Growing your ECommerce Business through PR Connections with Alicia Boateng

Growing your ECommerce Business through PR Connections with Alicia Boateng Podcast from Product Powerhouse

Imagine being able to say that your product was shared by the likes of Tiffany Haddish, Octavia Spencer, and even Whoopi Goldberg! That’s what happened for Alecia Boateng, the celebrity cup designer.  This week, episode 108 of the Product Powerhouse Podcast is about growing your eCommerce business with PR! 

Alicia Boateng has always loved creative pursuits, but it wasn’t until she left her career as a wedding planner that she started to think about turning her own designs into a full-time gig. It was her morning cup of coffee that turned out to be the inspiration she needed, and her line of handcrafted mugs started to come to life. Today she runs her business Alicia Boateng Designs, alongside her husband, churning out festive mugs that come in various styles.

In this episode of the Product Powerhouse Podcast, Alicia Boateng is sharing the importance of creating sincere connections with PR representatives and actionable steps you can take right now to get your products in front of the eyes of more people. 

Some of the talking points Alicia and I go over in this episode include:

  • The journey from creating everything to focusing on a product that lit her up and her customers truly wanted.
  • How Alicia got in front of her first celebrity and how that snowballed with a touch of giving and chance.
  • The intention that needs to be there when creating connections with celebrities and how to do so honestly. 
  • Why working with a PR coach helped shift her business and how she continues to cultivate connections today.

You can get more eyes on your products when you create genuine connections with people. And when you do it with heart, you’re more likely to see results that are beneficial to your success. It goes back to being curious about your outreach and marketing.

Tune in to all the episodes to receive tons of practical tips on growing your product shop and to hear even more about the points outlined above. Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of the episode to post in your stories and tag me!  And don’t forget to follow, rate, and review the podcast and tell me your key takeaways!

Learn more about Product Powerhouse and Erin at https://productpowerhouse.co/podcast/

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- TRANSCRIPT -

Alicia Boateng  00:00

What I've learned is to create genuine relationships. Because if you're not genuine, the person on the other side is going to pick up on it. And they're going to know what you're after. It's very time consuming having to build this relationship. And I feel that any relationship is worth investing your time if it's meaningful to you. So with the publishers and editors and producers that I've become friends with, it hasn't happened overnight. This is something that it's taking time, they have to trust you, they have to trust your product. And they have to feel that you believe in your product. Because if you don't believe in your product, and you don't have the passion that it takes to sell your product or to showcase your product, they're going to pick up on that and they're going to know that this is just a hobby.

 

Erin Alexander  00:48

You're listening to product powerhouse, a podcast to inspire and empower you while you build a powerful product based business that fuels your passion and feeds your family. I'm your host, Aaron Alexander, I run an E commerce web design agency that helps shop owners build, grow and scale. This podcast is all about actionable strategies specifically for your product based business. So friends, grab an iced coffee and let's chat because DIY in your business doesn't mean you have to do it alone. Hey friends, today I get the opportunity to introduce you to a really, really fun businesswoman. At least Yep. Oh Tang from Alesia Boateng designs. Alesia is a celebrity cup designer. And she creates coffee mugs and cups that are enchanting and help promote women's empowerment. I had the opportunity to work with Alicia in the last few weeks to give her website a little update. And she's just such a wonderful human being like she is so sincere, so kind and her energy is just totally magnetic. So today we're talking about how she's used celebrity endorsements and PR to grow her business because celebrities have her cups, and they post pictures of them on social media. It's really cool, including Tiffany Haddish. And what Bill Goldberg it's just really cool to see how she's been able to get her designs and her mugs. In the hands of these celebrities. And how she's gone about doing this is very, I don't know, I want to say interesting, I guess is the right word. Like I just love her approach. She's very intentional. I don't want to give it all away now. So let's just dive into the episode. Hi, Alicia, thank you so much for being on the podcast. How are you today?

 

Alicia Boateng  02:43

I'm wonderful. Aaron, how are you?

 

Erin Alexander  02:46

I am doing great. We have been chatting and having a blast. And I'm like, well, we better start this recording or else all the good stuff is gonna be gone. Absolutely. So why don't we start by telling everyone who you are and what you do.

 

Alicia Boateng  03:00

Thank you. So my name is Alicia Boateng. I'm in Coral Springs, Florida, and I'm a celebrity cup designer. I love introducing myself as a celebrity cup designer, because I always get that look. They're like What do you mean your celebrity cup design?

 

Erin Alexander  03:16

That was going to be my next question. Because I'm I know what this is. But what is it celebrity cup designer, celebrity cup

 

Alicia Boateng  03:23

designer, I have the fortune I design coffee and tea cups. And I have the fortune that I've had celebrities love my cup. So I decided I was going to title myself a celebrity cup designer. And I don't take that very lightly.

 

Erin Alexander  03:40

This reminds me of when I worked in like a corporate job. We were like the design team. But we called ourselves the design goddesses because we're not we're just a group of women who did all the design. Absolutely, you can be what you want to be. So this is really cool. You have had really famous celebrities. Take pictures with your cups, you have a picture on your website of Whoopi Goldberg holding your mug and I just think this is so cool. So our conversation today is really about like, how do you get in front of celebrities? How do you get those endorsements? How did you start your PR, you've done a lot of PR for your company as well. And so I'm just really excited to kind of pick your brain even though that word is kind of weird about this. So how did you get in front of your first celebrity?

 

Alicia Boateng  04:29

Well, I will say that it didn't happen overnight. That's for sure. I'll give you a little bit of background with my company. I started in 2019. We started in May of 2019. And cups were nowhere near what I was going to be making out of this company. So it really just happened very organically. So what happened was that I got a Cricut machine and I decided that I was going to do science for everything I was going to put vinyl on absolutely everything. And then I realized that I'm really competing with Hobby Lobby Michael warm, you know, and all these other big box stores that do the same thing, only charge $4. And there's absolutely no way that I could compete with them. So then six months into the business, we decided that we were going to do a pop up shop at our local mall. And so my idea, of course, I was gonna have like Christmas decorations, and Hanukkah and all that stuff. And a couple of weeks before, I had already started, you know, playing around with the cups. The reason being is that I absolutely am obsessed with my coffee. As I was enjoying my coffee, one morning, I told my husband, I said, if I had such a beautiful cup, and I enjoyed my cup, as much as I do my coffee, it would take my morning experience to the next level. So being the creative soul that I am, I thought, let me play around and see what I can come up with. And then I designed my first cup called Felicia. And then I knew that I had something while at the pop up shop, I brought in a couple of different cups. And within two weeks, I had people coming to the shop asking me for the cups. And that's when I realized, okay, I definitely have something, I have something that clients love. I've targeted my market. And it's not just something that they love, it's something that I feel that they need. That's when I realized that the cups was definitely a thing. So needless to say, of course, I sold out all the decorations and stuff like that. And I said to myself, Okay, I'm going to focus on the cups. And I'm going to focus on how I'm going to take my cups and the company and the brand itself to the next level. And so here we are today, with regards to your question as to how I got my cups into celebrities. So in April of 2020, obviously, we all know 2020 however, in April of 2020, I received an order from Tiffany Haddish. And the order comes in and I'm like yeah, right. This is just somebody you know, making pretend. And I process the order. Of course, I mailed it out. Three or four days later, Tiffany Haddish puts it on her social media. And I just I could not believe it. I couldn't believe it. So immediately the orders started coming in. I thought I thought I seriously thought it was something wrong with my computer, because the orders just kept coming in and I said something's happening. My Instagram immediately. I mean, I had maybe like 1000 followers at the time it started creeped up to 5000. Like literally in a couple of hours. I just I couldn't believe what was happening. So of course, I thanked her and all that stuff. And you know, I kept my relationship with her and so forth. And then a couple of months later, Octavia Spencer was featured in self made which is the story of madam CJ Walker, which coincidentally she also started with Tiffany Haddish. So I reached out to Octavia and we have been communicating through Instagram also. And back then she was every Thursday, she was featuring small businesses. So because I have been communicating with her, I mean, I really wasn't expecting anything from her. However, one day, I looked through the Instagram and sure enough, she had highlighted me she had highlighted my cups, my tenacity, my perseverance, because I definitely kept reaching out to her and making sure that I connected with her. And you know, not overpowering, obviously. But you know, I definitely made it a point to continue connecting with her and so forth. So that was another celebrity that actually loves my cup as well. I mean, I've had a lot of other celebrities, local celebrities. I've had the man's David and Tamela Mann. The latest one being, of course, will be Goldberg. And the way that that happened earlier this year was I have a collection called the Black excellence collection. And that collection is to commemorate the black women in history. So last year, I inaugurated the collection with Madam CJ Walker. That being said, I actually the great granddaughter of madam CJ Walker has the madam CJ Walker cup I wanted to make sure that she had that in her possession and that she treasured it because it's obviously honoring her great grandmother and so forth. So this year, I had done a little bit more research and I knew that my Angela was going to be coming out there we're going to be honoring her with the quarter. So I wanted to create something that would go hand in hand with the coin and the release of the coin and how special it was because her being the first African American that's on a coin is a huge, huge honor. So I developed I created the the Maya Angelou And I sent it to Anna Navarro. Anna Navarro is a CNN CORRESPONDENT and she's also on the view. And she also lives in my hometown of Coral Gables. So, it's funny because we actually have a couple of friends in common, although I've never met her personally. So I sent her the Maya Angelou cup. And I sent her my Leila cup also, because her mom passed away in December. And her mom's name was Violetta, which in English translate to Leila, or lavender. She was very touched by my gesture. And she of course, shared in our her social media. And then one day out of the blue, it was actually the last day of Women's History Month, I see a picture of the Maya Angelou cup with Whoopi Goldberg. And her message was that she shared it with Whoopi as a good you know, she she paid it forward with her. I could not believe that I never asked her for any of that. I wanted to gift her the cup, just because of the the symbol and the message that that's behind the Maya Angelou cup. And the fact that she gave it to Whoopi Goldberg, which is one of her dearest friends was very, very touching to me. She then messaged me later and said, Listen, you know, as you know, I gave my cup to Whoopi, can you send me an elbow?

 

Erin Alexander  11:22

That's so cool.

 

Alicia Boateng  11:24

That's how it happened with Whoopi Goldberg.

 

Erin Alexander  11:26

I think that's really incredible how you made these connections with these celebrities. Because I think a lot of times we get like, oh, nervous around them or like, even like thinking about celebrities or talking to them sound scary. But I really love what you said about like, I didn't expect anything just by giving her my cup. It sounds like you went into every one of these interactions, like just honestly trying to make a connection with them, you know, say hi. Not necessarily to sell them anything, correct? Absolutely.

 

Alicia Boateng  11:54

Absolutely. And, you know, with Anna, I said, Listen, I'm Cuban. I am from your hometown. You know, I told her my story. I'm local from Miami. And you know, I feel very bad about your mom passing away because she was very open on her social with her story. So because of that I was able to interact with her on that sense. And so, you know, I just said, you know, I want to give you these cups, and I hope you enjoy your coffee or your tea and make it a great day.

 

Erin Alexander  12:25

Yeah, that's really beautiful. Yeah. And it sounds like with your you know, what you were talking about with your connection with Octavia Spencer, it was very intentional. It was very genuine. It wasn't, you know, it wasn't a marketing tactic for you. You didn't you know, like it was just very, from the heart, very sincere,

 

Alicia Boateng  12:42

very organic. And the funny story about Octavia Spencer, is that her gatekeeper, when I sent her the cup, I sent her oval. And when I sent her the cover, gatekeeper called me immediately, and he's like, who are you? Why are you sending stuff to my client? And he was just like, going off on me. And by the end of a conversation, he became my best friend. He's like, Don't worry, I'm going to get your your Oh. So I was like, okay, because I was intimidated, you know, getting a phone call like that. And I'm like, Oh, my goodness, I didn't realize I did something wrong and blah, blah. So he was very nice at the end of the conversation and said, Don't worry about it. I understand. He's doing his job. He didn't know who I am. And so he needs to protect his client, right. He just wanted to make sure that I was legit, and I wasn't some fly by night. So he did his job. And I'm very thankful that he actually gave the cup to Octavia and you know, she's probably enjoying her team in it. Now,

 

Erin Alexander  13:41

I think it's very important to emphasize that the relationships you've created, they were intentional, and they were honest, and like, it wasn't like, I want to do this to blow up my business. Because I think a lot of people, I think I see this a lot in Tik Tok, they're like, if I make this video, supposedly it will blow up my business. And then it doesn't happen. And then people get upset, or business owners get upset. And I just love how you've gone into business. And you've gone into like these relationships or like connecting with celebrities or just connecting with people, like with curiosity and sincere interest in them and not what's in it. For me. I think that's the key to being successful at it. Like, at least with any marketing effort, you know, is kind of going into it and not necessarily thinking like, oh, this will blow up my business.

 

Alicia Boateng  14:31

Exactly. Because if you have expectations like that, you're definitely going to get disappointed. If it doesn't, you know, it's a 5050 chance that you're taking a risk that you're taking. What I've learned is to create genuine relationships because if you're not genuine, the person on the other side is going to pick up on it and they're going to know what you're after. They're definitely gonna know what you're after. As far as getting the other media coverage that I've gotten. I do have a Er, coach that I work very closely with. And the company is called press for success. And the owner is Sabina. So Sabina is just amazing. I've been working with her for almost two years. And sometimes people misinterpret when I say a PR coach that they do things for me. No, she teaches me how to do it myself. She teaches me how to do the research, look, people up, editors, publishers, all of that. So that's a big difference. And and I think that's something that definitely needs clarification. Because when a lot of people, when you say the word coach, they automatically think that they're doing it for you. And that's absolutely not the case. Yeah, it's very time consuming having to build this relationship. And I feel that any relationship is worth investing your time if it's meaningful to you. So with the publishers and editors and producers that I've become friends with, it hasn't happened overnight. This is something that it's taking time, they have to trust you, they have to trust your product. And they have to feel that you believe in your product. Because if you don't believe in your product, and you don't have the passion that it takes to sell your product or to showcase your product, they're going to pick up on that. And they're going to know that this is just a hobby. Yeah, absolutely. It

 

Erin Alexander  16:19

reminds me of what you said at the beginning, when you said that you believe your customers need your cup, because it gives them a better start to the day to use a beautiful cup to use a cup that inspires them that reminds them of you know, these women who have done incredible things that they can be the next woman who does something incredible. I talked to a lot of people who, maybe they love their product, but they'll be like, well, people don't need it. And it's like, maybe they don't necessarily need it. But if you can find, you know, whatever that meaning is to you that makes them really want it instead of that want. Like he's like, oh, I need to start my day with this. You know, whatever your product is, then that passion really comes through, like when you're pitching when you're communicating with anybody else when you're writing an article or giving a quote,

 

Alicia Boateng  17:07

exactly. I mean, I personally believe that you just don't wake up in the morning and you're automatically Oh, my God, yes, what's going to be a great day, you know, you have to work at it, you have to work at telling yourself that you're going to have a great day, you have to work on your mindset. At least this is my belief, right? And so I have my routine that I do in the morning, you know, I get my kids out to school. And then that's like my quiet time, when it's time for me to drink my coffee and quiet. I need my candles lit, you know what I mean? Because that's my way of getting my mind ready for whatever the day is going to bring whatever challenge the day is going to bring me. And so that is why I strongly believe that while you're drinking coffee or tea out of my cup, you need to recite your affirmations because it goes hand in hand. If you feel good about yourself, if you're drinking out of a cup that makes you feel good, that somehow gives you confidence somehow makes you feel more powerful. And it brings a smile to your face. My job is done.

 

Erin Alexander  18:17

And here I am drinking coffee as we talk out of it to go feeling like dang, I need a fancy

 

Alicia Boateng  18:23

cup. And I will say the cup, the cup that you drink out of makes a big difference.

 

Erin Alexander  18:30

It really does matter. I know for me like my morning routine. Lately, I haven't been doing it because I'm like I don't have time. And man does. It's It's rough.

 

Alicia Boateng  18:38

The fact that you cannot put my cups in the microwave is such a plus. Because it's forcing you to enjoy that hot coffee. And it's forcing you to take five to 10 minutes out of the day for yourself so that you can indulge in your pleasure. Yes. So that's the way that I see it. You know, there may be some people that say, Oh, my goodness, I can put it in the microwave and blah, blah. No, you can't because it's forcing you to enjoy the moment.

 

Erin Alexander  19:11

Yeah, it's forcing you to stop. Take stock of what's going on around you and reset your day. Reset your intelligence. Yeah,

 

Alicia Boateng  19:17

I love that. Absolutely.

 

Erin Alexander  19:18

So let's talk some more about the PR efforts you've been doing because you have been featured in a lot of different places. You've been in some big publications and TV segments. And I know this is a big part of your marketing. So why don't we talk about that a little bit? Absolutely. Absolutely.

 

Alicia Boateng  19:35

And you know, it's so funny. Um, I have a funny story about Reader's Digest. When I was little, I must have been maybe like six years old. I used to go with my grandmother and my great grandmother to her doctor. And you know, of course it was like a million old people. And the wait was usually like three or four hours and all that stuff. But I remember In the office, there used to be these little books. And it was Reader's Digest. And you know, of course, I had no idea what I was looking at. I just know that there were these little books everywhere. And then I would ask my grandmother, what does it say? And she tried to say it in her broken English. It wasn't until years after that, I realized that it was Reader's Digest. And so one of the editors that I connected with she writes for Forbes and for Reader's Digest, and she highlighted me last year, and Reader's Digest. So it was 40 years in the making, that she highlighted the cups for Reader's Digest Gift Guide. Oh, fun, though. Yeah, that was that was exciting. And then she also highlighted me for Forbes, which is incredible. And because she already knew me, we had already built a connection. And she knew the product, she's been able to include me in a couple of other segments that she's been writing and gift guides and so forth. So that's been a wonderful connection.

 

Erin Alexander  21:05

How did you get started, you know, like connecting with these editors, and these these publications, like I know, you're working with Sabina from press for success? So do you wanna tell us a little bit about her coaching?

 

Alicia Boateng  21:17

Absolutely, absolutely. One of the things that she teaches is to do your research and do it well. So she uses LinkedIn a lot. And LinkedIn is so valuable, it's got so much information and so much connection, she teaches you how to navigate through LinkedIn, so that you can find the person that you're trying to or that you think is going to be the one that that pairs up with your product or your service. So that's what I did. I started doing my research on LinkedIn, Twitter, you know, social media, basically, and just started connecting with them through social media. Some of them are very active on social media, and others aren't. So for the ones that aren't, you know, you have to try to find their, their email address, or other ways of communicating with them, and so forth, just so you can get your product or your service in front of them. And they can, they'll know who you are, basically, is how that works.

 

Erin Alexander  22:12

So some of the things you've been on, you've been on The Today Show, like you said, You've been on Forbes, Reader's Digest. But I mean, the one that's really, really cool is the Today Show. So how did that come about?

 

Alicia Boateng  22:23

That came about because I started a relationship with MEGAN MURPHY, which is the editor in chief for Women's Day magazine. And my goal for that was to obviously build a relationship with her so that she can become familiar with my product. And she would include me in the holiday gift guide for Women's Day. You know, I kept getting in contact with her, I kept sending her messages. And you know, very nicely, I'm like, Listen, I'm sorry, I don't mean to bother you again. But it's me. And she was very welcoming with that she was she welcomed me, she made me feel comfortable. She didn't make it seem like I was bothering her. And so right around the time, I believe it was like October, she told me, Listen, we're not doing a holiday gift guide this year. So I won't be able to include your product. However, I'm working on something else, and I'll keep you posted. And I was like, Okay, I you know, I appreciate you just know that whatever you need, you know, even if it's last minute, I'll make it happen for you. You know, I made it seem like nothing I made it seem but I wanted her to understand that if she if she had like something last minute, and she needed a product to display that, she can definitely count on me to have a deal, because that's what happens with a lot of these table top experts is that they may have a segment coming up, and some of the products might drop off. For whatever reason, you know, the company may never send the product and they need something to substitute. So I said if that was the case, just let me know. I can overnight it your year in New Jersey, I can get it out there as soon as possible. I never expected anything like she never even gave me any hints of anything that was coming up. So I left it at that. And of course, I continued my relationship with no through Instagram with her. One day we're driving, we're going up north to see my oldest son's football game. And she sends me an email and says you're going to be on the Today Show. I was like, I can't believe you better not be kidding with me. And she said, you know, you're going to be on the Today show. It's going to be for shop small Saturday, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And you know, this is what I need from you and blah, blah, blah. And I was like, Oh, my goodness. And so that's how I was able to get on to the today's show. I sent her a couple of samples. She asked the questions she wanted, you know, to know my story. So I shared my story with her. I shared pictures of my husband and I i And so that's how I was able to get on the Today Show.

 

Erin Alexander  25:02

That's really incredible. Okay, so if you're listening, and you want to see at least Yes, today's show segment, you can see it on her website at Alicia boateng.com. We have the link to her website in the show notes. So that you can just click and go, because I know it's not, it's always hard to remember a URL when you're listening to a podcast. But it's a really, really cool segment. It's really fun to see, you know, the small business owners that you kind of know, online, and I've gotten to work with you to help you with your website. And it's really cool to see you like national TV.

 

Alicia Boateng  25:34

And that was definitely a highlight so far in my business for sure.

 

Erin Alexander  25:39

Yeah, it makes me think, what's next, like what's going to top that? Because you know, there will be something.

 

Alicia Boateng  25:44

I honestly think that what's going to top that is essence festival. Tell the listeners about the essence festival. Yes. So the essence festival, that that's been two years in the making, because in 2020, we had signed up to participate in essence festival. And their selection process is very tedious in the sense that they're very particular as to the vendors that they select. You know, it's very costly, it's very costly. However, the recognition is just incredible. So in 2020, we had signed up, we were just about ready to make the payment for the booth. When everything shut down. The way that I looked at that was God is telling me that this is not it's not my time, that I'm not ready for it yet. That there will be another opportunity that comes and the I'll be ready at that point. And then I'll be able to get the exposure that I want. Right. So then in 2021, they did have an essence festival, however, it was virtual. And so obviously, that wasn't what I wanted. And this year before I made the commitment, I prayed. And I discussed it with my husband. And we spoke about logistics. And we spoke about, you know, the costs and everything that's involved. And I prayed about it and God made it happen. I don't I don't mean to sound like I'm preaching but you know, I have a very strong faith. And he made it happen. And we're going

 

Erin Alexander  27:17

so tell us the dates of the essence festival and where it's at.

 

Alicia Boateng  27:21

Yes. So the dates of the essence festival is July 1 through the third. And it's taking place in New Orleans. So they have they're pretty much taking over the city of New Orleans. We will be in the convention center, which has multiple halls, they have like a market place. They have like a wellness, they have a beauty carnival, so they have different things going on there. And then they have another location called Essence eats, which is all the food vendors that are coming. And then of course their music festival is taking place at the Superdome. And so they also have other breakout sessions like an h&m, I know that there's another company that's working with h&m That's part of the essence festival. So pretty much basically throughout the city, but we will be at the exhibit halls. And so I'm hoping that you'll look for the sign that says at least your voting designs. And you'll come and say hi, no.

 

Erin Alexander  28:14

Yeah. So if you're in the area of New Orleans in July 1 heard the third Yes, first or the third? Are you traveling that way? Go check out the essence festival find Alesia tell her you heard around the product.

 

Alicia Boateng  28:29

Free to attend like all the great, please. Those are all free to attend. It's the concert, obviously that you need to pay for. But everything else is free to attend.

 

Erin Alexander  28:39

Yeah, those are my so fun. Like being you just walk around, check out everything that's available. Yes. And

 

Alicia Boateng  28:43

the everybody gets something else. So you'll walk out of there with at least four or five full goodie bags.

 

Erin Alexander  28:51

Yeah, that's really fun. You know, throughout this whole episode, I've been like kind of, I don't know, taking notes in my head about like, strong takeaways from you know, what you've done. And I feel like the things that I'm really coming back to are, you know, being very intentional and being very curious about what you do. You know, even with your PR, you're just, you're you're researching, you're looking for the right fit, and going into it without any expectations. And I think that that's a big piece of doing this type of marketing that, you know, if you're listening and you're like, I want to get started with this, why don't you want to go into it with that kind of mindset?

 

Alicia Boateng  29:30

Yes. And I also feel like I said earlier, it's important to not build your expectations too high. Because, you know, I send hundreds, if not 1000s of emails a week, and this is pitches to different people. You know what I mean? And maybe out of those 1000 emails that I sent a week, I might get two to three responses. Maybe, maybe if I'm lucky. And I've learned earned. I've taught myself that this is it's not unknown. It's a no right now, it's not a definite known. So they may mean my my story down the line, you know, and they'll archive it for now. And then when they may need it again, they'll look through their files, and they'll come across my information. So it's a matter of being persistent, but in a very kind and professional way, not not attacking the person for not responding to you, because that will definitely turn them away. So again, it's just a casual, very friendly reminder. Hey, you know, I'm just following up on the email that I sent to you.

 

Erin Alexander  30:41

Yes, as someone who gets a lot of pitches, I would say, don't put Sakineh it's not personal. Like, there's someone who pitched me, I never even saw her email. And when she sent another one she didn't like she sent a whole new thread. It said, there's an email in your junk mail or something like that. And I was like, what, and then I saw her second one that she had sent two months ago that I had never seen, and I did want to connect with her. And so I do get a lot of pitches. I mean, it's very small compared to these guys. But you know, so don't take it personal. I love what you said about like being flexible and responding when they need when they need something. Because some people will have like an interview fall through and they need something quick. They're looking for someone who's able to do that kind of flexibility and like, think on the fly and things like that. So

 

Alicia Boateng  31:28

sometimes that email comes through at the right moment at the right time, because I've had that happen to me as well. I connected with another tabletop expert. And she said, Oh, my goodness, I have a show for Philadelphia, coming on Thursday. This was like a Monday. She said, can you get the Cubs? I'm serious. She's like, how fast can you get the cops? I said, I will overnight them and the cops. And sure enough, I was on the show. Not me. But the Cubs. Were on the show that Thursday, you know, so it happens? It definitely happens.

 

Erin Alexander  32:01

Yes, absolutely. So we have to wrap up our conversation, which makes me a little bit sad. But before we go, I love to ask everyone on the show, something you're currently learning now in your business, because I like to show everyone listening that it doesn't matter if you know, celebrities are drinking out of your cup, or maybe your dog is drinking out of your cup. It doesn't matter like what level we are in business. We all are learning and you know, striving for the next level in our business. So that's kind of like why I like to ask this. So what is something you're currently learning in your own business? To take you to the next level?

 

Alicia Boateng  32:37

That's a great question. So thank you so much for asking, something that I'm learning is to really stop and listen to what my clients are wanting. by that. I mean, you know, I pay very close attention to the cups that are selling the most. And of course, they've gone up and down throughout the years. I remember when I first started the carry, which is named after Carrie Bradshaw was incredibly popular, incredibly popular. Following that was Tiffany, named after Tiffany and Company, not Tiffany. But you know, there were similar cups, there's just different colors. So I had to stop and pay attention to the colors that were selling out the most. And what customers were were saying about the Cubs, you know, I'm very, very fortunate to have amazing feedback from my clients. And I would have to say that 90% of my clients are repeat customers. And that says a lot.

 

Erin Alexander  33:38

Yeah, that's really cool. Absolutely. That's such a good point about listening to your customers and telling, you know, listening to what they want, and looking at the trends and seeing like, How can I hate the word capitalized? But like, how can I use this to my advantage also, because you are strategically building a business, right? There's a lot of value in like looking at the data and make basing decisions off of what people are saying what is selling? What people are searching for things like that.

 

Alicia Boateng  34:07

Correct. And I have to say that I'm I'm in a difficult situation, because of the fact that it's an online shop. And a lot of my customers say listen, the pictures you have online, do no justice to the cup, because once I received it and I take it out of the box, like it looks 10 times better than it does on the website. And it's almost like they know what they've purchased. But it's like a surprise once they get it. Yeah, you know what I mean? And so it's hard because a lot of people me being one of them. I like to touch and feel and look and you know, weigh it and see how heavy the cup is and all of that stuff. So for them to give me the opportunity of purchasing my clubs online without seeing them or feeling them or touching them or anything like that. I'm very, very grateful for that opportunity.

 

Erin Alexander  34:58

Yeah, that's such a good point. I love that. At least you, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing like your story with us how you gotten to where you are, how you've got to meet these celebrities or get your cups in front of them.

 

Alicia Boateng  35:10

If there's any listener that has any questions with PR, I'm not a PR coach by any by any means. However, I think I've been doing it a little bit now enough to know which angles to take and so forth. So if they have any questions that they'd like for me to answer, I'm more than happy to answer any questions that they may have.

 

Erin Alexander  35:32

Awesome. Thank you so much. Okay, so for people listening, where can they hang out with you online? Where can they see your gorgeous cups.

 

Alicia Boateng  35:39

So my favorite spot to hang out is Instagram. So I met Alicia bolting designs. And I usually post pictures there of my family on my stories and my reels and stuff like that. I love to include my family. People are nosy, so they love to see my which I love.

 

Erin Alexander  36:01

And you told me you're going to be sharing behind the scenes of everything going on at the essence festival. So yes, definitely give her a follow so you can see what's going on there.

 

Alicia Boateng  36:10

Absolutely. We're driving to New Orleans with a with a van full of stuff. And so we're leaving on June 28. And hopefully arriving that night. So I'll be documenting my drive. And you know, our setup and all the behind the scenes stuff. With essence festival. We're very, very excited about that.

 

Erin Alexander  36:32

Yeah, that's awesome. And then your website. I have said it once, but it's Alesia boateng.com. We'll also have the link in the show notes. It recently got a facelift to spirit Beautiful, beautiful.

 

Alicia Boateng  36:47

Absolutely. I'm very, very proud of that. Very

 

Erin Alexander  36:51

exciting. Yeah. And you can see her today show clip, check out all the mugs. You have links to every article you've been on so you can kind of see like, the different things and celebrate at least your success with

 

Alicia Boateng  37:03

her pictures in my family so you can see what my family looks like.

 

Erin Alexander  37:08

Yeah, absolutely. It's a great place. Again, thank you so much for being here. Just openly sharing and you know, telling us how you've done this. It's really cool to see behind the scenes.

 

Alicia Boateng  37:18

Absolutely. Thank you so much for the opportunity.


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