A Chat with August’s Profile, Kassie Rempel, founder and owner of SimplySoles
CS: How did you overcome that challenge?
KR: I surrounded myself with people who were willing to give me time and teach me the ropes. Both my printer, Kaye Sutterer with RR Donnelly, and list broker, Tom Jordan with Jordan Direct, have provided me with invaluable counseling and assistance. I look at each relationship as a partnership, with my suppliers and wholesalers.
CS: What is your biggest current business challenge?
KR: Deciding just how big I want to grow the company. I am in the process of deciding if I should open a bricks and mortar store here in the D.C. area to serve our local customers. Many request one, but I’m not sure if it’s really in the best interest or the right direction of the company. I would need to find retail space that has a storefront for our local customers but that has enough square footage to operate all the catalog operations.
I’m also contemplating bringing in investors. If I want to add new titles, which I think makes sense, I will probably need to find partners or investors. Determining how to find the “right” one (assuming such a thing exists) will be a challenge.
There is obvious room for growth within the complementary accessories. I can make (accessories) their own catalog or I can add more pages. Those are two very tangible options that I need to explore further. It’s a challenge because of course you have the postal increase. By default we’re all incurring additional expense so I want to be very diligent and deliberate about the growth strategy.
CS: How do you plan to resolve the growth challenge?
KR:Financially, I can’t do everything at once. I’m proud that we are breaking even after just three years in the business, but capital is limited. In three to six months, I’ll decide the next steps for the business after I review the performance of our spring circulation and the expected impact of the postal rate increases.