66. How to Manufacture a Product and Sell It
Kimberly Wilson is a stationery designer in Auburn, California and the creator of The Lettermate. She’s had countless brides, friends, and fellow DIY’ers come to her in search of a solution to easily address envelopes. In comes The Lettermate, an envelope addressing guide for those who have trouble writing in a straight line!
In this episode, we discuss how she came up with the idea, developing a prototype, market research, working with manufacturers, and marketing her product. Have you ever wondered how to get a product manufactured, this is the episode for you.
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- She received her Bachelors Degree from the Academy of Art in San Fransisco
- Her passion for invitations and stationary led her to work in the wedding industry
- While working in the industry she noticed that brides were paying a lot for invitations, but they weren’t able to easily create the address on the envelope as beautiful, and most couldn’t afford to higher a calligrapher
- An aha moment occurred, and she remembered that interior designers and architects use lettering guides to keep their handwriting neat and professional
- Over a brainstorming session, her husband came up with the name, Lettermate
- She decided to field test it with the people in her industry and took handwriting samples from people in different age groups and genders; this allowed her to determine spacing, find out what a traditional size envelopes people generally use for a wedding invitation
- When thinking about the material she had to figure out how to get her designs manufactured; she also wanted to create it in the US
- It took about a year for her to get a prototype that worked
- Her design degree allowed her to design the product herself, but she advises other not to get discouraged if they can’t create the designs because there are plenty of amazing designers in your backyard
- Only ordered a couple of hundred units once the product was ready for distribution
- Her next steps where to find 25-30 big names in the wedding industry so they could test the prototype and provide her feedback
- Her media kit included the Lettermate along with a couple of pens and envelopes with the instruction to play with it
- The mini field test allowed her to tweak the designs and prepare for questions they may come up from customers
- She stresses having
- In 2014 she started Lettermate, but when the product became available in 2016 on Amazon they saw a massive jump in sales
- She walks through how she uses Amazon fulfillment
- Amazon: The Lettermate
- S W Basics (coupon code: SNOW)
- The Life Cleanse Journal (coupon code: FREESHIP)
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