45 minutes | Oct 30, 2019

Episode 59: Take the Swing — Colin McIntosh

This week on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Wes speaks with Colin McIntosh, Founder and CEO at Sheets & Giggles, a bedding company that uses unique branding to drive sales for a unique product — sheets made from eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus sheets are not only incredibly comfortable but are also sustainable, requiring 96 percent less water to produce than regular cotton sheets. Colin’s unique brand and products have made his company one of the fastest growing businesses in America, and the train isn’t stopping any time soon. In fact, Sheets & Giggles just raised a seed round of $1.3M, which will be solely focused on expanding its team. There’s much to Colin’s success, including his ability to grow a memorable brand and put in the long hours in his business’s earliest days. But for Colin, his success in business — and, frankly, his joy in life — can be traced back to his willingness to jump at any opportunity that presents itself, regardless of location. Thus far in his young life, Colin could probably be considered a nomad, having called 5 or 6 major metros his home. On the podcast, Colin recounts his journey as an entrepreneur and shares some secrets to his success, but ultimately, he encourages listeners to “take the swing” and walk through every door that opens, even if it means moving across the country.   The EnTRUEpreneurship Takeaway: “If you are able, I think you should be totally location-agnostic and chase the greatest opportunity possible… For me, it’s always been, ’This is the greatest opportunity. Let me take a big swing doing this.’" “Customer service is the single most important thing that we do… Marketing and brand gets you the initial customer. And product and customer service is what brings them back." “To differentiate yourself whenever you’re launching a crowdfund, you really need three distinct core value props… For us, it was this perfect storm of our brand, plus premium products, plus sustainability, plus an affordable price." “The brand voice for any new company necessarily has to be the founder’s voice." “Don’t try to please everyone all at once. We tried to expand our products too quickly." “That’s what made [creating a bed sheets company] so hilarious to me as an opportunity — that we could do whatever the hell we want to. Literally anything would have been something that no one else has ever tried before." “I think you’ve got to work yourself to the bone when you’re starting a new company. That’s how you win."   Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed: 2:56: Colin discusses how growing up in a family of entrepreneurs gave him a bend towards that career path, though he didn’t realize it at the time. 5:02: Colin explains how he ended up in Denver’s Techstars startup accelerator program and offers some perspective on taking advantage of every opportunity. 11:05: Colin describes his startup that was featured in the Techstars program and how his run with this company came to an abrupt end. 14:25: McIntosh reflects on the days just after being laid off and how the idea for Sheets & Giggles came to be. 16:35: Colin explains how the idea for his startup came about differently than many and how he proved his concept’s worth in its earliest days. 24:22: McIntosh shares his company’s unique selling point and the key to maintaining momentum coming out of a crowdfunding campaign. 26:41: Colin discusses the process of finding a manufacturer for his sheets. 32:39: Colin shares what he believes have been the keys to maintaining and growing his customer base. 37:47: McIntosh describes his company’s trajectory and how it has and will continue to experience remarkable growth. 40:24: Colin shares some advice on how to make the best moves for your business in its earliest days.   Bulleted List of Resources — Colin McIntosh -     LinkedIn   Sheets & Giggles -      Company Website -      Facebook -      Twitter -      Instagram -      LinkedIn
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