Mei: Welcome to the Business Buzz Podcast, Jaimee. We’ve got Jaimee Newberry on the line today and I’m really excited to have her on as our honored guest of this episode.
Jaimee, it’s hard to keep track of all the things you do, but you have a crazy impressive resume! Let me just try, okay? So, you co-hosted a podcast called the Tiny Challenges, you’re also a consultant advisor type person or you’ve got that role for a native app development company, and you’re a highly sought out keynote speaker. I’ve seen the humongous list of conferences and events that you have spoken at in the last few years. I don’t think I’ve seen a bigger list than that, honestly. You’re also a writer, I see that you’re scheduled to release your book this year. Right?
Jaimee: I really hope so. A company that we will talk about in a minute has kind of delayed the finishing of it, so I’m really hoping to get that out this year.
Mei: I can only imagine what kind of huge wrench you’ve put into your book plans, but I’m sure it’s a really good thing you’re doing. Let’s see. You’ve also developed apps in your past and when you go to speak, you speak a lot about technology and user experience, business, and basically everything. What do you not do?!
Jaimee: It’s funny because I’ve worn a lot of hats and it’s been great, but it just seems like you go down one road for a while and new opportunities arise and you either seize them or you don’t. I feel like I have walked a really amazing path, have been really lucky, the things that have unfolded themselves, and the opportunities that have presented themselves – I just have to keep moving and following my heart!
Mei: I don’t really believe in luck. I don’t think you got to where you are today from just being lucky. Nobody is that lucky! This was a result of the very deliberate steps that you took from the very beginning. We could probably sit all day talking about the last 20 years of your life and how you made everything happen, but more importantly, I brought you on today because I think you have something very valuable to share. We can learn so much from your experience and your success.
Guys, you’ve probably met Jaimee without even realizing it. It was the same thing for me, Jaimee. When people have signatures in their emails I almost always click on them. I can guarantee you, I will click on your signature and check out your website.
When your email came in, you said you were the owner of Picture This Clothing, I click on the website, and boom! “Honey come here I need to show you something!” It is the best idea I’ve heard or seen in a very long time. You can go check out her website https://picturethisclothing.com/. You’ve probably seen a bunch of videos of her work or company on social media. There was something to do with Amy Poehler and Ellen DeGeneres, right?
Jaimee: It was Amy Poehler. Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls caught wind of our company and they invited me down for an interview. We talked for about 45 minutes or so and it was super cool! They put together a video that’s on our Facebook page and our homepage if you scroll down a little bit. It is kind of us in a nutshell in a lot of ways. It’s truly an honor and the buzz that this thing picked up is awesome.
Mei: Up to this point, how many views or comments has this video gotten?
Jaimee: The Amy Poehler one was in the hundred thousands, but we had another one that is over 40 million and one that’s just gone viral that has over a million. It’s funny because people will ask if they have permission to use pictures from our Facebook and Instagram. Absolutely! Everything we do we try to put out for public consumption because it’s such a sharable thing and we want people to share what they and their kids make. We say “Of course, anything that’s on our site, if you have any questions ask, and please use it in context.” We’ve had some confusion around what exactly we make, but I think if you watch the videos and read the website it’s pretty clear.
Mei: It is! It’s very clear. I just see this picture and think it’s the cutest thing!
So Jaimee, walk me through how this works. Your customer would download a printout template of a dress, right?
Jaimee: Yes, it’s like a coloring book sheet. You choose a size and you print out the template.
Mei: And then you let your kids, honestly I don’t think this is just a product for kids because I totally see myself drawing something on it and wearing. But so you let your kids draw on it, they take a picture of it, send it to you, you cut, sew, and print it out, and you ship a dress that people can wear with their artwork on it. Right?
Jaimee: Yes, that’s it. It’s basically a custom dress. I want to say no two pieces are alike, but we get sibling and BFF requests. One of the cool things about it is that you can get multiples of the same design in different sizes. Kid art is incredibly inspiring
I want to just make sure that I’m giving credit to my team, I’m not the soul creator of this. My partner Ken Finney, without the collaboration this idea would never exist. Being able to see opportunity, work with people, and collaborate where it makes sense is very important.
Mei: Yes, and you’re a doer! You see the opportunity and you don’t just let it slide. You do something about it and that’s already one thing we can learn.
What are the top three things you think have been most impactful for Picture This Clothing or for whatever you have done in the past? You’ve done a lot of things and seen a lot of success and as you know members of our community are makers, artists, designers, and basically people who are creators. We’re good at making things, but when it comes to this business stuff and actually selling the stuff that we make it doesn’t come as second nature to us. If you have three tips we can learn from you, it would be amazing to hear about that.
Jaimee: I would love to share some stuff and I feel like I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way. One of my primary beliefs is that products are the connective tissue between human beings. The human that makes the thing and the human that buys or uses the thing. I think it’s really important to communicate your product through story. Sort of a self-awareness of you are, who loves what you make, and how to bridge the gap with your product. I think there’s always a story there and it doesn’t have to be a lengthy one. The story is often what engages people.
Picture This was such a cool story and that’s why people get delighted to hear it. My daughter drew a picture of a dress, and I thought we could make it. I’m not a super good at sewing, but I thought I could threw it together. We went to the fabric store, she picked out some fabric, and over the next four days I made this dress. When she wore it all her friends loved it and she kept saying “I’m wearing my imagination!” Seeing people react to that garment that we made, my partner Ken Finney (who is also my boyfriend) thought we should definitely make it into a business. It was an evolution of ping-ponging ideas, but he came up with the idea of the coloring sheet and I really credit him for the simplification of all the ideas. It wouldn’t exist without that.
Communicate through story is ultimately the point I want to get across here. The products are a connecting tissue between human beings and if you can really bridge that gap between human and human, that’s what makes it relatable and sharable.
The second I saw your Tiny Hands products I fell in love! Pancakes are my favorite food, I have the pancake necklace, and when I saw it I was immediately obsessed with it. You connected with me without even knowing me through this amazing, tiny, adorable food product.
Mei: What I’m hearing is that you had this idea and it wasn’t necessarily perfect, and a lot of us makers go through that exact same process. We have all these amazing ideas but then it kind of just stops and we don’t take any actions because there’s just too many obstacles. But you guys took it a step further and came up with a solution to make it work. You didn’t just give it up and I think that’s a very valuable lesson here.
Thank you for listening!
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