A dead-stock fabric marketplace

By Philipp / On

Hey <imagine I put your name here>,

Before starting this blog I already dabbled around with a couple of business ideas. In the next couple of weeks I’ll write them up and share my learnings. This is number one.

A few months ago I came across a video Justin Jackson posted on his youtube channel. It’s about validating your ideas quickly instead of losing sleep over them and possibly wasting valuable time building something nobody cares about.

At the same time I learned about Amy Hoy’s 30×500 program, that hones in on the point to not simply come up with business ideas in a vacuum, but to go out and listen to what problems your target market has. This way you build something people need. You also build an audience by telling them about you building this thing.

“Okay, where are you going with this?”

My girlfriend is a weaver and the first thing that came to mind was asking her about the problems she and her peers are facing. These days sustainable fashion is becoming more and more popular and one question that regularly came up in her community was where to source dead-stock fabrics.

“Wait, what are dead-stock fabrics and why do they need them?”

To be sustainable you try to re-use fabrics that are produced in excess. Bigger fashion brands buy their fabric in big batches and often end up not using all of it. The leftover fabric either remains in their warehouses or is being thrown away.

“I think I know enough now…”

I guess you’re right.
Anyways, I built a landing page as Justin suggested and collected email addresses to gauge interest in this marketplace. I drove traffic to this landing page by doing some guerrilla marketing. I went to reddit and tried to get into several dedicated forums and groups. The one thing I quickly realized was how closed these communities were towards outsiders. I had an extremely hard time. This made me realize a fact I came across some time later again. It’s called founder/market fit.

“Please explain!”

Founder/market fit is important. It means that you as a founder should enjoy interacting with your target audience because that’s what you’ll have to do. I was incompatible with them and on top I didn’t know how to approach them. That’s why building this landing page was so important. It made me come to this realization without having to write a single line of code.
It’s easier to build a product for an audience you’re already a part of. The upsides are obvious:

1. You understand your audience
2. You already know some people and vice versa
3. You may already have authority on topics that concern your audience

“Good point, I’ll keep that in mind”

Yep, you should.

In the end I didn’t collect enough email addresses anyway. Enough reason to fail fast and look for other opportunities.

“Fair enough. Want to share some statistics?”

Sure! I used ConvertKit for setting up a landing page and email automation. Over the span of 5 weeks I gathered 18 email addresses from roughly 80 unique visitors and got 6 replies to a few short questions I sent right after they signed up. I also put up some Google ads, where I paid 10$ for 240 impressions with 8% CTR (click through rate).

I hope this answered some of your questions. If you have more, send me a mail: hi@lowestdefinition.com.


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