This is where I share the story of creating my own bag brand, Po Campo.
I took a break from blogging but now I’m back. How funny that my last post featured a photo from Interbike, the now-defunct bike industry trade show. There’s a lot of explanations swirling around about why Interbike is no more (or, at least, taking a break), but I think a big reason is because it didn’t represent a scene that a lot of people wanted to be a part of. I know that’s largely why I stopped attending.
Bonus content: Listen to me talking about building a women’s focused bike brand with Arleigh Greenwald on the Shift Up Podcast
The lapse of Interbike brings me to a question I get asked a lot – do I do trade shows, and do I think they’re worthwhile? I’ve decided that they’re not the best use of Po Campo’s money, so we’re not doing any this year, but depending on your product and industry, they might be right for you.Continue reading “Are Trade Shows Worthwhile?”
Just like I didn’t appreciate how American I was until I spent time living abroad, and just like I didn’t realize how Midwestern I was until I moved to the east coast, I didn’t realize how female I was until I started my own business in a male-dominated field. I became acutely aware of this while listening to the 5th episode of the Pancake Town podcast from Chicago business owners Emily and Michelle about their distaste for the word “girlboss” in particular and for women-focused business support groups in general because those things are, or at least represent, a lifeline for me.Continue reading “Feeling like a #girlboss”
This morning, I read an article in the NY Times titled “To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now“. It made me reflect on some of the decisions I’ve been weighing about building an internal workforce or outsourcing work.Continue reading “The Joy & Sorrow of Outsourcing”
I often hear small brands boast being able to offer better quality products at lower prices by “cutting out the middleman”. The middleman they’re referring to is retailers, and they often follow up this statement with comparing themselves to brands like Warby Parker and Everlane who have had great success doing just that. But do we really want to run retailers out of business?Continue reading “Is cutting out the middleman a good idea?”
I grew up in a middle class family, but we were very frugal. Creatively reusing things and figuring out how to save money was our way of life. Discovering that you overpaid for something was shameful, as was buying something you didn’t need. We would scoff at the idea of buying name-brand things. “Don’t they know that such-and-such is the same exact thing for half the price?” we’d say, shaking our heads at the thought of such foolishness.
Being reluctant to ask for help has gotten me in trouble more than once. Yesterday was a good example.
I’m hot of the heels of a trip to China to visit my factory and suppliers and sourcing agents. This is the second time I’ve gone, and this year was as good as the first (see recap of first visit here).
One nice thing about being a small, founder-led business is that telling your “story” isn’t that hard. It’s by nature authentic, because it happened to you and you’re telling it, and it’s probably going to be at least somewhat interesting because you started your business to solve some sort of problem that nobody had thought to solve yet. (If you’re still struggling with whole to get your “story” down to a 3 minute spiel, I highly recommend taking General Assembly’s “Storytelling for Entrepreneurs” class).
If you’re looking for a way to manage your pre-orders and backorders, I just figured out how to do it with Quickbooks Premier. It’s super easy!