April 10, 2020
Ep. 14 – Becoming the Backroads Boss Lady – with Jessi Roberts

Ep. 14 – Becoming the Backroads Boss Lady – with Jessi Roberts

That’s what we did in our brick and mortar. I look at my online store as a brick and mortar;
It’s a second location for me. It’s an additional place. And we do everything possible to connect with
our customers. Welcome to Honest eCommerce, where we are
dedicated to cutting through the BS and finding actionable advice for online store owners. I’m your host, Chase Clymer. And I’m your host, Annette Grant. And we believe running an online business
does not have to be complicated or a guessing game. If you’re struggling in scaling your sales,
Electric Eye is here to help. To apply to work with us, visit electriceye.io/connect
to learn more. And let’s get on with the show. In this episode of Honest eCommerce, we interview
Jessi Roberts, the Founder, President and Boss Lady at Cheekys Brand and the author
of the new book, Backroads Boss Lady. Welcome back to another episode of Honest
eCommerce. I’m sitting here next to the lovely Annette
Grant. She just got back from a bunch of traveling. Learning way too much stuff. And today we welcome to the podcast, Jessi
Roberts from Cheekys Brand. Welcome to the podcast, Jessi. Hey! I’m excited to be here. Hey Jessi. We are super excited. Yeah. I’m loving it. We’re going to start doing more of these founders’
features. Find these founders’ stories. I’m so, so excited to have you here. Currently, though, you’re kind of a hustler
moving around a bunch. Tell us, tell everyone where you are right
now. (laughs) So, physically, I’m in a parking lot for a
Pita Pit and… (laughs) About 10 miles from the airport. (laughs) I couldn’t quite make it all the
way to the airport before we did the call. So I was like trying to find a quiet parking
spot. No, I just wanted to bring that up because
it goes to her style and she’s a hustler. And she told us, “I didn’t want to cancel
on you. I wanted to get it done. I’m gonna make it happen.” Well, I appreciate that. And I appreciate you guys letting me maybe
have a garbage truck sound in the background and I apologize to the listeners for that
ahead of time. We welcome the trash we’re gonna… I do believe that hustling is… There’s so much talk about hustle right now. I feel like it’s a buzzword or something. But I’ve always thought, I have to be willing
to do what other people won’t. And that’s kind of been like the backbone
of my business. It’s just being willing to do the other shit
that other people are just not willing to do. So I’m willing to have those conversations. I’m willing to go do the hard work and if
I have to use a straw to put my hair up in a bun so that I can get the work done and
I’m probably going to do that too. (laughs) That’s amazing. Cool. So, let’s take us back. Take us back. Let’s go down memory lane to 2011, the start
of Cheekys. So what was going on in your life back then? Well, there was a lot going on in my life. There was a huge commercial construction bust. I don’t know if anybody remembers just how
terrible it was around then. I’m in the construction industry and my husband
and I lost our construction business. And we took a very, very small nest egg and
decided like $7,000. Which is a lot, but also not a lot. And we decided to utilize one of the tiny
buildings in my small town. My small town is about 1400 people and all
the downtown storefronts were vacant. So we rented one for $400 a month and thought,
“Oh, you know what? We should open a tanning salon. Whoa.” (laughs) And yeah. So I spent the majority of my money on tanning
beds (laughs), and I bought a few retail products. And like in a week and a half, I had like
two tanners but every purse and every jewelry item I had bought was gone. So I sold the tanning beds, and I started
buying more and more retail product. And very, very quickly, I was on Facebook. And people were just asking me like, “Do you
have a website?” And I was like, “I don’t, but I can open up
a Facebook page for free.” This was back before businesses paid for boosted
ads and things like that. And I really do feel like I was blessed to
start on Facebook like at this perfect moment and was able to like get in on the ground
level of businesses on Facebook. That’s very exciting. And I use that as a way to drive traffic. So my first real website, sadly, was a Facebook
page. And I just had people order on there and I
packaged it up and shipped it. So really quick, was the product… Did you create any of the product or were
you buying products from other wholesalers? At that point in time, I was only purchasing
wholesale product and reselling it. I started doing a bunch of events and everybody
at the events had the same thing as me. Because if I tried to depend on my town of
1400, to feed four kids and 22,000 dogs, –because my husband loves animals– then we would have
starved. And so I had to like, figure out a way to
physically get in front of other people. So I went to rodeos and stock shows and fairs
and festivals, anywhere that I could just set up a booth. And I started handing out flyers to my Facebook
page. And so then I realized that like everybody
in all of these shows has the same stuff. And so I told my husband, I’m like, “We got
to do something different.” I also discovered… Because I am in a rural… My customer lives a country rural lifestyle,
and they’re a little bit sassy. So I was like, “Some of these things don’t
make sense. Like, I don’t understand some of these products.” The animals weren’t anatomically correct. They were weird. Like, things weren’t right. And I discovered that the majority of the
items that I was purchasing were actually designed in China or Korea or Vietnam. And they didn’t have that same lifestyle experience. So I felt like it was essential for me to
start designing my own product so that I could offer an authentic product to my customer. And so we started doing that probably about
2012. You had zero design experience, correct? Yeah. I just knew I was really good at looking at
what people were doing and going, “Yeah, we need to fix that” Like, “That isn’t right. I need to fix that.” And so my husband and I bought like a little
screen printing or color screen printing press off of Craigslist, and we set it up in a storage
unit behind my building. My poor husband didn’t have running water,
heat, or air conditioning. I mean, like, anybody who’s screenprints knows
that it’s impossible to screen print without water or air conditioning. (laughs) And so I would literally make my
husband go back there. A customer would come in and be like, “You
don’t have this shirt in my size.” and I was like, “hold on.” And I would make my husband go back to this
little friggin’ tiny cave and print a shirt. Now we run a press that can print 1200 shirts
an hour. So… (laughs) Small, small upgrade, and hopefully… Yeah. Hopefully, air conditioning and running water
now? Yes. The building and… Well, the press itself is worth more than
my home. And it was so heavy that we actually hit our
infrastructure… Our small town couldn’t handle the press’s
weight, because there were old, like late 1800s/early 1900s buildings with basements. So the press was so heavy, we actually had
to build a warehouse for the press itself because we outgrew the infrastructure, the
power, weight, internet phones, everything for my little tiny town. (laughs) That is wild! Really wild. (laughs) Yeah, I mean right now… Yesterday, we had Idaho power. We’ve been so blessed to have the Department
of Commerce here help us. Because we’ve been up upgrading the infrastructure
for my town that they’ve been setting new transformers and putting in new power poles
all downtown. I now own about half of one of the two city
blocks in my downtown. I just started buying up the empty vacant
buildings and turning them into our warehouse. Amazing. That’s… Yeah, now you’re a real estate guru, but so… Not really. (laughs) (laughs) The least impressive thing I have done. (laugh) So you got some traction on Facebook. You were getting traction at local events. You started… What I hear is that you started to really
listen to your customers. And when you did that, is that when you started
to do more of… You moved online. And when you moved online, how did you do
that from Facebook to your own site? Talk us through that transition. Well, I had a brick and mortar actually up
until last year. Okay. And we probably we’ll bring a brick and mortar
back. I wanted… Really when we moved into wholesale, it was
like, “Oh, why am I doing this to myself every day? Why am I opening up this store when I don’t
have to, and I can make more money online than I can in the store?” And then as my… I don’t know what the word I’m looking for. Like, I want to say notoriety. But as people started to recognize me and
know who I was, people started wanting to be able to meet us and come in. We built this community. And like ladies want a place to come and road
trip and check things out. So we feel like to serve our customers, we
really need to create another brick and mortar for them. But, ultimately when I first started the website,
I hate invoicing. And I also felt like it didn’t allow me to
add extra set… It didn’t allow a cart increase like I couldn’t
increase the sale of invoicing. So I went and got… I think my first website was with 3dcart. And then they made me mad and I moved over
to the Volusion. And they were terrible for two weeks so I
moved back to 3dcart. And then I finally went to BigCommerce. I currently have three websites, we run an
auction for all of my overstock samples and miscellaneous inventory. I’ve run that since 2012 on a website. And then we have our wholesale site and then
we have a retail site. We were with BigCommerce for a really long
time up until last October, so just about a year with Shopify Plus. And it was… We simply moved because BigCommerce wasn’t
growing as fast as we needed it to for us to be able to run a concurrent inventory between
wholesale and retail. We didn’t want to have 2 inventories anymore. So we needed a platform that can handle that. But, I remember sitting on my couch, and I
would get so excited when I would hit like $175 or $200 in sales. Which was literally just me saying to people
on Facebook, “Oh, you like that? Let me go put that on my website really quick
and you can check out.” (laughs) So, I would just literally like move
everything from social media over to the website. And then people started checking out the products
that would sit there. They would buy stuff that I would forget and
leave on the site. I was like, “Hey, I think I need to, I need
to take this more seriously, I need to put more stuff on there.” And then it just grew and grew and grew. And as it spider-webbed out, our following
–even though I’m in the Pacific Northwest– the majority of our following is actually
in the South. So it was really nice to be able to have income
when I wasn’t actually at work. That’s the key. I hope our listeners hear that. That when you’re like sitting on your couch
at home, that you’re still selling things, it’s an amazing feeling and your customer
isn’t expecting it to get sent out immediately, which is nice. So… I was sooo excited. I would literally like happy dance every time. And I still… Even though we have hundreds of orders that
come in every day, I still get every Shopify notification. It was really hard when I switched from BigCommerce
to Shopify. Because with BigCommerce, I actually got an
email of every order and my customers that comments in and I would reply to them, when
they would send me comments. We have… I’m a profit first fan, right? We talked about that I love Mike Michalowicz’s
book, Clockwork. So we worked really hard to have what we call
our “Queen Bee Role”. And so a lot of people might assume that’s
like a mission. But it’s more of an action that we take in
everything that we do, whether it’s working with our vendors, even with you guys as hosts
of this podcast, or our customers; Is that we will make a genuine connection. Always. That is what we do. And that’s what we did in our brick and mortar. And so I look at my online store as a brick
and mortar. It’s a second location for me. It’s an additional place. And we do everything possible to connect with
our customers in any way that we can. I have three girls that work full time in
Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Florida because they’re all in different time zones. And all they do is reply to people on social
media and make connections with our customers. That’s amazing. Simplr Ad
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email and live chat around the clock was Simplr specialists. Start your free seven-day trial at simplr.ai/honest. So I want to go back to something that you
said a few minutes ago. And I want to bring it up again because I
feel like it’s crucial to your story and to the journey of a young business. You got off your ass and went to all these
places to put your new business in front of new eyes. I think that was pivotal to your growth. And I’ll let you elaborate on it if you’d
like. Well, I’m actually going to use someone else
as an example because I mentor a lot of women who run boutiques. I have a mentee that I absolutely adore. She runs a faith-based website called Doses
of Grace. You should check it out. dosesofgrace.com. But we were looking at… We did a like a little critique yesterday. Because when I mentor somebody… The last was I’m like… When you have a consultant, they come in and
they’re like, “Okay, let’s look at your website. Well, you need to change this. We need to change that.” Or they look at your social media and you
need to change this. But I kind of look at it as a whole picture. And we were talking and she’s like, “I had
somebody say to me, ‘You don’t have very many products on your website, is that a strategy
that you’re using?'” And she’s like, “I wanted to die.” She’s like, “No, that is not a strategy. Oh, my gosh, I don’t have enough products
on my website.” And I was like, “Well yeah, let’s look into
that.” So I started looking and it’s like, “Yeah. People want more because what you’ve got is
so great. But you’re not getting in front of it. Like they’re not… They’re bored because there’s nothing to look
at after the first two pages. And so you’re not giving them enough.” And then we go over to her Facebook page. And she has all these amazing quotes and stuff. And I was like, “At no point did you ask for
the sale.” Like, at no point did you say, “Hey, this
isn’t just a cool quote with some earrings. Like I have these earrings for sale. You should check out my website and go buy
them.” And I think that is… What happens is, people, get so scared. She’s like, “I just don’t want to be too salesy.” And I’m like, “Pardon my language. But isn’t that your damn job? Like, isn’t your job to sell this stuff? Like, isn’t that why you have a website? Isn’t that why you have a business so you
can sell it? So ask for the money, like, ask for the sale,
go show your stuff off, and go meet some people.” I’m not gonna… I’m one of those girls. I love Jesus. But I cuss a lot, and it’s super cool not
to be super religious. But the Proverbs 31 woman, is… She was actually a salesman. That’s the most revered woman in the Bible. Her job was to sell things. She actually went and she was a fabric dealer,
and she sold fabrics to everybody in the city, and her husband totally respected her for
that. And so I just want other people to say, “Why
do you even have a website if you’re not going to try to actually sell it? If you’re not gonna, give them something and
let them purchase from you? Preach. Preach. (laughs) Right? Why have any commerce site, if you’re not
going to sell? Yeah, you have to make the offers. You have to keep making the offers. And I think we forget that… We see it so much, we feel like we’re trying
to sell people but you really aren’t. Your message isn’t seen as much as you think
it is. Yeah. And it’s just… The internet’s not new. There’s no reason I should buy something from
you versus somebody else. You got to stand out, you gotta ask. Right. And I feel like a lot of times people go,
“Okay, I’m an internet business. So I should only be on the internet.” Well no, not really. like, Have your card in your friggin’ purse
in your wallet. You should be going through cards all the
time. That’s what I did. I listened to one of your podcasts and I know
it was like, organic reach is, building a business organically is kind of dying. But it’s only dying because people aren’t
doing it. You can find customers, even though we reach
about 2 million people a week on Facebook alone in our videos, a pretty powerful for
a little place, 1400 people in Idaho, right? But I still have… So I’m in a Beta Program through Facebook
where people can pay to follow me. So Facebook calls me and they’re like, “We’re
really, really like blown away by the amount of followers that you have because you’re
a brand. You’ve convinced people to spend $5 a month
and you’re a clothing line. That doesn’t make sense to us, like what are
you offering them?” And you have to look at that. I have 2 million people that I’m reaching. I have 250 people, which I thought sounded
like the world’s smallest number. I was super embarrassed that we only had 250
People following us. And Facebook’s like, “No, you’re like the
second-largest brand that has anybody paying to follow them.” Those are the people that are making me the
money. So I’m making a connection with those 200
people. And that is where the money’s at. It’s in that genuine connection. It’s in that organic reach of reaching out
to them, talking to them having a conversation… I want my barista buying for me. And if I can turn them into super fans, man
that’s money right there. Yeah, it’s the depth of the relationship. Yeah. Not the number of relationships you have. They are advocates. Those people are going to be out there. They’re salespeople. Saleswomen and men for you because they’re
advocates for your brand. They’re like, “I respect what she does. I like her journey. I like her product. I like her style. I like her sass.” I feel like people use that. Social media is so terrible. And the fact that it… I work in one of the most ruthless industries,
okay? I know everybody thinks that they do. But like, I work with some fake frickin people. I hear girls all the time. “I have this many gajillion visitors to my
site and this…” It’s all fake. And so for me, I feel like social media and
internet businesses, eCommerce allow you to have this totally fake math. Realtors, they have reports that come out. Reports come out. And they’re like, “We know how many houses
you sold.” But in the eCommerce business, people use
that website as almost like a fake shield. And they’re scared to actually have like human
interaction. Well, that ends up hurting you in the long
run. Because if you can’t stand out as being genuine,
authentic and something different, then yeah. Why buy the hat for me when you could buy
it from somebody else? Absolutely. There’s a lot to unpack there, and I really
enjoyed it. Yeah, but I actually been… Maybe some of our listeners don’t know, because
I’m not aware of this. So you have followers that –it’s a beta test–
but you have followers that pay a monthly or just a one time fee to follow you on Facebook? They pay a monthly fee. Is it like a Facebook group? or What is that? No, It’s actually on our business page. Okay. And so what happens is they become a supporter. A lot of gamers are very successful. People will pay $5 and then they get to watch
these people game, and they learn gaming stuff. Gotcha. So it’s like, it’s like a Patreon but a Facebook
version. Yes. And then what happened was I just randomly… I’ve done so much with Facebook that they
asked me to be involved. And I thought, okay. Like, “How can I make this special?” So we give them exclusive content, we give
them coupons, but mostly we give them authentic content. I post to them almost like an Instagram story
that they’re only allowed to see. They get to help me with designs, –like if
I’m looking at choosing between different colors– or out shopping at a market or working
on something, I let them have those sneak peeks and they get to participate. It’s pretty cool. I just know that it would be a real struggle
for other brands that have not worked to be authentic. If you’re trying to look like all the other
boutiques out there or all the other businesses out there, it’s not going to be the program
for you. Does that program… What’s the name of it? It’s just Facebook Supporters. It’s in the Facebook creators. Okay. So you have to be a Facebook creator first,
and then have a decent following for your video content. Great and well hopefully we can link to your
page in our show notes so our listeners can go see that. Honestly, like, if you’re even curious about
it, you can sign up to be a supporter. It costs you five bucks and you can learn
that whole month from me. Ways to actually engage and create like exclusive,
authentic content with Facebook Followers. Genius. Cool. So let’s talk about this. You guys started small. Now, you are impressing the hell out of me. 2018 Inc 500 for Rapid Growth. Did you ever sign out to be on that list? No. Because I actually… I love all the folks that Inc. They’ve been huge supporters for me. I actually became friends with their social
media manager because I called her out. I was like, “How come you don’t have anything
for mom and pops? I really love your guys’ page, but can you
throw Main Street a bone?” And so, they actually ended up doing an article
on me called Main Street. But that isn’t like impressive to me. I mean, it is impressive, but I care more
about my gross profit than I do about my growth. So for me this year it wasn’t, “Okay, let’s
make more. Let’s sell more things. Let’s make more money on the things that we’re
selling. And let’s focus on creating superfans.” And lo and behold, of course the gross ends
up happening. But we were, I think, number 356. And we had 1400 percent growth over three
years. And I feel like, one of the problems as business
owners, we’re constantly putting ourselves in this imaginary race and we’re like, “Oh,
I better… I don’t know what you’re trying to get to. Do you really want your business to end? Why not enjoy where you’re at?” It’s kind of like… Do either of you have kids? Noooo… (laughs) We’re both laughing right
now because the thought of it is kind of comical to us. Yeah. I have nephews and I’ll watch them for an
afternoon. We don’t. But we get the concept of children. (laughs) But the thing is you would never say, “Oh
my gosh, I cannot wait until my kid gets so big and dies.” You wouldn’t want the end of a kid’s life
to happen. Right. So why are we doing that with our businesses? Yeah. Why? What’s the point? Enjoy that time when you’re happy dancing
because you finally hit $200 in sales. Enjoy buying domains and creating your website. Instead of like, “Oh, I just want to get past
this and get to the next thing.” Why? Can you not be content and be driven at the
same time? Like, that is my goal way more than an Inc
500 award. I can not agree with you more people always
ask us like, “Hey, Chase. What are you and Shawn trying to do with Electric
Eye, the agency.” And I’m like, “I…” You’re like, “We’re trying to enjoy it.” Yeah. It’s like, I don’t care that people have… It’s a lifestyle business. There’s a weird connotation around that. I’m like, “I don’t care what your connotation
is. Me and Shawn can make this work for us. And I’m going to be working from Mexico next
week. And that’s how we’re making it work.” No, that’s beautiful. Like, that’s the point. I hope that you read my book. I think you’ll really love it. Even though it is written for women, I was
like, “I really want this to be for men and women.” My publisher is like, “Men don’t really read.” So… That’s a lie. I read a lot of books. But also Jessi, what book… We haven’t talked about your book yet? Yeah, we wanted.. (laughs) They’re just like, “Women buy books. Okay? Women buy books.” (laughs) And I was like, “All right. Fine.” So my book is The Backroads Boss Lady. And it’s really funny because I learned so
much about publishing, I was not actually setting out to write a book. I didn’t think anybody would be interested
in my story. And actually through Inc Magazine is how my
book agent found me. The book deals are done before the book is
written. Isn’t that the weirdest thing ever? I thought you wrote a book and then somebody
who looks like Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada read your book and decides whether you’re
worthy of having one. It does not work that way. I don’t think that it does. (laughs) But I asked them. I was like, “So, is this a business book?” And my publisher was like, “I don’t know,
is it a business book?” So we started writing it. My co-writer is actually male which was amazing
because I feel like he was able to put this super cool perspective into my voice. And I never thought a man could write my book. But he did. And he did a great job. And all of a sudden it was like, “Whoa, this
is actually a memoir. And it’s a book about business. It’s not necessarily a business book.” So you do get to learn tons and tons of cool
tips and tricks. And, I talk about, why we do things the way
that we do and how we do certain things. But there’s typically a non-business reason
or lifestyle as to why I do those things. Does that make sense? Absolutely. I felt like there was not a book out there
that… So I love to read and you love to read. But do you ever read books and you feel like
you have to use Google for like half of the things that are in them and you’re so that
you don’t feel stupid reading the book? I don’t read books… I don’t read those hardcore nerdy books like
that. Not nerdy… Because that’s the thing. You can’t go buy a business book and pick
it up and you’re like, “Yeah, I can start doing this today.” Well, I beg to differ. There’s a few out there like all Mike Michalowicz’s
books are already pretty well- written. But I do have to tell you, I still had to
Google some things when I read Mike’s book because I’m not an accountant. I’m not a… I don’t have this fancy business degree. And so I wanted to write a book that was for
a mom and pop. It was for a solopreneur. It was for somebody who did not have… I mean I don’t know about you but I don’t
feel like any really good entrepreneurs had everything handed to them, right? No, not at all. And I think that with the business book of
today versus what it was many years ago… I don’t know if you’ve ever read Think and
Grow Rich. It’s all right but god awful to read. It’s just very lexicon-y and weird. It’s definitely highbrow, in my opinion. But then there are all these cool newer books
coming out like Mike’s books, like Built to Sell –I have had that right behind me– by
John Warren? What’s that? John Warr-illow? I can’t read that, Annette. (laughs) But Built to Sell is an amazing book. It’s written as an allegory. It’s written as like… This is a business growing and these are the
choices he made to make this business more amazing than when it was when it started. But all these nuggets of wisdom… Maybe that’s the damn first thing in my book. (laughs) Maybe. I don’t know. You should definitely read it. If you haven’t read it though. It’s amazing. I will. I just read… I see them great books. I just read Fran Hauser’s book, The Myth of
the Nice Girl. And it is a book that I would encourage both
men and women to read. I thought for sure somebody named Fran was
going to have a boring book, okay? I’m just saying. (laughs) (laughs) Caroline Danehy
But Fran actually has become my friend and dare I say a mentor. She is super powerful. This woman was the former president of Time
Digital. And everything that she talked about, even
though it was in a boardroom, it was so easy to take and go, “Oh my gosh, I could totally
use that just with a committee at my kids’ school.” Or “I could use that talking to my spouse.” And I really hope that that’s something that
people are able to get out of my book. It’s really funny. Everybody who reads it tells me something
different touched them. And it’s definitely one of those books. It’s like Gloria Estefan like, “Get on your
feet, get up, take some action.” And so I do hope that you read it. And I hope that you tell me what you think
like honestly. No bullshit. I want to know. Did I do my job? Well, here’s the thing. I know that Annette has already pre-ordered
it. So once she’s done, I’ll give it a read. Awesome. And I want to… I normally don’t do this. But I want to ask, just because your story
so great. Is there something… For our listeners, what is a tool or an app
or something that you use daily that has really changed your life or made your life a lot
easier as a business owner? Well, shoot. And I know that came from left field, but
I just feel like you probably have something to give there. No. It’s okay. Coming from BigCommerce where there were no
apps… You didn’t have apps. I actually got interviewed last summer on
a panel and everybody on the panel was with Shopify, except for me. And so they’re like, “What apps do you use?” And I was like, “Facebook, Google…” (laughs) I was like, “The Cheeky’s app. I use my business’ app. I don’t know what you guys are talking about.” But I have tried really hard to stay away
from apps. I don’t know why. I just have a resistance to them. I’m like, “No. I want to do this on my own.” Which is so foolish, because I should utilize
some of these. But I hate feeling trapped. Does that make sense? Like, I hate feeling like, what if this app
puts… Goes away? Yeah. What if it goes away? What if it doesn’t work anymore? And maybe that’s from not being with Shopify. Well… I’m sorry, go ahead. And it doesn’t have to be an app. Is it like a journal that you use? Is it a timer on your phone? What is it as a business owner that you feel
gives you a little bit of edge or maybe calm each day in the craziness? Is there just something that you’ve… That helps me tick? It doesn’t have to be technology. It can be non-technology. I would say… Last night, I did this super cool panel for
the Women Who Get Shit Done chapter in Boise. And we talked about our principles. And my number one principle that I have is
to educate yourself. I hate when somebody comes to me and they’re
like, “I just need help. I don’t know what to do.” And I’m like, “Well, what was the last book
you read? What was the last thing that you looked up
on your own?” At our work, we have a saying, “Is this a
question you can answer yourself?” And that isn’t because we’re too busy and
we don’t want to help people. It’s because there’s this super cool thing
that happens when you start researching and investigating and finding out answers on your
own. You learn so much more than the original answer
that you were seeking. And so I spend every day/time educating myself. I also spend approximately an hour a day investigating
my customers. And by that I mean, I will see who is commenting
and who is purchasing and I go to their Facebook page and I look at their lifestyle. Are they plus size? Are they wearing camo? Are they riding horses? And those types of indicators for me actually
give me even more knowledge than Facebook’s Insights and things like that. I want to actually see what are these people
doing and who are they. And I do that every single day to make sure
that I have a pulse on my market and that I’m working to serve my customers. Because the more I serve them, the more they
serve me. That goes with my employees. That goes with anybody that I come in contact
with. So… Yeah, that’s what I was looking for. That’s the gold right there. I bet you if we pulled our listeners who are
store owners and ask them the last time they spend an hour going through their customers
Facebook or Instagram feed, they probably wouldn’t be able to do that. So that’s… It’s so powerful. I mean, even if they spend 15-20 minutes… Mm-hmm… It’s crazy because we have all those people
in our group. Because we have a Facebook group, a VIP group. It has only 15,000 people in it. But we run about 95% active members which
I think is unheard of. That’s insane. Our customers are unbelievably active. Hundreds of thousands of comments every month
out of 15,000 people, right? But if I go in there and I reply to them,
I look at their Facebook picture and they’re there with their kid or their spouse and I
reply to them, that’s a connection, right? They’re like, “Oh shit, the Boss Lady just
told me that she loved my dress I wore to my kids’ basketball banquet” Where do you
think they’re going to buy their next hat from? Yeah, I wanted to pull my wallet out. And I don’t even… I’m not quite… I don’t need anything right now. But no. That’s awesome! I want to… Before we close out the show –one thing we
didn’t touch on– we just want to give you props on it, is you’re from this super small
town –and I think sometimes as a store owner we need to remember, too– you employ 30 people
in your town currently, is that correct? I run anywhere between 20 to 30 employees. And that’s in New Plymouth. And then in addition to that, I employ graphic
designers in Venezuela, because women have a difficult time getting income in Venezuela. I can PayPal it to them. And so most of our designs are hand-drawn. And then even the factories that I use are
typically in rural areas. I do that on purpose. And then, of course, we have our social media
staff that works throughout the United States in addition to our New Plymouth employees. So I just want to touch on… I think everyone’s income is usually a direct
reflection of the impact they make in the world. And that impact that you’re having, I know,
on your employees is huge. Thank you. So I just wanted to note that, to our listeners,
of how deep that is on the employment side. I appreciate that. I talked about it in the book, but I had an
employer that was a real hard-ass once. He told me, “Your responsibility is not to
be a boss or a bitch. Your responsibility is to make sure that your
employees can buy cars, that they can buy homes, that they are actually able to live
a great life.” And so I know that everybody’s always trying
to trim and trim and trim. But we put a lot of our money into being able
to hire and employ people. I want to hire people that want to be successful
in life. Not just get a job, but they want to do the
job. That is it. That is so important to me. Actually way more important than the Inc 500
is the fact that we’re actually able to put kids in preschool. Real life, real shit. And that matters to me. Right now, we are carried in 3500 retailers
across the United States and Australia. And so that to me is 3500 women that are able
to carry my product in their stores and do that same thing and offer more money into
their communities. We did a fundraiser for the hurricane, that
specifically all of those funds went to restarting small businesses because I wanted them to
be able to hire people and put people back to work. So I appreciate that. No. that’s amazing. Through that whole growth, did you ever have
an “aha moment?” You’re like, “This isn’t my business anymore. Look at all these people that rely on me.” Yeah. I was doing an interview with, I think Forbes,
like a few weeks back. And yeah. It was so cool. And she was like, “What is success to you? When did you realize that you are successful?” And it just hit me I was like, “When I was
able to stop keeping secrets. When I no longer had to hide the apps that
I used or the number of orders that came in or I wasn’t scared to introduce somebody to
a manufacturer. I wasn’t afraid to take somebody to a show
and teach them and lead them. I no longer was in that (mindset), ‘I have
to keep all of this hidden and only to me.’ That was when I realized that…” It was super cool. I could really just be myself and that was
just fucking fine. I think that’s probably the place where we
should wrap it up. But let’s tell everybody where they can find
your book and the name of your book again. So the book is Backroads Boss Lady: Happiness
Ain’t A Side Hustle.” And you can just search Backroads Boss Lady
on Amazon Books or Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Target. Any major book retailer is carrying the book. Wonderful. Absolutely. And if people want to learn more about your
brand where should they go? cheekysboutique.com. Just go to Facebook and type in Cheeky’s Brand. I would love for you to come and watch one
of our live (videos). My husband and I have a pretty good time. People love to laugh and we’re like the redneck
version of Chip and Joanna Gaines. Haha! Love it! (laughs) So good. And then you’ve been kind enough to offer
our listeners –if they’re interested in any of your products– a coupon code. That will be I think 15% off on product and
the code is NOBS. Yeah. And you don’t have to put the dots in there. So it’s just like NOBS Yeah. You don’t need any BS periods. Yeah. (laughs) Even if you’re not western, there are so many
fun and sassy things on there. You can even get a shirt that says “Don’t
BS me darlin’.” So… Well, I think our listeners maybe make it
part of an experiment to actually order from Cheeky’s. Make a comment in your order, see how they
respond and watch how that process goes. Or join us as a supporter. Our first month, we actually give you a $10
gift card so it basically pays for your first two months of being a supporter. But at least come and learn for your business. Watch and see what we’re able to do with a
customer and how close we can actually get to them so that you can emulate that in your
own business. And just because you’re in a small area or
a small place or even if you feel like you’re small in a big, big pond, just know that you
can do some really big shit. You can really put it together. If I can do it in a town of 1400 people with
very little internet, you can build an online business wherever you’re at. That’s gold. Thank you so much for joining us. Yeah. We appreciate it. Yeah. You’re welcome. We can’t thank our guests enough for coming
on the show and sharing the truth. links and more will be available in the show
notes. If you found any actionable advice in this
podcast that you’d like to apply to your business, please reach out at electriceye.io/connect. Please make sure to subscribe to Apple Podcasts,
Spotify or your podcast app of choice.

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