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Entrepreneur KC Radi 4.1.14

Apr 1, 2014|

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The movers and shakers in the started universe cannot have fun doing it you don't really love it. You're gonna give up the dreamers and do loosen got to visualize -- -- -- -- -- very clear about the money. Do what's necessary do what it takes no matter what it is and tried not to hurt anybody along the way entrepreneurs pave the way into the future of the industry star. Are now. College and -- should plug in and turn on. Entrepreneur George Casey your voice more entrepreneurship in the silicon prairie looking back it was one of the best decisions ever made with your host Jason. -- -- Kansas City welcomes TV on turner KC show host Jason Brill thank you for joining us today. So it's great to have you listening and we have a great show lined up today we are going to be. Talking to you for great yes you'll kind of had different tree aerial journeys and I think it's any religion to talk to them they're very diverse group with people. You can find us on line and it came easy dot com. Where all of our podcasts are listed on the right side of the page she can go to the -- -- -- Casey radio home page. Where you can find all deal podcast we appreciate you listening to those shows. And -- as always sharing -- via social media. You -- me on Twitter at Jason -- and are at entrepreneur Casey is wells on FaceBook. And I do insert into announced it's and Jason growth for that as well. Today on the show we are going to have our first segment we're gonna have Kathy gates he's the founder of the running well store and I thought to be cool to have a launch from her on the show who. Note isn't quite you know we ended the tech world I think we we sometimes focus too much and tech entrepreneurs. And whatnot and I think that it really did have her on the show to talk about sort of the store her background is actually is an advertising so we're in in that and talk about. You know now it's it's getting warmer outside finely. Talking about running talking about different health fits -- for -- runs there's going to be a lot of -- Half marathon spy case ten k.s everything going on the summer side to cool to have her on the show in the first segment. In our second segment we are gonna have Chris Lancaster is the this is me is the founder of joke Alessio we're gonna talk about. You know as CEO practices. All the different things not only building your website building your CO capability so he's gonna be on the second segment. And our third segment today we're gonna have Laurie -- Allen who's the founder of the original bad bug. Really cool shot children's story and go through her journey and how she treated this product. Through her company's third life ain't really cool to have currency today have known her for. Few months now on her product is taking off both on line Indian local toy stores in Kansas City in the Atlanta market and then our final segment. We're gonna have Aaron Henderson who I was connected to you through the Kauffman Foundation who. Has a really cool product hitting -- Gary to launch a kick starter in -- campaign. Well thank you notes it's -- be really exciting to talk to him and learn more about his products all about. Him sitting at a thank you know basically to -- human being every day for a year and get this idea first start up. And he's going to be in studio to talk about that -- really inching to talk to him and see how he's gonna. Monetize this and kind of share the love through thinking it's and that's the show today. Appreciate you listen to the show and let's get started with our first guest we have -- gates the founder of the running well store in studio today Kathy -- Thank you for having thanks for sitting through that intro. Tommie Liddell like your background and about your business. I'm IAE. Went to college after -- such as renowned Missouri state university. And got a good degree in business with an emphasis and marketing and advertising. And after graduation start wrecking here in a local ad agencies and cheering who but really wanted to be at its parent and also I moved to New York. For. A little bit manager -- there. Didn't island. -- I don't -- side upper east side and Gramercy. -- I am a big fan of the west village Aaron and it's little little. Whatever they call it -- Washington square I can't think of it there's all university -- Yahoo! user on there and I thought smile Ireland are clocked back the ovals changing a lot of tell you let's see you were up there in new. There's three different areas of the city and more -- of their advertising in -- -- -- -- I think I -- sat crying. And mostly work from Procter & Gamble's downy -- is. And I really enjoyed the creative process. And I also liked working on multiple companies he can see different business plans and what they're doing and how they reacted to America and he situations because. When I -- and Downey is when on the market turned to -- take a brand. That is a luxury item and make sure that it doesn't suffered in America crashed out. Just learned a lot of different things out company but during that time I. Found myself brainstorming president's ideas that are coworker. Linda Holloway Hanoi and the meaning affiliated think of different companies we can start. And I habits really they -- I. I never deal to -- in any Artest because of the cost of living being that high moved I moved back to Kansas City end. Linda my folks in -- static I had jobs here and then on the side it started and arming parents say that play is focused towards aren't. And at least three that I know they're going to close my chapter with the corporate world but I was hoping it would open a lot of doors and he's neon life and it is certainly decades now I -- lots are. Mitt to tells that's a it's a very touching story and it's it's that happens a lot I think to entrepreneurs is they kind of see different things they like an -- They decide to jump in full fledged into that with their running store tells all about the running stories. I'm their earnings stories surrounding specialty store aren't very road and I 29 in the north planned. We really pride ourselves and. Making sure that air properly you're given the proper tools to be successful. Runner -- walker whenever your goals are. I'm we are very well versed in the technology in issues that different types issues and the different types of runners who. We -- are very well aware of different types of running injuries to help. Keep you out of -- -- should have been given tools you can hopefully overcome them. -- city did that this morning with me the running issues right now with my knee so -- -- for share. And you guys you talk about the technology tells them about that I knew that I actually it guys actually went in and had a a test run at the running story the other day and the running well -- -- -- and about and she's and other stuff and did you do the whole fitting process it's -- unique in June NL I've never done before so schools the like. Kind of weird to see yourself running on a treadmill. Pattern but it -- fun and I mean hopefully it works out all right I help hopefully so that's kind of a cool process it's more it's way more. Intricate I guess you would -- and more personal. Yeah and a lot of people don't realize the amount. Of technology that goes and are running -- there's different types -- -- for different types of runners I. Often equate it to different types of cars for different kind of people can he. Then there's this there's that track there's the minivan -- the sports car are all geared toward different audiences. They're different types are running shoes for different types of runners rather you. Our. I think -- promenade area very light on your feet whether you want it and erasing plot. So what we do think and talk to Iran -- walker and asked them our goals and if they have any injuries. And I'm able give him and started announced that they think they can also learn what's going on with their own biomechanics. And then opening category. And they can tough strong in the shoes in store or go outside. -- about a thirty day return policy -- -- feel -- -- -- heat you can bring him back in exchange and we chairman Hank Aaron the products. That's very cool and because of that and one of those things as you recognizes a tough fifteen. Top fifty best running stores and American 2013 congratulation our does pretty cool when you when did you -- store I was. That while the store actually started as a sports management and 2000 sex industry we changed it to either running -- store and -- On TV. There it may twelfth. I am so so right up to that you know who ended with a rebrand yet yeah awarded. We yeah I was over it we really pride ourselves and a customer experience and so I was nice to be. Recognized that I. So what. What kind of other products years Kerry decides she's a mean and they have socks. What other pet you know I've bought some of that energy during your energy. Tells the talk during a race is under and a half marathon hopefully not correlate how and it doesn't hurt to bad I mean you excelled at everything. Yeah we have all we want it to be a one stop shop or on our Israeli wee weed leaves our side and on the different types this is the different clothing. And the Sox had -- and hydration is key -- passionately in Missouri come the summer months to stay hydrated. And we also. Provided by confederate -- tools that we do a lot of clinics. We're doing hydration -- -- -- -- a running safety I think we have group ranks and just everything from an actual tangible goods to the actual atmosphere. For runners and -- Yeltsin as steals -- news and charity and instantly. Yeah actually do we are bigots and the Christmas by Iran in December and it's cold. A hit -- -- mean that's hard to get people that we had a snowstorm on Friday and myself I -- 800 register -- I'm player hunter and ask me library in our area we had everything under 20000 dollars or girl from Iran. He gets you listed as outside. It is outside the -- into -- -- and -- around the neighborhood -- infineon and check out the Christmas I think it's an opera. And Cindy -- you do some -- runs -- -- group believe I'm tonight we're having our beer -- cinder -- -- they run two to four in my house and then you can get. And nice relaxing beer after. -- And share your healthy it's. And like fun. The case of Kathy tell me about news and tips I mean. Because as entrepreneurs or business owners you know I don't know a lot of people don't take the time they're really exercise -- much did they do a lot of them -- runners. And the around you know three miles -- you know try to do a five K ten K I mean. What what advice yet because honestly when I search during the -- on my friend's wife just sent over a sheet of turning -- and I don't know if it's. -- I'm sure it is species don't before of them I mean the point now where it's getting close and I mean I'm I'm getting nervous so I mean what are some tips that we can utilize. It for a turning for you know arrested at ten cater for -- it does run I mean obviously stretching the importance and -- Believe that it won't let up after -- warm up. So down. One other thing that it that is really important about running of the feds are -- equipment I think is making sure your diversifying your work out so as runners. We have a tendency to go out and just run and then from most most runners on and straps. That's really important to do that court training. We have and something we did to help I'm intended and pound -- thought -- -- -- -- -- Iran for its thirty minutes of running and. For an anti American English and park in the summer so just really diversifying your your your work it's Israeli cute to see how. To help make a little bit more entertaining. Is to run with a partner how to run bunny. I ran a professor -- it's a great time because she doesn't have kids are passing thinking can -- catch up on family and life. That we battled and also Larry DME group friends that the story can you wanna get everybody to can get can act on around me who I am. Did you or did you did you run off when you're in New York City. Go satellite. I did I would run the wrong way downturn -- -- I thought it necessary and it had to worry about that's. Men out of that thousand -- -- To do the do a marathon one day and silicon have to do it in a big city just like that this her just because I think you could always. Speaker I counseled them the actually -- I tell you what this punished oh let me ask you -- yeah that'll be fun but I think there's -- like weather issues or -- because this. -- quickly tell me about -- like how often should we be. Running means so these people their training for marathons and half marathons or whatever and I mean you're train schedules like five times a day or five times a week you mean is that too much to all. Are your personal goals that I wanna do that winds schedule work for everybody some people are working to PR so they're going to work a lot Morris brands. And also due -- around in my. I offended are just looking defendants are much as much as my goal when I did Phoenix. And so that's -- is. A different training schedule so it really is just comes down to. What you want to have the experience he -- OK so tell us again year on very road what is your undersea and we get fixed six northwest area around okay. The running well story incidents tennis shopping mall complex international hobby lobby next hobby lobby anybody convent and -- -- our view of the first site people can have a free teacher an awesome awesome. So I mean you can get sued www. And be running well stored Dhaka. And if you checked that there will Kathy gates congratulations on. Your success. In the at the running well store had been great experience meaning you and I recommend this -- for anyone needs any kind of running here to get a check out the store because. They take care area and that's that's hard to find these and so thank you very much of soda. We'll see NC LE no other onions I -- We're back in the entrepreneur Casey should think through listening. Welcome back to the entrepreneur TC -- host Jason growth thanks for joining us today. Pretty Iraq for a second segment of the day we have Chris Lancaster in studio. He is the social and search optimization founder had joke Alessio dot com Larry Chris and good thing that does it whereas again you're linked him profoundly era -- leader there. Yeah. Athlete -- All these companies into the tech companies -- unique unique names they -- but it in any event you're you know you're -- running the CEO operations years and very involved a -- -- CO. And Murray -- -- -- on the shows is there's all this this this. Misunderstanding. About what -- CEO is and what why you need attitude to be concerned about if your business I want to have you on your talk without the first off. Let's talk about your background and -- involved with us. Share. The way I got involved was I was actually selling real estate as a real -- and Hawaii -- on that -- that belong they'll be out. It's extremely competitive. They're expensive they're very expensive there's not much inventory. The best marketer wins in that. That area you know the morning get your name out there is more attention you can get the more opportunities you're gonna get. You know and then. You aegis group from the -- so that was the name of the game so that's how I started. Because practice trial and -- more practice and then friends of mine came to mean. They were like we're seeing here senior there -- senior all over the place and a you know on can you help us out with our small business I got into other business that way and then it just kind of evolved from. And you learn a lot a lot of crosses or Clemson yet it is it's constantly changing is that correct it's a puzzle that. That's -- it's a putt you got to put it together like a puzzle bit it is evolving constantly Google chooses their algorithm twice today on average Paris today. But just crazy because a lot of people. And that just is amazing to me. Two times -- -- incredible and so on so tell us about. Joke though as CEO and -- you can find -- it Jim Clancy and I can't answer. On the name is shortened simple there's there's. Shortage of domain names out there website names out there but it made a lot of sense to me because. We only work local -- we can only work with you if we can see face to face that's actually. We only work exclusive. So we won't work with your competitors in the area we only work with you. And again as CEO is is all let's search rankings that's -- we're not talking up paid advertising here. And SEM rain is that. Search engine marketing yes it it is the same but what we want to focus on it is online marketing as a whole. Because we want to get your business as much attention. As many leads many calls as many emails as we possibly can. To -- to grow their business. And so we're actually doing online marketing as a whole and new business leave very good to. -- paid ads and until we can get some of the work done until we can do it and kind of it it takes time to get you know and there's. Algorithm Google has to come check out your website see if it conforms to the rules and then into the -- you. Is that the so. How Tommy is you'll still he notes. What how what is the market share of search when do compared to being Yahoo! right now is it. I had the bing is kind of they emerge with Yahoo!'s all right they're combining and so there they're getting a little more steam is so -- the same surgeon. Yahoo! is on. I guess leasing. Microsoft's. You know product Boca because he kind of fell behind so it's easier for them just to. I I suppose these are Microsoft -- product but down schools still holds over -- -- percent. It and it and it's constantly putting out new products that that help business owners -- really focused on business so. We do focus on -- because 75%. -- tell me about some other things that you know some of the package you guys offer. As a company. We do. We do offer packages but the way I have found that it works best is if I can sit down with you find out what you party guy and -- what your goals are and you know what your vision is for your company in the future. Then we customize every package so -- some people have. Put a lot of effort and some people are brand news and people have done it's there's so many things you can do and they need to do. We find that the best ways affair with birdies and done and then on the blanks it's gotta be tough to. Competitive industries even locally if you do with DNC company that ethnically -- attorney. And or if you're a you know. Building web sites or whatever a doctor and you know you wanna cup in the first page of and criminal defense attorney and net that's one of the things it's a very competitive so. How do you -- a separate -- yourself and help people that respect him because that's. That's tough that's tough to be competitive when you're just starting out teacher name did you name out there. It it is tough. The way that we look at is. There are certain rules that have to be conformed to -- We can conform the three parts. As CEO. We can give you a solid online marketing. Program that will bring in the -- and encrypt increase her -- and -- with the through parts are it's on your website so on page. I'm conform to rules to a -- can -- considers. Valuable contents. Page which would be your business directories. So you have a lot of directories now like to you know. -- being places school place it is all those and get those all optimizing and -- about the way they're supposed to be. And then on social. So associates in in constant -- content. What are your advise them that I mean because. Well entrepreneurs and mean a lot of thought leaders out there they write all the time. But obviously does a better off her edit your website there is a better off to. Go right on a medium dot com -- did get a deal like -- dinner. You know -- for the Huffington Post to mean those are bigger names is a better do that there's a better. This just are right on her website. On my theory is go where the audience are in the end it's okay. Get out there and get as much attention as possible. It's even hit a lot of these business directory sites and -- -- social sites. Even though local social -- Sudanese states. They're taking a lot of the search ranking. In the smaller sites so instead of biting the trend. We just go with what works and what works is getting the business out there where people are ready or as much as possible. And try to cover space and then bring them back. The people that are interested will come back to say -- in -- know you know what to learn more about you actually. We're talking to Chris Lancaster from Jericho as CLU can find out more information it Jericho. As CO dot com get a minute and a half left Chris. -- You know. How how do you keep abreast of all these changes I mean it's just me it seems like it's it seems like never ending. It's always -- you always got to continue updating the site itself. In Saudi how he is trying to keep the rest of all the changes to a lot of people if they're paying money they'd -- they wanna make sure that you're on the top level -- knowledge on Nazareth yeah that's correct. Well the I would say the foundation. Online marketing never really changes and that is provide good contents. And get it out there. You know I mean the more you can get attention no more opportunities to get so that is that's the basic of it done the things that change -- Small changes and as time goes on I think restarting the CE stability. I don't think FaceBook will go anywhere for the next like. Twenty years or foreseeable future. I don't think Twitter is going anywhere I don't think Lincoln's going anywhere you have. Smaller states coming and but if you can focus on the major platforms. Instead it spring yourself then you know find out. Where your audience -- your customers. Congregate you know and go find them and then in the promote yourself and that's pace. -- Well appreciate all the great information Chris you're definitely great resource on as CEO and appreciate coming to -- you can check out in joke go Alessio I'd joke -- as the oath. Dot com that's JO CEO as CO dot com for more information Chris thanks for her -- show today and thank you sir thanks for all the tidbits Dan appreciate it. We are back on the on -- Casey Schiff thanks Joseph. Welcome back to the afternoon KC show host Jason growth. Thanks for joining us today on the show we've had two great segments are excited about our third segment coming up if you missed any of our shows in the past you can find them. Bats came easy dot com there is the podcast page Beijing go to on the right side front -- Casey radio and if you click on that. All of our podcasts and shows are listed and you can tweet does not share those via social media appreciate you listening. And Cindy need more potential guests at Twitter. That -- grill and at our turner Casey. Our next guest is in studio. We have Laurie and playing to Allen the president and founder at third life ink which is the creator of the original bed bug you can find more information about the original that vote at www. Original bed bug dot com Gloria are you today. I'm gonna thank you so much for having me good to see you in studio how do you then it's see it's you -- yeah I think great. When -- see what's going on these days with with everything. With the company I know the week Menem to -- -- -- few months ago through a mutual friend of ours and I can say is named -- -- and yeah he's been on the show before he's an all star of can't tell our listeners you know -- A little bit about your background. The million into the product. Well I actually have a background in sales I mean I was with a major airline for quite some time. I'm and I it's actually kind of what led me to develop the original bed -- I kind of had to travel a lot and when my kids were little and I you -- to. You know of course I would. I mean we're out of my home office but I traveled a little bit and when I would travel at eight you know I it would be you can spend time and I paid. Be sitting in some conference through staring at the clock going I am missing bedtime again I just hated it he. And I towel -- your daughter than that my daughter was about it's I have four or five and then the time. And that she would just say mom I just wish you could have friend my story to me or you know I wish I could have heard your voice before I went to bed. And you know we started kind of dreaming up this product. And she know she grew a little older and when -- she said mom. What happened that product idea. Anybody's developed it yet and I guess I did some checking and I. You know. Nothing happened this could be kind of a fun. Well who knows when you when you had a conversation on I mean we had a lot actually over the years she would bring it up and say when did you do that. And but you know so we've really dreamed up was the original back pocket -- it's a plush toy -- or did the dogs guys as they. The original cut as much net Brett and I that we deal with in apartment associations and very yeah yeah this looks like a lady -- actually. Yeah it's it's a very high quality plush toy. And it has a recordable capabilities. And and I know from my own kids they just loved the feel of satin and so we put speed message played back. Into this satin bed bug little lady thanks Pete C can record three messages. Two of them are twenty seconds long so we kind of envision 1 for the morning on for the night. With -- can change it -- many times as you like and you can say and good morning honey have fun with Graham I'll see you at noon and that can be the good morning message. There's a third button where you can record to three minutes which is quite unheard of in their particles and industry. So you can fit a whole you know goodnight moon net or any of the other popular children's stories you can fit that all I know iPad. We've had people call us and say -- we put it you know that I prefer Christmas on there and sent it as a Christmas gift or. We all sang happy Britney can do whatever you want with that that that's kind of what we had in mind for those three capabilities. For recording functions. And seeing this kind of unique that. You don't see anything like this in in it actually looks really cool to its how did you go about kind of producing this in making this I mean it's got to be on -- Broke down turner is out there I mean the product looks great. You know. It looks like it's just don't see this -- don't see something like this reaction a person's voice that is kind of -- for nearly revolutionary -- here -- company has. Well and west tricky to actually get the prototype sounds kind of send it. And they -- all I can so I'll just make this now it's very it's harder than it looks -- it or not. But we did get one prototype made -- and this is the really hard part for me I really -- this product made in the United States but it. Or a product like this especially one with electronic components. It's not that I couldn't get it at a good price I couldn't get it made in the US at. So if anybody you know knows anything about where I can get a manufacturing US that'd be great but you know we haven't manufactured in China we have very good. Manufacturing group -- there that that has helped us yeah that's a long process you have to get testing you have to. Illegal that's toy industry's pretty complex -- right for eight and I I can tell you right now I couldn't have done any event with -- I pitched it to the companies in California. And -- woman that I pitched it to is like I really love this idea that you need to just go forward with -- yourself and I'll help you as a consultant she'd been in the industry for. 25 years or so and I couldn't have done it without her she matched us up to the manufacturers in China and she. You know kind of oversaw the negotiation. And say you know we knew where I committed. Push a little bed and where I should give back a little bit and so she was just super helpful -- Tom option is fantastic. And she's still she still has spent in a citizen not that big of a -- we don't have all that. Mean we've kind of develop the product and going forward and she's still on as a consultant -- Issues really helpful instrument in gets -- say you've gotten some some -- press -- the mommy bloggers what is that experience been like for you you know obviously is a big. Party or branding enter your product there. Yeah I can tell you that I was introduced to blogs like I know they're out there but I'm not I wasn't anyone who's spent a lot of time with bloggers. So we got a list of the top mommy bloggers and we sent our product and we didn't know -- across the country and which is kinda cross our fingers and said who I hope I hope they love the product. And when the first review came -- I cannot tell you how exciting that is because. Her review was glowing I paid her nothing to do it she loved the product she says she posted pictures like oh my gosh that's our -- but in the crib with her kid. House. -- a bat like. A cool moment right yeah I was grade so so tell me about and Casey you're you you -- the original then vote online. Original bed -- dot com tell me about the pricing structure and you know how you ship it out and all the attest. So it's 2999. And it's we charge one flat rate eight dollars shipping and no matter how many bad bugs you -- What's really nice is we have a company here in Kansas City who handles fulfillment for us the Richardson group. Policy lapin is our contact there and she they have just been fantastic. In handling fulfillment of orders for people on line. And by fantastic I mean they don't just you know wrapping it in the stickers on and shifted and take care of mailing it off. The -- sit down with us and come up with you know solutions for issues that you know how are we gonna do best they sit down with -- -- Problems solved with us which is really nice is as a an entrepreneur or it's really such a small company that. You know we don't have opportunities where we bring in all the employees in get feedback on ideas so it's really important for us to be able to. You know sit down with people who are problem solvers especially in that industry and are able -- class. What was -- Negroponte and that's the Richardson threw -- in there in Kansas City, Missouri. Very cool and often connect to the offline about them if -- look at our. OK so so you lawsuit website recently told some of that and how excited you are about that. A ha I am so excited I'm cannot Allen's consulting and I'm trying publicity. And helped us create a -- Great website with all the features that I've ever wanted so. What was interesting is we started. Looking for designing ideas for our website on crowds -- And and we chose a design that we like this is early on I just loved it. And we built a relatively simple website to get -- started but this one has. You know several pages it's got links it's got all of the features that I wines and it. I think they created a blog for me which is exciting because it's a way for me to it's it. Tell the exciting news that's going on at the bed -- and share some stories that we get from customers to love the product and want and. Chairman and says things to you have on the bed bug since we can't show it on the radio as you have. On each of the witty columns. Pause or Edith -- they have you have the different the -- on on it SI writer right in there yes that'll tell -- children under the child. You know the -- he should play in the morning united says they have any restraint I mean they could just push on the -- already. And I'm sure -- they won't do that and then you have a book for the and story time. I -- always nice about the design of that that fact is that. When when the top child takes the bad -- to bed at night. And if he would accidentally roll over if she wouldn't accidentally squish it. It doesn't with the sounds don't go off you have to very specifically pressed the embroidered portion of it -- second -- the child up in the middle of the night if -- actually rollover. However. If that child wakes up and has a scary dream that they now I mean UB. Amazed at how quickly they know how to fines in the dark the little. -- and which message they wanna hear and making it comforted by their parents place and their grandparents -- whoever. And the loved one is that left a message that -- what what do would that age range for this. So you can be 31099. I mean we've had people using it to invite these. My dad having breakfast but -- flowing well her story for Mueller is. Nano we've had people use it you know to. Ask a girl to news you know prom or whatever isn't really a -- way to leave messages and but seriously it's only minutes to 330. Absolutely right right. No intention. That's created differs so my cousins or friends with kids that don't have -- -- It seems that a great get so okay so tell us real quickly about your journey in which you've learned in. Obviously this is an idea that you had because of your family -- I wasn't just something you you had a background in this and so tells about. I don't -- journeys in life. Right so I didn't set out -- created children's toy company and really I mean that was the furthest thing from my mind I just had a problem as a parent. But I wanted to solve and we like the idea so much we've got other people went TO. And so the process of actually developing it taking it from. You know. Idea in my head to an actual physical product in a box is huge it's. Had a right now on. It would have -- I don't know what I would have done but. We can just kind of pick up in 2013. Was a big year for us so prior to that was really all development and testing in going back and forth and getting a license and all of that. But in 2013 we started January with one prototype that we liked a lot and that we were good to go and by August we had a hundred that we -- used as samples. Initial sales. And sentence of blockers use them for marketing just. 100 to move forward to and and in October. Early part of November we got our initial shipment of 2500. You know so -- freight in the middle of holiday season here and so we just basically had to go from zero to seventy miles an hour just like apple -- We knew we couldn't really push and marketing get people to order a product that we didn't have -- hand you know we didn't wanna make any promises for Christmas delivery unless we actually had a product. So so now you're -- full fledged in the 2014 -- -- -- in you know how we can find your original -- -- come right M -- here bright and were also in the learning treat both locations -- eye toy. The -- shop and then we're also expanding to the Atlanta market and we've added the learning stationed there and I know several more are getting ready to be -- ports so. We want and on too like hospital -- shots and that's another great area where we'd like to see some growth and just adding on continue to add on in the Kansas City market and Atlanta. Very cool thank you very much look like on the founder of the original the original bed bug and there's life in president for coming on the show and thank you so much for having me we'll be right back in the entrepreneurs Casey. -- Plus come back to the entrepreneur KC show I'm your host Jason -- Thanks to stand with this for the entire show today it's been a lot of fun talking to some very diverse on traders on the show today and our last segment today we -- gonna have -- Great guy on the show who's doing a really cool a cool thing around his new business. Me and I'm very excited to have mom we actually got connected through a relationship I have at the Kauffman Foundation. We have Erin Henderson in studio. Who is the founder of the thank you initiative Aaron -- Get a hernia what is the thank you initiative minutes it's exciting though there really is actually comments is kind of a cool thing. Really what the initiative is. I sort of personal project about a year ago and is actually around and entrepreneurial experience I had had a really terrible experience at a local business. And I'm really passionate about local business so when I have an experience like that I did down like AKU -- -- down -- to the jail Oxley is or something come yeah so. Kansas City -- is a Kansas City in person from this -- you want. You want you're your local entities to be doing well and. Exactly yeah exactly so I kind of had one of those bad experiences and as azeris who later that day at X amount of the my girlfriend. And she had this incredible experience and ends here is like -- she's all waited on kind of like depressed and she's tell me about this amazing experience she had with the local business. And hers is really all around a thank you card that she'd gotten for visiting a local business. This is she got one in the mail right she actually out -- -- -- a handwritten like nice thank you card -- and it was actually from a doctor that she had seen which was even more impressive to me that a doctorate you know take the time to actually do something like that. But it was neat talking to her because she she's you know she will never see another doctor as long as she has a choice because of this one card. You know -- again a matter a few minutes and you know 43 cents in postage to send it. And and now he's got a patient really for life incentives can't talk about them you know. Really everywhere well which is kind of cool also in Missouri is sort of seen those two ends of the spectrum analyzing -- day now he's saying is that Allah zone. Here's -- -- go for me to see that impact and done it actually reminded me of on a project I heard of a guy doing a few years earlier. I'm in there is a guy that I read about that had decided users and one thank you note every single day for a year. And just see kind of what happened and it was done in our SMU went from like being in kind of almost a depressed state to -- in this and -- turn his life around and I was I was a cool story. It is very -- and I they are mixed and on the on the first segment today when I introduced to guess them. And did you do that you've you've been doing that to -- so that's what this whole like experience actually reminded me of his project and -- there was something -- set I would always do. On and I decided around that whole thing and seen the impact that thank you kind of suggests it's time to see you did that in two dozen thirteen to doesn't -- I sir in 2013. I started actually in June some some I'm not quite down with -- years to icu you were. I think you dance music cue cards everywhere yet yeah you really like you were I. Killing the shipment the that the customer shipments of all these local source camera press owes owes me huge I think Naomi yeah thank you now. It is right down -- ours ours ours is dollar quadrant so I what say you did -- thank you note yeah one point and I enjoyed -- on. And you don't just -- you know crappy thinking as the before -- company rescinding nice camera press you know doesn't -- I mean this -- takes issue -- it's actually it's. Bin. It's been an investment and I guess that's kind of how I have to look at it is like that's sort of what this project's been forming so far. In really. When I sort of -- -- and do my own line of thank -- current -- started off at at really high -- hard. And and that's kind of shifted just a little bit actually has it yes so on so those got in my project it was it was a really cool thing for me. I'm going through that and and by the coolest reaction I got from people as other people like K that's really awesome what you're doing. I'm really had an impact on me I'd really like to get going in -- during my own thing. Every semi follow with somebody about they like -- cigarette and thank you know as an indirect. The united sort of ended there let's change you know like you get them. When you wedding gifts or win do. Give a shower baby shower gift or we knew who you know but I mean it's that's when you know -- handwritten -- -- And it's usually from your friends wise for. So I as a guy he -- so -- my friends they just like go online and do wants and and try to act like it's their handwriting and just gets mass produced a talent -- -- -- doing via the Internet now -- totally changed all and so that's you kind of throw that. Absolutes we need more. Definitely -- you know it's kind of dress like one of the things I say a lot of loses. Art banks use to have like really just become like a tagline at the bottom of our emails. But I don't even -- thank you anymore it's just included in my signature line like that's. You know so it's it's not some then we really think about probably like we once did I mean there's something where. When you actually take the time to sit down write something -- India and I think that's why you think you know actually has so much impact and somebody gets adversaries is is seeing it. But we actually get some intangible in the mail on it it's a whole different thing. That no peso. Did this process you had this enlightening experience that you've learned a lot the last I -- 67 months of doing it yeah you've met a lot of people you know Brian you talked to people. Tell us about the business of Jackie knows so and so. What it really was was arm are seeing so many other people did in our -- Monaro following an army buddy Kyle I haven't coffees didn't dear friends really. That's my guess is that if you don't like this. Yeah exactly so yeah just try talking to people is like how could we get more people doing this how can we give more people involved. You know there's so many people don't appreciate the stuff around -- -- I think we just moved so fast now on it. That's I think what takes people back with a so talkative people it's academy get more people doing it. And as you know being announced -- seen a subscription service model kind of thing is a huge staying and and may be employed -- to an extent but I was like well you revenue. Bush is death alliance it's for me and trying to penetrate this movement around gratitude. -- my current allies like. The one thing that is -- is being held accountable to actually send thank you. But if we did it based on a subscription type model. Where they're getting them every month like once -- things happens either of these thank you is build up in their closet and or they actually start send them -- and and that's really sort of what happened so. The idea was to create a -- card's -- we would send the people on a monthly basis and any quantity that they wanted. You know from four to thirty so maybe you don't -- we maybe don't want a day like me if you're if you wanna do a full commitment. OK so so what do we find out information about this I'm going to be launching some things in -- yes so actually the site will launch of Wii later this week comment you can get on and do it. We've actually got a page on there where people can print out their own thank you cards like if you don't wanna join that's fine print house of cards go to your local you know stationery shop. For me more than really just a business there really is kind of more of -- movement of about just getting people to do. So cute that's what a zigzag naming certain things you initiative and where will be able to find that alone. Thank you initiative dot com -- thank you initiative dot com. Very cool again we got some time -- so while listening to what else -- going on the entrepreneur of being -- mean how did you kind of you know. Take this from just an idea -- -- -- -- wasn't certain the next -- mean you connect with our partners in city yeah they need. Yeah I absolutely -- there -- got a gorgeous is sort of talk this idea through -- we definitely we started out with. Really high end card in yeah let's get to that is yes these are often more -- Preston we really did and we're working with some great designers -- prayers across the country -- -- we've got great talent obviously here in Kansas City. I'm seeing a lot of people there were doing there. But what ended up happening is I realized by the time. We develop the card by the time we now letter press print this card. All of a sudden we're like a four dollar five dollar price point right just -- May -- -- break you on the card and I. It seemed like I was dragging this project along for like the first six months and it's like why isn't this collecting. And so is kind of cool here actually just a few weeks ago since I first talked to you. I did I realize that I need to kind of shift our model little bit. That's super high -- wasn't really where I wanted to be what my goal in this whole thing in the beginning was was getting as many out to as many people as I possibly can. I'm and so we actually into a more simple card. And it's been standardized so it's the same car that people get month after month. But the kind of cool thing with that is is it's it's we think is is really more about the message than it is about the card anyone. And it also allows you know businesses companies wanted to involve things like that. They don't have to worry about the design each month you know on the kind of know what they're in -- and so on so close and it's very simple and -- -- -- simple its server several -- customized play caller. It's not your initials on or is here. Whatever your logo on yet exactly and you know it's it's really the idea that this should be kind of a simple thing. But I honestly I over complicate it myself you know sending four dollar cards like I was doing. Like I found out like hesitate I don't -- safer like you know you hear troubles -- girlfriends back. Her price arson and as far as the president's and Dan miners and spend a lot of money on flowers it exactly. But it was there is funny because you're I am trying to send these and you know you want to be is -- easy in some they can sit down do every day as you can't. I was like hesitating and -- like -- wanna mess up a four dollar car your handwriting yeah exactly to your handwriting these things I mean you know and -- to mess up once it's okay but if I mess up twice cart president Johnson -- -- business -- to make money obviously moves prior that are margin on this. Their cars. You know it depends because I mean DiMarco in -- and hiring card you kind of you have more room to play with Tom with that piece of it we this we really -- the goal for me -- was just get the price point to a point where. Anybody you know I had family members -- justify buying a four dollar card every month even one of them you know but if we can get four cars for five box or -- like that. There's hardly anybody out there that can't afford and now this it's only about subscription model that -- with the present. Yes so basically obvious of just be based off the quantity you -- -- so we're starting out of four cards. So it's him based awake -- one a week. We're not actually setting anything where people are making a commitment collect on a long period of time or anything like it's really a month to month. Not excellence on exactly as you can. That is under is under health club I know. That's interesting -- I actually don't -- other Sox sure knows baseball season -- good yeah man yeah I certainly did blow a lot of bunnies styles that too and yes that's a better info that club that I mean the club you have to give that. Cancels you know he cancel anytime that the gap exists that we getting those from people -- can't decide between Netflix my wife Fulham have Netflix or Sox -- that she's Netflix to the house cars or whether it's your parents take -- -- that's -- deal. We'll hopefully you'll come back one day. Yeah I want I mean maybe -- -- -- -- experience promised to I think he penetrates community almost. Life is out of my experience with even -- when no one has been kind of different I feel like I'm Mike. Part of sock when no one now as being sort of member of the club and it's -- say it's concorde it's must see other if you weren't the Sox announced like the -- thing when your passes -- anyway that somebody in the airport as you see their son did discuss. Cool tunes like TC of these local brands -- one need to continue to grow yeah obviously you have the same deal with thinking with thank you card initiative -- initiative -- -- in the -- -- it's -- this is -- initiative yeah yeah I think you have Jimmy Fallon thank you notes that he does it's funny somebody thinks I -- get him as a as a spokes model parents are not happy -- me. You know use thank -- national guards if you'd like to do that -- -- critical. -- -- for the first start -- VR I OK so we're gonna have a website soon. Any other information we know about and -- they're being very clean looking cards Edison new I'm looking person in at of one of them you have these -- the envelopes will be. A brownish color. -- there it's it's kind of at that -- bit of a throwback again take Canada early days of my car riding but it's see a lot of these yeah they're they're really they kind of become cool again there they sorted. Come around their cycle but. Yes is a real symbol car we're actually really opening connect that community even a little bit more by there's a hash tag do we go by which is live thankful. Well -- which coming compasses the whole thing -- not just about writing cards or whatever it's literally about kind of change your mindset of you know looking for the things every day that you've got to be thankful for in the things you got to appreciate. Why so it's a great idea and it's a company now so it's more than an idea yeah I think it's -- if you've kind of gone through the process you talked blunder frontrunners against city. -- supporter of the fancy brand so obviously hopefully Kansas seawolf. Be supportive and you know at the end of the day. To share the love right. Absolutely -- thank you notes it has been really cool the people in Kansas they've been awesome and it's cooler here people who have already had their own projects in Kansas City two and Helio and yeah let's do it it's really strange and and young guys like ourselves to -- it's going you're younger than me. And -- you've -- you know their -- but anyways but I appreciate coming on the show today fassel Aaron Anderson from the thank you initiative -- I gotta think you initiative dot com. And since taking those guys. We'll talk to begin next week thanks for joining the show and follow me on Twitter at Jason there. Have a great -- --