With Elizabeth Granados, Entrepreneur and Developer of Little-nomad.com
Anyone who’s had a baby or who has played with a baby knows, there are times when you just have to get down on the floor, and something has to cover that floor. Elizabeth Granados is a young mother who noticed that although play mats had taken the place of blankets, they were all of the same style foam mats in primary colors. Recognizing the need for something more tasteful and more in keeping with the living space of young families, Elizabeth developed Little Nomad, a line of beautifully illustrated printed play mats.
Little Nomad is a success story for the modern entrepreneur. Elizabeth’s baby-steps from idea to product development and, ultimately, sales began with one idea for a niche market that she knew well, and her path is a lesson for anyone hoping to sell and market online. She took a thoughtful approach by first testing the market within a Facebook group of about 14,000 moms, diligently posting, interacting, and maintaining a strong presence until she knew she had something worth taking forward.
Elizabeth then set up a landing page with beautiful photos of the product, announcing a sales launch date, collecting emails, and garnering interest by offering a limited number of deeply discounted play mats to her first responders. After taking a course in crowdfunding called “From Zero to Funded” with Cathryn Lavery and with a small amount of startup capital, Elizabeth began a Kickstarter campaign by presenting the product through a professional video along with early bird incentives to the first people who signed on.
The strategy behind Little Nomad is a lesson for anyone with an idea and the entrepreneurial spirit needed to see it through to a successful end. If you would like to help fund this project, or find out more please click here.
Disclosure: The opinions expressed are those of the interviewee and not necessarily United Capital. Interviewee is not a representative of United Capital. Investing involves risk and investors should carefully consider their own investment objectives and never rely on any single chart, graph or marketing piece to make decisions. Content provided is intended for informational purposes only, is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, and should not be considered tax, legal, investment advice. Please contact your tax, legal, financial professional with questions about your specific needs and circumstances. The information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. All data are driven from publicly available information and has not been independently verified by United Capital.
Steve Pomeranz: Elizabeth Granados is the creator and CEO of Little Nomad, a company that has just started and designed and created a new baby category—beautifully illustrated printed play mats. Now, discussing the product isn’t really the purpose of my having her on the show today, but she has done all of this, raising her now 11-month-old baby girl and has just finished a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to get her going.
I saw Elizabeth’s video promotion. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the video and her message, and I want to share that with all of you, especially those of you who have great ideas and want to learn how to bring them into the marketplace. Elizabeth is doing a fantastic job of just that. Hey, Elizabeth. Welcome to the show.
Elizabeth Granados: Hi. Thank you
Steve Pomeranz: Quickly, let’s talk about the product and what it actually does.
Elizabeth Granados: Sure. I have an 11-month-old baby, as you said; and, before that, I had friends with babies and just seeing the traditional foam play mat with the primary colors in my friends’ homes, I saw a need for something more tasteful, more beautiful, particularly for city moms who share their living area with their child’s play space. So working with an illustrator, we designed a beautifully-illustrated printed play mat to fill that need.
Steve Pomeranz: Very good. A lot of people have great ideas. They see a need, but, in your case, did the idea come first or did the idea of marketing to moms and trying to find a niche in the mom market come first?
Elizabeth Granados: I’m one of those entrepreneurial-minded people who has a lot of ideas. However, when this one came to mind, I knew it would be easier to market in social media because it’s in the mom market. So the idea came first, but I pursued it knowing that the mom market would be a good place for me.
Steve Pomeranz: You knew the market. You have been involved in the market online, we’re going to talk a little bit more about that in a minute, and then you thought this would be a good fit. The question that I have for you is, obviously, there’s nap times and so on. How do you fit it into your day?
Elizabeth Granados: Luckily for me, I have a baby who does sleep 12 hours a night, so it does help. When I put her in bed, I definitely get on my laptop and start talking to other moms online. I also do have help, which is absolutely necessary. I couldn’t do it without the help of a babysitter, so that’s how I fit it into my day.
Steve Pomeranz: You mentioned when we were talking offline at one point that you were also doing this when you were working full-time, as well. How did you fit that in? What I’m trying to really get to is that our days are so hectic. Our days are busy. We come home from work; we’re tired. I’m trying to find out how you summon the energy to do all the things necessary. You’re really creating a product from scratch.
Elizabeth Granados: What motivated me to summon the energy was initially, early on, I was just testing the market and trying to understand if this is something that moms wanted. And I had one successful night that I can recall in March where I posted a photo on the Upper Eastside Mommies Page, which is a group of about 14,000 moms on Facebook. Prior to that, I had been working on Little Nomad maybe for 2 or 3 hours a day, but after that post, I got over 200 moms signed up on my email list and almost 300 likes on the photo and I knew right then and there that I had something and that I couldn’t stop until I brought it to life. That’s what really motivated me and I burned the midnight oil, really. Got up early, went to bed late, and just did what I could in between my day job until I could eventually quit my day job.
Steve Pomeranz: Let’s talk about the strategy that you employed because you really started with a relatively small amount of money. You’re really doing it out of literally your apartment, with a lot of other things going on, but I think you were pretty clever in how you targeted your audience. You told me before we got on air that you started by creating what you call the Landing Page, in order to capture email addresses. Tell us about that.
Elizabeth Granados: Yes, absolutely. As I said, what I was really doing was posting photos of my product as a mom in mom groups to see if people liked what I was going to be selling, and I used a URL to Little-Nomad.com, which I set up as a landing page with a simple email capture, showing my product, beautiful photos of the product and just saying, “This is going to be available in the spring. If you’re interested in buying one, leave your email here.” I made it very informal, very not salesy, and over the course of about 3 months, I collected 4,555 emails of prospective customers. Yes, the landing page was a key piece of the puzzle.
Steve Pomeranz: Very good. That is a good first start for someone. Doesn’t cost a lot of money to do that, but it’s a smart thing because you’re really in the business now of trying to aggregate interest in the product and also have a future way of contacting people when the product is available. Now, did you offer any incentive for them to sign up on that landing page right away, any financial incentive, or was it just for information?
Elizabeth Granados: What I did was I just explained that there would be a limited number of mats that would be available at a steeper discount than the traditional Kickstarter price that I was going to be launching, so I let them know that there would be a limited number of 150 steeper discounted play mats available, so that they would be incentivized to give their email address, so that they could be notified and be the first to know when those were available.
Steve Pomeranz: My guess is Elizabeth Granados, she’s the creator and CEO of the Little Nomad, which she’s created these illustrated printed play mats, and we’re discussing how she started really from scratch with the idea to the fruition of a very successful Kickstarter campaign.
After you have accumulated these email addresses, you went heavily onto Facebook into certain groups. Describe that process for us?
Elizabeth Granados: Sure. As a mom myself, it was just talking to friends. I would join a mom group, put up a photo, just as I would be if I was sharing something that I was genuinely interested in, a great product that I found and then through that, started conversations with other moms about what they liked about it. Other women were very helpful in introducing me into new mom groups. Oh, this is so great, let me introduce you to my Mommy group and, through that process, I’ve joined about 50 mom groups on Facebook.
Steve Pomeranz: Fifty. That’s a lot of commenting and liking, I guess you could say, right?
Elizabeth Granados: Yeah, and it’s just meeting and networking with a lot of women, and there are a lot of active women in these groups, so just becoming friendly with them and tapping into their networks.
Steve Pomeranz: How did you know when it was time to start your Kickstarter campaign and actually, before you answer that, what did you do to prepare for this Kickstarter campaign because, I guess, you didn’t really have any experience at that?
Elizabeth Granados: That’s right. I knew really nothing about crowdfunding, in general. I was in a few entrepreneurial groups on Facebook, and I posted a question as to if anyone had experience with Kickstarter and someone introduced me to a woman named Katherine Lavery, who had done 3 successful Kickstarters, and she was offering a course. I was lucky enough to be in a beta group of her course, but, basically, through that process, I was able to learn a ton about crowdfunding to prepare the actual campaign itself.
Steve Pomeranz: What is it about crowdfunding? I think it’s a given here, I, who really have no interest in play mats, saw the attractiveness immediately after watching the video, and I also want to compliment you on the fact that you went to a professional to have the video done. It had music, it was well edited, and it was really beautiful. I think that was very important in terms of how you displayed your product; but, when you’re starting a Kickstarter campaign, there’s got to be some other draw. What do you actually do? It’s really retail marketing. Are you offering special discounts? What do you do in the Kickstarter to get success?
Elizabeth Granados: You’re really asking people to take a chance on you, so you need to present yourself in a way that makes you appear to be a trustworthy person. You have to take pride in the work that you show, so I really appreciate you saying that you enjoyed the video. Everything that I set forth there, I really tried to show what the brand Little Nomad will be all about and the quality of the product that I’m presenting. In order to incentivize people, though, to be interested in actually spending their money, the best advice I got from Katherine’s course was to provide these early bird incentives, asking moms to be one of the first people to back our project and, by doing so, giving them a discount for the mat, which will be delivered to them in November.
Steve Pomeranz: Also did you offer a limited number of products at that discount?
Elizabeth Granados: Exactly. For our single play mat, I offered just 150 units and, then for the double play mat, if they bought 2, an even further discount, so just 75 units at that price.
Steve Pomeranz: There’s so much more to discuss, but, unfortunately, we are out of time. We’re going to be listing some important resources and, of course, Elizabeth’s website for you to go to to check out, to see the video, and see what she’s doing. Let me tell you what it is right now. It’s Little-Nomad, obviously the sign dash, dot com, Little-Nomad.com will get you started. If you come to OntheMoneyRadio.org, you will see, in fact, all of the resources that Elizabeth has graciously offered to share with our listeners. Elizabeth, good job. Congratulations, and thanks so much for spending your time with me.
Elizabeth Granados: Thank you for having me, Steve.