Hey, my name is Burly Vinson and I’m the owner of Snappies. I create 100% hemp hats that are geared towards hikers, campers, or people who just like a different kind of snapback. Snappies is inspired by outdoor living, so proceeds from each hat go towards nonprofits that help plant trees. Snappies is based in Texas and started out in January 2017. I do around $2000 in monthly revenue.

During the launch phase, did you maintain a full-time job? (or even currently)

I still maintain my full-time job while working on Snappies. Honestly, I didn’t start the business as a way to quickly turn a profit. Snappies started because of my love of hats. One day I wanted to see if I could create a more rugged, comfortable snapbacks, and the rest is history.

How did you acquire customers/subscribers/users?

My first few customers came from Instagram. For companies with a visual product, Instagram is a great medium to get your name out there. It took a few days to get my first sale by just sharing content online, and then it was only a sale every few days.

I didn’t really start seeing traction until I began experimenting with Facebook ads. After experimenting with different copy and audiences, I created one add that stuck. From there, I refined the process.

My suggestion for others experimenting with Facebook ads is to double down on lookalike audiences. It wasn’t until I started creating my own custom audiences from email signups that the conversions really ticked up.

What software/platforms/tools have you utilized since launch? Which have worked / not worked?

Shopify is my go-to platform for my e-commerce website. It’s simple to manage and really customizable. My only complaint would be that a lot of the plugins can get pricey.

If you’re bootstrapping, MailChimp is really great for email marketing. Avoid the mistakes of others in e-commerce and start building up your newsletter list ASAP. Not only is a newsletter really great to help build audiences for Facebook ads, but once you have a large newsletter list, you have a built-in audience to share updates and new products.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? What would you do differently?

Absolutely! Starting Snappies has taught me a lot about what all it takes to create a business from scratch and how to go about building a brand following.

If I had to start again, I’d start sooner. Everything takes more time than expected, and the sooner you make the jump, the longer you have to get your business off the ground. Don’t fall into the analysis paralysis trap, start making something and get it out there. It’s the only way to know if you’ll be successful or not.

Lastly, if anyone reading this wants to know more about your company… where do we send them?

If you’re in the market for a hat, check us out at www.snappiesco.com or on Instagram @snappiesco.

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