How did joining Factory45 help you?
It helped us in absolutely every way imaginable… While we initially had planned production of a miniature line with 5-7 staples, we realized from Factory45 that in addition to having stand-out products made sustainably, brand-awareness was just as important, especially if you want your company to sustain itself.
Before production we started with brand awareness, blogging, networking and the like to get our name out there and gain trust from our ideal target customer. Through a fellow Factory45-er we found our graphic designer who was able to make the idea of ODM/ODC come to life Beautifully.
Prior to Factory45, the idea of sustainability was so new to us so the course really helped open our eyes to life in the sustainable world. Starting your own business and getting the right contacts takes an incredible amount of time and a lot of production partners don’t trust new businesses, rightfully so.
Shannon provided us with pages of spreadsheets for production partners she had worked with and gained trust with from her own start-up experience that we were able to use. She did all the work for us and then provided us with all her findings, essentially cutting down production time in half, I’d say!
Whenever we reached out to a supplier or manufacturer and name-dropped Shannon and Factory45 they seemed much more adamant on working together. The trust was already there thanks to Shannon.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
Honestly, all of it! The community we met along the way through the Facebook group was invaluable and kept us going whenever we wanted to give up. Being able to e-mail Shannon about anything and everything was like having direct access to a walking sustainable dictionary, leaving no questions unanswered which again cut out a lot of the hours of research.
In the end, if I were to take one thing from the course and use it over and over again, which we’re having to do as we continue along with production, is the databases she gave us including suppliers, manufacturers and production partners. That was probably the thing I referred to the most and still use adamantly to this day.
What were some big or small milestones that you hit after going through Factory45?
Getting the website up and running, tracking the affiliate marketing links we had setup and seeing impressions we made (I cried the first time I saw someone made a purchase through our site on a product we had recommended!), having an article I wrote featured on Conscious Mag, finishing production on our tees and getting orders for them, our bottles and straws. Having people message us on social media and exclaim the influence we had made on them is incredibly gratifying.
Earlier this year I met someone at a networking event who exclaimed they knew what ODM/ODC was and followed the brand on Instagram (at that point and time I thought only friends and family were aware of the company).
Everything has felt so incredibly rewarding and even the “downs” are amazing learning lessons that make the milestones even more enjoyable. If it was easy, everyone would be an entrepreneur!