SDH 231: Learn to Let Go Parts of Your Business and Outsource with Katie Doherty
Ahhh Friends! I am so excited! The day is here and She Did It Her Way Summit tickets are LIVE. This year’s summit is all about creating a profitable business in the digital age. We’re covering everything from the building an email funnel that converts, writing copy for your digital outlets that converts, how to streamline your content and what systems to use so you can create more of it, how to refurbish your content and more. All of this is so you can create a profitable business. Some of the speakers include Ashlyn Carter from Ashlyn Writes, Abigail and Emylee from Think Creative Collective, Maya Elious and others!
Two full days with a welcome kick off on Wednesday evening to get us started and a Friday closing celebration. We’re also offering a VIP ticket option this year where you get exclusive interaction with some of the speakers, coached by the speakers as part of the 4-week accelerator post the summit!
You can learn more about the speakers, ticket options and schedule of events at Shediditherwaysummit.com.
Be sure to sign up for the email list on the She Did It Her Way Summit website for exclusive updates and a code for 10% off your ticket.
I cannot WAIT! And I hope to see you there!
What do you do when the career you always thought you wanted, doesn’t work out? How do you begin to piece your new career path together? How do you know if you’re better off going off on your own?
Hey friends! Today we chat about that with Katie Doherty, who is the founder of La Rousse Shoppe, a resource for photographers to purchase decorative packaging and boxing materials, like La Rousse’s original product the Glass Photo Box! La Rousse originally started out as a platform for Katie to promote her wedding photography, but after not being able to find products to suit her brand’s style and aesthetic, she decided to make products of her own. Since La Rousse has continued to grow as an outlet for her creativity, and now features a blog that showcases customer’s use of their products, and a podcast that shines a light on other entrepreneurs across various industries!
Before Katie started La Rousse, was a third-grade elementary school teacher, and had grown up thinking that education and teaching was her calling. Unfortunately, once she started teaching, she became bogged down by the workload and frustrated with its lack of pay. She said she knew that those aspects were just part of what being a teacher meant, but she was surprised at how much it took over her life, and felt it had taken away her freedom and creativity.
She wanted to feel like she was in control of her own life, and have an outlet for her artistic expression, so she decided to explore her side passion for photography. To dip her toes into professional photography, she started to teach herself how to use her DSLR camera through research and YouTube videos, began taking evening classes at a community college, and started being mentored by a friend in wedding photography. Once she felt comfortable enough in her skills, she launched her online portfolio and took the final leap of quitting her job, and moving in with her parents so she could save money, and focus on getting her business off the ground by booking wedding, travel, and child photography gigs.
As her portfolio started to grow, and she began taking her presentation more seriously, she started looking for little print boxes to give to couples after their wedding, and have for herself to present her work. As she scoured the internet for something modern, cute, and unique, she could only find clunky wooden, or linen boxes that just didn’t match her brand’s aesthetic.
She then became inspired by entrepreneurs on the podcast, Money Pillow, who had come up with amazing ideas for products, and made their visions a reality by manufacturing and selling them. That’s when she came up with the idea for a glass photo box, and after searching high and low for a similar product, she decided to be the first one to create one!
To get started, she first had to find a supplier and searched Alibaba, which is an e-commerce site that connects buyers to sellers from India and China. After sifting through the site for hours, she finally found a supplier that made a terrarium, which is a glass usually made for vases. He didn’t make the type of product that she needed, but he had the supplies, so she reached out to him with the dimensions of her box, and a sketch. A month later, she got a sample from him, and it was perfect! She proceeded to buy 50 more, and launched La Rousse using Shopify!
After a decent start with a few sales, her business began to sink, because she wasn’t sure how to market or reach her target audiences. So she decided to share her business and product with her friend, Phil, who was a fellow wedding photographer and he loved it. He eagerly wanted to hop on as a business partner, which Katie said helped take a lot of the pressure off of her and provided her with a confidant and mentor as she navigated through the rough waters of entrepreneurship.
As orders start to increase, she had to move her inventory and work space to her parent’s garage, and hand packaged and detailed each order, and drove it to the post office. As business increased, even more, she had to hire some girls in her neighborhood to take over that aspect, despite her desire to oversee every little detail of the order. She had to relinquish even more control, as business continued to boom, and they had to hand their inventory over to a fulfillment center in Texas, which cut her out as a manufacturer and sent products straight to customers.
Since her brand and products have continued to skyrocket and have been featured in Allure Magazine, Lauren Conrad’s Holiday Gift Guide, as well as MSN’s 25 Holiday Gifts under $100!
Hear more of how La Rousse grew, and Katie’s story on this week’s episode!
In this episode you will…
- Know how to create the solution to your problem
- Be able to find suppliers for your product
- Learn to let go aspects of your business and outsource
- Know what to consider when picking a new space for your business
- Be able to choose the right overseas shipping company for your product
- Figure out if you want to be a hands-off or hands-on CEO
“I think my dad was taken aback by the fact that I had spent all this money on student loans, to become a teacher, and two years later, I had completely changed my mind…[but] everyone I came across was really supportive, they never had any doubts.” -Katie Doherty
“I was talking with a friend…and I very casually brought up this product I was working on, and he thought it was amazing. He was like, ‘Katie, you need to sign me on as your business partner, I can take this to new heights!’ I [thought] a business partner would be a great idea. All of the weight wouldn’t be on my shoulders, I could always go to someone for a second opinion, our just anything really. We have a great open relationship. Ever since Phil started on with me, I’ve seen the business grow times 10, it’s been amazing.”- Katie Doherty
“I’m like kind of a crazy perfectionist. I want everything down to the sticker being straight on the packaging, I want it all to be as perfect as it can be. And I was kind of convinced that unless I did it myself, that it would never be perfect, because no one else would care as much as I did. And I really had to let go of that because I bet there are people who pay great attention to detail, so that was one important thing for us as we were looking for fulfillment centers. Who was going to be willing to do a bit of boutique packaging to fit our brand.” -Katie Doherty