.
If I’m not going to get the, The very best cookie in the whole wide world. I love the name. You’re not messing around with the name. I’ll probably, I’m probably pretty good cookie in the whole wide world. Love it.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:21:31] I started totally, as a joke, we were sitting around, it was April 10th. That was my mom’s birthday.
And we were, you know, shooting the shit, eating cookies on the couch, wishing her a happy birthday. And. I said, this really is the very best cookie in the whole wide world. And my mom’s like, that’s what you should call it. So I looked on the website was obviously available, so that was the initial website.
And then I bought the very best cookie to shorten it and have an easier handle. But yeah, just like that, that’s how it happened.
Robert Brill: [00:22:00] So you’re sending, let’s talk about your marketing or the, the stuff that you’re doing right now. You started with word of mouth. You have a Shopify page, a website, you, um, you’re doing email marketing.
Like, are you sending like once a week or once a month emails?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:22:18] Yeah. I really have a love, hate relationship with email marketing. I think especially now people are just blowing up our inboxes. So I’m not. Sending out emails just to sell you. I only send out emails if I have something to say. Yeah, the thing I do is I have we’ll get a customer like an orange County or the South Bay that says, Hey, are you coming anytime soon?
So then I’ll just put that out on Instagram and then I’ll usually sell out for the day, um, delivery wise. So that’s been a good way to just, you know, boost like 20 or 25 orders.
Robert Brill: [00:22:52] Wow. So you post on social media regularly. Like how often do you post on Instagram?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:22:58] I mean, I have no schedule. If something inspires me, I’ll post it.
Or if I have a question for the community, I’ll ask it, but I’m not, I’m not doing the whole, you know, on Mondays you do quotes and on Tuesdays you do something about me. I just haven’t gotten there yet.
Robert Brill: [00:23:15] You know, the interests you are my philosophy on. Look, I think, I think for a product like yours, social media and organic posting will do better than for many businesses general.
I don’t think social media is going to be the primary driver of sales when you’re trying to scale. I think now I think now it is because I think what’s going to happen is you’re going to max out what you can do with social media.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:23:41] You would think so. But there’s a company that I found. I don’t know if you know of Indie Hackers.
There’s a cookie company called crave cookies. They’re based in Fresno, they’ve done zero Facebook or Instagram ads. It’s all been local press and word of mouth. They started in November of eight teen. So almost two years ago, and last I checked, they were doing over 200,000 a month in sales and that’s just from local press and word of mouth.
And I understand that Fresno is a different, it’s a smaller city than LA and there’s probably less competition, but I think when you develop the relationship with your customer and you really get that cult, following that it can become something else.
Robert Brill: [00:24:28] Yeah. I mean, if it’s something that people want and it’s a good quality product, you’re gonna, it’s definitely gonna, it’s just going to be easier to sell overall and apps and social media and press are fantastic ways to do that.
I love like, yeah. Press is incredible testimonials, influencers, all that stuff is fantastic. I fully agree with you there.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:24:53] Yeah, I’ve done a bunch of influencer marketing just on accident. Kind of. I landed into one of my friend’s PR companies press boxes and I’ve gotten such mixed results. It’s so hard.
Robert Brill: [00:25:05] Tell me about that.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:25:08] It went out in 35 boxes. And I think maybe like five or six people posted the cookies and all of the posts were phenomenal. They were like eating it was a mom blogger focus. So eating the cookies with their kids and like chocolate covered faces. And I think I ended up only getting like maybe five or six sales from all of those posts.
I mean, it was influencers that had anywhere from like 20,000 to 500,000 followers. But then I also accidentally got, cookies on what’s GabyCcooking. I don’t know if you know who she is. She’s a pretty well known chef and Instagram personality. So I had sent her cookies actually as a gift from my friend that has a podcast.
She was a guest on his podcast and I was not expecting her to post them. And she posted them as soon as she got them. And I mean, I got, I had to turn off my sales because I just didn’t even have the inventory to fill it.
Robert Brill: [00:26:06] Wow. So you’re not, you’re like, what, what can you max out at in terms of like sale weekly or monthly right now.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:26:14] It was before I was in the commercial kitchen.
So that was when I was still doing everything from home. So I was like, I think I got like maybe 2or 3 thousand in sales and 24 hour period.
Robert Brill: [00:26:26] How does it break? How do we, how, what, what needs to happen so that you’re like, Holy cow, I need to shut off orders.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:26:33] I mean, now I could probably do 200 orders in a week.
I have that inventory ready to go. And with the help of the kitchen, I can drag my sister in that’s. That’s about my weekly max, but for me to do more than that, I just need to take on additional time at the kitchen.
Robert Brill: [00:26:56] Got it. So you can do about $5,000 a week, and if you take on more time at the kitchen, you can double that.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:27:04] I could quadruple that pretty much. I’ve calculated. My goal for next year is 500,000 in sales. We’ll see. I mean, it’s a goal.
Robert Brill: [00:27:16] You could double that.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:27:18] And at the rate, I, like I said, I’m very into numbers in a spreadsheet. So I figured out exactly how many minutes it takes to make a cookie, including baking and all of that.
So I would be able to get through basically all of next year, working at a shared kitchen before I would need to branch off into my own space.
Robert Brill: [00:27:40] And what, what action, what are you going to do to, to get to that $500,000 number?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:27:45] That’s what I need to figure out I need, I need help with the sales strategy.
I really want to focus on holiday gifting. I think it’s great, especially for small and medium businesses to send to their employees or to clients or whatever. I think his offices start to reopen, starting to have individually wrapped treats for employees will be a good opportunity for me. I’ve been on one TV show I got on, Supermarket sweeps when they started refilming.
Robert Brill: [00:28:25] I used to love that show when I was a kid.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:28:28] Back, and I know that apparently there’s a chocolate chip cookie competition amongst the craft caters. So I think that that could be a good Avenue for me to pursue. So I’m just. You know, making less than I need to start doing outreach.
Robert Brill: [00:28:43] You know? Have you heard of entrepreneurs, organization, EO?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:28:48] Do you have to be doing a million a year?
Robert Brill: [00:28:53] You have to do, I don’t actually, maybe I’m not sure. So I should know. Cause I’m a part of it. I don’t, I don’t know what needed to happen to get in, but I got it. I was thinking like we actually, they actually sent us like, I think they, I’m relatively new to the organization only actually now almost a year. But they sent us a, a gift bag sometime may or June at any included a cookie.
I’m trying to remember. It was like a shot glass cookie thing. It’s like a cookie make like a shot glass or whatever, and you can pour booze in it or whatever point is that would be another avenue for you. Cause you, you get double the benefit. Number one, you get access to a group of business owners who can then be further influencers and support your B2B strategy. And Vistage is another one that I’m not a part of, but it’s, I understand it’s like EO.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:29:52] I’m a member of Trends. I don’t know if you know, Trends or the Hustle. The Hustle’s a media company that features a kind of tech and small businesses, and it’s really catered towards entrepreneurs.
It’s my favorite. I absolutely love the hustle, but the Trends is there a kind of smaller subsidiary of members, only group and the community on Facebook has been phenomenal.
Robert Brill: [00:30:15] How so? How, how phenomenal in what way?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:30:18] I mean any kind of question you can imagine. Yeah. You can post it onto the community and you’ll get tons of feedback and answers.
So at the beginning of my journey, I had an idea if I wanted to pursue the Door Dash kind of route of like a sample ad with like a melty chocolate chip cookie breaking in half sing, see you in 30 and like asking the community, if that kind of ad would work, if I can, I’ve never done ads before. So am I allowed to geotarget or whatever you would call that.
So I got tons of feedback from the community saying like, yes, this is how you do it. This is, things to look for retargeting. I had no idea what retargeting was. So all of that four days into my journey.
Robert Brill: [00:30:59] That’s fascinating. I think I’ve heard of the Hustle. I’m not a part. I think they did they, do they charge for that or is it free?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:31:13] The Hustle is free. It’s a daily email. And they do a conference. Well, they used to do a conference. That’s how they got started every year. That was, like a tech conference for non-techies.
Robert Brill: [00:31:25] Nice. Yeah. I think, I think so many, like. I think so many people when they get started, they end up in and I’ll speak for myself. I ended up in the muck of ad of marketing technology. It’s funny cause we’re an out affirm, but marketing technology is so cumbersome, like connecting and we’ve gotten a lot better at it.
And we started doing this for clients. It’s like connecting MailChimp and Zapier and Woo Commerce and whatnot. I’ve done it for myself so that we can start automating a lot of this process. Like we have some clients that like. It just takes so much time and they get so caught up in learning the knowledge, learning how to do the, the marketing tech.
It’s like, that’s not even save and valuable for you. It is, it is in a way you got to learn it, but it’s not critical to start, like do the thing you want to do and actually pay for someone else to actually teach you what to do instead of the infrastructure, like there’s websites, stuff that we never have to do.
We have one person, he does it. It’s done, and we never have to touch it again. So simple. Economies of scale and using, and you’re taking ownership of using money to buy you more time.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:32:36] Yeah, I think that’s one thing that I’ve struggled with a lot is that I try and do it all myself, whether it be building the website or you know, doing all the production or all the social media, you just can’t do everything. You need to focus on what you’re good at and what’s going to drive your sales and let everybody else do the rest.
Robert Brill: [00:32:54] And it’s, you know, what’s interesting is that I think, I think in a way as a, as a, as an entrepreneur, it’s really great to be. Keep your hands in the dirt, as it were the fact that you’re, you’re, you’re delivering directly to your customers is like, you probably don’t even realize how great the feedback you’re getting is and how much it’s impacting your business. Like it’s intangible and invaluable how much your business is being impacted by the fact that you get feedback directly from your customers.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:33:24] Well, I think also some of the best business advice I’ve ever received, I have a friend that owns a candy. Store chain in Mexico. And he said that he spends at least one day a month going through all the positions in his company. So he understands what pain points they’re feeling. And I think if you, once you remove yourself from, you know, all the minutia of the business, then you’re losing touch of what the problems are and how are you going to solve a problem if you don’t know, you know, operationally what that problem looks like.
Robert Brill: [00:33:56] Yeah, operations are key and it’s, it’s also very hard to let go. Like there’s gonna come a point and I’ve been there and I’m sure you’ll be there. And you’ve been there.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:34:05] I’m ready to let go of the deliveries. I’m ready. I mean, I have a stupid card, not a smart car, so my GPS doesn’t connect with my, like I don’t have a screen to look at.
So it’s, and I am super add and listening is hard for me, so I’ll like misdirections and get lost and it takes too long.
Robert Brill: [00:34:28] So you looked at solutions for that or is that, I mean, I don’t know.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:34:31] I actually have some friends, that are laid off hospitality workers that are ready to come on board doing deliveries for me, as soon as I have the volume to, you know, pay them.
Robert Brill: [00:34:44] That’s amazing. I’m sure. Yeah. I’m sure the infrastructure is there. So on, on the docket for you for the, for the next like three to six months is better marketing, more marketing, marketing with a strategy. You just, you might, you might have gold right in front of you, and you’ll never know it if you don’t have a strategy, that’s kind of like the real problem with that without having a strategy. So developing a strategy and then so like how, like, Like going to B2B folks or, or holiday gifting, like, how are you going to how are you going to find, are you going to create trial or exposure to these new, to these new markets?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:35:26] I mean, I have a time block carved out for early next week to start sending people like a one page slide of like, past gifting versus what I could offer with different price points and just hitting my LinkedIn network, asking for referrals, sending samples, I’m happy to send all the samples because once people try them, as I’ve said, they’re converted.
But yeah, just starting, you know, tapping into my network.
Robert Brill: [00:36:01] That’s amazing. So, uh, and you ship international or, uh, nationally. Not internationally. Right.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:36:08] Not internationally.
Robert Brill: [00:36:10] And, the cookies, and I imagine they’re individually wrapped or whatever, and like they’ll stay for a couple of days traveling.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:36:18] Yep. Um, so they, I actually just moved to individually wrapped.
They, I used to vacuum seal a six pack, but, um, just bought a new machine to individually, wrap them all. So they say individually fresher longer. It still has a pretty short shelf life because there’s no preservatives. So they’re best enjoyed within a few days. And you can kind of refresh them with a zap in the microwave or toasting them in the oven for a few minutes.
Robert Brill: [00:36:49] I’ve been trying to be so good. I’ve been trying to be so good, like I was on this keto diet and I’ve been eating, you know, and I haven’t had anything like overly sugary and I’m like, man.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:37:01] Got to get you some cookies.
Robert Brill: [00:37:02] I’m going to have, I’m going to have to share them with our neighbors and our little 21 month old.
Well, this is, this is amazing. I wish you the best of luck.
This is so cool. And I, okay. So tell us the website again.
Kristyn Shaw: [00:37:21] The very best cookie.com.
Robert Brill: [00:37:23] The very best cookie.com if people want to reach out to you for press or more knowledge entrepreneurial stuff, how can they reach out to you?
Kristyn Shaw: [00:37:32] Email is probably best. My email is Kirstyn.
K I R S T Y N. At the very best cookie.com.
Robert Brill: Amazing Kirstyn Shaw founder. At the very best cookie in the whole wide world. I love that.