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262: Behind the Potter’s Wheel: How East Fork Successfully Grew an Unconventional Business

Posted by Austin Brawner on July 28, 2020

Growing a team is challenging for any company. But going from two people to 90 in just 10 years with a non-traditional business model? That’s an almost unbelievable feat.  

Connie Matisse, cofounder and CMO of East Fork, joins us today to talk about how she built a successful business with  a 90+ person team without following the path of many traditional businesses. 

Tune in to learn how East Fork created a memorable marketing engine with a self-described “laughable” budget, what they’ve found to be one of the most critical business functions that’s often ignored, and how they’ve kept their store running through the challenges of COVID-19. 

Episode Highlights

  • 4:44 How the 2008 economic recession introduced Connie to the world of craft pottery
  • 7:00 Reinventing pottery to reach the modern household
  • 11:16 Connie’s organic approach to content marketing and building a holistic brand
  • 13:35 The challenge of being the voice of the brand for a fast-growing business
  • 16:41 What East Fork leadership spends 90% of their time on to ensure successful growth
  • 19:23 Moving from WordPress to Shopify and the effect it had on demand
  • 21:27 How East Fork is managing production and customer expectations in a COVID-19 world
  • 23:36 Analyzing profitability and venture capital funding for a capital intensive business 
  • 26:21 How East Fork’s leadership style has evolved during COVID-19
  • 27:59 The many hats Connie wears as a cofounder
  • 30:30 Connie’s process for creating honest and authentic brand collaborations
  • 33:05 How to stop following the herd and create space for radical thinking

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Transcript

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Austin Brawner: What's up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Ecommerce Influence Podcast. My name is Austin Brawner and I am excited to be here with you guys today. This is a solo interview episode. My co-host, Andrew Foxwell, is taking a break from the podcast today. He'll be back in the future. 

Today's episode - I am really excited to share with you because it is a little bit different than normal episodes. What I mean by that, it's an interview with a founder, but what the founder is doing is quite unique. And our interview today is with Connie Matisse. She is the CMO and cofounder of East Fork, which if you've never heard of East Fork before, it is a direct to consumer pottery company out of Asheville, North Carolina. Now they have some incredibly beautiful pieces. They run an incredibly capital intensive business and they do it online direct to consumer.

Their website is beautiful, their Instagram is beautiful. She has created a really compelling brand and they've been doing it for over 10 years. It grew from a small, you know, just her and her boyfriend at the time, creating pottery up till a massive organization with about, I think, 90 employees. And she talks about her journey, what she's learned, what has worked for them. She shares kind of the nitty gritty details about what it's like to run a business. And I think this episode is great, because it'll give you a picture of where you can go.

And it gives you a picture of what it's like to build an organization with 90 people in it. And that can feel really far off if you're sitting here listening and you've got maybe two people in your organization or if it's just yourself. So I really enjoyed this interview. Connie is really sharp, and I think you guys will enjoy it as well. So welcome, Connie to the show.

Connie Matisse: Yeah, thank you. This is fun. Excited to be here.

Austin Brawner: Yeah, it's been really fun for me to dive in and do a little bit of research. You know, it's funny because I didn't know much about your company until the last week or so. Then as I started to kind of dive in more and more, I realized, wow, you guys have been around for quite some time, it seems like almost 10 years, which in our space is a long time on the internet and building things. It's always interesting to see companies that have from the outside, you know, outside looking in, it looks like you guys have figured out so much and you guys have a beautiful website and a beautiful process. But I know it's been a very long journey.

I would love to hear from you. I gave an introduction to our listeners, but I'd love to hear your background, a little bit about you and your marketing and business expertise, and how you got to where you're at.

Connie Matisse: Sure. Yeah, happy to answer that question. We have been around for 10 years, but back in 2009, it was a very different beast. I had been living in New York City in 2008 during the first economic crisis of our millennial hood, left there because I was suddenly unemployed and moved to Madison County, North Carolina where I met some guy who just bought some land out kind of in the middle of nowhere and was setting up a pottery workshop and that made no sense to me. I had no frame of reference for ceramics, certainly at the scale that that he was talking about, but we shacked up and a couple months later, I was suddenly introduced to this world of North Carolina craft pottery.

And so back then it was, you know, one person making - my husband Alex, who's now our CEO - making all the work, selling it at craft fairs. I was helping him pug clay and mix clay, it was a very, it's just a totally different beast and I was selling to a very small niche market of mostly over 60 collectors who had like their houses filled top to bottom with pottery and I don't understand how they even you know put one more piece in the house.

But neither of us had a business background I came from I was, you know, I was 23, I didn't have any background. I was still bouncing around trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I thought I was going to be an activist or a writer or work in publishing or go back to grad school for journalism or something. And then Alex had known since he was like, in sixth grade that he wanted to be a potter. And then a friend of ours joined up and became our business partner, who also went to school for painting and French, and so the three of us have learned a lot along the way, but none of us have any formal business background or marketing background

Austin Brawner: As often it begins for people, and then the transition happens and you kind of have to learn business. When you guys started in you were, you know, like, you mentioned, kind of just doing your initial selling at farmer's markets and small, collective places. Did you have any idea back then, like a big vision for where you guys wanted to go? This

Connie Matisse: Well it felt really revolutionary even for two people. So when Alex and John were making pots together, it was honestly kind of unheard of like down here in the pottery world. It's always like one person in their workshop. And so the original idea was that it was going to be more like an atelier, where we would train young potter's and like work together in a group of like 12 or 13.

But pretty much like the more we thought about it, the more we realized that we were all going to be really bored living that existence, and that the three of us were all, you know, really grappling with these bigger global issues and wanted to expand our community and be just in closer relationship with people. And the more we talked, the more we got excited about kind of using our collective skill set to really grow something that was much bigger than ourselves.

And then the other big thing is that the apprenticeship model, how Alex and John learned, you know, they studied with master potter's for years and years and years and they were able to do that because they both came from really privileged backgrounds and had money in the bank account and were able to work for free for however long and still be able to pay their car insurance and all that sort of stuff. And that really wasn't, while it was a really important way for them to learn, we didn't want to replicate that because it shuts a lot of people out from the learning process. So we wanted to figure out how to translate this thing that we loved, which is pottery to a modern audience.

The other thing is that back then we saw all of these like hip cool people in like Brooklyn and LA doing pottery and like, the Whitney Biennial did some pottery thing. And like Rachel Comey was having like a holiday pottery thing and like, we were looking at all this pottery or were like, that stuff's not very good. We know about pottery, but no one thinks North Carolina is cool. And so we just we started realizing that we had something that we could share with a much broader community and that we could tell a story around it and it you know, change the product up so that it could be just fit better into more homes.

The first time we launched this collection that was very different than the traditional North Carolina pottery that we were used to making, normally we'd have 200 300 people up at our workshop, and when we launched the new collection, which is basically the first version of what we make now, nobody showed up, you know, no one cared about it. All of our collectors were like, “That's not what I'm interested.” So it was like six months of being like, “Oh, I hope they're out there.” Then we figure it out and we’re doing fine now.

Austin Brawner: I’d love to kind of paint a picture of where you guys are at now, because I was reading a, I think, an interview with you. And at one point, you were mentioning how almost 70 employees now and maybe it's even, I don't know, when this interview was recorded, but after 10 years, what does the business look like now for people on the outside who are trying to kind of grasp how Big East fork has become and what type of impact it's starting to have now.

Connie Matisse: Yeah, for sure. So we, I think we just hit 90 employees this week. We have two brick and mortars, one in Nashville, one in Atlanta. We sell mostly online, mostly direct to consumer. We started selling to industry, which we were really excited about selling to more restaurants and hotels right before COVID and obviously that's on pause right now since no restaurants are buying plates, but one day.

We still work under one roof and so we have a warehouse right down the road where we pack and ship, but all the packing and shipping is still done in house. We basically take our production team, I think is 50 people now, we take clay from the southeast, and we put it through this big wild machine and we turn it into plates, bowls, mugs, cups, faces, what have you, and sell it all across the country.

Austin Brawner: You guys really have an incredible website. When you go on the website, it's very interesting because you don't see pottery or art paired up with a very like slick New York direct to consumer style website. And so when you go on it, it's like alright, you guys have clearly a really strong marketing engine and a strong marketing team and a brand vision for it. And it's paired with beautiful pottery that you're normally not being delivered in that way, which is it's really interesting. So it seems like you guys have a very competitive 10 years of work to get to this point. It’s going to be very hard for somebody else to just pop up and create a site like this to be able to compete with you guys.

Connie Matisse: Yeah, we've really been honing the visuals of our brand for a long time. I think we also had an advantage because we didn't just appear on the market, like we didn't like look for a hole in the market and say like, “We're gonna be a hipster pottery brand and like let's launch a brand that has like a brand guide with like, you know, 14 colors.” We never had the pitfalls of like looking like a kind of run of the mill D2C company because the growth was so organic. It was really just me following Alex around with my iPhone when he was making pots by himself and that slowly developed into a brand that feels both really holistic, but also cohesive. Our photographer, Whitney Ott, she was one of the first people to photograph us for The Bitter Southerner magazine back when we were very much not a brand, when we were just a pottery company.

When we started to think about taking the brand and marketing side more seriously, we called Whitney up and just asked her if she wanted to move up from Atlanta and be our full time photographer. She said yes. Our new art director actually did our very, very, very first letterpress invite to our sale back in 2009. And now she's our full time art director and so we have this really tight knit group of a creative team but yeah, the marketing, it does look like a, I think our marketing is amazing. I feel really proud of our team but like if you compare our budget marketing budget to other people in our category, it's pretty laughable. So we do a lot with very, very little.

Austin Brawner: Yeah, what I sensed as I was going through, like the feeling that I got was, everything is the way that you're like style is, it's like relatable and it matches, at least on Instagram. Like you guys are very involved in the brand, personally, as well. And that is something that nobody knows about that way they'll sometimes keep themselves completely removed.

Connie Matisse: Oh, yeah, no, not us.

Austin Brawner: What are some of the things that you have learned, both the good and the bad about keeping yourself in the brand and as a part of like the brand ethos?

Connie Matisse: Yeah, I mean, I’m the CMO, I oversee lots of people and I have a lot on my plate. But I still personally post every single Instagram post and I write all of the captions in the app, which is really silly, but it's what works for me because I feel like part of the brand loyalty that we've built has come off of people coming to our website and our Instagram and immediately feeling like they're making a real relationship and connection with humans and not with a brand, which gets us into trouble a lot.

I mean now there's several people who helped me answer DMS, obviously, I am still in there all the time but I do not personally answer all of them. However, our team is still answering literally every single DM that comes through our inbox, which is a little bit bananas. But people think that they know us really well. They think they like they know when my children's birthdays are, they like name their children my children's names like, then they have no problem being like, “I named my daughter after your daughter.”

Um, which I yeah, I don't… it's a weird place to be and I obviously grapple all the time with the feeling like eventually I need to pull myself, it's like I want to decenter myself from the brand a little bit for personal, you know, mental health reasons. And because of the brand isn't just me, it's a team of people now. But I think it's just rare to have a brand that that kind of celebrates humanity in all of its forms, you know, instead of just trying to take one tone of voice and be that same voice all the time.

Austin Brawner: Yeah, it's very interesting to see like the different models that different companies take. I think the way that you guys have done it, it just connects with people more deeply and more richly, then you can if you're not taking a more personal stance, right? It's like it's human to human versus brand to human. I think it's very hard to outsource that.

Connie Matisse: Yeah, it's definitely hard to outsource it. And I think the danger I mean, especially in moments like this is that it like, it weighs on me that I personally at this point, like eventually, I'm going to hire a copywriter. This is not like a sustainable way of running a business and we're obviously growing and I can't do this forever, but I worry that because I'm, you know, here we are paying 90 paychecks. But if I make a mistake, or if I say something, it's just like a lot of personal accountability.

Austin Brawner: Sure.

Connie Matisse: And there's something about having like a less centralized brand voice that kind of takes away, I don't know, spreads out the accountability a little bit. Like if a brand doesn't have like a face or a person or an identity because it is already to humanize, it's easy to love it and then, you know, toss it aside, if that brand does something that you don't like.

Austin Brawner: Yeah, it's very interesting just kind of seeing how people have been interacting with brands recently and holding brands accountable and that sort of thing, because it's just a very interesting time. I would love to dive into a little bit about the growth and about the like management of the team. You mentioned it earlier that Alex was doing pottery and you were taking pictures and selling it. Now you've got almost 90 employees. What are some common misconceptions about running an organization of that size?

Connie Matisse: I think it's really important to start to like think about that 10 year, 15 year plan way earlier than you think you should. Like doing that mission, vision and values work, that was work that I continued to backburner, because kind of in service of doing the stuff that was, you know, immediately presented itself. Alex was active in trying to get us to sit down and prioritize that work, and had we not done that we really truly would be totally lost.

When we started hiring people, we hadn't yet gone through the very tedious important work of writing out workplace policies and thinking about every single line of benefits packages and figuring out what it was we wanted to offer to our team, what the boundaries of an employer/employee relationship were for working at East Fork. I mean, 90% of where our brains are living is the health and happiness and safety and financial security of the people who work here. 10% of it is like getting to think of a brand strategy or a launch strategy for a new glaze or something.

So yeah, the Human Resources part, like if you want to do this right, you need to start thinking about the type of workplace culture that you want to create and be really intentional about it from day one. I think if we had, we moved into this factory space in 2018. That was a huge turning point for us because before we'd been working out in a workshop in Madison County, and it had this, we all had this very like, family feeling, and there's no handbook.

I think that policies are not like the end all be all for creating a workplace culture, but there needs to be a written framework for how you expect your team to come and show up to work. There needs to be an agreement that's made between employees that says, like we are all here together with this mission, with this set of values, and we're committing to working to each other and resolving conflicts in this way, here are all of the ways that we're going to support you if you're having a hard time being able to do the job that you've signed on to do. Like that is 90% of the work of owning a business for us and it's really hard. It's really hard.

Austin Brawner: It's also totally different than the skill set that gets you to like, the first couple million dollars in sales. It's like a total relearning process. As you guys were going from, you know from just selling pottery one off to where you're at now, were there any moments that you guys hit or inflection points that you felt like, “Wow, this is really going to take off,”? I know you told the story about how you guys launched launch the pottery and there was nobody that showed up because the typical collectors weren't there. When did you guys actually feel like you had a hit and know that something was possible, like a business like this is possible?

Connie Matisse: You know, I'm trying to think. Once we moved to a to a Shopify site, it's funny like looking back at our little like WordPress website that we made by ourselves, I don't understand how we sold the single thing on that website or Squarespace. Once we put some effort into our website, we haven't been in a point where we've had stock on hand in ample quantities that like allowed us to put marketing spend behind something because our production has always been trying to catch up with demand for the product. So yeah, we had like, basically been out of stock of mugs for a full six months and we started making them and stockpiling them with the intention of being able to reopen sales for them and then be able to keep up from that point.

But once we, like that last year, we like relaunched our mug and sold out in that day and went back into the position of never having enough in stock. Sometimes we'd have 100 on the website, and then it's, you know, one little press would happen and ist back down to zero. And it's really been like that.

Yeah, every time we like, put a new goal in front of ourselves and I, from the marketing department, get terrified and like ‘maybe this is the year that I'm going to be the one who's having a hard time keeping up,’ something comes along, like a good press opportunity or something comes along that kind of gets that flywheel rolling again. So there really wasn't one big “we made it moment.”

Austin Brawner: Sure. It was, it’s just been a consistent, yeah, a consistent push to keep up with production. And even today I was on the site and everything is pre order.

Connie Matisse: Yeah. Yes.

Austin Brawner: How long has it been like that?

Connie Matisse: That's just been since the factory shut down in April from COVID. This year was the year that we were going to be able to become profitable and start developing wholesale relationships and all that fun stuff, but then we had to shut down for a month in April. Obviously, we're looking ahead and thinking about what its gonna look like if to shut down again this fall. That seems very likely. And that was a decision that I made, kind of an executive decision that I made in the middle of the night, and the next day was like, “We're moving to a pre order model,” because looking at it, there was just absolutely no way we were going to be able to build stock levels up to make build any sort of strategy around selling.

And so we moved to this model in May. Right before the factory shut down, we'd been gearing up to launch our spring and summer collection. That inventory was about halfway made before we shut down and so we tried it out. We're like, you know, the pots aren't made yet. We're gonna have to make them to order. Here's the Spring Summer Collection, it's going to be potentially months before you get it, see what happens. And people responded really well to that. It didn't seem to hamper the demand at all. And so March ended up being our biggest month in company history.

Austin Brawner: Wow.

Connie Matisse: Which was 30% bigger than November of last year. So we figured from that, that we built strong enough relationships with our customer that we could give it a try. So that's the plan for the year. Hopefully by Q4, we'll have like a little bit of saleable on hand inventory for holidays but so far, people have been extremely patient and understanding

Austin Brawner: It's hilarious sometimes when things come back to just decisions you make in the middle of night did end up having big changes in business.

Connie Matisse: Big changes. Yeah. Otherwise we would have been drowning. There was no other solution.

Austin Brawner: Sure. You mentioned profitability and this being the year you guys are planning on getting profitable. How do you guys think about profitability and also about raising money? Is that something that you guys have done? Is that something? What does that process look like for you?

Connie Matisse: We think about profitability differently depending on what day you ask us. It has been, that's definitely been our hardest question to answer as an executive team. We have raised money, Alex and John and I are majority owners of the company but we have sold quite a bit of it. We've done a friends and family in a series A and Series B and then have recently been talking again about what it would look like to take VC.

We have been courted heavily by lots of VC firms that have no idea what they're getting into when they get on a phone call with us because I don't think anyone really understands what like making your own pottery looks like at the scale. There's not a fast return and this is not a business that anyone wants to get into if you're looking to get rich quick.

It's a super capital intensive company and turns out that if you're like doing right by the people who work for you, it doesn't leave a whole lot of extra capital for selling it or marketing it or, you know, reinvesting in the business. So anyway, all that to say we have very big plans for what we would do if we took on VC. That would look like trying to grow into a much larger like a the largest ceramics manufacturing company in the country and working with potentially partners across the country and potentially in other places, with new lines and automated lines. Yeah. So there's all sorts of ways that can go about it, the pandemic has obviously put a lot of into question and we're still trying to figure out what type of business we actually want to build. So that's a hard one for us.

Austin Brawner: Yeah, no, it's very interesting. I mean, I think a lot of times when I'm talking to like founders, a lot of the people that are selling online in the ecommerce space, direct to consumer space, they don't have the same level of like capital investment needed to be able to create some of the products and it's, it's like a double edged sword because they have competitors flying in at them, and they find some arbitrage opportunity and then boom, they have 15 competitors that are doing the same thing. It’s kind of a race to who can market the best.

On the flip side, you know, you guys, for somebody to really get involved and try to compete with you at any scale, it's gonna take some serious investment in some serious time. When you guys are looking at this, I mean, it's been 10 years now and then we're into a really bizarre time, which nobody could really predict with this pandemic, how have you guys if anything, changed your leadership style or evolved your leadership style during this time when it's been really bizarre and strange for everyone and everyone's going through something at a certain level, no matter who you are?

Connie Matisse: Yeah, I think that, um, we have gotten maybe more vulnerable with our staff, we've made it through this pandemic as a company better than anyone, any business owner could have hoped. Like, obviously, financials are, they're crunchy, but cash flow is good. You know, like, we actually have money in the bank. Like if we were to shut down again, we could continue. We continued paying everyone their full salary, even people who had gotten hired the week we shut down, we paid them their full salary the entire pandemic. There was not a single cost that we cut that had anything to do with our employee’s safety or security. And I think through that, we're very communicative.

Our CFO, John Vigeland is a very smart, very thoughtful guy. His financials are a work of art. But he also was sending daily COVID-19 updates that tracked case count in Buncombe County, it tracked testing sites. We offered testing for all of our employees who participated in protests over the last couple weeks. We've done everything in our power to make sure people feel and know that they are cared for and it's brought everyone really closely close together. Then putting up a really… really knowing what we can and can't offer to employees. Like there was a time where I was trying to be everyone's therapists and financial advisor and savior and that was just so problematic. And so now we're just a little bit clear on what we are and aren’t able to offer people.

Austin Brawner: Diving in a little bit more, what does your role look like now? We talked a little bit of Instagram and that's still great, but besides that, what else does your role look like at this point compared to five years ago??

Connie Matisse: I need to get out of the weeds. I'll just think about like this last couple days - product development, so we have a product development team. I work really closely with our material sciences team. I'm like the liaison between brand partners and our product development team. So we're doing, we have two really fun collaborations coming up one with Samin, which is really exciting, no one knows that yet, from Salt, Acid, Fat and Heat, and so on.

Austin Brawner: Very cool.

Connie Matisse: Yeah, I'll be like between talking to brands and other businesses, and then like communicating desires back to our product development team, I do a lot of that. I work really closely with our Director of Operations in launch comms. I oversee our ecommerce so I oversee content marketing. I oversee the creative team so check all visuals and you know, style photographs, and give art direction for new products and all that fun stuff. I work with our Retail Manager for buying the products that are not pottery, make selections, like basically act like a buyer, though she does all the vendor communication. I oversee our customer care team and so our Customer Care Director is amazing and she very rarely needs to come to me for a problem customer, but obviously like I troubleshoot them on problematic customers.

I work really closely with our People and Culture team, and obviously the Executive team right now are in the weeds with workplace policies and always continuing to like try to make the workplace just a better place. Then I'm trying to save more time for activist work and to figure out, working with a DI Specialist. I have a business coach who named Desiree Adaway, who I work with on how to make our own workplace more actively anti-racist, and how do we communicate that both internally and externally. That's where my head has been most of most of the last couple weeks. So yeah, it's a little bit of everything.

Austin Brawner: I mean, it's good to hear for people that their business hasn't grown as much or they're on the path of growth that like things change, but things don't change in certain way, where you're still going to be involved with a lot of different things. I would love to hear a little bit more about partnerships and how that works. You mentioned Samine, who has an incredible name that she can be a first name person. When you said that I immediately thought of her. Then you said, “salt, fat, acid, heat” and I knew exactly who that was. Well, how does it work connecting with somebody like that and creating a partnership? What have you learned from doing those before? Or creating something like this in your business?

Connie Matisse: Sure. Yeah. I think it's all personal relationships. We do very, very little work with influencers? Like anytime someone sends us a DM and they're like, “Do you want to collaborate?” I'm like, that's not what a collaboration is. I'm not going to send you free stuff for you to take pictures of. Our partnerships have to be deep and have to be meaningful and we have to be super values aligned.

We have another collaboration coming with a very recognizable restaurant group and we've been like slowly developing a relationship with them over the past three years. I take building human relationships or brand relationships the exact same way as I take building human relationships, which is like honest and authentic and slow and you're not going to be someone's best friend. Obviously, when there's a partnership that requires us to pay someone, we're going to pay people fairly.

But there's also, we want to do projects that feel good for everybody involved. We don't again, like no money, so our marketing department is like not very well funded. And so right now, we're trying not to spend any money with Facebook and Google for the rest of the year. We haven't spent any yet but we've had some and reserved and so I'm kind of dipping into that reserve to do more content marketing partnerships with freelance writers who I follow and really love who maybe aren't getting the gigs that they really should get because there might be a little bit more radical or they're just like less mainstream. That's how I think about that.

Austin Brawner: I like the way that you guys have taken a very, like authentic path to get where you guys have gone. And, you know, it seems like you guys, a lot of the decisions you make have been decisions that are not just because everybody else is doing it. Which is, I think in many ways, a lot of the way that businesses choose to make decisions, like let's go with the best practices and do exactly the same thing that people are doing. It's funny when you interview people who have built larger businesses, too often, that's not the way they built them. It's modeled off of something different.

Connie this has been really, really awesome. It's been a lot of fun talking to you about business and your journey and what you guys are doing, what you guys are excited about and working on. What are things, for somebody who's listening, what's one thing that has been has worked well for you, or has worked well for the business that maybe you could share that they could take away and put to use in their own business?

Connie Matisse: I think that something, in line with what you just said about how businesses just like look to whoever is on either side of them and just do the same thing that that person is doing, I think when you're starting a business, it can get really easy to become extremely narrowly focused on one thing, one industry, your direct competitors, the same people that your direct competitors are marketing to. You listen to the same exact podcasts, read exactly the same news articles, on exactly the same like Slack channel. You know, message boards, like, the information being given to become so homogenous, that it really cuts off any sort of critical thinking or radical thinking.

The thing that has informed my approach to business more than anything else is diversifying the content that I consume, listening to thought leaders who are in completely different industries, really tapping into what's happening to… it just sounds so stupid, but just like, don't be a one sided, a one track mind, boring person who thinks about nothing but your SEO. Like you have to obviously your data has to, you have to have a good way to track your data, but you also have to be paying attention to what's happening in the world and like be collecting feedback from people that you're interacting with and people, like just be a human. That's my advice.

Austin Brawner: I feel similarly around my own business in that the most growth I have is usually when I take like a big step back and get out and start like, looking around and seeing “Oh, wow, this isn't the only way to go about this. Let's find another way that might be a road that's a little bit less traveled, but is the right one for me.” Connie, this has been awesome. If anybody's listening and they want, they want to learn more about you and about the business, what's the best place that you would direct them, is it your Instagram is it your website?

Connie Matisse: I mean, you can find information on the website but I do think Instagram is where we do the most storytelling and you can really get to see what happens in the factory. I try to do as much behind the scenes process videos as I can and right now, we’ve always been focused on this, but right now we're really focusing on how to be a business in a world where radical change is needed, so come to our Instagram account. We're showing lots of resources there.

Austin Brawner: And you also got masterclass in running Instagram, I think for business. It’s been great, thank you so much for chatting with me today. And I appreciate it.

Connie Matisse: Thanks so much. Awesome. Take care.

Austin Brawner: Hey guys, it's Austin and if you're loving the podcast, you got to go check out brandgrowthexperts.com, that's where I work one on one with my clients to help them build faster growing more profitable online stores. I've got coaching programs and workshops that we host all over the world. Would love to have you come check it out. If you're a fast growing ecommerce business or you want to be a fast growing ecommerce business, you gotta check it out, that's the spot for you. We go more in depth than we do in the podcast with comprehensive trainings and coaching to help you scale up. Check it out brandgrowthexperts.com. See you there.

Austin Brawner: What's up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Ecommerce Influence Podcast. My name is Austin Brawner and I am excited to be here with you guys today. This is a solo interview episode. My co-host, Andrew Foxwell, is taking a break from the podcast today. He'll be back in the future. 

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