10 Tips for Starting Your Business From Tumbleweed TexStyles
10 Tips for Starting Your Business From Tumbleweed TexStyles
Frisco-based Tumbleweed TexStyles has grown from side hustle to a 7-figure business as a Texas lifestyle brand.
Founders and teachers Jeb Matulich (still teaching) and Brian Wysong (now full time at TWT) have a passion for sharing their knowledge and experience. They sat down with Lifestyle Frisco to share their thoughts with all of you who are looking to start or grow your own business.
SHOW NOTES:[00:30] What’s new at Tumbleweed TexStyles
[02:50] Growing beyond t-shirts
[03:18] Tapping into the Texas identity
[03:34] The vision for Tumbleweed TexStyles and the importance of partnerships
[08:30] How Bryan and Jeb started working together
[10:00] Learning to pivot your business, and not overthinking it
[12:07] Learning as you go
[12:58] Making the hard decisions
[17:01] Deciding when your side hustle needs to become your full-time job
[19:01] Knowing when to hire and finding fulfillment
[24:53] Establishing core values
[26:03] Getting to know your customer (and how to serve them)
[32:09] Advice from Jeb and Bryan on getting your business started
LINKS & RESOURCES:
- Tumbleweed TexStyles Website
- Tumbleweed TexStyles on Instagram
- Tumbleweed TexStyles on Facebook
- Tumbleweed TexStyles on Lifestyle Frisco
Connect with Lifestyle Frisco on:
Welcome to the Frisco podcast. I’m your host, Scott Ellison. Today I am joined by Jeb and Bryan, you know them as Tumbleweed Texstyles. Good to have you with us today, guys. Thanks for having us. Yeah, appreciate it. Always fun to chat with you guys. And we’re going to get into talking a little shop today, but we’re going to talk about business specifically, not just Tumbleweed Texstyles, but before we get into all of that, give me an update, like what’s been new with you guys? What’s happening, what’s, what’s going down?
Well, um, we’re in the middle of our fall season, so we’ve launched, been launching quite a few tee shirts and hats and things. Uh, here recently we’ve got a few new items coming up. Um, of course we’re gearing up for, uh, a big holiday season. You know, this is usually kind of our busier time of the year as far as e-commerce goes. Uh, so October, November, we really get going, especially with like black Friday and everybody, uh, shopping for Christmas. So that’s kind of on our, uh, immediate, uh, mine’s, you know, right now. Uh, we’ve also got our, uh, our store, our first brick and mortar store that’s going to be coming in, uh, at the patios, at the rails, uh, there at South County in Maine. And so, um, that’s under construction at the moment. So we’re hoping that’s going to be opening up, uh, the first of the new year. So that’s another thing we’re kind of preparing, uh, with as far as, uh, dealing with architects and contractors and trying to get all that stuff figured out how the build out’s gonna look.
So yeah, we are definitely excited for that. That’s really cool that you guys are gonna have a bricks and mortar place that people can go in and shop is going to be all t-shirts. Now. It’s not going to be all t-shirts. We’re going to try and, um, that’s another kind of exciting thing. We, we’re, we’re kinda gonna branch out a little bit and kind of do some, um, some more, uh, some different types of apparel. Um, you know, we’re, we have hoodies, long sleeves, um, some collared shirts, things of that nature. But then we’re also gonna carry our glassware. Um, some artwork, um, books, I mean, just kind of a whole, you know, run the gamut, a lot of different items. Okay. Sounds like fun. Yeah. And
part of that as an extension to what’s going on is we’re also still growing our wholesale, um, partners. So we actually just signed up a deal with hallmark and so we have 30 stores in the area that we’ll be carrying our shirts, which is exciting, a little different target audience than we’ve had in the past. Um, continuing to grow our wholesalers like buckle Tyler’s rally house, um, as they grow our products throughout the state and maybe even extending outside of the state one day I’m carrying our products in their stores there as well. Um, but also about the products. Uh, you know, we, we were trying to grow beyond just the teacher guys. And so with our store, we’re hoping to kind of live off of our, our motto drift and explore and, uh, kind of become a lifestyle brand with tee shirts, glassware, um, home decor, uh, different things that make us more than just your, I guess, concert, a bar brand, but also said that you can go camping and hiking and fishing and kind of live the outdoors and the different Texas lifestyle.
I love it. Yeah, it’s funny. I think one of the, the advantages that you guys have, uh, is that Texas has, every state has some to some degree in identity, but Texas really has a strong, very recognizable identity no matter where you go. So I, I’ve traveled a bit internationally and any time I’ve been somewhere where I tell the person I’m from Texas that I’ve met, they like, they instantly light up. They have this vision of what Texas means in their mind. Um, in two distinct stories. I remember one was, uh, a cab driver in London as soon as I got in the cab and he said, where are you from? I said, Dallas, Texas. I was living in Dallas at the time. I was not in Frisco. Um, but he, all he wanted to do was talk about the Dallas Cowboys, um, the whole time.
And he was fascinated by that. And then in another occasion, um, I was actually visiting a resort in Bulgaria and we were on the beach and we had a, a person that was working in that area that, that we met and she’s like, where are you from? And I said, Texas. And, and she just wanted to sit down and talk all about Texas. What’s it like? How did you end up in Bulgaria? So it’s, it’s, it’s neat that you guys have that to kind of as a part of, of Tumbleweed Texstyles and I think it’s something that will definitely carry you forward even as the brand expands beyond Texas. I mean, that’s something that a lot of people identify with for sure. Yeah. I think that’s one of the things that kind of propelled our business from the GetGo. I mean, I know now it seems like there’s state, you know, pride brands all over the place for every state.
And there’s, you know, a ton of other ones in Texas, but, and there were some before us, but we felt like there wasn’t anyone kind of doing exactly what we started up, you know, eight years ago, kind of with more of a unique kind of style. It wasn’t just the flag on a shirt, it wasn’t just the state of Texas on a shirt or God bless Texas or anything like that. So we tried to come up with unique designs on a soft comfortable shirt. And I think that’s kind of when we hit that niche, um, people were drawn to that. And of course, yes, Texas pride, people love Texas. And so we had that going for us. And so creating a product that, that people could be proud of and then also that was comfortable and unique. I think that’s really kind of what helped us early on. Kind of get our feet wet and get going for sure. And you guys have had a lot of success. So let’s go back to the beginning. When you guys started Tumbleweed, did you envision that this was where it was going to go or has it really kind of blossomed beyond any expectations you might have had, if you can remember that far back?
So, well, first off, I’m probably core to Tumbleweed. Texstyles is not Texas t-shirts as much as jobs craft of art and design and my craft of more marketing business and just honestly sales. And so when we were in his classroom deciding what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it, we knew we wanted to kind of live out our teaching a class, you know, where our classes were. So, um, of course with me being more the visionary in Jeb can agree, I remember sitting in his back patio saying, we’re gonna make this $1 million company. I believe it. Um, he probably was nodding his head, uh, sipping on his beer saying no way at all. Um, but I did have a vision to take it to where it’s at today. And I think Jeb, ah, tell me if I’m wrong, but it was more about the design and having a good time. And, uh, us as friends, just living out our craft. Um, what’s your thoughts?
Oh, I would totally agree. I think early on I was very narrow minded, kind of with what we were doing. I was like, Oh, this is B, this’ll be fun. You know, print up some t-shirts with my artwork on it and we can sell to family and friends. We’ll make a couple hundred bucks here and there. There’ll be kind of neat, you know, to see people wearing our shirts, Bryan from the GetGo, definitely he is more the visionary. So he was kind of looking longer term like, you know, we can get in stores, we can do this, we can, you know. So I was just thinking, Oh, let’s just sell a few shirts and can I see what goes on? So Bryan’s been good for me as far as like kind of getting in line with a vision and, you know, making some of these things that we’ve talked about actually come true.
And on the flip side, job’s good for me because a, I’m so focused on growth and expansion and, uh, being, uh, effective and successful. He kinda just brings me back down to earth that have a good time and [inaudible] and realized that, you know, uh, there’s a lot more to life than just business the success. Um, you know, the concept back and enjoy family and enjoy traveling and music and food and um, and that’s really the heart behind Tumbleweed Texstyles is the lifestyle, not just being driven for fashion and success.
Yeah. And I think that’s the first good takeaway kind of business lesson here is when you have a partnership with somebody and you’re starting that business, finding somebody that isn’t necessarily just like you, but somebody that complements you and you guys compliment each other as you guys seem to, um, you know, one of you more focused on the business side and the growth and the vision. Somebody else more on the, maybe the product side and the artwork and all that kind of stuff is a, it’s a good, a good partnership for you guys for sure. Right. Yeah. What was it, what was it like when you first started working together? Had you known each other for a while or was the friendship fairly new as well? Um, I’d have to think about it. I don’t know exactly what year Bryan got to Liberty high school. I’ve been there since the get go and I know he came in. What year was it? 2009. Okay. So he was there. We’d known each other maybe about a year and a half before or a year or so. I before we both went
to Texas tech. So that was kinda how we hit it off. You know, we had, we could talk about, uh, red Raider sports and things of that nature. But, um, I would say we weren’t longtime friends. We had only known each other for a little while.
Right. And you know, my wife at that time was not teaching. She is now, but she owned at that time a photography business. So I think actually one of our first conversations was around her doing some portraits for his family and interesting. And then we start talking about Colorado cause we both traveled to Colorado each year. And, um, then talk about Texas and, and beer, craft beer and wine and, um, barbecue and food. And we just started making a connection. And then from my experience in advertising, uh, I saw him drawing something and I was like, man, we’ve got to do something with that that, you know, cause my creative juices were flowing and so our interests in connection then saw an opportunity and that’s where we kicked it off. Okay. Very good. So
as you guys started Tumbleweed and the business started to get some traction and take off, uh, talk to us a little bit about any places along the way where you maybe had to change directions or pivot a little bit. Cause if there’s anything I know about running a business, it never goes exactly according to plan. Right? There’s always things that kind of come up and maybe shift your thinking or where you’re going with that. How much has that happened for Tumbleweed? Or have you guys just spent on a nice linear path and you’re one of the lucky ones that that all kind of fell in line for it. Okay.
You know, kind of even going back as a business student in college, to actually being in the business world, starting previous businesses before Tumbleweed, Texstyles. And then as a business teacher, um, the textbook answer is make a business plan, create a mission, vision, um, write everything out and then then go. But for us it was the complete opposite. And it was, let’s get going. You know, it’s, let’s create art. Let’s sell it, let’s create more, let’s sell it. Uh, we didn’t really have time to stop and think about it. And, um, and that’s really, I think how we got started is we weren’t thinking too much. You know, we, we found a niche, uh, we knew who we could sell it to and we utilize our community, which was Facebook, Twitter, um, Instagram. Slowly getting there and then just emailing our friends. And I remember sitting down with him the first day, and I think I either by email or by a sheet of paper, and I created a target and I, and I created the core of the center of the target and said, who would be the lowest hanging fruit? Who shall we try to reach out to, which was our parents, our sisters, you know, brother, whatever. And then I created the next ring and it was, um, our peers that people were teaching with. And then I created the next ring and you know, going on from there, our neighbors and so on. And that’s really how we took, uh, took the next steps of ain’t no creating our
product and then you’re reaching out to people and an organic way. I don’t think for the first few years we did any paid advertising, it was solely word of mouth and relational based marketing. Right. And then, uh, as far as like issues, I mean they were happening from the get go. Like we really didn’t know what we were doing. I remember we wanted this particular shirt color for our very first design and the manufacturer was out of it. So we had to go with another color. And then we thought we were getting some really good quality shirts, but we were still kind of being cheap. Um, you know, we didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money. So, um, some of the shirt, the shirt quality early on we were kinda like, ah, maybe we should move to a different brand after, you know, we kind of printed our first friends cause we’re finding out, you know, people were saying, well, they’re kind of shrinking up.
And so we were just learning on the fly totally at the beginning. Um, as far as pivoting goes, I mean we were, it was just always like a constant learning process, you know, cause we didn’t know a whole lot about the screen printing industry either. And so we were learning that, uh, as well. Yeah. Nonstop adjustments for sure. Oh yeah. It still is. And I think with that is we’re, we’re good old boys as I think that’s how people would describe us. Very loyal. Uh, Ashley loyal to a sense that it could be detrimental for our business. And I think early on we learned, um, our loyalty had to be to ourselves and to our core, um, our family because there was decisions that sometimes we would make that were not best for the company. But we’re better for our friendship such as screen printers or other business partnerships.
And so we’ve really learned early on that there’s hard decisions that have to be made for the best of our company, which the best of our companies, what’s best for our customers and best for the good of our families in the long run. So, um, you know, early on as he mentioned, uh, some of those garment and quality decisions, um, part of that was changing to a new printer, uh, changing, uh, instead of us fulfilling out of our garage, moving to a fulfillment agency that could get things out quicker and faster and, uh, with quality. So yeah, it makes a lot of sense. I, those are tough decisions sometime to balance, you know, you’ve got to make decisions that affect you. I mean, if you’re running the business, they affect you and the business and, and keeping the balance between those things. It’s interesting. Are there any maybe other examples that you can give me of a decision that you guys had to made, where make, where maybe it wasn’t necessarily what would have seemingly been in the best interest of the business, but it was better for you guys, your families, something like along those lines.
I mean, kind of what he was saying with our screen printer, we went with, um, some great guys that of Denton, a w that was just kind of a screen printer that had been recommended to us. And we started printing a lot of shirts and they outgrew their space and they moved to another space and they kept printing more of our shirts and they, they’re having hard time keeping up. They moved twice while we were with them, I guess, actually three times to a big facility. And then we, that’s when we kind of had them start taking on our fulfillment. Um, and you know, they were doing pretty good job but they weren’t quite on pace with what we were kind of like, what Bryan’s vision was like we need to grow, we need to be pushing stuff out. And there they were a little bit more laid back as far as that goes.
And so still slowing us down a little bit. So I think that was one of our, our kind of big moments where we were like, we need to, cause we were kind of getting courted from other screen printers at the time too. Um, and so we had that really kind of sit down and have a hard conversation with those guys. And eventually we ended up going to another printer. Not that those, the first group was bad or anything, it just wasn’t, they were kind of hindering our growth I guess you could say. So that was a really tough decision because we really liked those guys a lot. They became our friends and, and uh, it was hard to do that. I remember that conversation was, was pretty difficult moving cause we were their biggest client. Right. And, and I think a another example,
um, where we had to make a decision that was better maybe for us, our family. Um, it’s kind of a still a ongoing thing and that’s w deciding to stay as teachers, uh, from myself and jab and my wife, uh, probably longer than someone like a Mark Cuban would say we should on shark tank, you know, and um, Jeb is still full time teacher and my wife is still full time teacher as well. Um, so I’m the only actual full time on paper person for our company. Um, and so I know if all of us went full time, we could probably exponentially grow but for our family, that conservative decision to allow them to stay as full time teachers, um, is probably what’s better financially for their family while we slowly build our, our, you know, our company to where we hope to go with it.
Yeah, that’s a, I think that’s a really good point. There’s a lot of, hopefully people that are listening to this are, you know, there’s a lot of folks out there that have side hustles or they want to start a business, but they’re going to have to work their full time job while they’re doing that. And that can be a very tough balance to find. Is there a point at which in your case you, you’ve rolled full time into the business or not actively teaching now, was there a certain level that you got to or, or something that happened in the business that made you say, okay, this is the right time. We need at least one of us to roll into this full time and focus on, on the business?
For sure. And I think, uh, the decision was actually not for Tumbleweed. Texstyles I think is actually for my students. Um, there was a, I as Jeb can probably a vouch for me on this one is a, I’m a workaholic. I love to work. I love to give my very best in everything I do. And I finally started realizing, one, my passion was more towards entrepreneurship in our business. Then the classroom, but then to without purposely this I noticed that was causing my time and focus to be more for Tumbleweed Texstyles, then my students. And I knew at that point it was time to step away so that they wouldn’t hinder their learning for future years. But then secondly, when I, when we, when we started, it was a $700 investment, $350 each for those first couple of years. We didn’t take, you know, an income.
We just kept on re investing the profit. So finally, fast forward to when I stepped away, we were able to actually pay ourselves and, and I was able at that point to pay myself what I was, what I was getting paid as a teacher and then so I felt fully safe for that. And then, and also my daughter was going into a kindergarten, so we weren’t having to pay childcare anymore. So that was also a big part of that decision is the expenses for our family. Um, and then also just the vision of knowing, getting wholesale accounts and, uh, the opportunities for opening a store in Frisco. We knew it was either going to be me going full time or we’re going to have to hire someone to do it full time and I would rather pair myself than someone else to do what I know I’m most passionate about.
Yeah. How do you, how do you know and you personally when you’ve kind of hit that limit that there’s only so much that you can do and at some point we have to start handing off parts of our business to other people and letting them kind of run with that. Um, I completely understand not being comfortable and like wanting to be involved in everything, but there comes a point where that just doesn’t work anymore. Are you guys hitting that on uncertain levels or are you anticipating that at all?
We’re definitely hitting that point. Um, yeah, we realize, you know, early on, I know we try to do everything. Like we were doing social media, we were doing fulfillment, we were doing design, we were doing every aspect of the building. And it gets exhausting and it gets overwhelming at times. And, and of course we listened to a lot of business podcasts, read a lot of books and things too. And, and they basically say, you know, you have to release and get rid of some of the things that you’re not, you know, there’s always going to be someone that’s probably better at what, something that you don’t like or that enjoy something that you don’t like doing hand that off to someone. And so we’ve definitely done that in some cases. We’ve got, um, a girl name Audrey that lives in, um, Colorado, which is Bryan’s sister-in-law.
She runs all of our, um, customer service. So she answers, cause that was taking up a lot of our time, answering emails, you know, and inquiries on Facebook or wherever, Hey, does this shirt come in? This color does. I have a, I had a little hole in my shirt. How do I return it? I mean, we were just dealing with that was taking up a ton of our time. Um, we handed that all over to her. We didn’t have to mess with it anymore and it’s been awesome. Um, we’ve also got a couple of folks that help us in the wholesale business as far as like sales rep and they kind of go out and they find, um, you know, stores and companies that can carry our goods. Where
that was something that Bryan was kind of doing full time too. So we took that off of his plate. And so that gives Bryan more time to do the things that he loves. And so I think that’s real important for any small businesses. You know, and there’s millions of people that have said this before, but the stuff that you don’t like doing, there’s going to be someone out there, you know, they can take that load off of your shoulders and then that gives you more time to do the things that you’re passionate about and that you love and that’s going to help grow your business. Even though it’s an, an expense, you’re like, Oh man, it’s going to cost a lot of money to pay so-and-so to do this job. But in the long run, it usually in our situation has paid off because that helps our growth even more.
And it helps your happiness versus you’re not doing things that you don’t like. And one of the things that I’ve found over the years on that front is it’s not only things that I don’t like to do, but there are w what’s hard for me to get my head around sometimes is there might be an aspect of a business that I just, it has to be done, but I hate doing it. There are somebody out there that loves doing that activity. Right. For sure. Um, and it’s hard to imagine when you, when you don’t like doing something that there’s somebody out there that’s exactly the opposite and would absolutely love to be doing that. But those people are out there. And I think that’s what you have to find somebody that has a passion for customer service or something like that, that is really going to hit it out of the park for
sure. And actually there was kind of a moment, uh, this past year, uh, I was actually at a conference at, uh, Preston trail church and it was a work as a warship. And, um, just, just something random I decided to go to, I was invited to a, from a friend and I was really convicted when they’re starting to S uh, you know, call it a, a verse or a quote, but it was, uh, uh, not being the light of the world and being the salt. And I was convicted because I started realizing my biggest passion is not Texas T shirts. We love it. That’s not my passion. My passion isn’t sales. It actually isn’t marketing. It’s actually building a team. It’s actually management. And so when I started looking back at maybe the, the little successes in my life going all the way back to high school, from, um, being, uh, the capped on the soccer team to being in student council, fast forwarding to being a soccer coach at Liberty and then being a teacher at Liberty, it wasn’t actually the content of marketing that I loved.
It was creating teams, inspiring people, helping people, education and teaching someone. Um, and with that said, I started realizing my role at Tumbleweed Texstyles is more than just sales. It, I need to build a team. I need to be a light to my staff. And that really to me is my biggest mission, I believe, is to help build a team. And it provided great place for someone to want to work. And I know that’s gonna take time. It might take years before we have a full team. Um, but it’s one of those things that I know that will give me the most fulfillment in my job. Um, because all the time since I’ve left teaching, I’m thinking, man, I’m not helping people anymore. Well, I can help my staff, you know, and I can encourage them, inspire them, motivate them, uh, not necessarily in a religious way, just in a, in a just a good life kind of way. And, um, and so that’s kind of my goal as we move forward. And that’s actually what Jeb and I had been working on over the last few months is kind of our core values and our core principles as a, as an internal team so that we can start seeking out the best fit, uh, the people that are the best fit for our team to then hopefully serve our customers as they deserve.
Yeah, I think having those core values identified becomes really important as you grow. Um, and that’s one of those things that maybe might change from when you very first start to kind of where you go down the road or he may not. But, uh, I know that’s something that lifestyle fresco, Wendy and I, and um, and even Nicole and Kelly on our leadership team have all taken part in really establishing what are those core values and, um, how do those fit into our business? Have you guys really clearly defined those at this point? Are you still working through what those are?
Um, it’s of, it is ongoing because as we start thinking, Oh, we’re, we’re, we might, um, be growing in this direction. You know, we’re in such a growth mode right now that there are things going on that we didn’t even know the, you know, it’s going on. But I think we, for the most part have our core values pretty well locked down. Um, I mean, do you want to kind of share it, share kind of the direction we’re going or, well, like Bryan said, we’re kind of fine tuning them. I guess you could say. We have a long list of things that we want to be and we, you know, we stand for and it’s more of a matter of, I guess, of just kinda whittling those down to, uh, kind of what falls under what category as far as, you know, we want to be, you know, good stewards of the community. We want to give back. Uh, we also want to create, you know, unique, um, designs and kind of be a forward thinking as far as that kind of stuff goes. Um, the way we interact with people, the relationships that we build. Um, so yeah, it’s just, you know, all that kind of all in a a bundle or kind of the things that we stand for. For sure.
So one of the things I wanted to, to drill in on a little bit more, you talked about the target that you are drawing when you first started and who are we going to go and present our business to and you know, let them know that we’re doing this now. I’m a big advocate of having a, a persona that you, so you know who you’re talking to, who you’re selling to kind of helps with brand voice and things like that. Have you guys really laid out a persona of who your ideal customer is or have? Is it just sort of kind of come along with the business as you’ve grown? And
I think we very much defined who we were going to be reaching back in 2011 and that was people like us, you know, cause we knew who we are, we knew how people effectively reach us. So naturally, if we know who we are, we could easily go pursue people like us. But we quickly found that it was a lot of women buying our product and not men. You know? And yeah, that’s one of the amazing things about social media and Google analytics is when you start digging into the data, we started realizing, okay, it was majority women buying our product. And at that time we decided, okay, we’re going to roll out, uh, these women cut t-shirts. Well, very quickly the women were like, no, we don’t wanna wear women cut t-shirts. We want comfortable shirts. And so then we change our products from just men’s and women’s to just straight men’s slash unisex fit t-shirts.
And when we did that, our, you know, our sales exponentially grew. We used to sell our t-shirts that, you know, $20. And when we bumped our shirts to 25 for the S the fiddle wholesale model, um, cause we had a match that, you know, with their pricing is right, sales increase and we’re thinking what, you know, cause it, the value of the shirt was more in, you know, in the minds of our customer. And with that said, we started realizing it’s, it’s the everyday kind of fiscal person. Um, it’s, you know, uh, middle-class, uh, person that uh, wants to buy a shirt but they don’t want to waste money on it. They want a good quality tee shirt that they put on a hanger in their closet. They don’t fold and put it in their dresser. Um, it’s a person that likes to get out and have a good time. But as a family person, um, it’s someone that values education, values are values the craft, um, and, and craft meaning barbecue and food, tacos at wine, whiskey, beer, but then also the arts. And so that’s kind of our, our person is the person that as we say, drift and explore that they want to get out and try new things. And I have a good time with family and friends doing that
and be comfortable and look good doing it. Exactly. When you’re, uh, when you’re coming up with a new design, how much are you thinking about the person that might want to wear that design or you just kind of letting your mind go and getting creative and whatever comes out comes out? Well, that’s, that’s been something that I’ve kind of struggled with because early on I was creating a lot of things that I thought would be something I would want to wear, something cool or unique that I would want to wear. And some of that resonated with people. Um, other things didn’t as much. There was some things that I thought would be a home run and they’re like, eh, you know, they weren’t really, didn’t do that well. And then we kind of, as you know, so we’ve been around for eight years, so as we’ve kind of moved forward, we’ve noticed, I mean, some of our top sellers have been our top sellers for five, six, seven years, the same design.
We’re kept thinking it’s going to die off, but it doesn’t. And so you kind of evaluate those top designs and then you kind of work around that theme or idea. And then we always throw in some kind of creative kind of off the wall artsy type of stuff too, just to kind of see what’s, what’s gonna stick. But, uh, I think definitely we have, we’ve learned kind of, at least for our, the stores and things that sell our stuff, kind of what, what sells and we kind of try and move some of that stuff that way. Um, but you know, we do have a lot of little niches that in Texas that we designed for it, you know, so there’s a certain, you know, niche that the BBQ crowd likes. There’s certain niche that the Texas music crowd likes too. So we also kind of designed to those specific groups as well, whether it be colors or just kind of designs or like in style, kind of trendy, um, topics or whatever it might be. And, and to kind of
expand on that, a lot of times when people are starting a business and they’re trying to figure out who they’re going to reach, what they do is they try to copycat another brand if it’s in fashion or another product, whatever it is. And that’s one of our things that we value maybe more than anything is a Jeb in our, our design team, we don’t want them looking at other artists and designs because they’re more likely to copy that design.
Yeah. Even if it’s subconscious sometimes, right. It gets into your head and then it comes out in your work.
Yeah, for sure. And, and obviously we’re humans and so that probably happens cause we are naturally always reading magazines and looking at, uh, websites, Pinterest, Instagram. But we tried to design our designs in a very unique creative way with our spin on it at all times. And from there it how we do the colors or how, what kind of garment we put it on or if it’s decor or glassware that really will differentiate it to our target audience. Um, or what are, you know, cause obviously, uh, our wholesaler Cavenders is a lot different than buckle and both of those are a lot different than Tyler’s or, um, you know, one of our retailers they call Mark. So that really differentiates our audience just by their audience. But I’m taking those products and making them, you know, are those designs, making them fairly universal, eclectic in nature, uh, then allows us to put it on a product and, you know, build specifically targeted audience.
Sounds good. Well before we, uh, wrap things up here, I want to ask you guys just kind of want to open ended question. If you were giving advice to somebody who’s listening to this is planning to start their own business, whether it’s a side hustle or they’re going straight into a full time, uh, what advice would you give someone that’s just an I, that’s a big, broad question. There’s probably a lot of things you could say, but what one or two pieces of advice would you give to somebody that’s just, just getting started?
Uh, I’ll start. Um, I would say just [inaudible] start it, start it, you know, don’t think too much about it. I mean, don’t, there’s a lot of times people try and get everything exactly perfect. Whether it’s the timing of it, like I’m gonna start my business, but I’ve gotta wait until I get to this point or I gotta do this. I think if you just jump in, it doesn’t have to be perfect from the get go. And then those are things that you can kind of tweak as you start. Cause there’s going to be mistakes like we talked about earlier. I think it’s like if you have a really good idea and you kind of have the groundwork and you ha and you have, you know, do it before someone else does it, kind of get in the game, then start kind of picking up the pieces and figuring out how to perfect it. But I think a lot of people, they get so honed in on trying to make everything perfect before they launch and they’re wasting all this time. And then another other people. Yeah. So I would say just, you know, if you have an idea, get it going and then kind of fix, fix it up as you go. That’s great advice. And I would say it kind of sounds like it contradicts that, but um, it, it doesn’t,
so I would say dot. Not formally, but just mentally in your heart. Think about who are you, uh, what are your morals and move forward in a way that doesn’t con you know, contradict who you are and what you believe in because that’s so easy to do when you start looking at money and opportunities and um, start trying to chase the easy money is just you know, who you are and what you believe and make sure you stick to that. And then a second thing is as you do start going and moving forward, immediately build systems on the fly such as accounting systems, QuickBooks, put all your data in a, in a QuickBooks, immediately start Google analytics. So you start gathering the marketing data, um, project management systems, like something like a sauna. I’m quickly getting that so that everything can be well organized because that was one of the hardest things I feel like for us is having to backtrack, gather all this data, looking through emails, looking through a Google drive and trying to clean up things like Dropbox. And if you immediately do that right off the get go, it will make your life a lot easier and will hopefully help you make wiser choices and decisions later as as your company’s growing and being successful.
Yeah. All right. I think that’s really good advice cause yeah, going back and trying to reconstruct that stuff down the road can be an absolute nightmare. Um, we’re also a big fan and of documenting our processes. Something we’ve become pretty hardcore about, uh, so that as we bring other people on board, they can, it’s easy for them to train them up and for them to kind of take over in a role or do what they need to do. And it’s all nicely documented. But to your point, to Jeff’s point, it’s not, the documentation isn’t perfect. I tend to be very detailed about it, yet somebody else will come along and still find gaps or while I wasn’t sure what to do here or what do I need to do there. And you gotta get comfortable with that not being perfect all the time. Just get started, get going and let it evolve.
Right. For sure. Yeah guys, thank you so much for coming on and sharing some of these insights with us. I think I, you know, if people kind of tune into this podcast and enjoy it, hopefully they’ll leave us in comments and let us know. If you’re listening and you have questions you would like to ask these guys, leave us a comment and maybe we can turn this into a small series. We can come back and revisit some of this stuff from time to time. I’m a, you guys are actual teachers, but I love sharing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained in, in the businesses I’ve been involved with as well. And I’d love to see us, uh, revisit this from time to time and, and help people along their journey as well. That’d be fun. Love it. So, yeah, you guys, you heard it here first.
So start asking some questions and uh, we’ll bring these guys on. Maybe we’ll reach out to some other business owners to join us from time to time and we’ll turn it into a thing. It sounds good. All right guys, thanks for joining us today. Thanks to all of you for tuning into the Frisco podcast. As always, please go out and subscribe. You can find us on iTunes, Google, play, Stitcher, Spotify, and pretty much in the place you’re listening to podcasts. We’re also putting the podcast out on YouTube, so if you haven’t subscribed to us there, please do so and we’ll see you next time.