Episode 76

Making a Difference with Your Business with Shop Good

June 14, 2016

Today Justin and Audrey Falk of Shop Good OKC are joining us today to offer their perspective on being boss with a brick and mortar retail store. We’re talking about sustainability and ethics in business, meeting product demands and not feeling like a sellout, and translating the feel of a brick and mortar store to an online space.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"We encourage people to just start small with ethical clothing choices. Start with the basics."
- Shop Good OKC

Discussed in this Episode

  • Origin story of Shop Good (3:19)
  • Transitioning to a curated shop (12:51)
  • Creating a business model with a focus on giving back (13:19)
  • Fast fashion vs. slow fashion (15:45)
  • Sourcing from ethical businesses and finding a balance in business ethics (18:55)
  • Picking your battles when buying sustainably + ethically (22:08)
  • Advice for people wanting to start a brick and mortar store (35:11)
  • Strategies to make brick and mortar businesses grow (45:19)
  • Meeting product demands without feeling like a sellout (49:48)
  • Translating a brick and mortar shop feel to an online space (56:42)
  • Moving forward with a purposeful strategy to grow a business that started as grassroots (1:01:44)
  • Challenge to support your local shops (1:18:12)


More from Justin and Audrey Falk

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Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Emily Thompson 0:00
Hello and welcome to being boss episode number 76. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting.

Being boss and work and life is being in it.

Kathleen Shannon 0:16
It's being who we are doing the work, breaking some rules. And even though we each have to do it on our own

Emily Thompson 0:24
being boss is knowing we're in it together.

Kathleen Shannon 0:27
Today we are so excited to have my good friends Justin and Audrey fog from shop good OKC with us on being boss. So we wanted to have shop good on being boss because we have so many creatives listening to the show that offers services and or maybe like graphic designers or photographers. But we haven't really talked with anyone who actually has a retail store. And I know that a lot of you all are interested in retail or maybe you make physical products yourself. So we wanted to bring some experts on to talk about that. So Justin and Audrey not only have a physical location, they also have an online store at shop good okc.com. They curate goods from other people, but they also have their own line. And I want to dig in and really talk to them about what it's like to have a brick and mortar shop and to make their own stuff. But first, we got to talk about fresh books. In today's episode, we are talking all about retail and selling products. And we actually get a lot of questions from our listeners who are interested in using fresh books. It is good for small businesses that are tracking more retail or selling products. And the truth is freshbooks is built for service based creatives. So if you're a photographer, web designer, graphic designer, developer, Coach lots of life coaches use fresh books. If you are offering a service and getting paid for your expertise freshbooks is really ideal for you. You can send out invoices and look like a professional doing it. You can easily track your expenses. One of my favorite features of freshbooks is being able to automatically import expenses straight from my bank account. I also love using the mobile app to be able to take a glance at reports or invoices or expenses, money going in and money going out at any time from anywhere. So if you're a service based creative or small business owner, be sure to check out fresh books. Even if you're still working a day job and haven't quite gotten your side hustle off the ground. It is never too early to try fresh books. You can try it for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Justin, Audrey, thank you so much for joining us.

Justin 2:47
Thanks for having us. We're excited to be

Kathleen Shannon 2:49
so you guys are married. Yeah, I'm just trying to paint a picture. I'm just trying to paint a picture.

Unknown Speaker 2:54
So you guys,

Kathleen Shannon 2:55
you have a kid? Uh huh. What's his name?

Audrey 3:00
His name's Sawyer. And he's four. almost four. So cute. Him and my son are besties. Well, they're friends.

Justin 3:10
Yeah, not quite.

Kathleen Shannon 3:15
A little older and less. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, so you guys have a local shop in Oklahoma City. And I would love to talk a little bit about how that started. I would love to hear your origin story.

Justin 3:27
Well, I have a background in photography and graphic design and Audrey's a writer, we're actually working together at a nonprofit. And when we got married in 2008, and actually on our honeymoon, I mentioned to Audrey that I was kind of feeling a little bit like stuck in a rut and just like looking for kind of a creative outlet, or just another direction to explore, and just mentioned that I'd kind of been thinking like, I wanted to try maybe designing a T shirt or a couple of T shirts. And just kind of randomly, she had recently heard that, like basically a friend of a friend was selling off some screen printing equipment. Um, so we, you know, no idea what we're doing totally crazy idea. We just kind of jumped on it. And we bought the screen printing equipment and the guy was super nice. He led us paid off over a couple years. And I just got on YouTube and watched like how to videos and taught myself to scream. And well, we're in like a pretty hippy phase at the time. So our first shirts were like, like pictures of Africa. One was like, free Tibet and

Audrey 4:48
Justin had really huge dreads at the time.

Kathleen Shannon 4:51
And yeah, so I know what that's like. Yeah.

Audrey 4:56
I mean, it's really good for business. It's a good idea. Do

Kathleen Shannon 4:59
you find Actually, okay, so this is a question. Did you find that it was good for business?

Justin 5:04
That's your head? Yeah, yeah. Oh,

Audrey 5:05
totally when we started for sure, because the kind of stuff we were producing was, I mean, that was our market. Like, we just looked like this hippie couple, we would actually set up like a third world style stall on the roadside in like a little Arts District downtown. And we would sell our T shirts out of that. So it had like, colorful ethnic fabric draped over the top, and we use like corrugated tin to make signs. And I mean, it was super hippy. So our original name was wandering Where? I don't know if you knew that. Yeah, yeah, so and we were just starting as like a T shirt line, like, we were just planning to kind of get the hang of screen printing. And then we would like set up at festivals and sell t shirts. And then maybe with the like, big, big dream of someday wholesaling our stuff to other retailers. So the goal wasn't ever to start a shop, that kind of happened organically and actually was not our idea, which is really fun. Because we were set up, well, we were set up at one of these events. So it was a monthly event down in the arts district and sales were going really well we'd actually started partnering up with some other local nonprofits where we were letting them come out and sell some of their stuff alongside us to kind of advocate for them. And so this local community group kind of caught wind of what we were doing. And this space on the street we were set up in front of was where they hosted, they had like a church that meant there on Sundays. And then during the rest of the week, it was open kind of coffee shop style, people could just drop in and hang out. So they weren't really sure what to do with this base, I think it was kind of a, you know, we're not really sure how to engage people and get them in the door. So these two pastors basically asked us if we wanted to take like the front 400 square feet of this space and turn it into a store. So I mean, without investment of those guys, it never would have happened, they let us come in there rent free. We didn't even have to chip in for utilities or anything. And they kind of pushed us like we were kind of in like a rut at our old job. Like we just, we weren't really sure like how this was going to keep progressing. So when they originally asked us, we kind of looked at each other and almost said no. And they were like, well go home and think about like go Think about it. And basically they like wouldn't let us let us alone. Like they just kept asking.

Kathleen Shannon 7:41
So sorry. Had your little like cart of shirts that you're selling at markets and things like visualizing, like covered Gypsy wagon with? Where you guys still working your day job at the nonprofit?

Audrey 7:57
Yeah, yeah, we both were, we actually had a couple of day jobs. So both of us were full time at the nonprofit. And we were kind of running their media department. So basically producing like print collateral for advertising and recruiting. But then Justin was actually doing some wedding photography on the side to make some extra money, I was trying to get started with some freelance writing. So it was kind of a lot to think about taking on, we knew we were going to basically have to like, sit in the store, you know, you have to be at the counter for a certain number of hours a day. But it kind of helped. But most of our work was mobile. I mean, as since it was other creative work. We didn't have to be on site to do it. So I mean, it kind of was like this perfect storm of opportunity that looking back, like we can't believe we were almost too scared to do it.

Justin 8:52
But, I mean, to be fair, like we had no idea what we were doing. We we had made a few t shirts, but like, I had no business, you know, no idea. Just business. Why, like, what do we do? Like how do we even start a business? Yeah, retail like, we like shopping. And that was as far as like, we had no clue. And then I mean, starting up, we had we invested like $500 and had a credit card that we maxed out. And that was like our, our initial investment, which for

Kathleen Shannon 9:25
retail is probably unheard of. Right?

Audrey 9:27
Yeah. Yeah, like so uncommon that we were actually asked to speak on a panel for the Chamber of Commerce because they didn't believe it could actually happen.

Justin 9:37
Yeah, I mean, I first set up like I just went around on big trash day, and like found all our fixtures and like refinished.

Kathleen Shannon 9:46
Okay, but I want to point out here and we can talk about this more in a little bit, but the visual styling of your store is incredible. And I'll talk about how we became friends so I actually shopped at your store and that's how we became friends. I go into Got a story. So I go in, and there's this like long chain necklace with fur on it. And it was either Justin or Audrey, maybe both of you were there at the time. Okay, so the point that I wanted to make Was that your visual styling, so you talk about going around on big trash day and collecting things. But I totally trust that you can make magic with that. Because if you guys could see shop good. Maybe I'll even post photos of it on the show notes. Because it is so beautiful and cool. And I could totally see how you could take a big trash aesthetic and make it rock. So I actually met you guys shopping at your store. And I remember there was this like, Cool long, it was a single earring. And it was this long chain earring and there's like maybe a fur and leather piece hanging off of it. And I was looking at it. I never talked to you guys before and I can't remember which one in my mind. It was Justin but maybe Yeah. Like it. Like in that style, that Justin style, which no one will know what that means. But you're like, yeah, everyone's been too afraid to wear that earring. And I was like Challenge accepted. I feel like yeah, my number from the beginning. So I buy this earring and slowly started shopping there more I started blogging about you guys. So this is in a row still documenting my outfits every day. And I think that you guys have noticed that I was sending some web traffic your way. And we ended up doing a photo shoot together. And I think that you guys had asked like what do you like to do a photo shoot and I said like you have like, made my dreams come true. Designer slash model. Yes, please. So I remember you had set up a set in the same warehouse where like the Flaming Lips museum is in Oklahoma City. So it's this building covered in winged queens paintings. I feel like I need to put visuals on all of our shows.

Unknown Speaker 11:50
And oh, in fact,

Audrey 11:52
those are our episodes are

Kathleen Shannon 11:57
building of our episode images. And we did a photoshoot and I went up there and there was like this whole you had created a whole little microcosm of like the living room. It was like the capitalist living room. As if it had come out of a cabin. It was straight up off of Pinterest.

Audrey 12:17
I don't even I can I can mostly stuff we pretty much stole like out of abandoned sheds, warehouses, things like that, like, but it was cool. Like Justin just has kind of an eye for style to make that look purposeful. Yeah, I knew. I mean, there was also bourbon involved. So I think that

Justin 12:42
it may not have actually like that.

Audrey 12:44
We can we can welcome you those photos. Again, you can start using, you can reflect Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 12:51
Okay, so I really go back to a little bit more about so you created this store. And slowly it's grown, you've had some moves. You guys started, when did you start selling not just your own stuff, but starting to curate other retail.

Audrey 13:06
So we started that as soon as we moved into a physical space, it was really difficult to just feel with just our T shirts. And so we started that right away, but really, really small scale. So our initial product offering the only thing other than our shirts we offered were products from brands we had found mostly online, who were also others do good kind of brands. So we were looking for people who were not only source sourcing their products, ethically, but they also had some sort of component built in where they were giving back to a community in need. So a couple of our first brands were actually artists and co ops based in third world countries where Americans had moved there started training local women, to use their artisans skills to make items that would sell in the US. So we carried through for brands like that, at the beginning, but then we ran into this crisis where we started finding really cool brands that, you know, were ethically manufactured. And the brands were really people on planet conscious. But there wasn't that giveback element involved and we kind of had this commitment to our customers that every purchase gives back. And so that was where we came up with the idea that we would start building in our own generosity into every purchase. So we kind of gathered sales totals from those items that weren't intrinsically generous and donating 5% of those gross sales to a local nonprofit. So we've kind of MONTH all that that cash together and make a donation every year, which was really fun for us to get to get involved with causes we cared about it Start advocating for people using our public voice for more than just selling products. But yeah, that was kind of how we got into the gig of developing more of a concept store and then just a T shirt shop. And so we've really honed that over the last couple of years, we really want to be more of a lifestyle experience store where, you know, people come in and the story of every product is on the tag. And but it's all really tightly curated, so that it's an experience, you know, you want to recreate in your own house in your own wardrobe. So it's been really fun to find those kinds of products.

Kathleen Shannon 15:45
So before we met you guys, I had never heard of fast fashion versus slow fashion. Can you speak a little bit? And I also want to talk though, about how it's a balance.

Audrey 15:58
Yes, yeah. So fast fashion versus slow fashion. typical fashion season would be four seasons a year, spring, summer, fall, winter, fast fashion brands like h&m or Zara kind of reimagined the game. So those brands usually have 25 to 30 seasons a year. Yeah, meaning basically, they release clothes in micro collections, rather than, you know, in longer collections where there's a theme throughout the season. So the problem with this is that they have to produce their clothing on the quickest turnaround you can imagine. They also emphasize with their consumers that once it's out of style, it's out of style. So there's a lot of waste involved in the fast fashion industry. There's also a problem in the fast fashion industry with the way they source both raw materials and production processes. And that's come a long way. But initially, the concerns were, you know, their 10 year olds in Uzbekistan that are harvesting cotton for you to wear your you know, xara denim jeans. And then when you're done with those, because it's not cool to have studs on your butt anymore, you've tossed those out. So, I mean, there was just kind of this open loop system where the the value in the clothing was that it was cheap, that it was on trend right now, but not necessarily something that was well made or long lasting. Um, so there's kind of this tension between the fast fashion industry and the slow fashion, you know, more consumer advocacy kind of groups, where it's really a tension between people and process. Um, not everybody can afford to buy clothing that's well made, you know, it's more expensive to produce your pain, your your labor's a better wage, you're sourcing better material. Um, so there's, there's a lot of guilt involved on the consumer end with that, especially for people who are more educated about those issues. Um, but, you know, like you said, I think it's an easy issue to be kind of black and white about where either you feel a lot of pressure to, I want to source my whole wardrobe. With durable, more expensive pieces that I'm going to wear for quite a while, versus, you know, I'm needing to just get what I can afford, you know, I'm probably not going to fit into this bikini in five years. So, um, but Justin, I have kind of approached it from a little bit more great gray area standpoint, we are having really high standards with items we source for the shop. So for instance, our T shirts. Our price point is probably a little bit high. And it was a struggle for us to come up to around $30 for a T shirt. But we sourced our T shirts from brands who can guarantee us that they have their factories certified, they're using cotton that sustainably harvested standards like that. And then, you know, there's even the more complicated issues of like, does this brand promote a healthy body image in their advertising? are animals harmed in the making of their products? Do they use you know, fur or leather or goose down? Um, you know, are they knocking off other brands? Like is there intellectual creative property rights involved here? So lots like tons of educating that Justin I have had to do that we never expected we would have to, you know, learn about the ins and outs of the The fabric content of T shirts and things like that. Um, but I think for most, both on the entrepreneur side, and the consumer side, it's easy for a lot of pressure and not really know what next steps are like, how can I? How can I still be a kind caring human being without being an Uber advocates or, you know, like an activist for this kind of idea. Um, and Justin, I have, have struggled with that a little bit in sourcing items for the store where it's easy to get into. Well, what, you know, this, this jewelry line, do we really know, like, where their clasps were made, you know, but it was it was hand assembled in LA. So is that okay? Like, you know, there's a lot of there's a lot of intricacy there. But we kind of encourage,

we encourage people to just start small, you can start with the basics. And there are some great companies out there that encourage you to like, start with your underwear, like buy sustainable underwear, and then

Kathleen Shannon 21:12
that is not the first thing I would have thought to start with.

Unknown Speaker 21:16
Yeah. Yeah, I

Kathleen Shannon 21:18
mean, because like, I think that my underwear is probably the fastest fashion I go through.

Audrey 21:23
Right, right, I

Kathleen Shannon 21:24
would start with denim. So yeah, I'm thinking about like our friends over at Blue seven who sell raw denim and you guys used to sell raw denim. also wear it's a product, it's a pair of jeans that you can literally wear every day, and it will be stylish and it will last you for forever.

Audrey 21:40
Totally. The catch with that is that if you're going to buy which you have experience with this, a sustainable pair of rods and a made from organic cotton that's been Fairtrade sourced in India, you're going to pay probably close to $200 in your pair of jeans, correct. Um, or, you know, drink a little too much. And have some episodes. But that I mean, I think that's where we encourage people try to start small, don't make a $200 investment for your first piece of sustainably bought clothing. Try to start with stuff that like you're not going to care that your underwear is not on trend. You know, like next year, like keep I care? Well, some of us.

Kathleen Shannon 22:29
I have a question Emily. Like we recently did an environmental episode. And I'm curious for you like even ICU wearing a necklace made by our friend. Right within that made by Mary Beth. It was anyway, so local. And that's one of the places where I started actually with thinking about shopping more locally or sustainably is really handcrafted jewelry. And again, like the sourcing, I would have never even thought like, okay, where are they sourcing, taking it to the next level. But it's funny, because whenever Mary Beth was selling her jewelry to us in Miami, and she was actually talking about where she found the leather, and that it was from this rancher in Colorado and like she knew where that was from, which makes a huge difference. But it also is going to bring up the price of your product. But So Emily, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on all of this.

Emily Thompson 23:19
I mean, again, I think you just have to start somewhere I know like and again, in our green episode, we talked about this, like weighing the options and picking your battles, because you could drive yourself nuts, simply weighing all the options and picking apart every piece of everything that you buy to make sure it's all sustainable, and comes from, you know, happy cows. But, um, but i think that i think it is just sort of picking a couple of things, the things that I like to focus on, is, is like, the big ticket items for me is where I like to focus. So like jeans, or jewelry or things like that, that I know I'm gonna put a lot of wear into. But I also just like reusing things that come from other people's, like I have a neighbor right now love her to death, she just keeps bringing me clothes. And that kind of stuff is stuff that like I don't mind, like if if people are going to bring me some really awesome pieces that I can reuse. Or if I can, instead of throwing away the things that I don't use anymore, give those as some way to sort of keep them cycling through. I'm sure they probably all came from, you know, children and factories in a third world country, but I'm not gonna throw them away just yet, just because they're already created. So, I mean, I don't know, I think a lot of things about it. I think that I think that the world has become a little bit too if you have a place for people to get too picky about it. And I think we do have to choose our battles, but I think people like you guys who like, are going into this with a mission to make it do and to sort of set your own standards and boundaries to to offer goods like that. And so source of like education to in terms of how it is that you can buy, buy in a conscious way, is, is really important. And that's one of the things I want to ask you about is like, how do you how do you draw those boundaries for yourself? Like, he talked about, like having them and having to choose, but like, really? Where are those boundaries? And how do you how do you pick?

Justin 25:22
It's there? I mean, like you said, there's just so many gray areas. Because I think initially, you know, we've always asked those questions like, Where's, where's this product made? Who made it, where they treated fairly? And I think it's really important to ask those questions. But I mean, we had a lot of assumptions. Like, originally, you know, we thought like, like China was bad, like, you know, we weren't gonna carry stuff from China. But, you know, the more we learned, the more we heard from people who knew more than we did like that. There's not a hard line there. There's certain things well, just for example, I where you basically have to make eyewear in China, like all the best facilities, all the best equipment is all in China. And, you know, those are sweatshops, where they were the I was being made, it's just that's, that's your best option if you want to make good quality, affordable eyewear. And there's other areas too, I think footwear is really similar. So we've kind of had to be, at think more flexible, more open to those gray areas like he, you know, it's important to ask the questions, it's important to consider how the product was made, and by who. But we haven't been able to draw those hard lines like that,

Audrey 26:47
I think we do feel a greater comfort level, buying small. So I think that's a good starting point. If If you can shop like you're talking about Emily handmade shops, local shops, where I'm thinking like I'm a gene and Willie in Nashville, they make their own jeans. If you can find kind of like your your deal of store that you love, you go in and every time you go in, there's a piece of clothing, you're going to want to take home with you. And I think prioritizing that in your clothing budget is super important. And then don't worry about the fact that you're not going to be able to fill your closet and your drawers with only items that you know, you can find out a small a small business, but at least at a small business like ours, you can ask a lot of questions, and you can find out how, you know, how did you prioritize? Making sure that this item wasn't made in a sweatshop versus I noticed it's not organic, organic cotton, you know, like what's the what's the the issue there? So I think you can, you can educate yourself a lot that way and feel good that you're supporting not just an item of clothing that was well made and sustainably made. But you're supporting the small business who did all the legwork for you and finding that item. And that's something you know, we we've worked really hard in our concept. We don't ever want someone to feel guilty walking in the store. We want them to feel excited about, oh, I can buy this T shirt that you know, I can feel confident nobody was hurt in in the making of this. But maybe Justin? Well.

Justin 28:39
Yeah, that's pretty like.

Audrey 28:42
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, I think that a lot of those boundary lines are kind of gut feelings, like, you know, is, is what we're talking about is is what were is the story we're telling causing people to feel guilty? Or is it causing people to feel empowered. And

Justin 28:58
there, there are a couple of certifications, the one that most people know about it is fair trade. That's pretty common. We found early on that like, looking at fair trade products that really limited us aesthetically, a lot of those didn't really kind of fit the direction of our shop. But you know, obviously, it you know, fair trade is great. The other one that that we really like is a is a rap certification. It's wr AP. So all our T shirts are wrap certified, which is just like a, an auditing of the factories where those are made just to check for safety and, and like ethical conditions, make sure that workers are are cared for. And so, you know, we've been able to find sources for t shirts that have that rep certification, but and it's great you know if you can, but even that is like so a lot of times that's really invisible. It can be really cost prohibitive to for brands like it's pretty expensive to get that certification. So I guess the short answer is, that's great. You know, the rap certification is great if you can find it.

Emily Thompson 30:15
Alright, so then it, then it sounds like you guys have to deal with a lot of heavy shit every time you guys decide to like buy a product or partner with a brand or like whatever it is, like, you guys have chosen to build a business for yourself that comes with a lot of like, a lot of research and education, but also like you're not just picking up a catalog and buying what looks good. So, like, I understand why, but I'm gonna like devil's advocate why why would you guys like choose to make something like a brick and mortar store, which is already a super hard thing to do? Like, I think growing an online business is a piece of cake compared to like doing a brick and mortar store. So why have you chosen to make this such a huge part of what it is that you do?

Justin 31:05
I think maybe will just come work for you.

Audrey 31:13
Difference between, like the job we gave up as creatives who could like work in our underwear all day to like managing a brick and mortar is you know, it's super attractive to think about

Kathleen Shannon 31:26
going which is so funny, because I'm always fantasizing about coming and working for you guys.

Audrey 31:31
I know it guys, I

Emily Thompson 31:32
would open another brick and mortar in a minute. Yeah, in an absolute minute that like that should is fun to me. But like, but apart from brick and mortar, like even if you guys were solely online, like you're still choosing to do your business in a way that comes with that comes with a certain amount of roadblocks like along the way that you guys have to hurdle when no one else who's not being so conscious about their products like have to do. So I just like personal stories even like Why have you guys decided to do it this way?

Kathleen Shannon 32:02
Why? Why did you set that mission? And I want to know when I want to know like whenever it comes to your brand, when did you set that mission for your brand? And did it happen at the same time? Was it like an organic evolution?

Audrey 32:15
No, that was all from the beginning. And I think it's we went from the dress. Yeah, we weren't it was an innate blending of who we are with what we were doing. I mean, both of us, like straight out of college, all we wanted to do was work for nonprofits. We needed that sense of mission of passion, we really needed to be able to feel like what we were doing was meaningful that we were helping people. And some of that, you know, as like, little little kid fantasy that you grow out of, but some of that is still just this innate core of who we both are that we can't imagine that not being a part of our business.

Justin 33:08
I think there's an element of curiosity, too. I mean, I think when we started, you know, some of the values part it was our nonprofit background, but the you know, the values were like, we wanted to do something good, something meaningful, and we wanted to have fun. where we were, we were trying to do something good. And you know, hopefully we were but we weren't having much fun. So you know, those were kind of like the the main reasons for us like exploring this thing in the first place. But I think that we just there was this question initially, like, can we create a viable business that is good, you know, that's good for people. It's good for us. It's good for our friends, it's good for people on the other side of the world. And someday we'll answer.

Emily Thompson 34:09
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Kathleen Shannon 35:11
I want to go back to a little bit of the gray areas because you guys do have a brick and mortar store. And but you had no experience in that. So and then now you've launched an online shop, you have an online shop and I don't think you've probably had the experience in that, like you're doing all, scratch as many of us creatives are. So I would be curious to hear if you had to give advice to someone who's wanting to start a brick and mortar store now. Like what advice or what do you wish that you could have told yourself?

Unknown Speaker 35:43
Don't do it

Kathleen Shannon 35:49
worked out for the kids. I don't think that you guys wouldn't not do it though. Even though having a brick and mortar comes with its own challenges.

Audrey 35:56
No, we went we definitely. I mean, even though there are things we would have done differently even looking back with 2020 hindsight now we we would have still done it. But I'm so thankful that we said yes and and did it. One thing I know I would change, I would have gotten an investor or gone into debt right up front. I'm there. You know, it's funny because running a brick and mortar retail shop. As a rookie, we assumed that business finances and personal finances are identical. So we were really concerned with like, we didn't want to go into a bunch of debt, which is to hippies who were like kind of unsure about the whole deal was great that it was kind of risk free. Like if we failed after the first three months it we weren't really out anything, which was awesome. But I think after we kind of realized after that first Christmas season, I think after we realized, okay, we love doing this, people are connecting with this. This is kind of what we want to do for a little while, I think we should have invested more in it. I think we should have believed more in the process and gotten better advice.

Kathleen Shannon 37:14
What would you have had to do to have the confidence to be willing to go into debt.

Justin 37:21
I would have loved to work for somebody who was doing it, who knew what they were doing. And just like learn under somebody that would have been invaluable? Because honestly, I think we're still learning things that we probably could have learned, you know, if we would have taken a year and worked for somebody who new retail?

Audrey 37:45
Yeah, because a lot of our success was purely dumb luck, like the fact that both of us had day jobs that we could work on the side and work from behind the counter. I mean, that's not an opportunity most people have. So it's kind of an all or nothing situation where it wasn't for us. So I think, you know, if we had had a mentor at the beginning, a coach or an advisor who could have kind of walked us through, don't just look at next month, like Do you have enough money to keep the doors open next month? But where do you want to be in five years thinking about a little bit longer term down the road, we just didn't have any vision for what that would look like, because we had no experience. Luckily, we had tons of cheerleaders. I mean, we had a lot of close friends were other small business owners who had kind of championed us doing this. But again, all of us were kind of in the same boat of this was all sort of a passion project turned business. So understanding, you know, us not taking a salary, not a long term plan for being profitable. us not having staff, not a long term plan for being profitable. And we didn't understand margins, like how to make sure we were making enough profit off of every item to sustain the business. So I think just in basic things that we could have learned if we had started out by working for another small business would have been really helpful. But there were also free resources available to us that we didn't take advantage of. We didn't know about. But I mean, most cities have a Small Business Development Center that for free, you can talk to a small business counselor. Usually they will help you come up with a business plan. They'll help walk you through some common pitfalls and guidance. So I think, you know, my advice to anybody wanting to start a brick and mortar is go get a job for somebody that you want to be like Who do you want to be in five years and go work for them and because you'll do it better you know gaining experience you'll be able to have a business even more kick ass in there so

Kathleen Shannon 40:11
i have a couple of questions about like i'm curious what is challenging about running a brick and mortar store because like i don't know like i've told you guys i'm like can i come work for you like if it's fantasy

Emily Thompson 40:23
clarify what is the most challenging

Kathleen Shannon 40:28
looks like a dream and then obviously being friends with you guys i know that it comes with it sets of challenges but like what is challenging about it and on the flip side what's dreamy about it we want to talk about both

Audrey 40:39
so it's kind of funny that there's this tension i mean intense tension between both like i think

Unknown Speaker 40:46
is it like having a child

Unknown Speaker 40:48
is like having

Emily Thompson 40:49
both the worst and best you could ever do

Audrey 40:54
the same kind of like psychosis that you enter when you're a new mom like one second you are like i fucking love this job and the next minute all you can think about is how some customer stopped up your toilet and you're the only one they can punch that like it is it is that you know just total stark contrast of experiences that makes it so rich but also makes it just as utterly exhausting as caring for a newborn

Unknown Speaker 41:29
but and there's

Kathleen Shannon 41:30
often both apparently

Audrey 41:31
there is shit involved in both but it's cool because you know a business is the same way it comes out of your it's made from your dna it comes out of you it's created by both of you which is part of the the most exciting thing about justin eyes business is that it's comes from the marriage of the two of us so you get to see this thing you know that initially looks exactly like you like you think everything about the shop just looks exactly like us but then you know as it's touched by other people is touched by the clients it's touched by our staff it's touched by the community around us it kind of evolves into its own thing where you know you're just kind of holding your breath like waiting to see what is this going to be you know there's there's parts of it that feel totally under your control you feel so responsible you feel like you know if i don't make success happen you know it's it's it's all on me but there's also this magic to it where it does take on a life of its own and become you know its own living breathing breathing thing that that other people love as much as you do but yeah challenges

i don't know there's all the practical stuff

Justin 42:51
i mean the margins are tight you're really dependent on external circumstances

Kathleen Shannon 42:59
like for example this christmas we had an ice storm on the day thanksgiving right

Unknown Speaker 43:05
right yeah

Justin 43:05
like it would be one of our biggest days of the year

Audrey 43:08
it changed our sales

Unknown Speaker 43:10

Audrey 43:10
yeah we didn't meet our sales goal in november and that was one of our first experiences with like measurable failure for a reason that was totally out of our control um and then there's also you know external forces like staff like we can't be there all 60 hours a week you know we're interesting this to staff that's a challenge hiring firing people

Justin 43:37
but there's

a really broad range of responsibilities which i would say again is one of those like sometimes it's my favorite thing about the job and sometimes it's the worst like you know we're responsible for the website the product design the production that bookkeeping the managing employees

Emily Thompson 43:59
the toilet

Justin 44:03
so yeah there's like jobs that you don't want to do but then there's also like the pressure of like well this job needs to be done and i have no idea how to do it so either i hire somebody and you know kill my margin for that day or i guess someone youtube again figuring out how to do that

Audrey 44:22
which is also kind of part of the dreaminess like i think i thrive on the challenge of all of that i love that you know being a creative entrepreneur you are learning something every day and sometimes it's totally unexpected you know you you never imagined you would need to learn you know how to use fresh books or whatever

Kathleen Shannon 44:42
fresh books i think it's super easy though

Audrey 44:46
you don't do you we don't okay we're yeah i think we were pre pre fresh well

Kathleen Shannon 44:51
but it's also not super great for retail so and that's one thing i love about fresh books just put my fresh books out and right here is that they'll say that like We're good for service based creatives and not necessarily help as creatives.

Justin 45:04
Yeah, actually a plug like when I, personally listen to your podcast, I was like Audrey, we should get fresh books. They say it's so great.

Audrey 45:13
And guess what I said, they don't do inventory management.

Kathleen Shannon 45:19
So I'm curious about strategies that have really helped your business grow even like expected strategies and unexpected ones. So like, what's coming top of mind for me is that you guys have partnered with some really cool like, other local brands that are really neat. And you talked about kind of how you curate your inventory. But also you've done things like events. Audrey, I know that you're on a lot of boards, or, at least that's the impression I get I feel like every city board there is, um, you guys have partnered with people like Warby Parker, you're their number one selling showroom, right?

Justin 45:54
Can you still say that? was absolutely

weird last place?

Unknown Speaker 46:00
spouting off

Kathleen Shannon 46:02
bullshit stuff. Where they're where they're

Unknown Speaker 46:06
going, we

Justin 46:11
can't fire it. We We are the highest rated in customer satisfaction. Yeah. longest standing.

Emily Thompson 46:19
Yeah. Okay.

Justin 46:21
Gotcha. Yeah, they'll be financing from us. But they really like

Audrey 46:24
everybody else died off and we were still surviving.

Kathleen Shannon 46:29
Okay, well, what kinds of strategies like that, like events and partnerships have worked for you guys? Or how have they worked for you guys?

Justin 46:39
Yeah, I mean, I

Unknown Speaker 46:40
don't work.

Audrey 46:43
Looking at like, you guys, like, I don't want to be the first one to answer every time I've been I have to like Justin's. He's got to take his breath before he

Emily Thompson 46:53
can think it out. Yeah.

Justin 46:57
Um, yeah, I mean, the first thing for sure, that comes to mind is the collaborations. And those have been super effective like, you know, we working with somebody will have ideas that we never would have had on our own. But then, you know, just that exposure to another audience that we probably wouldn't have reached without that business or that person has been invaluable.

Audrey 47:27
Events are really are really huge too. Because I think sometimes it's easy to get stuck in the day to day grind of what you're doing and something like holding an event a couple of times a year. I think it lets people see a the the fun side of your business, but it can be something kind of unrelated to what you do, while still highlighting your your business. But it also helps people remember that there's real people behind the business. And it's really fun. We always bring our kid to events and everybody kind of freaks out about like, you know, it just adds some extra meaning to when I come in to buy my you know, basketball t shirt. I'm supporting this like cool young family that has a little boy who like bagged my shirt when I checked out and so I think I remember Yeah.

Emily Thompson 48:21
Sustainability era

Kathleen Shannon 48:22
great ethics issues. That's called family business. family finances are exempt from child labor.

Justin 48:30
He works for candy I don't

Audrey 48:34
we we do pay him and cavity.

Kathleen Shannon 48:37
Which speaking of I have to tell you guys the other day you taught me how to be a parent by threatening Fox like making him feel threatening so that he eats his food. It is working. Yeah, I'm like scooty boots is going to eat your banana. And he's like, no, like she has the whole demeanor.

Audrey 48:53
Average parenting for the winch. Like

Justin 48:56
we're all about reading your kid is always a great strategy. Bing

Audrey 48:58
also works. Yeah.

Justin 49:03
I think Sorry, go back to the strategy. I think the one that we kind of stumbled on that is probably been our our best growth strategy is having an in house product. You know, initially, we just like wanted to make something. And that's why we did it. But honestly, for retail, like it's just gotten so competitive, you know, all the brands that we bring in, is, I mean, it's pretty much impossible to be the exclusive stockists to those brands, even locally. It's hard, but you know, a lot of that stuff you can get on Amazon. So, you know, why would somebody come to us? And probably the best answer that question is we make products that you can't get anywhere else. So I think that's you know, that's been huge for

Kathleen Shannon 49:48
so I'd love to talk about that to like kind of the market demand on your product because one of you guys make t shirts, and here in Oklahoma, we're in Oklahoma, which is a whole other aspect of I think having a brand more Store is that maybe Oklahoma is incredibly affordable. So if you guys want to open a brick and mortar store for our listeners just come to Oklahoma.

Unknown Speaker 50:10
But one of the things that's really

Emily Thompson 50:11
wait they're like No, no no.

Kathleen Shannon 50:16
Good in Oklahoma City. So this is funny though I got recognized by someone passing through they had stopped in your store and then recognize me because I model for you guys on the wall.

Emily Thompson 50:28
This is cabling streamline right here right now,

Kathleen Shannon 50:31
again, all the work I'm doing I just want to be known as a model. Anyway, um, but what I was going to say is that in Oklahoma, and I don't know if it's this way in other states, but Oklahoma shirts are very trendy and thunder shirts based on our basketball team are very trendy. And you do a really great job of blending like that really custom design like this like kind of indie design, so it doesn't feel like you're wearing a thunder basketball shirt. Like it's, it's like two lightning bolts and then an arrow going up. One lightning bolt one way. Okay, one lightning bolt and two arrows going up. So like that means Thunder up, which is something we say here.

Unknown Speaker 51:13

Kathleen Shannon 51:14
so you make those shirts. I wonder Do you ever struggle with like, Do you ever feel like you're making them? I think this is like a creative struggle across the board is like, something that's happening to me a lot is I get hired to do these brands. And people love the script D hand letter typefaces. I want to try something new, but they're hiring me for that. So I'm curious if you guys like, do you ever kind of struggle with meeting the demand doing like sell out? Yeah,

Emily Thompson 51:42

Audrey 51:42
Yeah. I mean, Thunder tees are luckily kind of. We don't feel like sellouts with those because we are fans which help so you know, we actually care about that. But we have drawn the line on like, it took us five years to get into College GameDay shirts, which is huge in Oklahoma, like, college football was really the only thing we had here. I mean, we didn't even have an NBA team until a couple years ago. But um, we just couldn't do it. Because we felt like such sellout. Like we really I think the last time I watched a college football game I was at a you and maybe like gotten free tickets to the game or something. So when we did have a hard time with some things like that, that we knew would sell well. I mean, we knew people would freak out over College GameDay gear that wasn't your standard, like, cartoony licensed thing. But it's totally that creative struggle of like when the client wants papayas Do you give them papaya, like

Emily Thompson 52:48
you fire them immediately.

Audrey 52:51
We held out until we actually collaborated with a local artist who was a huge fan, and he did our designs for our College GameDay set up for us, that's cool, which turned out cool, there's

Kathleen Shannon 53:03
still an element of authenticity to it where you're not, I feel like there's a certain amount of karma that like goes into the work that we create, we can go back to your hippie days. But if you hate the stuff that you're making, I just don't think it's going to sell very well. I could be wrong.

Audrey 53:18
And so and you're not going to sell it because you guys know what it feels like when you're trying to talk someone into something that you don't really believe in. So it's even, you know, 100 times harder in a retail store with physical deliverables that we want the products to sell themselves, I don't want to have to talk someone into buying something that doesn't fit well or I think looks terrible, or I'm just not, it's not a good representation of us. So, I mean, we it's kind of a commitment internally, we have that we only carry stuff we'd love, we only design stuff we love. We've been like, thrown out designs we were kind of attached to that just never quite made it, you know, to what we could feel proud of. And I don't know, like I think there is still that that fundamental creative challenge with how do you make a profit, which is totally like not something to you know, degrade, like we have to make a living we have a kid to take care of how do you do that without feeling like a sell out.

Justin 54:24
Um, one thing that was certain recently that I has really helped me is we usually release our products in collections. Sometimes they're small, sometimes they're like bigger like our spring collection. But some of those like types of products that we kind of feel like we're just reinventing the same thing again and again, like it's helped me to just fit it into a collection. So we've developed this whole concept and it has a unique feel. And if I can like wrap that same old thing in that can Oklahoma. New feel like Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 55:01
Oh, that is one of the collections that you recently did that I modeled for was the dreamer collection, which, like, there's one shirt that has a full moon on it, and you're speaking my language.

Unknown Speaker 55:11
I loved that one.

Kathleen Shannon 55:13
But then there was a couple of shirts that you did not have you put my husband in them that had like Oklahoma on it, but they were dreamer collection style. So it really, I didn't even realize that that was your strategy. They're kind of like folding that into the mix.

Justin 55:28
Yeah. Yeah. Cuz I, you know, the Oklahoma shirts are just always so for us, there's always a high demand for that. But we're probably not going to develop like an Oklahoma shirt collection. You know, that's, well, that's just, that's what we're gonna do. So like, mixing that in with, you know, letting ourselves like develop these more artistic concepts, and then bringing those higher demand products into that has just been a great compromise, I think.

Kathleen Shannon 55:57
I also think that you always do find twice like so even just in the shirt that you're wearing right now is a grid and map of Oklahoma done in a really like kind of line drawing artsy way. And no one would ever know that. That's Oklahoma City, unless you live in Oklahoma City. So I think there's some a certain amount of like, limited, like fun, like, where you've created this almost challenge for yourself whenever it comes to designing the T shirts. Okay, so before we close, Emily, do you have any other questions?

Emily Thompson 56:26
I don't think so. You just really have me wanting to get back into brick and mortar

Justin 56:31

Unknown Speaker 56:32
when you?

Kathleen Shannon 56:35
I feel like maybe you could just help Justin Audrey with there's just to

Emily Thompson 56:41
do that, too.

Kathleen Shannon 56:42
You know, it's so funny, because I'm constantly thinking about you guys. And like how you can translate your brick and mortar field, which I think is so special into your online experience. And so I mean, that is kind of a question that I had, but I don't want to run too much over maybe Corey, you can do a little extra editing on this, but like, like it like? So my question is, you have this really interesting user experience whenever it comes to your actual physical store. And again, I'll post photos of it in our show notes. But you have things like air plants hanging from the ceilings or like custom channel years, you can't even really call it a chandelier light fixtures that you've created. And I almost hired you Justin to like, make shelves in my home because the shelves in your store are so cool. So you guys have this really interesting, neat experience where you walk into your store, and how do you translate that online? And is that a challenge that you guys are experiencing? There's a couple of

Audrey 57:36
different facets of that. I mean, it's really a struggle to take. It's two totally different skill sets, you know, to create an experience that you can feel and touch and smell and all of that, and then translate that online somehow. So we're still figuring that out. I mean, Justin has some experience as a web designer, but I think it's one of the things we're learning, we're gonna have to bring in more help. In even working with you, Kathleen, it's helped to have an outsider voice say, Hey, I think this is something that would help that translate better. It's hard when you're like, in the business every day, sometimes we can't see like the magical stuff that you know, a fresh pair of eyes can see. But

Unknown Speaker 58:27
what were you gonna say?

Justin 58:29
Yeah, I mean, I think honestly, we're trying to answer that question like that's one of our biggest focuses right now is growing our retail experience growing our reach online. And that's I mean, that's been a challenge like that's always been a challenge

Kathleen Shannon 58:46
for us is like, Emily impart your wisdom. What do you think they should do? Like what do you think that the steps would be that you need to take to go from an online or an offline like brick and mortar tangible experience to an online experience? Like what do you even just think the framework of that process would look like?

Emily Thompson 59:05
Girl Why can't throw me under the bus like

Kathleen Shannon 59:08
I'm just making knowledge right now.

Unknown Speaker 59:12
Right? I

Emily Thompson 59:13
know because like it is a real thing. I've done both I've done brick and mortar and I like and now I'm an online and they are two totally different beasts like the business that you build in person is completely different from the business that you will build online. So I mean, one step is having the end like the brick and mortar solid, like you have to have all of those processes in place, you have to be profitable, you have to know all of those things. And then you can start like turning it into an online thing. And I mean website obviously is one of those and like and having it like having it really on point with what is in the store so like aesthetically, that's really important. Because the people who are going to start shopping you online are the people who are shopping you in store and if the if the fill is off, but between the two, there will be complete disconnect and they won't shop online, which means they won't share it on Twitter, or on Facebook or their friends. So so like that really is, is one is like, you know, big struggle number one is taking the look and feel and smell that you have like in that online or in the in person space and transferring it to this place. That's only look only. So, I mean, number one badass website. And number two is getting people to that website is taking that look that you've created for the website that was in the store and putting it on all the other platforms to draw them into the site. It's keeping that message super concise. But I also think you have a really good point there in terms of having like a good set of eyes on it, where the the magic that you guys see is very different from the magic that everyone else sees. And it's what everyone else sees in both online and offline that matters most. And it's having someone who can, who can look at it on both sides, and and help you find where there are holes. But it's also it's also the customer service piece. Like if you guys are known for badass customer service, then it's like it's imparting that on those online buyers as well. I mean, like multifaceted issue you guys have have at hand. But it's also not impossible, like people do it. But it is like looking at it as a completely different entity.

Kathleen Shannon 1:01:26
I have a question about how you guys take your offline experience online? And this is a question. I've never really noticed this, but you guys don't do advertising? Do you?

Audrey 1:01:35
know, I mean, we'll do some occasional like digital stuff like Facebook or okay.

Kathleen Shannon 1:01:44
But like, I know, I do advertising for your brick and mortar stores? No. Okay. So that's something that is how do you create a customer experience in your store that creates this grassroots campaign, right? And then how do you translate that into an online space? So it is about I think then creating content that is shareable, and figuring out what that looks like, for me, my history of that has looked like blogging and telling the story. And I feel like I get on to this for this, Audrey, but like you're a writer by experience. So my question is, because you don't do offline advertising, I wonder if, whenever it comes to online, if you feel like promoting it, and marketing, it is almost like advertising or trying to sell yourself too hard, whenever you haven't really had to try to sell yourself offline and really getting used to that component of it online.

Audrey 1:02:37
Yeah, there is this growth curve, where I think we had this small business experience where when you're in a close knit community, like downtown Oklahoma City is you can really take off just with grassroots just through word of mouth, you know, friends telling each other to come shop at your, at your shop. But we you know, five years and have kind of hit a plateau there. A we have new competition, there's always something fresher happening. But also, you know, online doesn't doesn't work that way, you really have to have to experience that because someone showed it to you, you know, that they have to be able to see the site without Stumbling on it. Um, so that's been a struggle. But one thing I think that's really held us back online is something Emily, you kind of referred to earlier, the challenge of the concept that we've chosen, it's really hard to accurately communicate the the optimism behind the brand online without it feeling preachy. Um, it's difficult to have high standards as a brand without those coming across as anything underneath. Totally. Yeah. And I mean, especially being kids in the Bible Belt, like, you know, is a challenge for us to find fresh ways to communicate that and, and I think, for me, it's been my biggest challenge as a writer is getting outside of the lingo that's in my head to what what does the consumer actually see and experience when they walk in the door or come to our site and see our products? rather than you know, what are what are my kind of more technical insight or goals for this broader global experience? You know, because a lot of them you know, I want to be able to communicate what we stand for in a fun way in an empowering way not in you know, you should only be buying from us because everyone else's stuff heart hurts kids. So

Emily Thompson 1:04:56
yeah, I could definitely see why right. Understand why you bought I think that your media direction,

Kathleen Shannon 1:05:01
I think that you need to trust that your intentions are to create this brand that people are excited about and not scare people like I would never walk into your store and think scare tactics. So I think you just need to write it. I mean, I'm a little tough love here, I wonder how much of that is an excuse, and that if you did just write it, it would be fine. And even the way that earlier you explain the difference between fast fashion, which gets kind of deep versus slow fashion, it was really informative, like I actually hadn't heard you explain it that way. And I don't think that you explaining it on a blog post or even on a periscope would feel any different. I do think that there is a certain amount of which would scare me of opening yourself up to whenever you say that you do this thing this way, that people are kind of looking for the holes in that and they're like, oh, but I saw you wearing a target shirt the other day at the grocery store, you know, and then and then there's like, just opportunity that would that would be my personal fear of is getting called out as a hypocrite because I'm saying that I believe in this thing. And then someone could easily prove me wrong. Because we're humans. We're not perfect.

Audrey 1:06:09
Totally. Yeah, yeah. So I mean, we have to live what we who we are online, like that can't be different from who we are in person. My question is,

Kathleen Shannon 1:06:20
I think that your brand is definitely like you have this amazing story of giving and giving back in your in your brand message. But I think that there's something else there too. And I think it's really being able to communicate that as well, that tone.

Emily Thompson 1:06:38
Well, and the thing that I really want to point out, too, is that all that you guys have built, like, has been by like, funny happenstance, or not all like not to say you guys haven't done some really hard work obvious. But like, I mean, even you said it, like, yeah, you ended up getting the space and things just worked out, you guys had your day job that allowed you to do this without you know, tons of like pressure to actually make it work. And I think that, I think that, like the faith you guys have had thus far to get you where you are now in terms of like, if you're just good people, and you do good things, and you have some good business sense about you all the while, then like you'll make it and I think if you can take that exact same like faith that like what you're doing is good, and that you guys are smart, and that you're going to hustle it out and take that into the online space or whatever other space you want to go into. If you just sort of keep that going. And like you'll make it there too. Because I agree like I think if the if you just say the things and put them online without the fear of what's gonna happen when you say the things and put them online. Now, you'll probably be kind of surprised that like, what could happen?

Kathleen Shannon 1:07:46
Yeah, on the flip side of that this is actually a struggle that Emily and I have had with being boss, like we started it with really good intentions, we had a little few goals. Like we thought we would love to make a little bit of money off of this, but we had no idea that it would explode into what it has exploded into and that we can create a legit business out of this. And so now we're having to go into our second year of business really getting strategic about our growth. And that scared me honestly, it scared me that if I start getting strategic about something that I kind of just happened upon, what does that mean for our own brand story? Does it make it less noble or honorable or pure or fun,

Emily Thompson 1:08:29
grassroots? Is it less grassroots to do it purposefully

Kathleen Shannon 1:08:34
or you know, or like we built like, what we had achieved our success under was not strategic. So if we get strategic, does that mean that our success will stop?

Audrey 1:08:44
Right, like does the kind of natural organic feel to it sort of dissipate as you become more exactly structured? And yeah, yeah.

Emily Thompson 1:08:54
Which I mean,

Audrey 1:08:55
I think that is a challenge with the business because you know, just like you guys have had to do you have to bring in support staff you have to bring in other people are going to touch this thing that is still being bosses and being boss without Kathleen and Emily, and you know, shot good isn't shot good without Justin and Audrey, but I think we are kind of at that crossroads of having to hold a little bit more of that open handedly that it has grown into its own thing beyond just just in an eye and that that's really a positive thing. You know, it has more potential to grow, then it would have if it was just limited to us, but it does make it feel like you know, we do get that concern feeling about like is this less less authentic somehow because I'm not the one writing every Facebook post or Justin's not the one taking every Instagram photo or, you know, we don't want to be kind The behind the scenes, you know, man behind the curtain where it's just all a big show, and there's not actually any personal element to this anymore. So, you know, it's hard to figure out when you haven't navigated that transition from this little family owned thing into a larger scale business. You know, how do we how do we keep the life in here? Like how do we how do we make this still feel like

Unknown Speaker 1:10:32
system areas? That's

Kathleen Shannon 1:10:34
it? No, I systems and branding. And so I think that you guys have created systems in your brick and mortar shop, that allow you to hire and train people. And then they're also seeing you like how you react to your customers. And they take note of that. And then I think it's just transitioning into creating those same systems around your online experience. And so I think the first thing first is to start mapping out your systems and really giving yourself a framework of, Okay, I'm going to write one blog post a week, we're going and I know that you guys do some of this, but really mapping that out what that looks like, and then figuring out from there, what can you systemize and delegate, and what needs to stay you guys and Emily and I have pushed the boundaries on what we've delegated. And we've had to take some stuff back, because there are some things that you just can't delegate out until you're ready. And I think it's not that we won't delegate those things back out one day, like, for example, planning our events, so planning being bought in New Orleans or being boss, Miami, that's something we would love to be able to delegate out to an event planner, and we considered it. But then we thought we need to really understand this more in a way that we could let an event planner know what our brand is, and what our systems are in a way that is completely aligned.

Audrey 1:11:49
Well, we really need being boss to keep succeeding, because you guys are basically our plan B like if everything goes to

Emily Thompson 1:11:59
work for you. And I will bet on your events. Well, and then the cab lane and I will just take over your shop and we'll all be good to go. We can just switch places.

Unknown Speaker 1:12:09
Trade musical business.

Justin 1:12:11

Kathleen Shannon 1:12:13
I'm loving. You guys could just do some like being boss events for a year, we could boost up your online store for a year and then we could just yeah,

Emily Thompson 1:12:19
it will switch back. I like this idea. Me too. I have to tell David, we're moving to Oklahoma City for a minute and see how

Kathleen Shannon 1:12:30
open Chattanooga is to come to Seattle.

Audrey 1:12:36
I honestly would probably move to Chattanooga faster than I'd moved to Seattle.

Emily Thompson 1:12:40
Hey, man, Chattanooga is the place to be.

Audrey 1:12:43
I really love Tennessee.

Emily Thompson 1:12:44
I really, it's not bad if you go to the right places. Yeah. Okay. Kind of like Oklahoma.

Unknown Speaker 1:12:52
Kevin's like breezing over that.

Emily Thompson 1:12:55
Went from that.

Kathleen Shannon 1:12:56
I know. Okay, so, um, some final quickfire questions before we hang up. Like I want to know some of your favorite things that you sell. And I promise this isn't like a ploy to get our listeners to look at these things. But I'm actually curious for you guys, because I'm such a fan of what you all do. Like what what are your favorite things in the store right now?

Emily Thompson 1:13:16
What should she buy that

Unknown Speaker 1:13:18
I buy? And

Kathleen Shannon 1:13:19
what should I model and then take as my modeling fee?

Audrey 1:13:24
Well, this is a valid question. Um, for me, it's really funny that I think I like I am less involved in the T shirts because that's sort of Justin's like creative baby. For me, my favorite thing in the store is the plants like I love having living things in the store, which is totally unexpected because they're really just uses as accents in there. But everyone makes fun of me because we get like boxes of air plants like shipped in and everyone's like, where this is 1000 square foot store. like where are we putting all of these? So sometimes the displays look a little jungly, but

Kathleen Shannon 1:14:05
no, I buy all of them. I bought probably plants from you guys,

Audrey 1:14:09
you do. We also, I take the ones that I've almost killed in the store home to rehabilitate so I get to like foster or shopping or plans. So I mean that those kind of things are part of what makes the store so enjoyable for me is that I can have something that I would love to do as a passion like I'd love to garden and stuff like that. I can kind of build that into the story a little bit. Um, but yeah, other than that, I do have a couple of favorite t shirts. This dreamer collection we did was by far my favorite thing we've done and some of that was just because it was so different. from everything else. We're trying to branch out a little bit as we're looking to expand online. We don't want to only be selling Oklahoma themed items. But it was also really fun that they're kind of was this hidden meaning behind it for justin and i as we were looking ahead at 2016 and we were kind of feeling nervous about you know where is this business going and has it grown to the point where like it's outgrown justin and i like we don't have enough expertise to run this anymore and you know dealing with all those fears and then deciding like let's just go for it we're just gonna go for it this year and even more personal stuff like we decided to have our second baby this year and just looking ahead at the future so the dreamer collection for me kind of encapsulates all of that in like this kind of hilariously casual

realm of t shirts um so yeah those are definitely like my my favorite things in the store

Justin 1:15:48
one of the shirts in the collection that is probably my current favorite is a shirt that we called the dreamers and travelers shared and i worked with a buddy carl zach who's this awesome photographer

Kathleen Shannon 1:16:02
he has an amazing instagram account yeah we'll link to in the show notes i think yes i think he has like 100,000 followers like he's one of those instagramers

Unknown Speaker 1:16:12
yeah i mean the best

Audrey 1:16:14
for outdoor magazine and i mean he's

Kathleen Shannon 1:16:18
and so he did that photo shoot that first photo shoot that i did with you guys he shot it and it's so funny because i didn't know who he was and i had been photographed by a couple of like local people recently and they were just bad photos so whenever he was shooting me i was like do not get my double chin and like that's a bad angle and it turns out he's actually the best photographer in the whole world and

i'm so i'm still embarrassed about that

Unknown Speaker 1:16:45

Justin 1:16:47

so yeah he had this photo of the teton mountain range which i mean it's just awesome photo it's like this lake in front of mountains but had like some personal significance because my mom passed away and we actually scattered her ashes there so it's like like a special place to be but then like the design is like really just really unique really different like it's one of my favorites i've done and kind of the the concept behind it was just like searching for beauty was just kind of the theme and so you know kind of as audrey was saying like that's kind of where we were just like trying to trying to find the good like trying to look out past like circumstances and seeing what's out there and so it hasn't been a best seller by any means but it's i just love it it's definitely one of my favorite shirts

Unknown Speaker 1:17:49
where can our listeners find you

Audrey 1:17:51
you can find us online at shop good okc calm we're also on instagram facebook and twitter as shop good okc

Justin 1:18:03
and in oklahoma city downtown

Unknown Speaker 1:18:06
ninth and broadway

Unknown Speaker 1:18:08
yeah that's

Unknown Speaker 1:18:08

Emily Thompson 1:18:10
kathleen second home

Kathleen Shannon 1:18:12
i you know one thing i didn't mention that like i really wanted to mention is that jeremy and i go into shop good every christmas with like a huge ikea bag to talk about fast fashion ikea bag like those big blue tart bags and we do all of our christmas shopping at shop good and so i think that would be a fun challenge for one of our bosses and jeremy and i even challenged ourselves to only shop at two stores one year and so there are different ways bosses that you can challenge yourself to support your local shops or to um it could even be like a seasonal challenge for yourself but i think it's just a really great way to support the people in your community

Emily Thompson 1:18:53
so and my challenge is to actually work giving into your business model like the fact that you guys have done this and sure like in some ways made your job harder for yourselves but it's gonna make life easier for everyone else in the future it's hardly a price to pay for such a thing but i think that i think that you guys working that into your business model is so like on point with where we should all be in what we do that that's my challenge sure go shopping local high five support that shit out of local but also in your own business like try to make giving back and supporting supporting really great causes as part of what you do and then the world will just be a happier better place all together and that doesn't have to be it doesn't have to be the same model we

Audrey 1:19:37
use you don't have to give away a part of your sales income and we've actually encouraged other businesses maybe more service oriented businesses like a lot of creative entrepreneurs offer a package that's deeply discounted for an underserved population in your area Maybe you could just have one service you offer where like I was thinking about like a business coach for women, maybe one of your packages, you build into part of the purchase price a donation to your local YWCA or you know, it doesn't have to be over encompassing throughout every product or service you offer but finding some way to partner with a cause you really care about and and give to them a little bit is, it's good to start start simple.

Kathleen Shannon 1:20:34
Alright, you guys. So guess what, me, Emily, Paul and Jason have decided to join forces on June 22, to offer a masterclass on podcasting for your business. So we've decided to join forces to bring you the best, most actionable and no bullshit podcasting masterclass for business owners. The four of us together have had four successful podcasts, we've generated over $350,000 in revenue, and we've had over 1.5 million episode downloads. So we maybe know a thing or two about podcasting, and we want to teach you how to do it too. We have invested the time and money to figure out what works and what doesn't, and we want to bring you the best three hours you'll ever spend learning about podcasting. And since it's the four of us, we hope it's a little bit fun, too. Our goal is to make sure that you come out of this masterclass with a plan to go from podcast idea to publish show that will help your business. We're going to be talking about branding and positioning your podcasts. We're going to be talking about creating content, check, audio systems, automation, launching and marketing your podcast, growing and building fans and then finally monetizing and maybe even having sponsors. This masterclass is not about teaching you a few well worn tips for podcasting. It's about helping guide you through launching a podcast that helps and drives your business forward. We've built some really amazing communities and we've made some good money from our podcasts. But most importantly, we've figured out how to create podcasts that are unique to our own personalities, styles and brands. Alright, if you're interested in joining us for this online masterclass on June 22, just go to podcasts LIKE A BOSS calm, learn more and sign up there. Again, it's podcasts LIKE A BOSS calm. We hope to see you there. Thank you for listening to being boss. Please be sure to visit our website at being boss club where you can find Show Notes for this episode. Listen to past episodes and discover more of our content that will help you be boss in work and life. Did you like this episode, please share it with a friend and show us some love by leaving a rating and review

Emily Thompson 1:22:49
on iTunes. And if you're looking for a community of bosses to help take your creative business to the next level. Be sure to check out our exclusive community at being boss clubs slash clubhouse where you get access to our closed and very vibrant slack group monthly q&a calls with Kathleen and myself a book club and more. cultivate your tribe and find your Wolf Pack at being boss dot club slash clubhouse. Do the work be boss and we'll see you next week.

Thanks Thanks. Renu

Unknown Speaker 1:23:27
the work boss.

Emily Thompson 1:23:31
She always makes it in

Audrey 1:23:36
Mic drop like she just

Emily Thompson 1:23:39
does this every time you record it cuz like we have an outro already done. This need to just end it like just just recording that way it won't make it and I think it's getting more and more spastic too which is even like she knew you were gonna get on. She knew it was coming.

Unknown Speaker 1:23:59
I just got her. Got to get

Kathleen Shannon 1:24:06
on my Skype right after I say it like you can't