This is a follow up story for B Street Shoes. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 1 year ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
My name is Blake Barash and I am the founder of B Street Shoes. I am known for my custom hand-painted sneakers today I sell custom shoes mainly to celebrities and athletes.
I work with companies like Red Bull, Netflix, Target, Dr Pepper, and Adidas.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?
Since the last time, we talked business has grown about 15%. We have been working with large companies like Corona and Amazon, creating custom branded lines of shoes.
The shoes they want to create are often vintage Jordans and Nikes that cannot be remade in a factory. That's when my team and I come in and source the shoes and paint them.
When you're trying to grow a business, occasionally you need to say no to certain opportunities that come and say goodbye to tasks you no longer have time for.
Since July 2021 we have hired five new employees. We've expanded our clothing line and learned new techniques for customizing shoes which has increased the value. We feel lucky to be an e-commerce-based brand because more people are shopping online every year. Some channels have expanded some of contracted.
Our online stores are doing well and social media goes in waves. And my team and I spend the majority of our marketing budget and time creating content. We are trying to bring value to sneaker artists and potential customers by showing our techniques and secrets.
Lots of our energy has been put into creating YouTube videos. It's been fun and tells our unique story.
What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?
Some of my biggest challenges over the last year have been trying to figure out how my team and I should allocate our time working and what projects we want to take on. Although we want to continue servicing individual clients, our corporate clients have been the biggest generator of revenue.
As cliché as it sounds if you enjoy what you do you never work a day in your life.
When you're trying to grow a business occasionally you need to say no to certain opportunities that come and say goodbye to tasks you no longer have time for. Custom shoes have a higher profit margin than T-shirts and that would be a good example of this. My team and I figure we should be putting more energy into custom sneakers than a T-shirt line.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Some of the biggest lessons that I've learned this year have to deal with processes. I see a lot of people, especially new business owners get too fixated on an end goal or a dollar amount and it makes the work every day unbearable. As cliché as it sounds if you enjoy what you do you never work a day in your life.
As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to structure our day in a way that best works with our abilities. I'm making a conscious attempt to spend the majority of my time doing things that I like to do.
When I'm accomplishing these tasks I achieve a Flow-State by becoming most productive and beneficial to my team and our clients.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Over the next five years my team and I have a goal to create valuable content for people who are just starting their own business or industry veterans.
We feel we have a lot to give back and we need to create videos showing what we do, the decisions we make, and the story we created.
We enjoy the process of doing projects and filming them and we believe that the opportunities will come once that work is done.
What’s the best thing you read in the last year?
The book Zombie Loyalist by Peter Shankman is a good book to read. He talks about how you should treat your customers and shows examples of how they will treat you in return. He's helped big businesses bring in repeat customers with word of mouth which works BEST and is FREE.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
My advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their own business is get out of your way.
The three main things you need to focus on our marketing, sales, and having a good product.
There is likely someone out there that is better than you in each of these fields, and you should try and find that person and hire them.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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