Keisha DePaz founded Punch Street, a greeting card startup focused on embracing young adult and teen life. Today, she shares her story.
Keisha DePaz is the founder of Punch Street, a greeting card startup focused on embracing young adult and teen life. Keisha has been featured on FOX business, Black Enterprise and Forbes magazine, and today she shares her story.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is PunchStreet all about?
Our company name is Punch Street and we are a wholesaler and online retail provider of gift and paper products. We are focused on gift and paper designs for today’s generation with a fashionable and New York edge. We’ve gone through a bit of rebranding recently to get to this point and we are very excited to continue responding to the market.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
I’m a former practicing attorney. I was inspired to create my own company one day while watching a tv show! This was the inspiration for designing cool upbeat cards. A few months after our launch I had a hole puncher in one hand and a charm in the other hand. I got creative for a while until I created the perfect gift-and-card-in-one secured in a gift box. This was the birth of our new trinky things collection and the start of our rebranding transition.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
Some of the projects that I am working on right now involve product development for our trinky things line. I’ve been also working very hard on our display packaging and building a sales team. I’m also preparing for upcoming tradeshows, designing new lines and always on the look out for relevant editorial coverage. So – huge thanks to @BillionSuccess for reaching out.
Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
We plan to grow our company by personally hitting the pavement and making calls. Of course also through our sales reps, exhibiting at our first tradeshows throughout the year, and free press.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?
My top three mistakes were:
(a) – Unrealistic expectations that we would just launch our website and people would come: Without connections in the business and a large budget, there is a lot of ground work to put in.
(b) – Running the company with no road plan: We learned a lot “as we went along.” Most recently I won a business pitch with Count Me In and one of the prizes was being chosen for a spot in a business accelerator course with People Biz Inc. This course has taught us so much about business fundamentals and getting the basics in place so that we are prepared and ahead of the next step.
(c) – Spending money on items outside of our core product: Some examples of this were: Flying to attend networking conferences with no direct relation to sales and purchasing promotional tshirts when we had a shoe string budget. We have learned that money that has more of a direct correlation to sales (like paying to exhibit at a local tradeshow) is the only money well spent when bootstrapping.
Q: Please share some advice for new entrepreneurs, someone who’s just starting out.
(a) – Join industry groups. I’m in Linkedin groups where I can see advice given by industry gurus and prior questions from newbies and it is a world of knowledge.
(b) – Focus all your energy around sales, getting in stores and having the public tell you what they want.
(c) – Done is better than perfect. If you feel 80% ready then go out and sell.
Q: What was the best business advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
“Business strategies do not have an end date and they tell you what you should be doing and not doing.” – Alicia Marie, People Biz. Inc.
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
Our top 3 online tools and resources are SEO on Shopify, social media, and online directories.
Q: What’s your definition of success?
My definition of success would be to enjoy consistent professional and personal growth while working on Punch Street with financial safety as a byproduct.
Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?
(2) – Think & Grow Rich – Dennis Kimbro and Napoleon Hill
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
Go for the no’s because you never know what you will get out of it. [Tweet it]