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021 | Stephanie Clarke, Dahlia Press on transitioning from a side hustle, working with reps and her system for outsourcing product packaging: TSBC alum, Stephanie Clarke is the founder of Dahlia Press, a boutique design and letterpress studio that offers custom design for events, as well as, a wide variety of stationery accoutrements for the retail and wholesale channels.  Stephanie...

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TSBC alum, Stephanie Clarke is the founder of Dahlia Press, a boutique design and letterpress studio that offers custom design for events, as well as, a wide variety of stationery accoutrements for the retail and wholesale channels.  Stephanie participated in our Paper Camp E-Course in 2014 before selling wholesale and exhibiting at the National Stationery Show. On today’s episode, Stephanie and I are talking about how her business transitioned from a side hustle into a full time gig, how sales reps have enhanced her business and she shares her system for outsourcing packaging of her products.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Stephanie’s background as a designer in a corporate environment Starting Dahlia Press as a side hustle while she worked a corporate career The benefits of keeping a full-time job while growing Dahlia Press Current product offerings and how this has changed over the years How Tradeshow Bootcamp prepared her for NSS Working with sales reps and how they have enhanced her business The complexity of working with more sales reps as Dahlia Press has grown The importance of communication & camaraderie with your sales reps and your entire team Stephanie’s process for outsourcing packaging Starting new team members, regardless of role, in the fulfillment process to help them understand the whole process of getting product in customers’ hands Stephanie’s advice to someone wanting to start a product based business How she makes the decision to retire products What’s coming up for Dahlia Press KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “Really, those six years, I don't think I've ever touched any of the money that was coming in from Dahlia Press, it just went right back into the business. Then, when I was going out on my own, I had a nice little cushion.” - Stephanie Clarke   “I love working with the reps who are out of state and areas that I just don't have a reach. They're the ones who have the relationships with the buyers, they understand the dynamics of the stores that are next door to one another and who's buying what, and how to deal with that.” - Stephanie Clarke   “I try to kind of spoil my reps. They're working hard for me. I want to make sure that they know I appreciate what they do.” - Stephanie Clarke   “I feel like that sense of communication and camaraderie is important in all relationships in business, you don't necessarily have to send them all gifts, but it's important to stay in contact.” - Katie Hunt   “Having that time to actually have those conversations [with sales reps or retailers], it helps you in your planning and determination of what you're going to be offering, and what product categories you want to go into, and how you can better serve your audience, and give them the things that they need.” - Katie Hunt   “Outsourcing your packaging is probably the simplest thing you can do.” - Stephanie Clarke   “I think everyone needs to have a good understanding of not only how the product works, and it goes together, and the whole process of getting them from A to B.” - Stephanie Clarke   “Do research as to where you fit in the market and how you can make your products unique and stand out. See what's out there and where there are holes and try to figure out how you can fill those as best as possible.” - Stephanie Clarke   “I think taking that time to figure out what your voice is and how to really stay true to that, it's important.” - Stephanie Clarke   “I think that is the benefit of having the full-time job and doing this on the side when you're starting a business, not putting the pressure on yourself to be everything all at once. You can have that time, that flexibility and that's huge.” Stephanie Clarke   "If it's not moving, and I'm sitting on a stack of those cards, and I'm not getting good feedback on them, and no one seems to be missing them, then, yeah, it's time to let it go.” - Stephanie Clarke   “Really take a good look at your line before you start your next catalog and decide like, ‘Okay, this one doesn't need to

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