EcomCrew Podcast

E314: Is Creativity Enough to Kickstart a Business?

Most ecommerce startups follow a similar startup story: We didn't do that great in school, so we didn't follow the traditional college degree path. We were hungry to survive so we jumped into the workforce right from a young age, which we were unhappy with and then discovered the opportunity to sell products online through Amazon or eBay.

It may not sound like it, but I'm actually speaking from some of my own personal experience. However, today's guest comes from the other side of the coin, building an amazing ecommerce business with the experiences he got from getting his Bachelor's Degree.

Today's guest is Ryan Popoff, the founder and owner of Popov Leather.

Ryan and I met through a mutual friend, JP, who I did an episode with a few months back (which you can check out here!) and from there, I just found Ryan's start up story just incredibly fascinating. Ryan used the experiences that he learned from school and his art degree to build a masterpiece of a product that he ultimately produced and now sells worldwide. This just goes to show you how far creativity can really take your business.

Here's a list of topics (with timestamps!) that we go through:

  • Ryan's background: who he is and what he does – 4:24
  • Why Ryan chose to dive into the Wallet industry – 5:37
  • Quitting his job and diving in full-time – 6:48
  • At present: revenue and growth – 7:55
  • Challenge #1: Growing Pains – 8:53
  • How Ryan learned about his financials, and what you can do to learn about them too – 9:58
  • How lowering Ryan's free shipping threshold affected profitability – 11:52
  • The sacrifices taken when growing your business year over year – 13:26
  • Achieving success within a crowded niche – 18:21
  • The idea that started Popov Leather – 22:01
  • Expanding the product portfolio – 23:18
  • Challenge #2: Saving money by exercising creativity – 24:23
  • Challenge #3: Hiring and Training your first employee – 27:51
  • The challenges in the future for Popov Leather – 31:24
  • Making the product speak for itself – 33:43

The study that I mentioned in the outro about how the most successful businesses were born out of a crisis can be found here.

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Thanks for listening to this episode!

Until the next one,
Happy Selling and stay safe out there.

Michael Jackness

Michael started his first business when he was 18 and is a serial entrepreneur. He got his start in the online world way back in 2004 as an affiliate marketer. From there he grew as an SEO expert and has transitioned into ecommerce, running several sites that bring in a total of 7-figures of revenue each year.

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