Pixie Dust & Profits | Small Business Podcast for Disney Lovers

Frustrating Your Fans: A Cautionary Tale About Disney

May 10, 2022

In August of 2021, Disney announced that they were bringing back their annual pass holder program! Yay! But then… we read the fine print.

Previously, if you planned to go to Disney more than 10 days in one year, it was worth it to have this pass as the annual pass was equivalent in price to a 10 day park ticket. They’ve revamped the program, adding additional tiers where they are charging more for less, taking away perks that were historically included with the annual pass. 

We’re going to discuss the not-so-welcome changes to Disney’s Annual Pass program and better ways that you can unveil unwelcome — and even welcome — changes to your programs and products.

Breaking Down the Annual Pass

Before we dive into the new annual pass program, let’s back up a bit. Annual passes are not for every Disney fan, as you really need to be going to the parks for 10 days, sometimes less if you are taking separate trips, to make it worth your while. In the past, the annual pass holder program has been great for locals and for people who go essentially more than once a year. The other big bonus with annual passes in the past was that it came with perks. You received discounts at certain restaurants, off merchandise throughout the parks, and an included Photopass. 

So what’s new with these reinstated annual passes? There are now four types of non-local passes, two for Florida residents only, and the base prices of all passes have increased significantly. There are also “blackout dates” where you can’t use your pass, specifically high traffic times during the year like spring break and Christmas. We do love the new names and logos on the passes – something we can point out that Disney did right! But Magic Bands and water park access are extra costs, and there’s caps on park reservations, too. They are really pushing their customers to spend more at Disney, offering further incentives for staying on Disney property, like early access to the parks.

The takeaway here is that every business has to take a look at its business model and increase prices at some point. There are labor shortages, the cost of living and manufacturing prices are increasing, we have to consider the impact of the pandemic, and so on. All businesses have to figure out a way to stay profitable. However, we are begrudgingly renewing our annual passes – and it feels like they are “nickel and diming” things with these new passes. 

Before Increasing Prices…

When you are re-evaluating your business’s pricing or offers like Disney just did, you’ve got to take your most loyal customers into consideration. Do you really want them to be the ones taking the hardest hit?

As you’re building your offers, products, sales, and types of promotions think about how they will be perceived from your customer’s point of view. Doubling the price of your program may not increase your revenue because your pool of people who are going to buy into it might shrink drastically. 

Ask yourself: “Why am I increasing the price? What is the justification? Does my target audience change with these price increases?” 

We understand that Disney lost quite a bit of money because of the shutdowns that happened as a result of the pandemic. However, these price increases really ticked off so many of their biggest fans. We’ve heard many people say that Disney is no longer affordable for the average American family; it’s clear their target audience is changing as they are going after a more affluent customer base. 

Before you increase your prices, let your customers know that this is coming down the pipeline and explain why. With a few of our clients, when we had to increase prices due to excessive shipping costs and manufacturing increases, we’d let them know in advance – 30 to 60 day warnings. For the most part, people will understand if you give them a reasonable explanation and increase prices marginally.

Avoid Frustrating Your Fans

Disney definitely bummed out many of their most loyal customers with these changes to their revamped annual passes. While increasing prices is inevitable, no one wants to alienate and frustrate their best customers! We hope you take some of these ideas so you can better reveal changes happening with your products and offers. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to Pixie Dust & Profits and tune in each week, as we share more tips from the Mouse that can help you grow your small business. Be sure to follow us @pixiedustandprofits and check out magic.pixiedustandprofits.com for some free goodies! See ya real soon.

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Measuring the Mosquitos in Your Business

Apr 26, 2022

If you had to guess what brought us together several years ago, you would probably say our love of Disney, right? But actually, it was MOSQUITOS

More specifically, how Disney manages mosquitos on their property. If you’ve ever taken a trip to Florida, you know it’s pretty much “swampland.” So, why then when we’re at Disney, we rarely ever get bit?

We totally geeked out at how Disney manages this mosquito problem from an operational standpoint! Disney uses data to find pesky “hot spots” and adjusts its actions accordingly. Keep reading and we’ll teach you how to use metrics to make decisions in your business! 

Managing the Pests

Disney manages their mosquitos in a number of ways, but the most impactful way they keep these pesky bugs away is with chicken coops. The cool thing about chickens is they’re actually not prone to viruses like Zika and won’t get sick if they have it. Every day, they check these chickens and do little tests to see if they’ve been diagnosed with Zika or West Nile. If they find that these chickens are contracting viruses, they know there is an uptick of mosquitos in the area so they can implement measures to address it.

Avoiding chemicals to get rid of bugs was something Walt Disney wanted to avoid, as it would away from the safe environment he imagined Disney to be. So, they use a garlic spray because mosquitoes hate garlic! They have an entire task force dedicated to managing the mosquitos, and only treat the areas where the chickens are experiencing more bites, saving time and money! They use metrics and data, probably on some sort of dashboard, to wisely manage and use their resources to keep the mosquitoes away. 

Disney is also constructed in such a way that there is no standing water throughout their property, and slopes help to keep water from pooling. Water flows or has mechanisms to keep it moving so mosquitoes can’t settle and hatch their eggs. Additionally, the landscaping on the property allows for proper drainage, and flowers and herbs planted throughout naturally repel mosquitoes.  

Fight Fires Strategically

If you can’t tell by now, it is so important that you know how to measure various markers in your business. Often we will finish something up and think, I wonder how many people came through this funnel or how many people converted here? The thing is, if you don’t have the tools or the necessary means in place to capture that data, it’s going to be a lot more work later on to try and figure it out on the backend. We’ve been there, done that! 

Conversion rates, traffic to your site, clicks on trip funnels, opened emails – these are all markers to put in place so you can use data to make decisions for your business moving forward. How Disney handles the annoying mosquito population is a lot like tracking your business metrics.

Metrics Challenge

Nicole here! I developed a Metrics Challenge to help business owners like you figure out which metrics matter for your business, and how to use them to make advised and forward-focused decisions! I want to help you move from a place where you are tracking nothing to tracking something, and this really is a step-by-step guide to get you in the door to start thinking about using metrics to make decisions for your business. 

Think through this…If your ads are getting clicks, are they turning into leads? Are people actually putting their email addresses in or purchasing the thing that you sent them to? If they’re not, then that tells you there’s something wrong with the landing page because you’re getting clicks. People are getting there and they’re not moving to the next step. If they are going ahead and opting in, but they’re not buying the second offer, then there’s a problem with something on the second page. See how we are using the data to figure out where the disconnect is?

Diagnostics is really the heart of metrics. You can see where the drop-offs are happening and then understand where you need to focus your efforts, time, money, or hire support. Feeling like something isn’t working isn’t enough! You’ve got to take a look at your metrics, and this Metrics Challenge will help you get started. It’s the non-sexy stuff that honestly can result in the biggest life leaps and bounds in your business.

Use Your Data

Don’t let words like metrics, measurements, KPIs, or any of these words scare you! Disney has managed their mosquito situation by simply tracking its data and taking action when the numbers show an uptick in bites. By implementing markers and tracking data for your business, you will be able to better understand what is or isn’t working so you can optimize and improve your business, making it more profitable! 
Don’t forget to subscribe to Pixie Dust & Profits and tune in each week, as we share more tips from the Mouse that can help you grow your small business. Be sure to follow us @pixiedustandprofits and sign up for our mailing list to get some fun extras! See ya real soon.

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Creating New Products With What You Already Have

Apr 12, 2022

You may have found yourself planning a “staycation” over the last few years as a result of COVID restrictions around the globe. Disney, on the other hand, is always adapting – making the most of any environment they find themselves in!

We had the honor of interviewing Diane Barrowsmith of SixCastleCompany to discuss one of Disney’s innovative brand new offers that launches in the summer of 2022. Disney Cruise Lines are famous for enhancing the high seas, but recently they launched a brand new U.K. Staycations with Disney’s Magic at Sea! 

If you’re looking for some magical inspiration to help you pivot and innovate within your business with assets you already have, keep reading!

Disney’s Magic at Sea

Recently, Disney revealed exclusive UK Staycation cruises lasting 2-4 nights that depart from four different ports in the UK, float about at sea and then loop back to port. Previously, Disney only offered longer cruises leaving from the UK, lasting 7-14 days, but they were few and far between with a hefty price tag attached. With these new shorter cruise offerings, they are tapping into a new audience who may have wanted to give a Disney Cruise a shot in the past, but the buy in was too high. 

What’s really interesting is that Disney already offered a slightly similar model with cruises that depart from the U.S., going through the Bahamas. They are shorter trips without a stop at Castaway Cay, which is Disney’s privately owned island, but rather loop back to Port Canaveral in FL. Disney took what was already successful in the states and brought it over to a new audience in the UK!

It was also such an innovative move for Disney to make during the global pandemic. They found a way to make the Disney experience more accessible to their audiences. These UK cruises don’t leave the UK, going from one port and sailing back around, making people feel safe enough to invest in this unique experience. With the lower end price tag and time commitment, they are able to bring in a brand new audience who may not have otherwise been able to afford a Disney cruise. 

The Magic of a Disney Cruise

You may be surprised to hear that we have never actually been on a Disney cruise before! Yes, we know it’s shocking! Even as Vacation Club members who spend quite a bit of time at Disney, their cruises have a pretty big price tag that can be a deterrent, especially for new audiences.

A Disney cruise is typically for someone who’s been to Disney World and knows what to expect. These cruises stand apart from other typical cruise experiences, so there’s a higher price tag that comes along with this level of entertainment and service. Imagine cast members who cut up your kids’ food for you, servers who remember your drink orders, and who make an effort to really get to know your preferences during your voyage. There is a Broadway level of entertainment in the shows they offer, nurseries and kid’s clubs, along with adult only pools. They really provide an amazing balance for families with their wide variety of offerings and accommodations.

Adapt and Pivot Your Current Offers

While the specific details and prices of these exclusive UK cruises have yet to be released (Disney loves keeping us on our toes!), we can learn from how they use their current assets and offers their audiences already love.

Target a new audience

Ask yourself, where’s another audience that lines up with your current audience that you know you already have a base for? Disney took what was already working in the states with shorter cruise experiences and brought it over to the UK to tap into a new audience. Not only did they use an asset that they’ve already got, but they also encourage this new audience to book future Disney experiences without impacting the audience they already have over in the U.S.! For small businesses like your own, take a look at the assets that you have available and all the audiences that you could potentially tap into and how to match those things up. You may need to tweak and repackage your offer to fit this new audience, but you don’t need to start from scratch!

Ascension Models

We’ve talked so many times about ascension models and you may be thinking…Nicole and Yasmine keep on about these models. But it’s because they are so important! Quick refresh – an ascension model is a ladder of different value offerings that grow with the customer. 

Disney does this with their resorts, ticket offers, dining plans, and more. They used this model again to reach people who may have wanted to take a Disney cruise, but the price tag prevented them from doing so. These shorter UK exclusive staycation cruises appealed to a new audience, in hopes that they would taste a bit of the pixie dust magic on this quick Disney experience, leading them to return and try out Disneyland Paris or even make the trip to the states for Disney World or a longer Disney cruise! They bring people in at the bottom of their model, moving up until they become vacation club members like us!

Pivot your offers

When looking at your own products or services, if something’s not selling, it may not be because it’s not a good product. Perhaps you need to look at the environment it’s in, look at your product description page and how it’s being described. Especially if you have something that people might worry about in this COVID world right now, tweak it a little bit, make it sound safer and more trustworthy! 

Shift with the Seas

You don’t have to have it all figured out! Disney hasn’t even released prices and details for these exclusive UK cruises yet, as regulations and protocols are still ever changing in this COVID world. It kind of reminds us that not everything does go to plan that as a small business owner. The ability to shift and adapt as things out of your control come up emphasize that we can’t strive for perfection. Disney is constantly shifting and pivoting so they can keep bringing the magic to their audiences, no matter what the environment around looks like. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to Pixie Dust & Profits and tune in each week, as we share more tips from the Mouse that can help you grow your small business. And be sure to follow Diane @sixcastlecompany!

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Disney+: Behind the Attraction

Mar 29, 2022

Have you watched Disney’s show, Behind the Attraction? If not, now you know what you are doing tonight! But seriously, we couldn’t get enough of it. A peek behind Disney’s attractions? Count us in.

This new series on Disney+ tells the iconic stories behind rides at both Disneyland and Disney World. Disney’s ability to reimagine their characters, rides, and movies in new (and profitable) ways is truly amazing. And as Disney lovers, we continue to buy and consume their content through live-action remakes and new movie spin-offs, as they weave together their stories through multiple new mediums. 

Learn how Disney uses their magic to repackage and reinvent their characters and concepts so you can apply the same key principles to your small business.

Pulling Back the Curtain 

Creating happiness is hard work! Disney released their Imagineering Story right when Disney+ came out, taking viewers on a journey to see what it actually took to create, design, and build Disney parks all over the globe – a peek behind the parks’ curtains. Then, they released their newest documentary series, Behind the Attraction, where they share the stories of how various rides and attractions came to be. 

Disney is so smart in how they create something and then use that same intellectual property in a number of ways. At the same time Disney was filming Imagineering, we imagine they were brainstorming various ways they repurpose that content in a different light – and bravo! – We now have Behind the Attraction. 

Disney repurposes engineering ideas the same way they are now repurposing their content. Take Rise of the Resistance. They used the same technology from Tower of Terror to make the “free floating” feeling happen on Rise of the Resistance. If it works, it works! Instead of reinventing the wheel, they recycle what is working…what their customers are loving. And you can do the very same thing in your business. 

The Magic of Reinventions 

It’s not normal to talk about how to rethink something that already exists. As business owners, we’re trained to constantly be coming up with the “next big idea.” But Disney doesn’t listen to that bad advice. Just think: Disney has remade classic movies and characters we all love into new live actions! Lion King, Cinderella, and Cruella to name a few. Some people love them, some not so much, but we are total fans.

Over the years, Disney has also taken several of their attractions and used them as inspiration for new films: Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion. The most successful being Pirates of the Caribbean, where they made a blockbuster movies series from the original ride, and then went back and updated the ride to match the movie!

In your business, think about where you have existing content or an existing product that you could create a spinoff from. Maybe you have an origin story, but perhaps you could share a different path you haven’t yet revealed or divvy it up. Could you take your YouTube video and cut it up to share it on Instagram Stories or on a Live? Ask for yourself: How can you reuse things in different ways?

Also consider how you can look at things from a new perspective: Twenty-five years after 101 Dalmations came out, Disney made a new movie featuring Cruella, revealing her backstory. They did this same thing with Maleficent, and now they have Disney Villains after-hours, a separately ticketed, special nighttime event showcasing some of Disney’s most-loved villains. Who would have thought we would be so in love with even the baddies’ backstories! It’s so complex how they resell us on yet another experience from the same movie characters and concepts. Disney keeps making money, using the same intellectual property and repacking it in so many different mediums.

Leveraging your IP 

Let’s dive into how you can leverage your intellectual property (IP) by recreating and repacking your concepts, ideas, and products. 

Sell the Inverse

For those of you with products, think about selling the inverse of your best-selling product. Take a T-shirt, for example. Hold it up to a black light and do the inverse of it! 

Reapply Frameworks

For service-based businesses, think about how you can take the frameworks you apply to the work you do and put a different spin on it. Here at Pixie Dust & Profits, we teach a similar framework whether our client has a million dollar business or operates a smaller revenue producing business. We can apply the same principles to multiple mediums rather than starting at ground zero, trying to reinvent the wheel.  

Ask for Feedback

Speak to your spouse or friend for some new ideas or feedback on your current offers and see what ideas they have. Take it to a mastermind, or ask other business owners for their feedback! Sometimes, it’s much easier for someone on the outside to see things differently than you. 

Look Through a Different Lens

Go watch Cruella and ask… What would she say about this product? Okay, okay, it may seem like a silly suggestion! But it truly can help you to look through a different lens into your business. 

Use What Your Customer Already Love

Disney is so smart with how they create something and then use that intellectual property in a number of ways. But it’s not just big businesses like Disney that can do this. You can take your ideas and concepts in your business and repackage them in a number of ways! We can’t wait to see what you create next. 

Make sure to subscribe to Pixie Dust & Profits and tune in each week, as we share more tips from the Mouse that can help you grow your small business.

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Episode 60: Make Your Business “Stick(y)”! (Transcript)

Mar 15, 2022

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust and Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Nicole (00:26):
Hello everyone. And welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Nicole

Yasmine (00:32):
And I’m Yasin.

Nicole (00:33):
And we can’t wait to break down some Disney magic for your small business this week. We’re talking about making things sticky and you know, what really inspired this is actually some, some stickers at the airport in Orlando. I was there recently for pixie dust, live intensive with Yas and a couple of women and walking through the airport. I just saw how they have themed so much around the 50th Ann of our at Disney world. So if you have not seen pictures or traveled to Disney since the 50th, as soon as you get off the plane and you head to the people mover, there’s probably a real name for that, but I will forever think of it as the people mover or monorail of some sort,

Yasmine (01:18):
The Orlando airport people mover.

Nicole (01:20):
Right, right. It’s not fun. But you get to hear the mayor tell you the, the same little speech about welcome to Orlando. And that’s always like the first interaction you have when you land. Right? So there’s like strong excitement around I’m on vacation. I’m here. When you’re from the north, you’re instantly like, oh, it is warmer in here. It is more humid here. And your first view of these monorails is all of these decals. They have across the entire siding of the windows of all the 50th anniversary statues, there’s, you know, Simba and Bo pee. And they have all these beautiful things showing how important the 50th is. Now, mind you, Disney is not the only thing in the Orlando area, but it totally seems that way when you get off the plane. And so this is all about being sticky and it didn’t stop there. After I left the airport, I was on the road, cuz I got a rental car and I’m driving to our resort and there were 50th anniversary license plates all over the cars on my way to Disney. There’s just, it, it was just this feeling of like it’s everywhere. They’re making it seem so important.

Yasmine (02:33):
And, and those are locals who are getting the special 50th anniversary edition because they love Disney that much. So like not only is it sticky in the sense that like you can’t quite escape. The fact that Disney has turned 50 years old, people are promoting it and they’re excited to.

Nicole (02:49):
Yeah. And you know, it doesn’t even stop there. Right? So I have a Disney visa credit card because why wouldn’t I earn Disney rewards every time I go to the grocery store? Ya unfortunately cannot because she’s in Canada, but they,

Yasmine (03:02):
I was about to say, you, you wouldn’t, if you’re Canadian.

Nicole (03:05):
So they sent a letter in the mail probably two months ago, that was like, Hey, did you know that you could change your card? Like the graphic on your card anytime you want. And by the way, here’s the near 50th anniversary version of the card. And I, I said, yeah, I want that because my card had a picture of Disneyland and I always felt a little off because I have never actually been to Disneyland. But that, it’s just the stickiness of that same logo, those same colors, which don’t even get me started in the colors. I love the colors for the 50th, but it just keeps reappearing in all these different facets of life and in your surroundings, which gives you the importance of it. Right? So they’re pushing this hard. They’re making sure you know, that it’s a special education event. They’re making sure it sticks in your head. And especially where it says the 50th, even though most Disney people know that this is an 18 month long celebration. It’s not just for the year. You are, you are told, get here, get here. Now this is limited time. These special gold, you know, elements everywhere, the 50th stuff everywhere it’s gonna be gone

Yasmine (04:15):
And you don’t wanna miss it. And the reason like why Disney extends it so long and celebrates for a year and a a half is because they have to really accommodate all people’s like times to attend. If they just did it, you know, the month of October in 2021, a lot of us would’ve missed out, but like they’re encouraging you to take it home with you. As we were talking, I held up my phone case that I got at Disney world for Nicole to see and sure enough, it has a 50th auto key on it. Is that what they’re called Otter box and a 50th anniversary pop socket that I got. That’s like glittery. It has the castle, the number 50 there’s like rhinestones totally up my alley. But like I took it home with me, the spirit jerseys we got in a call, those were 50th edition and, and there wanted to take a piece of, yes, it’s really convenient for us. That Disney took inspiration from pixie dust and profits broke palette for the 50th anniversary.

Nicole (05:10):
Oh, well, and it was just my birthday. So my husband is always looking for new things for me and many ears are a great, safe bet. So he went to go see what was out there and surprised me with these 50th anniversary years that are like leather gold. They’re, they’re gorgeous. I don’t know if I can wear them in the parks because I worry about losing them, but you know, their 50th anniversary ears. So if

Yasmine (05:38):
You worry lounge,

Nicole (05:39):
Yeah. I mean, if you wear them outside of this year, is it cool or is it not like, you know, now then

Yasmine (05:44):
It’s vintage,

Nicole (05:45):
Right? It’s vintage. So, you know, they are totally capitalizing on all of this. We have been to Disney and we went in October with pixie dustslive. We went in January just for a day with the pixie dusts live intensive. And in October, when all of us had first launched, they were really struggling with the supply chain of having all of these things in stock. So they built up all of this demand and did not have the supply, which is not a great not a great way to handle anything. They ran out of the light up ears. I think they still don’t have those in stock. And it’s February, March now. So it’s great to make things sticky, but make sure you can deliver on it.

Yasmine (06:25):
So Nicole, why don’t we talk a little bit about how everyone at home can make things in their business a little bit more sticky? Well, one way right off the bat is Disney’s theme across the board is consistent. So they’re delivering what I just said, a consistent brand identity. So everywhere you go, if you see the air quotes, iridescence color palette, you know, it’s 50th related and you kind of want some of that consistency with your brand. I mean, the products that you create, if you’re a product maker, are they uniquely, you does your brand or your aesthetic come through and everything that you put out there, the content and marketing that you put out again, does it align with your brand aesthetic or are you kind of all over the place when you’re not recognizable? It makes it harder for people to find you again. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scrolling for through saw like a pair of ears or something that I like from a small shop or even a service provider. And if their brand or something unique about them, didn’t stick out to me. Sometimes. I just forget when I wanna go back and well, they potentially lost me as a customer, so right.

Nicole (07:36):
You start digging through the section you spoke that says ads you clicked on. Yes. I’m hoping, trying to find it. You can find it. Yeah. But I hate that feeling when you’re like, I know that case I wanted, I don’t remember the maker. How did I find her before? Yeah, it’s really important to be consistent. And the look at Disney Disney has so many things that can be promoting. They have a new cruise ship. They have the gala Dick star cruiser, which we previously talked about. There are so many things they could be promoting, but above all of that, there one message is the 50th, the 50th, the 50th, you hear it over and over again. And so when you think about the fact that you have subbrands or multiple products, it’s still, what’s the overarching thing above that, that P people will remember you for. What’s the tagline, what’s the slogan. What’s, you know what, what’s that one thing, because they’re gonna remember that when they need the product, they remember you talking about and they’ll be like, oh, who’s that person that says, you know, humans first business, second, who’s that person

Yasmine (08:36):
Who says you need a uniquely new business, Nicole. That is that us? I think so. Yeah. So the other way that you can be stickies is through the customer experience that you deliver, when you create a lasting impression on people, they come back and we’ve experienced it in our businesses. We’ve had clients refer us out time and time again. I mean, I don’t think Nicole, you and I haven’t actually like sought out clients in the past couple years. Everyone has come through referrals essentially. Right?

Nicole (09:07):
Yeah. And I mean, my longest clients I’ve been with for four or five years and we can do some amazing things together because we know the business so well that it’s okay. We’re not like starting from the ground up. We know what works, we know what doesn’t. We have processes in place to revisit the goods, the bads, the inspirations, the dreams and goals every year. So it feels easier and easier to redo the things that work or relaunch the products that do well and go from there. So, you know, when you keep getting good results and you’re really consistent, you get the referrals and then you build another relationship with another client that goes on. And I mean, that’s part of the reason why we love pixie dust and the party membership that we have because we get to build relationships with people in a different four. That’s not necessarily us implementing these huge strategies, but it is informing people directly knowing what their business is, knowing their audiences. We can give them much better information than possibly following a course somewhere that probably costs the same amount as the party.

Yasmine (10:13):
Yeah. Other ways that you can deliver that really positive experience for your customers is in the after purchase experience. So we talked about having a great post purchase sequence when someone buys a product, whether if it’s a service from you or like a digital product, and if you’re a product maker creating that really great experience when they open up their package, when you mails something that’s super duper important, too. For example, I have started a product based business recently I’ll share the details at some point in the future, what it works within an episode, but I’ve had one customer literally buy from me 10 times in the past, like two and a half months. And it’s because she loves the experience. She, how I work with her when she comes to me for recommendations, I’ve given her an amazing customer experience in her words. And that I put thought and care into everything that I deliver to her.

Yasmine (11:07):
And she just loves opening up the packages. And to me, that’s literally the greatest compliment that I could get, because that’s the experience that I want people to have and to get some, to buy 10 times in like two and a half months, that’s a huge win for any product based businesses. So I look to the feedback that she’s given me and try to think, okay, how can I really build and extrapolate this across the board for every single customer that purchases for my business. And you know, it’s not always easy, but paying attention to the things have impact is so key in every business, because that’s how you can scale more effectively or like increase the, I wanna say the impact, but like not the impact, like the, should I say the return? Yeah, yeah. Increase the return that you have in your business based on the effort that you put into it,

Nicole (11:57):
We can have, we probably already have another episode entirely on that, those relationships and, and treating each customer like they’re your only customer and the difference that that makes, and it does leave a lasting impression. When you think about Disney, you’re thinking about a scale of how do they leave a lasting impression on the thousands of people that come every day and they can’t do that personalized experience really. And it’s little things like you, you guys know how many trips we have taken, but you know, just going to see VECO and the sphere is glowing into different colors that match the 50th. That’s a completely different experience. It’s lasting to me like that looks different than the last trip. This is special. The new firework shows all of those things make it special and every trip is completely different. So it’s leaving those lasting impressions. Even something as simple as the art festival that we went to, the dishes are different. So they’re different from when I went to the art festival last year, we enjoyed some of our old favorites, but we brought in new things and there were things themed for the 50th. It’s, it’s a lot of fun and that’s how they continually impressed.

Yasmine (13:09):
But like the other interesting thing that Disney does is there are so many unique experiences to the 50th that it makes you want to try it all because once it’s gone, it’s gone. So there’s a scarcity as well that they’re able to push through this, which I mean, it’s worked on us.

Nicole (13:30):
All right. So in your business, the one thing that you can do is a takeaway from this is to talk about your stuff five times more than you think you should put it inside your planner. Talk about one of my products or my overarching tagline this week, like Tuesday what’s today is Tuesday. So pick Thursday, you know, go and put that in your planner, put it on your Asana, wherever you keep yourself on track. Talk about one of your products, your services, your overarching, like philosophy around things. And then do it again on Monday. And then do it again on Wednesday. Talk about your stuff, because we don’t talk about it enough. We are guilty of this as well. We’re telling you this and we it’s something that we’re working on. So talk about your things.

Yasmine (14:18):
Speaking of not talking about our stuff we have something really cool coming up.

Nicole (14:27):
All right. You’ve probably heard that you can create more impact by doing less, but how exactly do you do that? We’ll let you know. We have a masterclass coming up on March 24th, and we want you to join us for it. We’ll help you stop spinning your wheels and find some focus so you can decide on your next right move.

Yasmine (14:48):
So if you wanna join us live, sign up at pixiedustandprofits.com/masterclass.

Nicole (14:55):
Can’t wait to see you there.

Nicole (14:59):
All right. So make sure you join that masterclass. If you’re looking for support and focus. Now, this is the last episode of this season, which I don’t know how it’s come that quickly, but it, you can keep in touch with us on Patreon. And that’s where you’re gonna get some behind-the-scenes content. Even when the season is over, you can find us at pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon. They’ll also be in the show notes. We will do a summer series, which will have fast tidbits for you for your business, just to make sure you’re keeping up with everything as your business goes through the summer, which sometimes can be slower, but for other audiences maybe a little bit busier. So thank you so much for joining us. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @pixiedustandprofits. We’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 60: Make Your Business “Stick(y)”!

Mar 15, 2022

Inspired by our last trip through the Orlando airport, we were blown away by the effort Disney made to ensure their 50th-anniversary “sticks” in the minds of visitors and, honestly, anyone who travels through the Orlando airport. 

Download Episode 60 transcript right here

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Text us! 207-203-6769 🪄

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Episode 59: Small Shop Safety with Misty Henry (Transcript)

Mar 1, 2022

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply, why these big scale concepts to your own business.

Yasmine (00:26):
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. I’m Yasmine.

Nicole (00:30):
And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:31):
And today we actually have a really, really special guest in the studio. So Misty Henry from the Maker’s Resource Shop is joining us today. Misty, why don’t you introduce yourself to our audience and say, hello?

Misty (00:46):
Sure. Hey everyone. So as ya said, my shop is the Maker’s Resource Shop, and I basically help people build their passions by following the regulations that they don’t even know about make sure that they get to where they need to it be. So they reduce their risk in their business and don’t have to worry about the things they don’t know coming back and nipping them in the, but

Nicole (01:09):
Who would you say are the people who tend to find you or follow you? Like what do they sell

Misty (01:15):
Right now? It’s actually mostly teethers and pacifier leashes and that sort of thing, but really it’s oh man, I have people that make children’s clothing, people that make children’s accessories, necklaces, hair accessories. I have people that make hats and bags. And while most of the regulations focus on children’s products, there are a few for adult items too. I do have a couple people that poke in and say, Hey, what do I need about this? And I love when I’m able to say, actually, all you need to do is make sure you have a little bit of labeling and you’re good. And then the people that come in saying, I’m making a children’s item, I get to say, oh, well you have some labeling. What else do you make? Let’s see what else you have to do for that because the government does have a little bit extra to keep our kids safer. But yeah, so most of it is children’s products and just a little dabble here and there of adult items.

Nicole (02:17):
So that’s super helpful, especially if we have any Disney, small shops listening and you make products for chill, you need to go check out Misty and the maker’s resource shop, cuz you don’t know what you don’t know

Yasmine (02:27):
Exactly. And you know, the reason why I love Misty’s businesses, Nicole, I kind of feel like it’s similar to ours in the sense that we kind of deal with like the less sexy side of operations and business, but things that are so important that you can’t really grow without. And like one of the things that I love about Misty’s business is just by helping her customers follow regulations and make things safer that improves their sales because their customers feel peace of mind when they purchase those products. So

Misty (02:59):
Absolutely as I actually have a number of people in the last me personally in the last three years, I have noticed an uptick in consumers paying more attention to compliance. They’re not quite sure what that word means, but they search it. And I have a lot of makers who are telling me, man Misty. My, my search keywords right now are like spot on with safety and compliance and P S I a. And those are what my customers are specifically searching for. So absolutely it is definitely increasing their sales.

Nicole (03:33):
Okay. So if you have a business, especially business that creates products, Misty just gave you the tip to go make some content or put something in your product description that talks about your compliance. And if you don’t have anything to say about that, you might want to go check out our job

Yasmine (03:50):
And we’ll include the show notes.

Nicole (03:52):
Yeah, absolutely.

Yasmine (03:53):
So Misty, we’re gonna have you talk to our audience a little bit about like, more about what they can do to become compliant and to make sure that they’re you know, checking off all the boxes. But before we do one of the reasons why we’re really lucky and excited to have a Misty on the show today is she is a member of our profitable and productive party membership. But not only that Misty joined us for pixie dust and profits live back in October where we spent, you know, a couple glorious days under the hot Florida sun, just going, like, I wanna say wild at Disney, but we were preta. Like let’s be real. And she was also with us just a couple weeks ago, back in Florida for our Pixie Dust & Profits intensive and Misty. One of the things that I would just love to hear your TA is how has getting more focus helped you grow your business?

Misty (04:44):
Oh my gosh. So actually before this, I was looking at my financials as I do. And I was blown away. I have literally doubled my profit every year since I’ve known you all. Oh my gosh. And it, yeah, it starts with it’s honestly, it started with that, that squirrel syndrome download that you guys have. And I fo I, I read that, took it to heart, working with you all, you all helped explain more in depth, what that really looks like. And then the next step was okay. Start asking why, why, why? And I do that now. So I see this beautiful, shiny thing that doesn’t pertain to anything that I’m working on right in this moment. And so I put it on that parking lot that you gave us, and I love that parking lot cause it’s laminated. So I can either dry a erase on it or wet erase on it or sticky note on it.

Misty (05:44):
And I write down the idea, if it’s something that is like a FOMO purchase, I will write it down and set it to the side with the date that it’s ending. And before I hit that buy button, I ask, why do I need this? Why do I need to start it right now? Why is this going to benefit me? How is this gonna benefit my, my clients and my customers and the people that I help? Is this actually something I need right now? Or am I just in the FOMO? Because the marketing is really good and I have been able to save honestly, oh, I hate to say this number, but honestly I’ve probably saved myself over $10,000. Wow. Minimum

Nicole (06:30):
With one exercise. That’s amazing

Misty (06:32):
With one exercise, well, two exercises and scroll syndrome and your focus information. So yeah, it’s, it has been absolutely amazing. My, my expenses have gone down at the same time as my income has. The, the profit portion has definitely doubled. Like I said, every year, since I’ve, I’ve met you guys, which was in what, 2000, I was 19 when we were with Christina,

Nicole (07:01):
Like yep. Yep. We met in person. I spoke at Christina scalier had an in-person event and it was, it was in Florida, but not Disney related. I was

Misty (07:12):
So sad.

Nicole (07:13):
I was there on a family vacation and she had asked, Hey, can you stop by after your family vacation and teach your genius of getting focused to everyone and did and met Misty. And it really went from there. And I just wanna say like, those are amazing exercises. Do you feel like this is top of mind because every month we ask everyone to complete an accountability report, we just kind of did that in the last week or so. And Misty’s always Misty, I think has the goal of filling out the accountability report before I ask for the update. So I

Misty (07:48):

Nicole (07:50):
So, so that accountability, like, is that another piece of, you know, you said I went back and looked at my numbers and I think there’s a lot of people out there who either are afraid of their numbers or don’t even track them to begin with. And so being part of the party, it’s just part of the monthly ecosystem of go back, look at things like, how has that been helpful?

Misty (08:09):
Oh my gosh. To be very blunt, I don’t want to disappoint you guys. I honestly feel like if I disappoint you guys, then I’m probably gonna end up disappointing myself and my customers. And it’s not so much that I fear the rejection. Well, I kind of do, but I, it, it’s more of I’ve said that I’m gonna do something now I have to keep that promise. And because I said it out loud to someone else that I really care about, I, and I now have to have to have to do it. It’s like top priority. And if I get that squirrel brain and start looking at something else and move on because I have that tendency to go, oh, I like that. Let me do it right now. I have to do it right now. You know, it doesn’t allow me to come back to that project that I was supposed to be working on that will move my business forward and having those accountabilities every single month where you ask all these questions that I wouldn’t even have thought to ask myself that are extremely helpful.

Misty (09:11):
And I don’t have the answer every month for all of the questions. Sometimes it’s just, everything’s stable. We’re good. We’re just surviving. It definitely has made life more breathable. It has given me a lot more peace and just really, it has helped me stay on track. Like right now you guys are I’m working on revamping my website to make it more clear for people who have never met or spoken with me before. Because I actually created the website when like people would, I created the website when people would talk to me first and I’d find out about them and they, I go to this, you need this piece right here. That’s, I’ve grown past that. Now I’ve getting people that are coming in, who have never talked to me before going straight to my website from other people, telling them to go to the website. So you guys are helping me with that. And if I veer off from that, because something else super shiny in and in my brain wants to do this other thing, I won’t come back and finish that, which means I won’t be able to help the people that I really wanna help.

Nicole (10:26):
The people that are coming in that don’t know much about you. I, and this is a classic case where the products came before the business almost. Absolutely. I think many of us stumble into that. I know I did. I’ve had my business for, I dunno, six or seven years now and my first jobs were Hey, yeah, I’ll write that for you. Or yeah, I can figure that out. And to the point where it is today, like I have the skills that I have today, even in the corporate world, but I didn’t know that there was like a need or a want or an industry for it here. And so you kind of have been flow. And so for you, it was maybe someone discovered that you knew about product safety and then another person discovered from the word of mouth. And so it was just about here. Here’s how I can help you. And now it’s turned into, you’re known for that. Your business name is known for that and you need to be able to help everyone. And so the nice thing with this is, yes, we have the accountability report it’s in the party, but we also have a coaching call with ya and a coaching call with me and working sessions where you can just like stop for an hour and work and so on

Misty (11:27):

Nicole (11:27):
Business. Right. And so if Misty said in her February report or her March report, I am going to do this. We use that as the guiding document of like, okay, so, so you said you were going to be working on this. How is that going? What roadblocks are you facing? And then we talk through that and try to come up with like how we can move past that. And so if she said it at the beginning of the month, we’re keeping her accountable throughout the entire month. So like she said, she can come to that meeting knowing like, Hey, I saw this really cool thing and I’m really considering it. And I did my why’s or my house or what’s, and it still seems like it’s a good idea, but I know that I’m supposed to be working on this. Like, what do you think? And so we can talk about, well, if you go toward that, what’s gonna suffer. What’s gonna pull back. And what, where, where is the biggest struggle in your business right now? And like you said, you have people coming in who don’t know who you are and they need that instant. I understand who you are and what you have and how I can work with you in 23 seconds before I scroll past. So I think that that’s a great point of everything that we have.

Yasmine (12:30):
Awesome. So we talked a little bit about the party and how that really changed Misty’s business. And every time I just hear the, you know, leaps that she’s made over the past couple years, my heart just, I don’t know, it gets fuzzy and warm and it just makes me so happy, cuz this is what we wanna see. We wanna see progress. We wanna see growth in everyone who joins us.

Nicole (12:51):
And I’ll just add that. That’s because we’re have a uniquely you business. You know who many people are, you knew who your people were. You made your products. Now, you know who the people who are coming are, and you’re adjusting for them. This isn’t anything. We are not sitting here saying, Misty, you need to do this. We talk to Misty and we know her business and we understand her audience and we get a feel for what struggles are happening. And we kind of guide to the decision making and the accountability. And so I think that’s the other important point. It’s not about follow this and your growth like this growth is because Misty had this growth potential, and we are just helping her on that path. And being a sounding board, being a sounding board is very important. You don’t always have that when you’re an entrepreneur who’s working alone at home. May do you have your spouse or a best friend? And you try to talk to them about, I’m thinking about doing this. And they just don’t understand because they’re not in that world. And so this is what that is.

Misty (13:44):
That is very true. My husband’s always, yeah. And I do it to him too. You know, he’s got his thing. I got my thing. This is, this is literally my passion. So I get, I get off on tangents sometimes and he is, he just nods and he supports me as best as he knows how. And it’s, it’s wonderful, but yes, like having you two ya and Nicole like it, there, there are really are no words. You guys really are my favorite God parent. It’s like, this is, this is the thing that I needed. I’ve been through other coaches. It’s been the same, follow this, do this, make sure you’re, you’ve got this, you know, type of a checklist. Whereas you guys have given me the tools to make things clearer in the way that I work in the way that seems like I can use it for almost any business that I ever wanted to create.

Misty (14:45):
And I do think about it in terms of like, my husband wants to start his own thing wi instead of, of working for someone else. And I like, my brain just starts going and clicking and going, oh yeah, Jasmine and Nicole shared this with me. I think this would help him here. And so like, I’ve got all these ideas for him for when he’s ready and you know, it’s, it’s fantastic to have you guys as that sounding board. Cause like I said earlier, I will jump to something else pretty darn quickly. And now I have like a full parking lot of things that I know I can get back to later.

Nicole (15:19):
That’s amazing. That’s awesome. My husband also wanders into my office sometimes and he is like, do you have a tool for this? And he, he is gonna be at the more opposite career path than I am so

Yasmine (15:31):
Awesome. So Misty, we talked a little bit about how we know each other and how we work together. Let’s dig into a little bit about your business. So Disney, you know, we can say it’s for children, but as Disney adults here, we know it’s for us too. Okay. Don’t come at us. But they create pros for children and they’ve basically spawned this like Disney, small shop industry. There are so many craters and makers who are also making Disney themed items or Disney inspired items. And a lot of them are targeted at children. Like I know that there’s this one dress maker that I have literally bought. I don’t wanna say how many dresses, but like be 30 for my daughter. And one of the things that I noticed on her, like labels and stuff is like for the sleepwear, there’s very specific standards that she sticks to.

Yasmine (16:22):
If it’s like loose it’s non-flammable, if it’s fitted it’s cotton and there’s little things like that, that as a mother buying for my daughter, like that’s super important to me cuz I wanna make sure anything that I have aware is safe and comfortable and I’m sure a lot of your clients are coming to you trying to figure out like where to start. So can you maybe dig a little bit more into the process of, you know, if someone is creating, let’s say clothing for children or because yeah, we buy a lot of like Disney clothes for our kids. What are the steps that they need to take Misty?

Nicole (16:56):
What’s the first step. Yeah. First

Yasmine (16:58):
Step. Yeah.

Misty (16:59):
So before I jump into that part, I do wanna say that what I have available also helps consumers know what the heck to even look for. Very cool. So you’re not a seller and you’re just a consumer of amazing Disney E products and doesn’t have to be Disney license necessarily just Disney in general. I can help you find just what you need to know to make sure you’re looking at the right things. And honestly, it’s just tags to, to make sure things are going well. But so as a seller of products, you wanna make sure at the bare minimum that if it’s for children, you know, about anything regarding lead content and you have your proper labeling and the labeling is super important because it’s actually that point of contact between you and the actual consumer, the one that’s actually using the product. So I know there’s a lot of aunties out there.

Misty (17:56):
There’s a lot of grandparents out there, a lot of adopted grandparents and aunties who love to purchase for children and give us gifts. And so we can, can’t face everything off of the shopper necessarily. We have to focus on who that actual user is and that tag helps make that connection, not just with the branding, cuz that is very important, but also with the information that you’re giving them. So on that label, you should be seeing your name. You should be seeing the fiber content either on a permanent tag or a, a removable tag. You should be seeing things like where it’s made from so that consumers can make the right decision on their own morals. So, you know, we still have people who they don’t care where they, where things are made. We have people who still care you much about where things are made and wanna make sure that they’re in that sphere of what they’re comfortable with.

Misty (18:58):
The fiber contents are important for sensitivities and allergens or even just moral moral thoughts, you know? And then we have what it’s called a date of manufacturer in a batch code and I’ve been doing this enough. I’ve been doing this for since 2010 that I know what the weird numbers and codes are on. Like a lot of products. I can usually pick out where the date is, what the code actually for sometimes like what the letters and numbers mean. And it’s, it’s very geeky that I can do this, but you’ll start to see that too. You’ll go, okay. I know what to do. If there’s an issue I can contact this person that’s labeled right there on the tag. I can let them know that I have this. I can send them a photo or I can read off that number for them.

Misty (19:55):
And they can tell me exactly what I need to know about the components in it. They can tell me about the item itself. And if there’s a recall, which is really what these are supposed to be for, you can go to cpsc.gov/recalls and you can see all of the recalls that have ever been done and forced by the CPSC and Canada health. Canada is a collaborative on it. And they’ll give you a photo of the product. They’ll give a description of the product and then they’ll give you codes. They’ll give you the data manufacturer, give you maybe the model number, skew number, just random batch number. They’ll give you that information so that you can look at those tags and go, oh, okay. I know what to do. I know I need to contact this, this company. I know what my remedy is, whether it’s a refund or a fix or what have you, that tag is super important.

Misty (20:52):
And then in the case of sleepwear, it tells you, okay, is this a tight fitting item? If it is awesome, I don’t have to worry about much of anything else just to make sure that it’s actually tight fitting. And then if it’s loose fitting, they should have a statement that says, you know, this is been treated with a flame retardant or this is naturally flame resistance and they’ve had the testing done to make those statements. So you know that, okay, this really truly is the safest for my child. Now I want to also say that compliant with the product safety rules does not necessitate actual safety. So I do go further and give all of my customers, all of my clients, that information to help them improve the actual safety to help reduce that risk on their businesses and the risk on their consumers. Cause we don’t want those sweet little consumers to be harmed.

Nicole (21:51):
And this kind of goes into some of the things that we talk about often on the podcast like that post purchase sequence, like what happens after the product is in their hands. What do you do to give the best experience possible with your product in Misty’s cases? What do you do to make the safest experience possible in using your product? Very important work that I can’t say everyone who just starts an Etsy shop, especially when you start thinking about how people started making masks, you know, and selling them on Etsy. And you know, that isn’t something that crossed your mind. You’re just doing something that, you know, people need and people are willing to buy. I’m gonna put it up there. It’s, it’s not necessarily the first thing our brain go to unless you’re a lawyer or have worked in this world or unfortunately had to deal with a lawsuit or anything else in this realm. So if you have not thought about this in your business, do not, do not get upset, just go to the maker’s resource shop, get all the resources you need. I’m sure that Missy has a resource right on the homepage for, you know, to figure out more about what you know and what you need to know.

Yasmine (22:54):
And one other thing that I’ll add is that I know that a lot of retailers are also requiring those compliance certificates and to make sure that everything is up to par before they’ll list something. So if you are looking to scale and grow your business or get on the like Amazon, for example, if I recall correctly, Missy, that was like a huge thing for you where you had a surge of Amazon sellers, making sure that everything was super compliant.

Misty (23:19):
Yes. So there are some disagreements I should say between Amazon and CPSC right now. And it’s been going on for a few years and it’s under, because Amazon is a worldwide business. They have sellers and buyers worldwide. So it’s very important that they are paying attention to who is selling and what they’re selling. And so what happens is the CPSE will come to them and say, Hey, we need you to do a sweep of this product cuz we’re seeing that it’s being recalled more often. So we need to make sure that, you know, what products are actually safe right now. It’s sleepwear. Sleepwear is at the top of their list right now. So they’re going through all that sleepwear stuff. And P if we’re coming to me and saying, Hey, I got this listing deactivated on Amazon, they’re asking for this information. I don’t know what these letters mean.

Misty (24:13):
Can you help me? And I do. And I want to add that I do actually have a client who has a licensing deal with a special mouse and they do require, you know, full statements, full lab test reports for the very basics, as well as some of the above and beyond things that we don’t normally think about because we focus so much on federal requirements that, and, and what is absolutely necessary. It has been a growing process for me too, to learn all that they require. And then my client expanded into Canada and they don’t have the same exemptions for certain testing as us has. And so Disney requires them to go back and say, okay, we need this additional testing. And we need the lab reports from that testing. And we need this other statement to make sure that everything is going according to plan.

Misty (25:17):
And they check up on every time they add a new product and add a new print to their line. I have to go back and make sure all of the testing is correct. All of the paperwork is correct. They go, and that’s gonna be not just our lovely mouse, Disney, but is also many, many, many large retailers follow that same exact process Amazon’s going, having to follow that process actually Etsy too, is starting to have to look into that cause Amazon’s putting some pressure there on CPSC to make sure Etsy’s doing the same things since there a marketplace. And there was a lawsuit regarding an Amber TV necklace and a child unfortunate circumstance a few years ago. And it’s, it’s coming up again. It’s et sea’s changing their policies. Everyone’s getting that. Actually another email came out yesterday about their update and policy regarding Amber specifically, but a lot of makers are going through this and going, I just got kicked off of Etsy because they’re requiring, or they’re not allowing this. And so I said, you know, Hey, how about you guys go to Etsy, send them your, your lab reports and certificates and see what they can do. And Etsy actually contacted some of them back and said, you know what? We’ll look into it right now. We can’t do it, but we’ll look into it and see what we can do so we can make change in the hand, make community to make things safer for our consumers, safer for us and allow ourselves to be able to sell literally anywhere we want to grow into.

Nicole (27:02):
If you’re a Disney, small shop and you are looking at expansion into, I don’t know, places like target or licensing deals with the mouse himself, these are things you should be paying attention, attention to because they’re gonna go above and beyond the federal requirements because safety is so integral to their brand and, and they don’t want any risks whatsoever. So if that is a goal for you, whether that’s a goal for this year or for five years from now, look into these things, they’re important. And if you already have them done, it makes it that much easier for the yes to happen.

Misty (27:39):
Absolutely. I have a lot of people who have come to me going, oh my gosh, Misty, I’ve been doing this for so long. What do I do? Where do I start? How do I go back and fix everything? And I’m able, I love that. I’m able to reassure them that it’ll be okay. It, we can pick up where we left off because most of your products, they’re not that dangerous. They don’t have an inherent, immediate safety risk. So it’s literally the bureaucracy, but it’s good to make sure that we have that to make sure we’re covering all of those bases, doting, those eyes, crossing, those Ts, you know, so forth. And so I just, I that’s the first step I do is I make sure that they’re reassured the first step when they drop on that. Well website, the maker’s resource shop.com is I have a link for about, and it will, it jumps into what exactly is compliance.

Misty (28:33):
Like what the heck does it mean? And then I also have a button for I’m new here. What do I do? Where do I start? And so you can, it’s kind of a choose your own journey of sorts, where you can find out what safety compliance actually means, what it is, what it means to you. And then jump into if you’re a reader, I have digital books. If you’re someone that needs to watch the process up close, I have modules that are video based and then I have testing services as well because I have a collaboration with a an ISO accredited CPSC accepted lab here in the us and all that. All those letters mean that they are one of the top accepted labs. So wherever you go, whoever you’re doing a licensing deal with, if you get to that, that that stage, you’re ready for them. It’s so much easier to start from the beginning than trying to meet their needs after the fact.

Nicole (29:34):
Well, thank you so much Misty for joining us. This has been so enlightening, so much information that our audiences really need. So whether they aspire to have Disney, licensed gear or just, you know, sell a couple things on the side, there are resources. They need to check out if they don’t have a business and they’re a consumer, it’s still helpful to be an informed parent, especially when you’re buying things for your child. So take a look at Misty’s work. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate all of your time. We love having you in the party. We love seeing you grow and just really focusing in on what’s my next right step and stepping into that every single month. And we know 20, 22 is gonna be awesome for you. So maybe we’ll do this again next year and hear about another doubling. Thank you so much. Thanks everyone. We’ll see you real soon.

Yasmine (30:24):

Nicole (30:29):
All right. You’ve probably heard that you can create more impact by doing less, but how exactly do you do that? We’ll let you know. We have a masterclass coming up on March 24th, and we want you to us for it. We’ll help you stop spinning your wheels and find some focus so you can decide on your next right move.

Yasmine (30:50):
So if you wanna join us live, sign up at pixiedustandprofits.com/masterclass.

Nicole (30:56):
Can’t wait to see you there.

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Episode 59: Small Shop Safety with Misty Henry

Mar 1, 2022

If you’re a small shop, you won’t want to miss Misty’s golden nuggets on compliance and consumer safety laws, especially if you sell goods used by children. As a member of our Profitable & Productive Party, she also shares how she’s seen incredible business growth and an increase in revenue!

Download Episode 59 transcript right here

Check us out on Patreon!

Text us! 207-203-6769 🪄

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Episode 58: Do the Pre-Work (Transcript)

Feb 15, 2022

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust and Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Yasmine (00:26):
Hey Nicole, I have what might be an unpopular opinion here. So I wanna say that if you’re an annual passholder, this might not apply, but I truly truly believe that you cannot have a good time at Disney. If you don’t plan your trip before you go, and I’m not talking about your hotel room, I’m not talking about like your flights and all of those, like mandatory to physically get to Disney. But like, if you show up to Disney with your family thinking you’re gonna have an incredible vacation and you haven’t done all of what frankly is pre-work before your trip, it’s probably not gonna be the magical experience that you’re hoping for. What do you Think, Nicole?

Nicole (01:05):
It’s certainly not going to be easy or breezy. like, it’s not going to be easy and breezy. You know, there’s a lot of things about Disney. We’ve talked in so many episodes about having to have your food reservations well beforehand, but even if you’re not doing reservations for your dining, which Yasin and I don’t always do because we visit enough that we don’t need to. We know that there’s a mobile order system in which restaurants allow for mobile ordering and what time you should order your food to get it at the 12 o’clock slot, which is, you know, prime time. And everyone’s trying to get their food at the same, same time. Those are all tips and tricks that we’ve learned going there so much. And if you’re taking your one and only trip you, you don’t know, you don’t have that knowledge. And it’s a lot of work to go discover it all. And so today’s episode is all about doing the pre-work yes. On your Disney trips, but also in the different projects, your business.

Yasmine (02:04):
Yeah. I think like very frequently we have this incredible idea and we’re like, okay, we’re gonna work on it, then we’re gonna launch it. And then people will come. And unless you have like an established audience, sometimes there’s crickets, you know, you, you might even have done some pre-work. You might have start teasing things on social media, but if you don’t map out all of, not just the operational touch points of your project, but the marketing touch points, it’s gonna impact your launch. And similar to showing up to Disney without a plan, it’s not gonna be a magical experience.

Nicole (02:37):
Yeah. So, you know, before we get into like the business stuff, I just wanna like go into, like, how do you go about goal editing for your Disney trips? Yaman

Yasmine (02:46):
Ooh. Okay. So I feel like my answer might be similar to people who don’t go to Disney as often, simply because I’ve just been held back because of the pandemic a little bit. But first of all, I look at like, what’s new, there’s always something new at Disney, whether it’s like a new attraction, a new restaurant, or sometimes just even new and seasonal snack offerings that they have or food offerings at the various places. There’s always something to check out. So right off the bat, I like to figure out what do I want to see? What’s important to me, the second thing, and maybe this should be the first, but who am I going with? If I’m going with someone who is attending for the first time, I’m not going to take them on like a Yasin Disney trip. I’m gonna take them on a first time or Disney, triple requires even more planning cuz you wanna make sure that they are like getting on all of the key rides in each park. They’re going to all the re experiences. And you know, you’re doing like the full Disney trip. If I’m going with you, Nicole, maybe be a little bit more relaxed. You know, we, we know when to roll up to whole bur up to Loha aisle to get her doll whips, which Nicole isn’t, I think as big of a fan of, but she goes along with it just because I’m obsessed and the

Nicole (03:58):
Idea of doll whips, but I just don’t like ice cream. So you can have your doll whip and I’ll get my Mickey shaped pretzel. All good.

Yasmine (04:05):
Yeah. That’s how we, that’s how we do it. So like who I’m going with is another like huge factor. And the third thing is like, just time again, if you’re there for a short period, you might wanna hit up like the key parks. If you are going with someone like match a I’m like that’s a must do, but if I’m going like by myself or like with Nicole, I’m gonna go to Hollywood studios and just go on all of like the amazing new rides, because that’s the experience that I want to have. So there’s different parameters around goal setting. But those are like the three things that I definitely consider when I’m planning my goals. What about you?

Nicole (04:40):
I’d say it’s pretty similar. It does start with who’s coming. So for example, we took a really big family trip in December of 2018. I think it was with people who were probably on their one and only Disney trip. And so we packed magic kingdom, all of the traditional rides and as much fun as we could have into that on the flip, know that when we went for the star wars 10 K, we didn’t wanna buy park tickets. We wanted to do the 10 K and then just kind of relax otherwise. So we did a backstage tour and had a blast. It was so much fun. I would highly recommend doing that whenever it reopens. And as of this recording, I will be in Disney next week for just two days with my family. We’re actually going to, okay, I’m gonna, like, I know this is a Disney podcast, but we’re actually gonna be going to universal for the rest of the week to try that out.

Nicole (05:32):
And I haven’t been to universal in 12 years. So maybe that will be some material when I come back. But you know, since we only have two park days next week, we’ve been talking about this in our house. Like what a rides that we feel like we have to do, or is this more of a, we just wanna get away from home and look at a different four walls. We are in Maine it’s winter. I am ready to be above zero for a few days. So our goals are completely different. It’s maybe we can get to the heated pool and maybe we can see the firework show at upcot and that’s about it. Hollywood studios. I would love to get an, every single ride, but realistically with my kid there, we’re probably going to try and ride to Romania as many times as possible. So we just make the goals about what we’re doing there.

Yasmine (06:16):
Okay. So let’s recap how we plan our Disney trip. We figure out who we’re with. We figure out how much time we have. And again, what are those overarching like, goals that we wanna hit? And I think that applies to your business, right? So every time

Nicole (06:31):
We lost, you’re saying that and I’m like, oh my gosh. Yes. That’s exactly it for Disney trips and your business.

Yasmine (06:37):
Yeah. So, well, again, let let’s recap it and look at this from a business standpoint. So first of all, what are your goals? Do you want to hit a certain revenue goal? Do you wanna hit a certain unit goal? Those are things that are important to you and that’s sort of the first step in determining, okay. Where do you want this to land? The second piece is who you’re with or your case probably who you’re talking to. Who’s your audience? What is their willingness to purchase? What is the maximum sort of amount that they’re willing to pay? How often are they willing to like purchase from you? That could be another consideration. Like if you’re doing like launch after launch, after launch, you might be tapping out your hot audience, you know

Nicole (07:18):
How hot or warm or cold your audience is right now. Like how much value you’ve been giving them in between. Those are all factors to consider. Exactly.

Yasmine (07:26):

Nicole (07:27):
Kind of like, have they been to Disney before or do they go weekly?

Yasmine (07:30):
exactly. And you know, if they have gone very frequently, you know you might need to, I either offer them more value or go after a colder audience because they might just be a little bit disced out, so to speak, you know, that can happen, believe it or not. And then the final piece is time. Like how long are you going to be pushing this product, this launch in terms of both marketing period, but also availability. What does that look like? And how much time do you have to in this whole thing? So it’s really important to map out these goals before you can go into it, cuz no matter how excited you get, you need a strategy in order to make something successful. Enthusiasm can work, you know, once, twice, maybe three times to get something off the ground. But if you want it’s stay exactly. I was gonna say, if you want a sustainable business, if you want some, a business that can scale and grow, you’re gonna have to put some planning into it.

Nicole (08:29):
Well, and, and not just from the standpoint of your customers and what they’re willing to buy and how much sales they’re willing to tolerate. It’s also in the, in context of your team. And so I’d say one of the pitfalls, I see entrepreneurs, digital business owners, even eCommerce, if they have a team is they think of these launches and these new products and they, you know, go all in to pursue that without a realistic picture of what it takes to make something happen. So even if you’re just tweaking an already existing product, it’s oh, that’s just an email tweak, but it’s not. There’s a lot of automations that go behind it. There’s rebuilding carts. There’s making sure that your customer service person knows how to answer all the questions that are about to come in. There’s a whole runway that needs to happen when a product is launched.

Nicole (09:22):
Even if it’s an existing product, especially if it’s a new one. And so thinking about things upfront, doing the pre-work so that way you can have a successful, but also I don’t wanna say stress free. I don’t think I’ve ever gone through any stress free launches. There’s always something, but just a little more palatable. You know, something that you can handle with being able to pivot, make, make good decisions when you need to pivot because you are in arrested state because you had enough runway you’ve thought. And ahead enough. So, you know, in the case of Disney planning, if you’ve never been, I’d highly recommend you check out some of the resources from wish upon a planner, and then you can go ahead and get all of the information you need about having a successful Disney trip. Well ahead of the trip. So when you arrive, you are not paralyzed by the sign that says mobile orders. And wait, I thought we just walked up to the front and ordered our food. You can’t do that. And you’re trying to learn in the app on the fly while 10 other families around you are doing the same thing and everyone’s hangry, that’s not the experience you want. So do the pre-work

Yasmine (10:31):
A hundred percent Nicole, what other thing I think we forgot to mention that you sort of touch Japan is the capacity of you and your team when making these decisions. So, you know, a great example of this is I’ve started a new e-commerce project and I have so many ideas for things that I want to launch, but I also have a hundred outstanding orders that I need to ship. And as much as I want to like push out new things and bring in the revenue, it’s just not a good customer experience. If my customers have to have like a longer turnaround time, just cause I’m pushing out so many things. So as much as I’d love to move forward with it. And you know, a lot of you product based shops probably go through the same thing. Sometimes you just wanna catch up on all the outstanding orders that you have. So you can go into a launch stress free and not worrying about, oh gosh, I have to like pack all these other orders before I even get into these ones. So think about the capacity that you have and your team has, if they’re juggling a bunch of different other projects at once, whether execution or planning wise, you don’t wanna throw something else on your shoulders and theirs, because like Nicole said, it’s gonna be stressful and you’re not gonna be in a clear state of mind to make good decisions to pivot. I mean,

Nicole (11:44):
And that just brings it back to what we talked about in, I dunno if it was the last episode or the one before, but with the pillars, right? Goals don’t necessarily have to be, I want to make eggs dollars this year, or I want to sell this many widgets a month. They can be about your systems about your customer experience, like the example that ya gave about outstanding orders that need to be fulfilled before we start selling to new people your product development, your team development, your team dynamics, your growth in general, of all the different channels you have buying more inventory is growth. And then your reach and visibility, all of your marketing. So goals can fall under any of these categories. And if you are interested in joining us to understand more about those categories and find your focus, make sure you join us for our upcoming masterclass. It will help you to decipher all of this with visuals and magic and Yas. And I so definitely join us for that. It’s happening really soon. You can go to pixiedustandprofits.com/masterclass to get there.

Yasmine (12:45):
And just so you know, I saved all of my good Disney puns for that masterclass.

Nicole (12:50):
she’s really good at the Disney puns. If you to Disney pun in one of our emails, that’s Yasmine all right. Well, this was a short and sweet episode. We hope it got you thinking about why it’s so important to do the pre-work no matter what projects you’re looking at, no matter what goals you’re looking at, make sure you join us for that upcoming master class. And one thing I just realized we forgot to talk about was best practices with the pre-work and launching and making sure that your project is ready to go. We’re gonna talk about that over in our Patreon, which you can find pixiedustandprofits.Com/Patreon. And if you join it’s as little as $5 a month, you can get bonuses like this all the time. Ooh,

Yasmine (13:29):
I can’t wait to talk about that, Nicole. All right. Thank you again for joining us for another episode of Pixie Dust and Profits. If you’re not following us on Instagram, we are @pixiedustandprofits, and we’d love to hear what you think about this episode. Make sure you comment on the post where we share it. Thanks again. And we’ll see you real soon. Bye.

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Episode 58: Do the Pre-Work

Feb 15, 2022

The importance of doing the pre-work before you make your trip to Disney and how you can apply this to your business launches. If you have launches coming up, or you’re planning for major growth this year, you’ll want to tune in!

Download Episode 58 transcript right here

Check us out on Patreon!

Text us! 207-203-6769 🪄

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