This is a follow up story for LeGlue LLC. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hey everyone, I am Tripp Phillips, the inventor, and owner of Le-Glue LLC. I am 15 and a Freshman at Dalton High where I play baseball and golf, and I am learning how to drive!! I have a sister Allee who is in the 8th grade and is my business partner. We were on Shark Tank Episode 1 Season 10 where I chose Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful) to join us in our venture. I am one of the youngest patent holders in the history of US patents, receiving our patent and trademarks at the age of 10 for my product Le-Glue, the only water releasable adhesive designed to hold building bricks together.
We sell Le-Glue on our websites Le-glue.com and Amazon. We do have distribution in the UK, China, and South Africa. Le-glue is available at several retail locations such as any Scheels toy store, Learning Express, and many other independent toy stores. Our sales have remained solid during the Covid issues at around $18,000 per month.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
While many businesses have struggled during the last year, we have held steady and even grown. I suspect it is because of our presence online and not being tied only to retail. We did get back on Shark Tank a couple of times over the last year as I was chosen by ABC 20/20 as one of the Top Ten Pitches on Shark Tank.
Allee and I also got back on Shark Tank because they heard we had been using our manufacturing equipment to make hand sanitizer and giving it to local health care workers, 1st responders, and truckers. We love giving back to our community and believe it is a responsibility to return to the community that supports us.
Our marketing focus remains with Social Media in targeted ads and through Amazon ads. We were privileged to do a project with Facebook on How to Boost your Business. It was a major production where they sent a 25 person film crew to our school for 3 days. I really enjoyed the behind-the-camera work and may even consider going into that industry with my future studies. It is amazing how much time and effort is spent to get the right shot. Our segment was on how to run Facebook ads using simple stop motion video techniques. Here is a link.
We have always used local students to help us in the production of Le-Glue. We were so blessed to be able to meet Yvenson Vignier. He is a refugee from Haiti that ended up at Dalton High. Matt Land, The football coach introduced him to us and asked if we could use any help. YV or Sunshine as we call him was a great addition to our small company. His work standard, attitude, and pure excitement of the American Dream have literally changed our lives. Best of all I get to call him my friend. He just left for college in the fall and we miss him dearly. He will still be the lead manufacturer when he comes back during holidays and summer breaks. He loves pumping Le-Glue.
We are even considering implementing a Le-Glue Scholarship that we offer to high school students that show potential in changing the trajectory of those they encounter, all because of our experience with YV.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
This year, we are looking to partner with direct distribution in Canada and Australia. While we get a lot of online sales there, both areas have been very difficult to ship direct to our customers and we want to service these places to the best of our ability. Shipping is an issue across the world so we will be more aggressive in making partnerships to be able to hold and distribute Le-Glue to local markets. This will help us to grow across the world and make Le-Glue an international brand.
We plan to look at some other uses for our equipment to help other manufacturers/entrepreneurs make their products for them. We have extra capacity and labor available to assist them. We already have managed one large project filling lotion for Target. We have a lot of insight into production, development, and research so this is an opportunity to use our connections across the Shark Tank and O’Leary Ventures world to assist people that were in the same position that we were in a few years ago.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I don't have a lot of time to read books since I get homework every night after baseball practice. I do watch videos on different aspects of advertising techniques. I also enjoy learning and experimenting with making my own videos and photos.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
At my age, it might be offensive to tell folks how to run a business but I can tell you we have had success using a few simple techniques. #1 we want a good margin on what we do. I know that may sound pretentious but I really believe it is the key to sustaining a business. We had an opportunity to partner with a large distributor but they want to cut the pricing to the bone. So we called in Mr. O'leary and asked his opinion, he said to tell them NO and keep those margins where you got them. I know my dad deals with clients working with Big Box retailers and his clients discuss 2 to 5% margins. It just doesn't make sense to me to get all that headache for such little money.
The second is that low overhead wins, do your best to manage the costs you can so you can keep your prices in check that way. I am not saying don't buy the equipment you need or hire people to do work but there are many options available to partner with people that can do work for you until you have enough cash to buy that equipment or hire that person. Plus if you are just starting up, you can learn how strong an idea or product you have.
And lastly, we try to always put the customer 1st, we offer a 100% guarantee of satisfaction. Sometimes it does cost us some money, but we leave that customer happy and prevent negative responses. It is worth the money.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We have hired our student workers to replace YV and they are working out great. We are fortunate to live in a community with much knowledge and understanding of manufacturing. It makes hiring a very simple process.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
LeGlue LLC has provided an update on their business!
Over 1 year ago, we followed up with LeGlue LLC to see how they've been doing since we published this article.
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