Here's the transcript from the video above:
Wholesale Q & A
Amy Crouse: Hey guys, I’m Amy Crouse, the founder and creator of Bolder Band™ Headbands and we just wanted to take a minute to reach out to our wholesale partners, and first of all, thank you for aligning yourselves with us and for trusting us to continue to provide you with great products and integrity. We want you to know that we appreciate you, and that we look at this as a partnership and that we want you to be successful, and so we’re here for you.
Amy Crouse: I want to introduce the team. This is our wholesale team, so I refer to them as my beloved wholesale team. So this is Stacy. Stacy is awesome, and she’s been a part of our team from the very beginning. So she not only works in sales, but also in customer service and wears a lot of hats here at Bolder Band.
Amy Crouse: On her right, is also my beloved Kale, and I have to refer to him as such or he gets angry. So Kale is a rock star, and he’s been with us a few months and does a fantastic job in sales.
Amy Crouse: On my left here, this is my betrothed husband of almost 17 years.
JD: You said it.
Amy Crouse: I know, 17 – did I say it correctly?
JD: Uh huh, I think so.
Amy Crouse: Woo hoo! 17 years, and we’re partners in this business. Really he’s the brains. I got the fashion sense, he has the brains so it’s a great partnership. So we just took a few questions that we’ve been asked and we’re going to kind of just go back and forth here and answer these questions and see, you know if we can get you some info maybe that we have lacked in getting you throughout this wholesale process. So the first question that we’ve been asked quite a bit is why would people buy from a retailer and not on our site? And I have to say that there are a lot of things that I prefer to buy in person and I think that I represent a majority of women shoppers, don’t you Stacy?
Stacy: Yes, definitely.
Amy Crouse: Yeah, I want to go, I want to touch it. I want to feel it. I want to see what it looks like in person. We try really hard to make our pictures accurate; we have this pretty cool photographer.
JD: He happens to be on the other side of the video.
Amy Crouse: What’s up? Say hi to Jeffrey. But we know that it’s not, you know with different computers and everything, it can always, it can come across different. And so it just, I think there’s an added value. When I see something online, If I can then go somewhere and see it and touch it, and feel it and put it on, that’s a huge benefit. So we recognize and we also recognize that having things readily available that when someone hears about Bolder Band, but they come into your store or your yoga studio, or your gym, whatever and they can buy it and have that instant gratification and not have to wait a week to get it in the mail, that’s a huge benefit. So we recognize that, you know there’s many benefits to having them in stores and be able to just purchase right away. It is an impulse buy, and so we want, you know we want to partner with you guys and make it a success for both of us.
JD: Also the money. You know we charge three dollars and 89, is it 89?
Amy Crouse: 79
JD: 3.79, I forget these things, 3.79 in shipping to send it out. So if somebody buys a 15 dollar band, they’re paying almost 19 dollars for that band. So if you – we have a lot of retailers that sell them for more than even, you know shipping included, so we have retailers that sell them for 20, 21 dollars, but I know for a fact, you can sell them all day long for 18 dollars. So you actually get a better deal, to pay a little bit less than they would if they buy them on our website plus shipping. So that’s an added benefit to your customers.
Kale: I think some of the numbers behind this are that this is way less glamorous than you’re making money or anything like that, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the amount of e-commerce, the amount of business done online is actually really miniscule compared to what people are doing when they’re going to brick and mortar stores. Pre-holiday, it’s for projected for Q4 of this year was about 6% of all business or retail business of which Amazon has about 70, 80% of that. So there’s these great answers, and then kind of the hard data facts that back up what they’re saying.
JD: And that’s 6% of businesses done online, Amazon has a big chunk of that.
Kale: Amazon has a huge chunk, right.
Amy Crouse: The next question we get often, is people are already carrying maybe a headband line and so what makes Bolder Band different? And you know we’re not a 3 dollar or a 5 dollar headband, and we’re proud of that. So I’m going to talk about a few things that make Bolder Band different. First of all, is that we’re made in America and we’re really, really proud of that. We are in a small town in Colorado, and my good friend who some of you have probably seen on the video and we shoot pictures of her, her name is Nanci, is our head manufacturer. And she employs upwards of 50 people here locally in our small town, and we – our office, where we are right now, is right across the street and a few blocks down from where they’re manufactured. And for us, that’s awesome and I think for most people who really care about quality, and not just quality but also it feels good. It feels good to buy something that’s made in America that we’re building our economy and we’re not an economy across the ocean, and that our employees are well taken care of. Nanci, I know her and I see her employees weekly, and I know that she’s treating them well, that she’s paying them well, and it’s not a little sweatshop of small children that are sewing these. So that’s the first thing. We’re very proud to be made, not just in the U.S.A, but right here locally.
Amy Crouse: The second thing is with Bolder Band, we try really hard to have an incredible amount of customer service, both for our retail customer and for our wholesale partners. Stacy and Kale work as most of you know, very closely with our wholesale partners, and daily, and they’re here to answer your questions to take care of any issues you have to make sure that you’re successful, to follow up with you. We also do that on the other end because I think when you guys align yourselves with us, you want to know that you’re with a good brand and somebody that’s taking care of their customers, and is somebody that you want to be proud to carry our brands. So we, we don’t take it lightly when you do that, and we want to be proud of the Bolder Band name. So you know from those angles, and people, we’re in the people business, also just the quality of our product. We buy the highest quality spandex that we can find to make our original bands. All of our lace is very high quality from Italy. Our fleece and everything that we make our colder bands and our bigger bands from, is very high quality. It’s not something you can go buy at a little craft store. And we’re very proud of the fact that we use very high quality products, inputs is the technical term for our products. Do you have anything to add to that?
JD: I think on the – I don’t know if you can hear me or not, we’ve got this handy dandy mic. Talking about what makes Bolder Band different, the people that work in the manufacturing, we happen to be, just to give you a little information about Fremont County where our business is. It is the poorest county in Colorado. We have the lowest median household income of any county in the state of Colorado, and so I’ve been working in marketing for several years and we had a fire come through here and destroyed 95% of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park a couple years ago, a couple summers ago and it really negatively affected our tourism economy, and so there had been a lot of people out of work. And we have through Bolder Bands, and through your partnership with us, we have been able to really impact some families here in Fremont County. There are a lot of young mommies that work down there for Nanci that are learning skills that are going to help them later on in life, not just sewing but how to work together as a team, and how to actually hold a job and all those kinds of things. And they have, some of them have really worked their way up in the organization and they’re providing for their families and it was just something that we’re pretty proud of, and so I just wanted to say those couple of things.
JD: Another FAQ is why are the minimum’s what they are? And the minimum’s if you haven’t ordered yet, a lot of you that are watching this have already ordered, but the minimums are 120 bands, that’s a half a case and 240 bands, that’s a full case. To some people that sounds like a lot, but here’s the reason that we have them set where they are. You have to make a commitment I believe to carry any line, and I think any of you, you all could probably educate me in this. I’ve not been in retail, my mom’s been in retail for nearly 30 years, but in order to carry a line and actually do well with it, I think its important there’s a certain level of commitment behind that line. And I also think it’s important that you have a selection. And we have, how many different SKU’s now? A couple hundred?
Amy Crouse: Yeah.
JD: So we have 200 different SKU’s now, and we’re continually innovating. This is the innovation guru over here, blondie here. And so when somebody comes in, especially if they see something on our website or on Facebook and they want to purchase it from you which happens all the time and you’re not carrying it, you’re actually missing out on an opportunity to sell something. And so we have a few people occasionally say that they’d like to carry 20 bands or just a handful of bands, 12 bands and we actually turn that opportunity down where as a lot of our competitors don’t because we actually think that it’s bad for our partner. We think truly, truly its bad for the wholesale partner to carry at retail 12 bands or something like that because its just not even enough that anybody is going to be taking them seriously as far as carrying a legitimate amount of Bolder Bands to have a good selection. So that’s why our minimum’s are what they are. Kind of a side note, our retail partner right here in Canon City, we have 16,000 people here. Her son actually came into our offices today and said “Did you know that my mom has purchased 15,000 dollars worth of Bolder Bands since January?” And I was like “Are you serious?” And being, you know kind of the owners, we should know those kinds of things.
Amy Crouse: That’s the business guy right here.
JD: Yeah, I’m really on top of it. I knew it was a lot, and the thing is, you were just down there and it’s like she doesn’t have very many of them left.
Amy Crouse: Yeah.
JD: So she isn’t buying them and then you know hoarding them, she’s actually selling a lot of them. And yeah, we send some people down there but it’s not like we have people coming in here every single day wanting to buy them. You know we’re, we have a decent presence online and everything, but you would think that everybody who’s going to buy one has already bought one in Canyon City, and that is not the truth. She has bought a lot of stinkin’ Bolder Bands and she’s doing very well. And she will tell you that they have driven more foot traffic than any other line that she carries. Like even if somebody comes into her store and they don’t buy a Bolder Band, they’re looking and shopping, and buying other products, which is kind of an ancillary benefit.
Amy Crouse: Do you want to see if these guys have anything?
JD: Do you guys have anything else on that?
Stacy: I think the fact that has made Nanci so successful and with all her reorders and stuff, I think I got 2 orders from her in just the last week and a half, she’s placed two reorders with me, is that Amy’s always coming out with new styles, and new patterns and colors. So we’re always updating that. So if you haven’t seen all the new patterns lately, check out the site and give us a call if you have any questions on that. But yeah, we’re always updating our products and our patterns, so I think that can help you be really successful in that.
Kale: To add to something that JD said, I know a lot of you have probably heard me say this but telling us that Bolder Bands has increased foot traffic, and you know people coming in and purchasing other things. That’s actually something I’ve heard from a few of you, a few of our existing wholesale partners and it seems to kind of keep growing. We’re hearing more and more of that. And my response to that, which you guys have heard, I’m sure these guys have overheard, is I always sit and say “That is so cool.” For me getting to work here and look at them and then say that you know how it all progresses and helps, and so if you have more foot traffic, is that helping you create more jobs or more opportunities in your town? And you know it’s not just about you making money, its part of it. We want you to be successful, but how does this impact kind of a little bit bigger thing? So I just think it’s really cool that personally, that I get to work for a company where we have this little headband that means a whole lot to people.
Amy Crouse: Because tell the truth Kale, when you put on that Bolder Band, you feel like Superwoman, don’t you?
Stacy: He’s empowered.
Amy Crouse: That’s right.
JD: Another question that we get often is, is there any protection of territories? And you know Amy and I, from the very beginning recognized that, and I don’t know if you’re going to speak about it a little bit but we are on purpose –
Amy Crouse: Shy.
JD: We’re shy?
Amy Crouse: I’m shy.
JD: You’re shy, yes.
JD: We are on purpose dedicated to doing business with the small independent retailers, so whether that is a yoga studio, a boutique, a gym, you know we have gift shop stores. We do some business with some hospital gift shops and things, and scrub providers for nurses and things. But we absolutely love the small independents because we – that’s who we are, and I hear Kale and Stacy say that all the time, but we really are. We hear people that look at our Facebook page and think we’re big and we’re not, we’ve just been very, very blessed to have a really great following and we’re sharing that opportunity with you and we’re inviting you into that world. So with that, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t sign up too many people in the same territory, and so we have given some territory protection, it’s not really exclusivity, I hold that word very close. It’s not something that I like to throw around, but the gist of it is, we’re not going to put somebody on top of you in your territory that is going to split the business. And I grew up in a town of 2400 people, Valentine, Nebraska. And I understand how important it is to not have too many people selling the same stuff. And so the rules might change, and they might modify the particulars of what that territory protection looks like. For example, we started out with some of you possibly representing that we would protect and not allow two retailers in a population of 50,000 people or less. What we have learned after communicating with you all is that most communities that are that is that large can handle a couple of retailers, so we’ve actually dropped that down to 25,000. If you have any questions about that, don’t hesitate to call. Don’t yell and scream because –
Amy Crouse: If you do yell, yell at JD.
JD: Yell at me. And for real, if you want to talk to me about that, I’d be happy to talk to you about it. But what we’ve realized is that if you’re a boutique in a town of 25,000, or let’s just say 30,000 and there’s a yoga studio on the north end of town or something that would like to carry them also, they can be very successful and you can be very successful because they don’t typically share the same clientele. And we have actually seen that a few different times and people are okay with it, and I hope that you understand that. You want the next one?
Amy Crouse: Sure. So the next question is, will you continue to innovate? And the answer is absolutely yes. I know we all believe that we’re going to be – we want you to be successful as we’ve said, and we’re going to be successful if we continue to be ahead of the game, and if we continue to listen to people and what do they need? You know we just recently in the last couple of months came out with 3 new major lines, the Colder Band, the Bigger Band, and the Lace Band. And to me, the Lace Band was a bit of a deviation from what we are as an active wear company, you know for working out and exercising. But I thought, you know let’s try it because I have a need for, with my crazy hair, and days that I don’t have time to fix it or don’t want to make time, but I still want to look nicer, what about something on the more dressy end. And our audience has said “yes, we want this.” And so it’s been fun to test and see that honestly, all three things, all three new lines have gone over very well. The first area we’re innovating that is so exciting for me, and going to be exciting for you guys is like Stacy eluded to it a minute ago, new patterns. And the first thing that we’re going to do starting in spring is, I have hired 2 fabric designers and we will have designs exclusive to Bolder Band, which is so sweet to me, you can’t find this anywhere else and it brings in – you know it justifies me to go shopping, which JD’s not very excited about.
Stacy: [unintelligible] tag along.
Amy Crouse: Yeah, and Stacy comes. She has very good taste, and we are always looking at what’s in, what’s going to be in, what’s up and coming, so those are things. So first of all, we’re going to innovate on the fabric line and keep our best seller, which is our original headband, but then we’re listening and we hear you, and I take all the suggestions that come. Some of them I don’t listen to, like the other day somebody asked for baby faces on the spandex, and I’m not going to do that. But a lot of things I’m listening to and I know that there’s a need for. So if you feel strongly that we need a new line, please let us know, Amy@BeBolder.com. But yelling goes here, nice suggestions come to me. So yeah, so we’re going to innovate in fabrics, and we’re also going to innovate in products.
JD: And so we would like to know, you know what questions you have that maybe we didn’t cover here. And if this goes over well, we’re committed to doing this on a regular basis, whether that’s monthly, maybe we do it more often than that if it’s really beneficial. We’ve got quite a team around here of copywriters and video people, website, I’ve got a fantastic web guy, you know we do have graphic designers that work for us part time and I’ve been involved in marketing for several years and helping specifically brick and mortar, small businesses. And so maybe there’s some things that are maybe not even related to Bolder Bands that in the months to come, if it would be something that you all would like to throw at us and see our take on it, we might enjoy taking a stab and trying to answer them for you. So whether or not we do this again is really up to you guys, so if you like this, don’t hesitate to shoot an email back or give a call to Stacy or Kale. We really do believe that the success of our company is going to be by making you all successful. I think Zig Zigler said “If you help enough other people become successful, you will become successful,” and that is our attitude and we’ve had the – not a tiger by the tail, but we’ve had, it’s been a very fast paced environment around here. This room that you’re seeing behind us right now is a major step up from where we started, which was in our dining room, and then we were in my little office at the Abbey, and then we went to another little office. It was a sad, dark little office.
Amy Crouse: It was very boring and brown, and cave-ish, and messy.
JD: It was a total man cave. It didn’t have any pink, no pink at all.
Amy Crouse: Stacy took care of that.
JD: But we’re planning on being around here for a little while, Lord willing and we want to hear what questions you guys have. So we’re going to be sending out a form with an opportunity for you all to let us know how we did on this video, and let us know if you have other questions and just let us know. And not to be salesy at all, but I will give a plug that if in fact you would like to in fact lock up your territory if you have not done so, I would highly encourage you to reach out to Kale or Stacy because we will have a thousand retailers in the next 12 calendar months. And so I would love for you to be one of those, and one of our partners. And with that, does anyone have anything else?
Amy Crouse: So we just want to thank you so much for taking the time, and again, if you already are a partner of ours, we just appreciate you so much. We want to help you be successful, so please keep in touch with us and thank you so much for your time. Have a great day. Merry Christmas.
Stacy: Thanks, Bye.