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Featuring Natalie Monaco of Covermade Bedding
In this episode of the podcast, we meet Natalie: a “frustrated consumer turned entrepreneur” who has created a successful brand out of a nagging need she sought to fill. Based out of Ohio, Natalie’s company, Covermade, offers patented bedding products that offer unique design. Her bedding features straps that help to keep comforters in place- and her ecommerce strategies have elevated her brand to showcase it’s ingenuity.
In this episode, we’ll discuss
- Inventing a product
- Finding the right website platform
- Marketing and moving forward
What was the invention process like?
Before Covermade, Natalie had a degree in marketing and was doing medical device sales. It all started, however, with a need and an idea. Sometimes, the best way to make a product is to focus on a frustrated person that needs help with something. Natalie navigated the invention process with patience and passion.
Her initial concept was simple: a product that makes it easier and keeps the covers in place. Natalie recounts that as an inventor, you go through a protective stage because its not patented and others can steal the idea. This meant that she did a lot of the initial design and prototyping by herself. She went to Joann’s fabrics and got a seamstress to make her concept look presentable 9 months to a year before she felt she was protected. From that point, she had a product to take to international manufacturers.
The patenting process itself took Natalie about 3 years, though it was 2 years from initial concept to release. Once she had the physical product, things accelerated for her company from there. Covermade’s website has enabled Natalie to introduce her brand to a global audience in it’s best light and take the product to a new level.
What technology does your website use?
The Covermade website does an excellent job of presenting Covermade’s brand and products. Natalie started on WordPress with Woocommerce, and has since switched to Shopify. Starting a WooCommerce site is more cost effective to build. There was a steep learning curve, but she was trying to be cost effective.
For the first few years, Natalie would often get stuck with how to add things to her site with WooCommerce and WordPress. The switch to Shopify was better for her customer experience and for order fulfilment. Natalie’s ecommerce marketing strategy was amazing from the beginning- but it took finding the right platform where her ideas could be implemented with ease for the site to really take off. Her system on Shopify integrates with her warehouse management system.
How has Covermade grown naturally?
A lot of ecommerce companies get stuck doing the daily instead of building the content that would help build the brand naturally. Natalie does a wonderful job creating content, because she realizes that the human element behind a brand is everything. What’s the story? It starts with a person with an everyday problem. Sharing that part of the story is a big way to connect with your intended audience.
Currently, Natalie shares that her rate of return is very low at 1%– typically because of color and not functionality. Her entire line of comforters are accompanied by matching pillow shams. Moving forward, Natalie wants to branch out to offer other complimentary items.
Natalie’s parting advice?
Manage your mindset, and be patient. When you have a great idea, you have to jump all in and sometimes that means coaching yourself through those times when you need to be patient. If you have a product that you would like to see become a profitable ecommerce business, Natalie says to just go for it and put yourself out there.