Founder Stories: Jamie Skinner On Jungle Culture
In today’s Founder Story we feature Jamie Skinner, the Co-Founder of Jungle Culture.
Read on for lessons he’s learned from launching and marketing a business that sells eco-friendly products.
1) Please introduce your business and share your role.
Hi, my name is Jamie and I am the co-founder of Jungle Culture. My role is split into 3 categories. I handle our wholesale business, our SEO, and our supplier relationships.
I do other things like Google ads, inventory management, etc. but I consider these 3 jobs to be the most important.
Our main buyer demographic is women between the ages of 18-36, although we don’t target any particular audience when we’re designing our products.
What makes us unique is that we’re a feet-on-the-ground type of business. Instead of sourcing our products from comfy office chairs, we moved to Vietnam and worked closely with farms and factories around the country. It helps us to understand how things are made, the environmental impact and it also ensures that our products are high quality. A lot of our suppliers are close friends and although sourcing from small workshops and farms was challenging in the beginning, it paid off in the long run.
2) What’s your backstory, what kind of challenges did you face, and how did you come up with your business idea?
We face challenges every single day… when you source products from Chinese factories, everything is very easy because the problems have been worked out from experience, but when you’re buying from small farms, everything goes wrong.
We’ve had instances where products arrived unpacked and we had to repack entire shipping containers, problems with product quality, and a lot of communication issues, but over time we’ve ironed out the issues and for the most part, everything is working okay!
3) How did you prepare for, and go about your launch?
We launched our first product on Amazon because our budget was around $1,000 and Amazon makes it very easy to launch a product. We had absolutely no marketing campaigns or promos at the time, but we targeted a niche and were able to create a better/cheaper product than our competitors because we worked closely with the best suppliers.
4) How did you come up with your logo and the visual identity for your brand?
Initially, my co-founder Chris’ girlfriend made us a simple logo and we picked some popular fonts at the time. As we grew we brought in a graphic designer to make us a hand-drawn logo and create brand guidelines which included fonts and color schemes.
We didn’t have the money or experience in the beginning to create the best visuals, but we have improved over time and we’re still learning about branding!
5) Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best to attract and retain customers?
Tell your story honestly and customers will relate to your brand and talk about it. We’ve found that showing customers how we develop our products and introducing them to craftspeople who help create the products makes the customer feel like they are a part of the journey.
In terms of the way that we market… Email marketing and affiliates have been very successful for us as has paid content on popular blogs. Advertising on Google and other selling platforms has also yielded some good results for our brand.
6) What have been the most influential brands for your business? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?
There are a ton of brands out there that we admire… Personally, I love Minor Figures, Vivo Barefoot and Bower Collective. But there are a ton of other great brands… Those are the 3 that spring to mind.
7) What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?
We use Klaviyo for emails, AWIN for affiliates, SEMrush for SEO, a lot of Google apps for everything, Shopify for web building, and a lot of small Shopify apps for upselling, custom products, subscriptions.
8) Who or what inspires and motivates you?
Honestly, it’s tough to remain inspired and motivated as a business owner because there are a lot of challenges and setbacks that come your way.
It’s not easy, but I feel motivated when customers leave positive feedback or responses. Hearing how your products positively impact people’s lives is the biggest motivator possible.
Other than that, I’m self-motivated… When things aren’t going your way, you have to dig deep, stay calm and keep working hard until everything falls into place.
9) What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with entrepreneurs hoping to launch or who have just launched?
Always keep a long-term strategy in mind. Never lose sight of the end goal. With e-commerce, you’ll always be jumping hurdles and tackling problems, but just keep moving forward and keep ticking off problems as they come.
10) What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur? And what makes a team successful?
Resilience… You have to be resilient to be an entrepreneur. If you’re the sort of person that gives up easily, then this just is not the path for you.
There are a lot of other important qualities, but resilience is critical for me.
My experience of a successful team is a team that enjoys working together. When you like working and enjoy coming to work every day, creating something special doesn’t seem very difficult.