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Season 1 Ep 45: Chat With a Card Maker: Lindsey and Mike Smith of Black Tabby Studio




This week on the xoxo, jess Podcast I’m talking to Lindsey and Mike Smith of Black Tabby Studio which is a family-owned company, founded by Mike and Lindsey, who use their combined talents to offer an ever-growing selection of high-quality greeting cards, thank you cards, and more! They’ve been in business for 10 years now and sell their products across a variety of platforms and I have so many questions for Mike and Lindsey. Listen to us chat about being in a partnership in business and in life, sticking to your style, taking leaps in your business, and so much more! Listen to the episode above, on iTunes HERE, or read the transcription below.


Episode Transcription:


Jessica Walker

Welcome back to xo xo jest where we dive deep into the world of greeting cards, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and the mindset tools needed to start creating the business of your dreams today. I'm Jessica Walker, your host here with another Wednesday episode. And this week, I'm speaking with Mike and Lindsey Smith of black Tabby studio, which is a family owned company founded by Mike and Lindsey. And they use their combined talents to offer an ever growing selection of greeting cards, thank you cards, tons of pull products, you'll have to check them out after this. I'll link everything you'll find them. And they've been in business now for 10 years, they have some great tips that I'm excited to share with you guys. And they sell their products across a variety of platforms that I haven't had guests sell on before. So I've so many questions for Mike and Lindsey. So I'll just go ahead and get started. Without further ado, welcome you guys. I'm so happy to have you today. Thanks, Jess. Excited to be here. Yeah. Okay, cool. So let's just dive straight in 10 years ago, congratulations. That's very exciting. How did black Tabby studio start? Did what got you into the greeting card world.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Uh, it's, it's really funny. One of those things, I think, for me was that, um, I've always been really crafty. And with like giving gifts and everything, I've always tried to make things very personal. And I hated like going to like the grocery store and picking up a card, you know, I'm saying so like, anytime I had to get a gift, I would like hand make a little card with like scrapbook paper or like, you know, you know, crappy things. I just make my own greeting cards. Um, and it just so happened that like, I went to college. And for my senior thesis project in school, I majored in studio art. They're like, for art. They're like, do whatever you want, pick something, do it. And I was like, Oh, okay.


Michael has a full time job at a paper company. So I was like, well, you want to know what, like, I'll make greeting cards. They'll make a line of greeting cards that make company out of it. So that was my senior thesis project. And I was like, you know, he's got paper, he's got envelopes. It'll be like, super easy. And so it just started off as like, me creating a little company and I had a brand and make a website, do all these things for my for my senior thesis project. And then it we got I graduated, and it was just one of those things. Michael was like, hey, let's like make an actual business. I'm like, Sure. Let's do it.


Jessica Walker

like a match made in heaven. So you guys, did you go to school together?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

No. So we met in high school? since high school.


Jessica Walker

So you founded you founded the business together? was it was it Lindsay's idea and Mike, did you have to get like convinced to get on board or something you were like in it to win it from the start? No, it was like, I was definitely in it to win it up. Like, I like to take products and put them up there like get them up online. I've always been I've been involved with e commerce since I was actually in high school. Oh, wow. My parents company, which we we've had an e commerce business since like, the year 2000. So like, while I was in college, I was not really internship being there, but kind of, you know, yes, working there during college, and really getting to understand everything about selling online. And, you know, we had our own online shop. And then I got us on Amazon in like, 2007 for my parents company, and then I kind of took all that knowledge and applied it to her business in like, 2011


Jessica Walker

Wow. So it seems like honestly, it feels like you started from an outside perspective with all the tools built it. Like you had the design from Lindsay, you had that art? Yeah. You have the business and the e commerce background and just like together in the paperback, right, like that's, yeah.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

It all it's kind of like fit together. And it was weird that like, we didn't see it coming. It just kind of like happened. And then we're like, oh, that worked out. Oh, that worked out. You know, it was just like, we're like, oh, yeah, you you don't want to do that. Let's, let's do it.


Jessica Walker

Oh, what was that point? Like? What was the turning point when you realize like, this could be a thing. Like, this is an actual business that I want to explore more so than the project that started us.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Um, it was definitely you know, after I did my senior thesis project, and it was like, oh, like, yeah, this is cute. Like, I have like, now I have these cards. I actually I think in my graduate when I first graduate, I worked for you guys that summer. Right? That's summer. Yeah, yeah. So I actually a couple months because it was the year that like it was it was in 2010. Nobody was getting jobs. No, like it was like nobody was getting hired. And so I was kind of like working part time for them while I was like job hunting. And since they have a paper company and they fell online. It was one of those. I remember we listed some of our products on desktop. We did yeah, on their website. So that was like when we kind of were like, you know, I saw I made the More reading cards we like listen on their website. And they, you know, they, you know, they did what they did, but but it took some time she actually ended up getting another job with another company for until 2013. And throughout that time, we were just it was a side business. Yeah, really. We were selling on our website, you know, getting a couple orders a month from friends from like, friends, family. And even then we got into Amazon, right. But we were just, again, we had just thrown up the packs of greeting cards, and it wasn't really moving until like 2013, I would say, right. And that's that happens to be the year I got assigned to the fulfill by Amazon, you know, and which prime prime m prime Yeah, Amazon Prime. Exactly. So, which basically like 10x, the amount of sales we were getting immediately, just by following that program. So that was when we realized, wow, this is like serious. And yeah, you know, and it's pregnant.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Oh, yeah, I was I was pregnant. And it was one of those things where I was like, you want to know what like this. I want to pursue this because I want the flexibility once we have our daughter to be able to be home with her when I need to. So it's more about like, you know, let's get this done. So we can change our actual the way, our lifestyle and like so I can be home, if I need to be home, it was tough for me at first because I was like, well, you're making what, you know, good salary, we're able to sustain this side business, and make whatever but thank God, she decided to take it more serious than I did, actually. And she went ahead and quit the job. And just pursued the green car business full time, it was great having the newborn child and being able to spend her time designing greeting cards and not have to worry about getting to a certain job from nine to five or working even remotely at the time a little bit. But it really it fell into place the perfect timing in our lives. And like I said, I thank her for going moving forward. All the time he he played the safe.


Jessica Walker

I love that. And I've actually I have some people that are in my community and actually myself as well that my businesses to a point where I am looking to bring my husband into yaks and he has like consistently been working more part time and less less and less. Man, come on, come on. Do you have any advice of how to kind of navigate that working relationship in a partnership? That's also a marriage? Like how Have there been up and downs? It was just easy for you guys? Or what do you recommend to someone trying to navigate that?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

It's definitely one of those things where like, you know, we are very opposite. Like again, like yeah, again, he's very book smart and lot like math, science, like business. And I'm just like, that's not me at all, very, like creative, I can do that. I can draw whatever. Um, so But even with like, with like the with like working it's, again, like I said, mentioned, all right, he's very safe about things. And I'm just let's, let's go. So we actually are very, very well balanced in that way. Because otherwise if it was like just one of us doing it, it would be complete a complete disaster. So we really, like balance each other out in that way.


Jessica Walker

Just like utilizing each other's strengths and like Yeah, yeah. And just like letting each other be what they are. I think that's a great, great tip. Lindsay, did you always have a dream of being entrepreneur, like when you went into school for art? It's,


Lindsey and Mike Smith

it's really funny, because in hindsight, I see that I did. But at the time, I didn't realize that's what it was, like, I've always been into our that's just always something I would I remember, like, even in college, and even before that, I'm like, Oh, you want to know what like, I want to like, I want to like live like, you know, like a, you know, like a beach town and have like, a little hot from this on the beach and be like, sell like random. Like, I'll make bracelets I'll do the I'll just like make a bunch of stuff and selling you know, like a big, like a real little Etsy store. You know? And that was like my dream. I'd like yeah, that's what I want to do. Um, but like, in reality, I was like, you know, that's not, that's not gonna happen. But yeah, I guess like, in hindsight, I was like, Yeah, I've always been kind of like, I there's no, I knew I was never going to be able to make it in like a corporate job. Like, just the job that I have. And I loved my job was like, um, I did like graphic design for like websites. And like for an online marketing company, and I love my job, but it was like very much. I wasn't creative enough for me, and it was, you know, nine to five and that was like, that's not me.


Jessica Walker

I'd love if you could kind of walk us through so you have a very distinct style, I think with your greeting cards, which is something that people really want you want that identifiable brand, like I know it's your card when I see it. So how did that develop? How did what it How did you get to what the style that you have today.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Um, I honestly, I really don't know, like when I said, when I started the, the cards I designed for my senior thesis project. I did some of the designs I sell still are some of the designs that I made. They're like 11 years old now. And yeah, but some of them weren't here I had another I had like two lines of cards. I remember when I designed those ones. And some were very different. But they were all just still very simple. Like, I just, I guess, like going through art school Finally, in college. Like, I realized that like, I kept I was, I know, I knew what I was trying too hard. And it was like, you know, and it's weird to like, realize, like, Oh, my God, I'm trying to be something I'm not. Let me get back to where, you know. So it was like, I realized that like that. My style was very simple. And I kept trying to break out of it and break out of it. But it wasn't working for me. So I had to keep coming back and being like, you want to know what like, this is just it. This is it. It's simple. It's cute. That's gonna be what it is. And that's my son. It's just like something that happened.


Jessica Walker

I love that you broke it down, because that's exactly how I and I, again, I don't have an art background. My cards are very simple. It's very like text and pun base. And yeah, I love that you said that you're right. It's like you try to think that you need to be all these different things because other people are doing it. But if it is, what works for you and what you enjoy and what resonates with your customers like, hey, stick with it.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Okay, so I want to get into like being 10 years into it. I'm still kind of like, I still want to try different things or be like, oh, like, almost like I was just talking to somebody else about like how I designed cards last year. Now in hindsight, I'm like, Oh my god, those are totally not my style. Why did they even do that? Like I was like, I thought they had to be a certain way. Because like oh, like cuz normally, like we started off with like, just like a one size but like the thank you size note cards now, basically, like what we've been selling all these years, and we're just kind of getting into the larger size single cards now know last year, when I started designing them, I was like, Oh, they have to be more colorful and more. That's more that. And so now I'm like that's, that's not it, like, go back to simple.


Jessica Walker

So I love it. So I want to talk about just the process behind what it takes to get a card from your head to the website. So like, at what point do you pass it off? So you do you design digitally? And then do you do the the photos and the mock ups? Or how does just how does this work between the two of you.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

So um, yeah, so actually, now that I have now that I have a fancy iPad, my procreate, it's gone way faster than it used to be. It's literally the best. So now all I have is my iPad, and I'll you know, I'll just I have the size of if I'm doing a bigger card or smaller card, I have the dimensions right there, I'll open the little art board, and I'll sketch on it, or I just start drawing, sometimes I'll just like, I got in my head, it's gonna go right down. But sometimes I like sketch it out, um, you know, drawn, I'll color it. And that's when I export it as like a PNG. And then I, you know, I put it into, no, I do a couple steps. But I got my computer and I'll put it into Illustrator, just to get the front cards lined up the right way or add text if I need text on there. And then I have InDesign files that are my full card file. So I have the back on there and got a stick front on makes you for it. From there, I make a product image. So I'll stick it on, like, you know, have the background and that I'm going to use for the website. Um, and that's really when I hand it off. But we have two full time and two other full time employees currently. And they're, they're the ones that pass it off to. And so Evan, and Alicia will. I guess you take it? Yeah.


Jessica Walker

Yeah, what point do you guys dive into the process?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Yeah. So like, yeah, this is at this point, they would take the product and do keyword research on it. And this is where it gets like technical where like, this is what I've taught them to do is like, you don't want to just list this product up there without knowing what our customers actually searching for. Right. So, you know, she made like a ladybug, thank you card. Okay, that's obviously a key word. But maybe there's maybe a lot of people are using it for spring break or different holidays like that. So but I don't know for sure. So I use tools that are available online now where you can pull in competitors, like data, what are they ranking for? They have a similar design, maybe even obviously, you know, our her designs are very unique, but something close enough that I can grab. And I'll see what keywords they're ranking for. And if I think we should rank for those, then we'll put those in the title or in the bullet points or in the description just so that the you know, Etsy, Google Amazon, they'll pick up those keywords, and we start ranking for that. But yeah, so as far as that point goes, I go up there and I can construct the title from that all the bullet points the description and then she made all the images Just load them up. And that's it. That's pretty much it at that point, we price it out. And you know, pretty much now we got our prices all figured out. So it's usually, we already know exactly what to cost and what you know, it's all the same at that point. So,


Jessica Walker

yeah, that's really it. a well oiled machine it sounds like. And then Okay, so you have your process? And then where does fulfillment come in? Do you? How do you how do you do fulfillment? Do you have your employees work on that at your house? Or your city? Or do you do drop shipping? Like, what is what does that look like? How do you get your cards to your, to your customers?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

We do, we do fulfillment, and we get Fulfillment by Amazon at this point. And then we also fulfill it ourselves at the studio. So basically, Etsy orders, website orders, even Walmart, where a Walmart a little bit, right now, it's not that big of a channel for us yet more working on it, but um, all those we fulfill in house, so we'll get the orders and we try to have stuff in stock. If we don't, then we print it on demand, you know, now we're at the point where we actually have a digital press so we can print out, you know, multiple cards on a sheet, then we bring it to our cutting machine, we cut it down, and then we score it for the customers so that they can do the whole process. Right in house on demand, basically, that's cool. Yeah, so that kind of, it makes a little more efficient and cost effective for us. And as far as the Amazon stuff goes, we'll, when we create that new product, for instance, we'll go ahead and pack up like 40 units of it, and then we'll we will send it to Amazon's warehouse, and they'll distribute it across the United States. And then it becomes a prime product, and we can just monitor it. And if it you know, we can just see how many sales we're getting per month and they have their own inventory management system built in on the seller central part. So we can see. Alright, what how many days out of stock up? How many days left of stock Do we have when do we need to replenish? How much should we send? You get all that data right there so we can just kind of keep those keep that in stock on Amazon. So that's the two ways we do right now.


Jessica Walker

So for anyone who's interested in selling their products on Amazon I mostly have experience with people who are selling on Etsy selling on their personal websites like third party abound fair those kinds of things. But if they're looking to get onto Amazon, what would you recommend as a starting point


Lindsey and Mike Smith

um, you can sign up as an individual seller I believe, I mean, I might be dating myself they change stuff very good got in ground level it sounds like remember when we first got in we were like, the $40 a month is too expensive for us. So we'll just you instead you would pay $1 per sale at the time so you know if you're getting less than 40 sales a month then you might as well do the individual sellers I don't know if even have I think they still have individual sellers allowed but um that would be an easy way to do it or you just got to chalk up the 40 bucks a month to get up there which is not too bad. And if you're serious about your company then it's probably worth it. They do require like a little bit more now because they have had like an influx of a lot of you know, a hijacker seller like just bad seeds on the platform. Yeah, so like I had a friend I've been I've been helping out the past couple months to get on selling a different product and that video interview so to like confirm that he's like I actually had to talk to him I was like that I was so surprised about that.


Jessica Walker

I just going back a little bit to your the investments that you've made in your business to be able to do all of your printing in house getting those machines building out your team. How do you navigate just taking those leaps in your business? Like what is that like? I know it's probably nerve racking and but like maybe Lindsay you're like let's go for it and like how do you how do you go about that? Like what would you recommend to someone who's like wanting to make that investment.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

It's definitely one of those things you you need to think on it. First of all, like I know like I said like I'm very much like this is something we need to do we should do it Let's do it. I can like see the potential so I'm like, I know this is gonna be a great idea but let's just you know, let's just do it but he's very much like whoa, how much is it gonna cost? You know what, how long you get the return on investment right? You know, we can't just buy everything. Yeah, like I we don't know if it's going to work out let's think how are we going to use this? You know, for the printer we bought the first time we bought the printer. We bought a used printer from some guy we like went down his warehouse here in Connecticut and like I found on eBay on eBay. Yeah, that's where I've gotten all my printers like Yeah, but I got it and I called up the manufacturer Xerox and I had a guy come out and the guy for like 600 bucks like just got it up and running for us. Oh yeah. Then you were able to start printing. And, you know, at the time, I was like, we gotta use this machine like crazy to get our money back. But it saved us so much. It made everything so much more efficient that and our business was growing, it returned its investment, I, within a year, at least maybe even sooner. And, you know, again, it was her pushing to spend the $400. You know, whereas I was like, well, we, you know, we were using, when we first saw, we're using this old, or this, like, $400 printer, and one part at a time, and it was like, it would take about two minutes or so to print like one person's order. you'd sit there we put like, TV show on and just like have it printing in the back. Home, you know, it was definitely worth the upgrade. But again, you got to really make sure you're going to get the right use out of it. Yeah, we knew that we can start running larger sheets, we can run thicker stock, we can run different finishes and things like that, although we never really well, we did with the felt. Yeah, and started with a linen finish. Oh, wow. That was all we could print on with our original little tiny printer. But then we get upgrade to the felt once we got the larger printer that can handle it, you know, it looks much nicer.


Jessica Walker

So with with team members, that's something that I'm now just exploring, and I've just hired a virtual assistant. It's like my very first, like my first like, step into that kind of that world. So what was the first kind of position that you felt the need that you needed to fill that was going to take your business to that level? And like, could you just walk us through like how you added those positions? And what? What needs they felt?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Yeah, for sure. I think our first one was just, I think was my aunt who still works for us. For us, and it's she helps us pack so I guess the the one was, once we got into fulfilled by Amazon, and started doing amazon prime products, it was like the demand like like we said, we have to you have to pack up an entire case of however many it is in the case, and send that up for them to store and then they distribute to the people who buy it. So we had to make sure we were getting cases of cards packed up and sent up. So once the demand kept like coming in, and like we can't run it, you know, we'd have to like constantly be packing up cards. So in order to be packing up cards, and also actually trying to build the business like in other ways, we needed a packer. So we had my aunt start doing that. And so and then from there we got another Packer the goods around the holidays to Christmas. Yeah. Oh my god, it was like insane. So every pretty much every Christmas, we always hire like extra holiday. So we have to pat we have two, two Packers right now my aunt and somebody else we have now. And and now we have two full time employees which have been, which are really pretty recent, maybe like two years we've had Lisa and Evan was about a year and a half. But they do they do more like more like like, you know, like what Michael used to do. And now my goal. Yeah, he has his own full time job still like somewhere else. We're like, you know, take some of your own stuff. And we'll give it to like somebody else. There we have other things to them and like social media we're getting into and you know, they're they're young and half and they did marketing. So the marketing stuff, things like that.


Jessica Walker

Yeah, no, that's so smart, like outsourcing the things that you either don't have the time for, or just the capacity, and then also things that you they might have better expertise in is so smart. Yeah. So then, have you explored? Do you also sell your cards in retail stores? Or are you mostly just direct to consumer? What percent is wholesale versus retail? What's that look like? For you guys?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Actually, wholesale is something we've not really explored very much now that we have our two full time plays Evan Alicia Evans, one of his big projects is to get us going on wholesale, because it's something we never really did before. It was actually a big project for last year. Yeah, well, But, you know, it's gonna be something we started exploring again for this year. But really, like, I mean, everything we sold direct to consumer. Yeah, we have like one little local shop right now who like you, like sell some of our cards, but that's literally one little.


Jessica Walker

That's awesome, though. I mean, 10 years. And that's, that's amazing that you've been able to build up that sort of customer base. That's, that's so so cool. So we have a lot of listeners who are just starting out their greeting card business, and they are seeing obviously, you guys as just this like, far off kind of attainable, or maybe unattainable goal, because you guys are so established. But just thinking back to the beginning, like if you were to give someone any sort of like mindset advice, or just like those first steps, what would you say to someone who's just like feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole idea?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Um, I mean, I think like, like, take it slow. I mean, like, you know, people may think that we're like, so worse So far ahead, but it's like, honestly, like we're still learning. There are, there are things we again, we have, like most people are like focused on maybe hosts at wholesale, like I have no, I don't know, the first thing about wholesale, like, that's just not where we were at. We didn't start there. We're not there yet. But you know, it's like, just take it slow. And we started out slow. Like we said, we started out in our living room, we had our $400 printer, we just put on community and we were just printing cards, packing them up on our coffee table every night after work. And just little by little, like I said, they were they were definitely turning points. And there were leaps that we made. Like, I think it was about 2013 that we No, no, it was 2014 was the year that I was like, Hey, we need more room. So either we're buying a new house, or we need like an outside studio. And that's where I think we got a little office space down the road in 2014. And that, you know, we got new office space, we moved all of our cards and envelopes there, you know, um, and then, you know, from there, we bought a printer. And then we made another move, and then who but it was, again, it took a long time, it was a long, it's been 10 years. And it's been just like one thing at a time, like we were not rushing, the business just kept growing as we continue to put effort in and that was as a you just got to do that. Thanks. Right.


So like, when you have a prop, say you're crafty like she was she had an idea for a product and we never knew would have known it would have been a thing. If we didn't just do it, try doing it. Even if we didn't know what we're doing. Like we could have put a crappy image up there. And like a bad like I said, Now I do all the keyword research. But like, when I first started, I don't think I did I think I just listed it and like, you know, put up there and maybe you didn't get them a sales. And then I was like, like I said the Amazon fulfillment, they came around and it was like, Alright, so for you know, I just got to send my stuff up there. It was like a $100 risk. I was taken by like, having to make up all these products and then ship them up there. And you know, that $100 risk because obviously paid off. crazy amount at this point. Yeah, like so. Just like doing it and exploring and trying new things to you know, that's why we're trying Walmart out. Right. We haven't had that much success with it. But I mean, supposedly it's, you know, yeah, exactly. So like, you know, maybe we're just maybe we just got to keep exploring it a little more. We'll see what happens. But again, we're still testing things out. We haven't gotten to stores yet. So again, just doing things. Yeah, just you have an idea. Just go for it. Try it out. Even that's perfect. That'd be perfect. Yeah, definitely. Perfection is your worst enemy. Right? Just Yeah, just get it done. You know, and you could fix it down the road.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Yeah, like I said, you'll learn well, you'll learn as you go, like we learn, we're still learning, like, you know, it's like, you will figure it out. And then you can always go back and change, you know, like, update things make it better, like but as you get it up there, just get going, keep on learning, keep on going. And then if you need to make changes, you make changes, but I think that's important.


Jessica Walker

Yeah, and it's such a good point, cuz I feel like I hear people say that they they're just they don't want to do something wrong, because they don't want to put out there and they have to fix it and change it. Right. redo it and it's like, I've had three names for this podcast, like it was gonna be like, it just like down to every single detail like everything can be adjusted or changed. Like there's nothing you're going to do that will just make your business go up in flames. Yeah, no, like,


Lindsey and Mike Smith

I think I think the only thing that stayed the same since a start like you know, since starting this company has been like the sugartown greetings logo is that is my, that was my company name as my senior thesis project, which turned into a lot one of the lines of greeting cards 100% recycled, you know, we use like eco friendly packaging and all this kind of stuff. And we have the sugartown greetings but like we've changed our business name like four times in between getting to black shabby studio, like we're like, you know, now we're like trying to expand into different things. So we're like, Hey, we need like an umbrella company, you know, not just like this little greeting card thing because like, you know, we're trying to get into new you know, try different products like little small gift things. So a black tattoo studio is like our big like, that's our company and we make greeting cards and we're gonna make other things but like yeah, we've changed our name like we've done so many things. We've changed a lot


Jessica Walker

to Mike and Lindsey you guys just put it out there. Option you're gonna figure it out 10 years so you do have the studio space Do you have all of your I know that the inventory that you guys make I know you don't have to order in bulk because you're not ordering from an outsource printer, but you are I assume like creating in somewhat bulk. So what does that look like for you? How do you navigate how much product to make? How much do you have just like existing an inventory at one time or most of your stuff made to order? What does that look like for you guys?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Yeah, so there was a point when we were actually ordering from a local printer here and it was you know the cost that was like an eye opener to how much cheaper it is to have somebody printed But you had to order in bulk like 6000 cards of only six designs, it was like a $4,000 investment just for that one run of six cards. So like, we did it a couple times, and we're still paying for it, we still have that inventory from like four years ago, because it was like, a product that just didn't move that much, you know, and that's why we really decided to go forward with buying the paper, blank paper and bolt and printing ourselves so we can control the inventory a little better, you know. So yeah, as far as it goes at our place, we have like a pallet of that eco friendly paper and also pallet with the other plane, smooth paver. And, yeah, as the products start selling, we will move first run a product will probably run, you know, good 20 packs worth, you know, at least and like I said, maybe we'll ship, well, maybe we'll ship 20 names on maybe we'll keep 10 on the shelf for customers that come direct. So that kind of limits the amount of inventory, we have to start and then as it sells, then we will just scale. You know, based on the sales data, yeah, but we still do get, we still do order from a printer we do in certain items that are that sell really well.


Yeah, I've again, I've talked to now like two or three different printers. So I finally got an A guy who will run me 3000 cards of each design, and I can order 18 different designs. So now she has so many designs now that's easy to do. And a lot of her packs, she has a collection pack. So there's six different designs or eight different designs. And anyway, so um, and again, they sell well enough, and we get a little bit better cost on that. And it's just a lot less work for us for my team to do in house. You know, even though we have the printer there, and we were paying for the printer and paying for people to print stuff at our place. They also have other work to do right.


Jessica Walker

Okay, so we have to know, is there a black Tabby in your house?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

He's been, he's been hovering around us the whole well. So the thing is, is we have a black and a Tabby? Do you have two? Black one has been on the couch.


Jessica Walker

And I've got Okay, I see. A double cat. I'll try to find a photo for you guys over there. Um, so just looking forward, just share with us what are some of your upcoming goals? Where are things that you're excited about coming up for black Tabby studio.


Lindsey and Mike Smith

So we do have a couple big things that we've been working on for this year. Um, so like we said, wholesale getting into wholesale is definitely something we're going to be exploring this year, whether we get into stores this year. I mean, it's just something we're kind of exploring still. But one of the big things we're really, really excited about, which we haven't really told anybody yet. But we're hoping to be able to launch this in June is guys, breaking news here? Breaking News, everybody. We want to launch monthly subscription greeting cards, and little extra little bonuses and stuff like that. So we'll be releasing more information about that within the next month or so. Um, so that's a big project that we've been working on. I'll extend Yes. And another. Another big project we're working on is actually kind of what we touched on is we've obviously been selling on Amazon for years and years and years. So, um, Michael is your like, certified and in coaching Amazon and sellers and everything. So we actually are creating a course on helping ecommerce and people like sellers on getting onto Amazon, because it really is. I mean, it's a lot. It seems very overwhelming and it and it's a lot but um, like we had we know how to do it. Michael knows how to do it, bro. So we were gonna make a hopefully like, you know, a very informative, easy to follow guide on like, how to get started on Amazon for all these sellers. Like No, there's like the past couple weeks even there have been several people and like I said, we're helping two friends right now kind of get onto Amazon. We've had other people recently messaged me being like, hey, like, I want to get on Amazon. But it's a lot to just be like, Oh, yeah, just do that. You know, it's like it needs to be there.


Jessica Walker

that's definitely something that I would want to explore for sure. Because I mean, I think like the first like couple months of my business, I was like, Well, I have to be on Amazon obviously that's like the biggest marketplace there is and then I just like I this was like my intro to e commerce and I I could not I had no idea what's going on I felt is I like didn't get it. And I just stopped. I still haven't gone back. I was traumatized. I will definitely be looking into that when it's available. Keep us posted. All right. So thank you, Lindsay and like so much for speaking with us today so many great takeaways for our listeners. So where can they connect with you more and see everything that you're doing?


Lindsey and Mike Smith

Definitely on Instagram, if you follow us on Instagram. We've been trying to grow that and get more involved there. And, you know our website, check out our website, we update that regularly. That's where we like add our new things. I mean, obviously, you can find us on Etsy you can find us on Amazon but you know, like our website is probably easy enough. And then our Instagram, we're on Facebook.


Jessica Walker

I will link all of that for you guys in the show notes. So you will have have access to all Mike and Lindsey and black tiny studio. Thank you guys so much. This has been so much fun. Thanks




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