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Who are you and what business did you start?
“My name is Liz Butts and I am the owner of Sprinkle Pop. We manufacture artisan sprinkle mixes for confectionery use.”
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
“I have a B.A. in finance and I worked in the oil and gas industry in treasury for nearly 10 years after college. All the while I’ve been a cake decorator on the side – since I was 15 actually. In January of 2017, I was looking for a specific combination of sprinkle colors for a baby shower cake. I could find them, so I created them myself. From there, Sprinkle Pop was born.”
Describe the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing the product.
“For each season I make sure to pay attention to the trends. I find color inspiration all over the place. Over 50% of our sprinkles are hand dyed. If we are introducing new colors, testing must be done to create a color formula as well. Once we have all our necessary component in stock, a formula is created by weight so that we can easily reproduce the sprinkle and have consistency from batch to batch.”
Describe the process of launching the online store/business.
“I was fortunate enough to have a community of cake decorators all over the country to sell to from the get-go. However, there was still a learning curve of photography, SEO, marketing, etc. I’m still learning every day!”
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
“We’ve used a number of methods for marketing: Influencer marketing, Facebook ads, trade shows, etc.”
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
“The business is thriving. In less than a year, I was able to quit my job and work on Sprinkle Pop full time. We have a warehouse in the city and several employees both in person and virtual.”
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
“The biggest lesson I have learned is to know your weaknesses. I spent way too much time trying to learn as much a possible – not a bad thing. However, the biggest wins we’ve had in our business is when I’ve hired experts to help me where I am lacking.”
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
“We use Shopify for our website, QuickBooks for bookkeeping and accounting, Shipping Easy for shipping, facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for marketing.”
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
“Surround yourself with cheerleaders! Always have your problem-solving hat on – you will fail! However, it’s how you move past your failures, learn from them, and persevere that will lead to your ultimate success.”
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
“Currently, we are not hiring, but I do anticipate needing to hire another “Sprinkle Fairy” mid-year.”
What’s your average monthly revenue?
“We’re continuously growing so we don’t have a true average. I can say, though, that we did nearly triple our income from year 1 to year 2.”