Andrew: Hey, everyone. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. And I’m shocked when I hear an entrepreneur say, “There’s a lot of regulation. I’ve got to get into this space,” but I could see the value of it. In fact, the reason that I see the value of it is I remember one of the first big name interviews that I did was with a guy named Jeff Fluhr. He was the founder of StubHub. And he said, “You know, most people think that ticket scalping is illegal. Most people don’t even like ticket scalping. A lot of states and even performers have issues with it. I’m getting into it.”
And he did get into it because he realized that a lot of the fear that people had was actually unfounded. It turns out it wasn’t illegal. It turns out it wasn’t very hard. It turns out there are benefits to performers and so on. And he actually ended up building this great business that he came on Mixergy to talk about and talked about how he sold it to eBay. And after that I realized there is not just a fortune to be made, but also real impact to have, if you go into a space where people are scared to go in because of regulation, because of uncertainty.
And that’s what today’s guest did. You know, because you guys know that I like Scotch, some of you send me Scotch. I have tried to send Scotch out to my guests. Lindsey, you smiled when you heard me when I said that. It is so tough. The hardest possible gift for me to give anybody is a bottle of Scotch online. It’s the easiest thing to do, if I was going to come to your house, Lindsey, right?
You’re in New York. I’m in San Francisco. I might visit New York. I know like that. If I’m coming over, I’ll find liquor. I’ll bring it on the way over. And I’ll get it to you, maybe wine. Maybe for me it would be a bottle of whiskey. Online, remotely, forget about it. My assistant goes nuts every time I request it. And we go back and forth. And I’m a little scared to even do it. And still, you said, “This is a problem. People want to do this. Adults want to send this as gifts, want to receive it for themselves. I am going into this space.” You did it. And I want to find out how you did it. I want to hear openly about the problems that you’ve had doing it. And I want to hear about how you succeeded and are growing.
Lindsey, who you heard laugh there a couple of times when I talked about the difficulty of sending liquor, beer, wine, anything, is Lindsey Andrews. She is the co-founder of Minibar. Minibar is a marketplace for wine, beer, and spirits. And it’s open for business right now. Anyone who wants to can go to Minibar Delivery right now and get themselves a beer and drink it while we’re doing this interview or while you’re listening to it.
This interview, where we’re going to find out about her business, is sponsored by a company that you’re all going to think is kind of weird because of its name, but it’s one that I’m excited to be a part of. It’s called Baby Bathwater. What an incredible event. I’ll tell you guys why I am flying out to the event and why I’d like some of you, definitely not all of you, some of you, a very small group, I think it would be a good fit for. Baby Bathwater. I’ll talk about them later. And the second is the company that gives me the most beautiful designs. I love them. It’s called DesignCrowd, but I’ll talk about them later. First, Lindsey, welcome.
Lindsey: Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.
Andrew: You know, my producer warned me that you’re not going to give me an exact number when I ask you this, but revenue, 2017, what was it? What can you tell me about it?
Lindsey: We had great growth over our 2016 year. And you know, our biggest markets where we do almost 80% to 90% of our business is New York, Texas, and California. So those are kind of our sweet spots. We also have about 300 to 400 retailers on the platform. We love our partners. And we’re really excited for the prospects of 2018.
Andrew: And when you say you’re doing well, can we say . . . well, can we say over $5 million in revenue?
Lindsey: So we are a marketplace. So we process large volumes. And then we take a small marketing and technology fee on that.
Andrew: Got it. So if I say over $5 million, it’s over $5 million done on the platform, but you guys keep a small percentage of that over $1 million.
Lindsey: Correct. And then we also have a secondary revenue stream, which is our advertising business. So we work with the biggest names in alcohol, from Diageo, Anheuser-Busch, Beam Suntory, Pernod Ricard, helping to promote their products and giving them exposure to our great customers.
Andrew: Give me an example of one difficult, maybe quirky, rule around liquor delivery. I want to give people a sense of what kind of place you wandered into.
Lindsey: Yes. So, for example, in New York State, it’s illegal to own more than one liquor store. So anyone from New York will notice that there are no chains. They’re all mom and pop stores. In Texas, it’s illegal for us to give promotion codes. It’s illegal to make someone take an action to get a discount on alcohol, but you can have auto apply discounts because that is automatically applied and someone didn’t have to type something in or take an action to get it. So there are lots of interesting regulations state to state.
Andrew: Wait, so I was on your site. And at one point, I was told, if I enter my email address, I get some discount. If I was in Texas, you wouldn’t give me that?
Lindsey: You would get it on your delivery fee.
Andrew: Oh, but I wouldn’t get the popup that says, “Five dollars off your first order when you join the email list.”
Lindsey: So you would get $5 off, but it would only be applied to your delivery fee, not to the alcohol in your order.
Andrew: Oh, got it. Oh, wow. And does that change based on me being in California?
Andrew: So in California, you take it off? Whoa. Like this is insane. This is madness. Did you know going into this that you would have to do that?
Lindsey: I don’t think we knew the nuances and to this level. Texas is definitely one of the stricter states in terms of liquor laws and challenges, but it’s definitely a challenging kind of area with the three-tier liquor system. There are the big supplier in brands like the Pernods, the Diageos. And there are the distributors who move product from point A to point B. And then there are the retailers who sell the product to the end consumer. And you can’t really play in more than tier. So we’ve definitely had to navigate a lot of legal challenges. And there’s definitely been a steep learning curve. So we have local . . . and laws change so dramatically from state to state, so we have lawyers in every state.
Andrew: Good Lord. How do you still have a smile on your face? Go figure. I don’t even operate in that kind of space. And I’m always like, “Oh, God,” and tense and angry at I don’t know what. I should be a lot happier. I tense and angry a lot. There’s always like one more thing we should be doing. Why aren’t we doing this? Why don’t we get one more piece of information before I do my interview?
And beyond the legislation, beyond the laws, the other issue is that I’m seeing Amazon is getting into this space, and others are getting into this space. But you know Amazon. You, at one point, worked for wag.com. What did you do for Wag, which is an Amazon-owned company?
Lindsey: Yeah. So I worked at Quidsi, which was acquired by Amazon. So it was a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Andrew: Yeah, the people who own diaper.com, wag.com. And they’re the ones who actually gave Amazon a run for their money. And Amazon said, “You know what? We’re going to compete with you, and then we’re going to buy you out.” And they did buy them out.
Andrew: So what did you learn by working there?
Lindsey: Yeah. So I had a great experience working there both at an Amazon subsidiary, as well as for Marc and Vinit who founded Quidsi. And I ran marketing for their pet vertical, wag.com. So I helped grow that over the two years I ran marketing or.
Andrew: Two years. You told our producer, “Look. This was good because it gave me an insight into how bigger companies with bigger budgets, bigger reaches, market.” And then you used some of that. I’m fascinated by people who work for Amazon and bigger companies, because they did get to learn a lot on somebody else’s dime. Tell me a little bit of what you learned. The New York subway ads thing, was that something that helped you?
Lindsey: Yeah. So I think at a startup, really small budget, it’s scary kind of putting money into a channel that you’ve never done before because you have no data points. It’s a fixed cost in the case of like Subway or direct mail, but luckily, we’ve done a lot of that at Quidsi. So I felt confident or I felt like I had some data points in like how many customers we could expect, like would people actually see them, would it cause people to convert and try Minibar and get the word out there, but it can cost $150,000 to $200,000 to do the New York City subway for four weeks. So it’s definitely a very large investment for a startup, especially in early stages, but it really helped having done it before. I don’t think we would have done it, had I not done it before because it would have been too scary and too much of our annual budget.
Andrew: So I see the ad right now in front of me. It says, “Lugging pet food on the subway bites.” And then there’s a box from wag.com with pet food in it. Tell me about that. What did you learn from doing that?
Lindsey: Yeah. Well, the great thing about also at Quidsi, we had an amazing creative team. We had an amazing copy team. We had lots of resources. So we actually had to be a little bit scrappier when we did it at Minibar. So we actually used a freelance copywriter that had previously worked at Quidsi.
Andrew: Wait. Are you saying that because at wag.com you guys tried subway ads and subway ads worked for wag.com, you learned how to do it right. And then you did it for Minibar too.
Andrew: Oh, got it. Got it. Got it. So you just thought, “Hey, you know what? This thing that seems a little outrageous because it’s so expensive, I can’t test it the way I can a Facebook ad, and because it is not directly tied back to results, you can’t have people click on the F train, one link and on the E train another link, right? And I’ve seen some bozos do it. They’ll say, “Something.com/.” And nobody knows the slash. And it ruins [the ad 00:09:45].
Lindsey: Right. No one’s going to remember to type in that link.
Andrew: You saw, despite, all that, this actually can work. I’m going to take the fact that this works, take the fact that creative is what gets people to pay attention to it, and take photos and Andrew years later can see it online. And I’m going to apply it to Minibar. And so what did your ads look like when you took that lesson and used that same marketing technique?
Lindsey: So we generally did them either over the summer or in kind of Q4. So the Q4 ones are very like holiday themed, gifting, a lot of like champagne and Scotch and stuff like that, that people might bring. We had a cute tagline for . . . we had “effing vodka” on one of them this kind of time. And it said, “Happy effing holidays,” which we though was cute. So I think having eye-catching images and tagline help. And then we kind of plaster an offer across it, as well. And so hopefully people will remember the promo code and use it. We also, to track kind of performance, we survey our customers at the end of each month, all our new customers, saying, “How did you hear about us,” and list kind of like direct mail, Google, Facebook, subway, etc. And we see a huge spike in people who say, “You know, subway,” when it’s running and kind of the month or two after.
Andrew: And did that pay off for you?
Lindsey: Yeah, it totally is a good investment. I think the cost per customer is obviously higher on a promo code basis than some other channels, but we see such a lift and such a like increase in awareness that it has really paid off for us.
Andrew: And you know what? And some of your ads though were much more direct. Liquor delivered. Free-on-demand alcohol delivery in minutes, right? That was one of your ads.
Lindsey: Yes. And when no one knows, I think it’s easier to be cute when people have kind of a base awareness of what your company does because I think there’s still an education process to tell people like what is Minibar Delivery? What do they do? Are they shipping me alcohol? Are they delivering me alcohol? Do I have to go pick it up? Are they the ones selling it, or are they working . . . like how does it work? So I think there is, still we’re very new, even though we’ve been around a couple years, in education that goes with kind of our advertising, as well.
Andrew: Did you also buy ads in the DC train station?
Lindsey: We did, yeah.
Andrew: You did, yeah. I see that too. And again here, you are offering a discount code. And the code was metro. Get $10 off your first order. Use the discount code, metro.
Andrew: By the way, can anyone who’s listening to me right now go to Minibar’s website and use those discount codes? Probably not.
Lindsey: Yes, we love having new customers try us out. Hopefully, they love the service and will come back again.
Andrew: Anything else that you learned about the way that they think at Wag at the time or Amazon that we, as entrepreneurs, can bring to the way that we think about marketing?
Lindsey: Yeah. I mean, I think we were very focused on the numbers. Like what is our lifetime value? Then that kind of dictates how much we can spend to acquire a customer and how profitable a customer is. And so I think that varies widely from company to company. So Minibar and Wag, we sell heavy, bulky consumables, so something people don’t want to carry from the store and something they buy over and over and over again. So Minibar and Wag, you can assume, and once you get more customers and data, you can actually figure out how many times a customer purchases in the first year, whereas someone like Casper has a much higher price point, probably makes a lot more per order, but someone is not ordering a mattress every month because that would be crazy or if they have a giant house.
Andrew: I know that Casper actually has been getting really good about selling other stuff too.
Lindsey: That is true. That is true.
Andrew: You start off with the mattress. And then they keep adding to your bedding experience, but, you know what? But when you’re starting out, to know what the annual revenue from customers is hard.
Lindsey: A lot of [inaudible 00:13:36].
Andrew: How do you do it?
Lindsey: Yes. So I feel like I based some of the assumptions on kind of my experience at Wag, like what does an order curve look like? How many customers are you bringing in? How many repeat within 90 days of their first order? So that’s kind of your core repeaters. And then how many times will they purchase throughout the year or what’s the average order size? What’s your margin?
Andrew: So if you’re doing the curve, so you kind of assume a certain curve from . . . and it’s an assumption. You say, “If we get a lot of people who buy within 90 days, we can assume this many purchases after . . .” So you’re extrapolating from the first 90 days to the full 365.
Lindsey: Yep. And so it was a lot of assumptions. And the more data we got, obviously it became easier and easier and easier and more accurate. And some things were a little bit easier, like average order size from a sample of one month. When you’ve just launched, you can get a sense of that. Average order size doesn’t fluctuate that much. You get a sense of like what your partnership rates are and your marketplace rates are with your stores. You have a pretty good sense of that. Getting to like what a customer looks like over 12, 24, or 5-year LTV is definitely a little bit more challenging.
Andrew: Is there software that you use to help you figure out the lifetime value of a customer? Is there something that you could do because it really is so hard? It’s not that new companies don’t want to do their lifetime value of a customer. It’s that it’s really hard when you’re new to say, “Each customer’s worth this much,” especially when you keep testing different ways of acquiring people, and each way of acquiring people has a different, each source has a different lifetime value.
Lindsey: Yeah, definitely. I mean, we just use trusty old Excel. We didn’t use kind of any third-party tools to get at lifetime value, but yes, which channels you kind of funnel money into does impact your lifetime value. Like a daily deals site, you’re probably going to get lower quality customers, and their repeat rate’s going to be much lower. If you’re doing no paid marketing and no promo codes, the customers that you get, you’ll get way fewer, but they’ll probably be much better performing because you didn’t have to entice them to your site. So it is kind of a bit of an art and a science, but I think it helps talking to people in similar industries, people who have done marketing at similar companies and stuff like that to get a sense from them. I mean, I feel like people are very willing to help when you’re doing a startup, especially if they’ve done it before.
Andrew: Ultimately, what you’re trying to do is just guess and keep improving your guess of the lifetime value of a customer.
Lindsey: Yeah, continually changing and iterating based on the new data points you’re getting.
Andrew: You know, I keep trying to look over your shoulder to get a sense of your house. My assistant found me these photos of your house from domino.com, your apartment in New York. The place looks gorgeous. This is the way that most people imagine New Yorkers live. In reality, most New Yorkers live with no taste and no time to even be in the house and no space to put any furniture
Lindsey: Yes. Domino did a very nice feature on my apartment, though I think I was like eight months pregnant in those photos, but yes, it’s a very colorful, cheerful apartment.
Andrew: It’s great. Who designed it? You must have hired an interior designer, right?
Lindsey: No. My husband and I did it together.
Andrew: Wow. And of course, a well-stocked bar. I like that.
Lindsey: Of course. Not a well-stocked fridge, but a well-stocked bar.
Andrew: You know what? I’m okay with that, because in New York you can get food delivered.
Lindsey: That’s true.
Andrew: Apparently, you can also get alcohol delivered too. So it doesn’t really matter whether it’s well-stocked. All right. Let me talk about this thing that I’m going . . . Actually, before I do, you were working at this job. You learned a lot. At the same time, you had a friend who you stayed in touch with. And in your time off, you get together and you start to think about ideas. Tell me what this Take Out Tuesday was.
Lindsey: Yes. So my co-founder, Lara Crystal, we went to Wharton together. And then afterwards, we both went in to kind of e-commerce, me more on the like later stage consumable side. She went into Rent the Runway. So she had seen what an early-stage startup is, and she ran marketing there. And we kind of all had the startup bug. We always kind of brainstormed ideas. We’d usually been at my apartment for Take Out Tuesday, ordered Seamless. And one time, God forbid, we ran out of white wine. And we figured, “There must be a way to get it delivered easily online.” So Googling, looking, and really saw that there was no go-to destination or way to press a button, like you could for your car, for your dry cleaning, for your food, for your take-out, etc. So we started researching a little bit more. We saw that off-premise liquor stores sales, that’s like liquor store sales just as opposed to sales in restaurants and bars, was around $100 billion in the U.S., and less than 2% of that was being done online.
Andrew: Wait. One hundred billion dollars is being spent on alcohol, beer or wine, and spirits in the U.S. for people who are buying to take it away?
Andrew: Got it.
Lindsey: For at-home consumption.
Andrew: So it was not delivery at that point. It’s just they’re buying it from a store, bringing it home. I got it. That’s a huge, huge market.
Lindsey: A total addressable market, exactly. And then there’s the market for people who drink at bars and restaurants, which is separate. And it really lagged all other industries for e-commerce penetration. And I think some of the reasons are due to legal kind of hurdles and kind of people shying away from the category, plus some the more people had moved to kind of using their phone to order everything made it easier. Some other technological advancements, such as kind of like the Braintree, Stripes of the world, the payment processors, made it easier for us to hook up to all the liquor stores’ payment processors to make us compliant with the laws.
Andrew: Wait, because you couldn’t accept payment yourself, you have to connect to their payment?
Lindsey: Yes. So it depends, based on what state it is, but we wanted to be the most legally conservative and compliant. So we use Braintree Gateway, which gives directions kind of to the money and then uses the liquor stores’ payment processing systems. So on your credit card statement, you won’t see Minibar Delivery. You’ll see liquor store XYZ.
Andrew: All you’re doing is taking the payment information, sending it to whatever [inaudible 00:19:56] thing they have on their counter, and these guy have any number of different things. You’re sending the credit card information there and they’re processing?
Lindsey: No. They don’t ever see the credit card information. It’s all like highly secure by Braintree, but . . .
Andrew: Right, but the payment information is going from you.
Andrew: You’re not processing it. You’re sending it to them.
Andrew: And then they’re kicking back money to you for the processing fee or whatever it is for finding the customer.
Lindsey: Yes. So then at the end of my month, we send them our invoice for our marketing and technology piece.
Andrew: You invoice them.
Andrew: Okay. I’ve got to find out how you even understood that this was the way to go. Let me take a moment here and tell people about Baby Bathwater first. This is the most ridiculous sounding name. And the people behind it just love it. Here’s the idea behind this. And I’m a little hesitant, I’ll be honest with you, Lindsey, to even talk about this because most people should not be going there. And most people who want to go are going to get rejected, but I think it’s so important to talk about. These founders, Hollis and Michael of Baby Bathwater, said, “You know what? I and most people don’t like going to conferences.” Do you go to conferences a lot, Lindsey?
Lindsey: From time to time, especially if they’re in New York.
Andrew: Right. Now imagine you fly out to a conference and the bulk of your time is spent sitting down in a conference watching presenter after presenter. Some of them are boring, but you can’t really do all the work because then you look like you’re not paying attention to them, which is kind of rude to them or their friends are watching in the background, but you think, “I don’t need to sit here to do this. I can be at home listening. Put it on my iPhone. Put it on my Android. I don’t need to do this.” And still, you’re kind of stuck there.
Meanwhile, you know that the people who are speaking, once they get off stage, they go into the green room and they get to hang out with the most important people at the conference. And you’re sitting there waiting for stuff to happen. Then maybe you end up at a nice lunch or dinner that you go find for yourself. Maybe you don’t. And you hear about the five other people who ended up at a good dinner talking to other people having meaningful conversations. That’s what we travel for. That’s what these guys said. And they said, “You know what? Most people would just not go.” And they said, “The reason most people will not go is they’re kind of throwing the baby out with the bath water.”
The baby, meaning the good quality stuff that happens at conferences, the one dinner that you meet, the one person that you get a real meaningful conversation with. The bath water is the other three days of junk that you have to do after you fly in and before you fly out. That’s the idea. They said, “What if we just get a curated list of people, the kinds of people who would be in that green room or at the top dinner, and we bring them together in an atmosphere where they could just hang out where they could really get to know each other.
And so they’ve been doing this for years. I’ve heard so much about it from other interviewees, from other people who had gone. And now I’m going. And I’m inviting people who are listening to me to not come, but to apply to come. Every single person who comes, every single one, has to talk to one of the founders to see if you’re a good fit. If you’ve heard me talk to say John what’s his name? Who is the guy, John . . . I’m going to find his last name, Saddington, Saddington, about how he built lots of companies, but also went through depression, how he made a lot of money, and he was explicit about it and how he lost a lot of money and was also clear about how much he lost and that’s the kind of conversation you want, this is Baby Bathwater’s perfect for you.
If you heard me talk to other entrepreneurs about specifically how they met one person, they talked to them about their issues, they got deep inside, they were able to figure out their business differently because of that one conversation, then this is the kind of conference for you. That’s all they’re doing. We’re going to be hanging out. They’re going to see a lot of each other. They’re going to find delicious food for us that’s really healthy because I demand healthy food in between my French fries. They’re going to have good Scotch and whiskey there. I know because I’m going to be doing a whiskey night over there. And it’s also a good atmosphere.
Check out what Dave Asbury said, what Dan Martell said. Check out what other entrepreneurs you know and admire have said by going to this special URL where you will also get, and I don’t think they should do this, but you’ll also get $1,250 off application, if you’re approved. The reason I don’t think they should do it is I want them to charge a lot of money because I want them to eliminate as many people as possible, Lindsey, and just have this be a small group of people who I would think are perfect for me to spend time with.
If you’re curious about whether that’s you, if you just want to apply, I really urge you to go to babybathwater.com/mixergy. None of the crap that goes on at conferences, all of the deep meaningful conversations so you walk away having some group of people who really care about you, who know about you, who want to talk to you, and you want to talk to them because they’ve been highly, highly curated. And frankly, don’t take my word for it. There are a bunch of other people on the site who you’ll recognize, if you go to babybathwater.com/mixergy.
In fact, one person, I remember . . . Lindsey, I’ve got to tell you. This entrepreneur I interviewed, I said to him, “I don’t believe that you are a $1 beer club making as much money as you say you are. Show me your screen.” He goes, “I’m about to get on the airplane. I didn’t even know we were doing this interview.” I said, “Show me your screen and show me the revenue.” He goes, “Okay.” He starts showing me his screen on Skype. He shows me his revenue. I go, “What the hell? There’s that much money being made in beer stuff?” He showed me, yes. And then we did a short interview before he got on a plane and we lost our connection. Chris was on his way back from Baby Bathwater.
That’s the kind of person that you’re going to meet there. Babybathwater.com/mixergy, if you’re interested. And I’d love to see you guys there. All right. Lindsey, I’d love for you to come over there. I bet that you’d get through the screening process. Say you’re an interviewee. That gets you right to the top.
Lindsey: You have the secret password.
Andrew: Yes. Who is your like the go-to person, when you’re trying to figure things out? Is it one of the Winklevoss twins?
Lindsey: Yeah. I mean, they have been great investors. They have been extremely helpful. We have other investors kind of in the industry also, like the founder of Tequila Avion, Ken Austin. So we have a lot of great people in our network to ask questions to, whether it’s about the alcohol industry, VC, fundraising.
Andrew: The Winklevoss twins, they’re obviously celebrities because of that movie that was made about them. They are [brewing 00:25:38]. They’re bringing more to the table than money. There’s something about them. And God knows, they’ve proven themselves considering the investments that they’ve made in Bitcoin alone and then in others. Do you have an example of something that you learned from them or some issue that you took to them that they gave you advice on that was helpful?
Lindsey: Yeah. They’ve both been helpful as investors, as well as we do like a quarterly lunch-and-learn at the company, where we bring in speakers that people are interested in. And we send out kind of a list of people we had in our network and people on our team are extremely interested in hearing the Winklevoss twins speak. So they were nice enough to take an hour out of their obviously extremely busy schedules and come and talk to our team. At the time, I think it was about 15 people. And people absolutely loved it and found it really interesting. I think one of our takeaways was . . . This was about a year ago. They spoke a ton about Bitcoin. We just all wished we had bought Bitcoin right when they left.
Andrew: And were they saying that at one point you guys at Minibar will be accepting Bitcoin?
Lindsey: We currently do not accept Bitcoin.
Andrew: But did they say that at some point you will?
Lindsey: I can’t remember. That’s a good question.
Andrew: My sense is probably not. Bitcoin is not made for these individual transactions, as much as people thought that it would be. It takes too long to process, right?
Andrew: People think of it as more of like a gold than coins. Okay. All right. So how did you know all these different issues? Now that you have this idea, you say, “Look, a huge addressable market. Nobody’s really in there dominating this. We need to go in there.” How did you figure out all the rules in all these different cities in all these different states and how to address them all?
Lindsey: Yeah. So we started in New York. We launched just in New York. We launched in Manhattan and Brooklyn to begin with. So we focused on the legal challenges and hurdles here first.
Andrew: Just in New York. You said, “Look. Let’s forget about everything in every other city and every other state. We’re just going to see if we can understand what’s going on in New York.”
Andrew: Did you hire a lawyer who understood what was going on in New York to get you started?
Lindsey: Yes. We hired a local liquor lawyer in New York to vet our contracts, make sure our business model made sense, make sure everything we were doing was within the confines of the law. But there are definitely weird things about New York also. For example, the only one store per person, but also wine and spirits are sold separately than beer and mixers. They can’t be sold together. So when we launched, we just had wine and spirits, and we didn’t sell beer. It took us another from February to June for us to add beer, for the ability for consumers to shop two stores at once and check out at two stores at once in our kind of tech. So that was definitely a challenge.
Andrew: How did you decide that you were going to partner with the liquor stores instead of saying, “We’re going to have one liquor store that we will start delivering from?”
Lindsey: So we felt that liquor people wanted quickly. And so if we had just one liquor store, how would we get from deliver on the Upper Side, as well as to Brooklyn Heights within one hour? So that was a challenge.
Andrew: Oh, so New York would not allow you to have locations in each of those places. So that was out of the question.
Lindsey: Yeah. You could have a warehouse, but we also . . . you know, I think we wanted to test out product market fit in a lightweight model, as well, which a marketplace was the easiest way for us to get up and running and allowed us to focus on our expertise, which is really marketing, creating an amazing brand, a great shopping experience. Chris, our head of engineering and technology, joined us right at the beginning. So we had him to be our expert in tech. So that allowed us to focus both our time and our financial resources more on what we were good at.
Andrew: Did you outsource a little bit at first, because I know you and Lara are not developers.
Lindsey: We did.
Andrew: You did. Who did you get to build your first site?
Lindsey: So we used this company called Happy Fun Corp out of Brooklyn, and they helped us develop our first app. At first, we didn’t have a website until June, as well. And they also helped us build kind of the backend portal for our store partners because, obviously, it’s great if we can get orders from customers, but we have to find a way to let the stores know that they have an order so they can pick, pack, and deliver it.
Andrew: And what was that, at the time? I’m imagining fax machines or you have to buy them each an iPad.
Lindsey: So they all have computers. They have like a website that they go to for Minibar, but they can opt in to receive faxes, phone calls. They also get emails about the order, but yes, our head of tech was very surprised that he had to build integrations for fax machines.
Andrew: Yeah. You know, what? Here in San Francisco, because there are so many tech companies and so many people willing to order online, a lot of the restaurants will have five or six different devices, tablets.
Lindsey: Oh yeah, like 10 iPads or like a wall of them.
Andrew: Yeah. I’ve taken pictures of them and posted it on Facebook, and no one can believe that there isn’t one that unifies it all.
Lindsey: I know. It’s crazy.
Andrew: But that’s the way it is. In the liquor industry, it wasn’t like that because there wasn’t that much competition.
Andrew: Okay, and so you had them build it. Was it all you funding it at that point, you paying for this company? It was you getting the original marketing done?
Lindsey: So we had a small initial investment from a classmate of ours at Wharton who also kind of helped us brainstorm the early idea. So he gave us some of the original funding. And then we went out and raised $1.8 million from friends and family, which kind of took some time. It was obviously more challenging at the beginning when we had nothing to show and no metrics, but once we launched in February, it became a lot easier. We had some good press. We had some good traction. We had some metrics to show people. And then it became a lot easier, but it was still challenging.
Andrew: Was it tough? Yeah, tell me about the process of going to friends saying, “I’ve got a startup coming up. Will you invest?”
Lindsey: Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely challenging. Obviously, we believed in it because we took the giant leap to leave our jobs, health insurance, paychecks, 401(k)s, all of those nice things, but yeah, I mean, it was definitely hard asking friends and family. It’s easier asking institutional investors because that’s their job and they’re used to it and they know how to do all the diligence. And they know what they’re getting into. But they’re both challenging for different reasons. When you do a startup and you’re excited about building a company, a product, a team that you get to work with and are excited about, I don’t think people realize a lot of the time how much time and effort is spent fundraising.
Andrew: Yeah. You told our producer that, first of all, you’re spending less time on the client work and development of the product than you expected because fundraising is such a big part, but also in the beginning, because you had to do 1,000 meetings, you finally said, “We can’t do 1,000 meetings, run this company, and take a full-time job. We have to leave our company. We have to go full-time in on this.” The 1,000 meetings were what? Like what was your process for maintaining contact with hundreds of people?
Lindsey: Google Docs. We kept track of kind of everyone we . . .
Andrew: It’s all in a spreadsheet.
Lindsey: Yes. Everyone we met with, like the status of the meeting, their contact information, if they were in or out, how much, what the like chances are, we had like notes there. So at the beginning it was, yeah, meeting with a lot of people because I feel like friends and family write small checks, so you need lots of them. And then as we moved more to institutional, you obviously get bigger checks, so you need fewer of them, but they also ask for a lot more information, diligence, questions, vetting, all of that.
Andrew: Do any of that help shape your product in a way you didn’t expect or couldn’t have done by yourself?
Lindsey: Yeah. I mean, I feel like we have a lot of great investors that have a lot of great experience. So we appreciate their feedback.
Andrew: Do you have an example of some way that you did that, some way that you shaped the product based on what investors were telling you or the feedback you were getting in these meetings?
Lindsey: I’m trying to think. We do have some investors who like to buy very specific items. So on Minibar, you’re dropped into one store. And so if that one store doesn’t have the item, but there could be another store that serves your address that does, so kind of allowing you to search. And if that store doesn’t have it, it will say, “This one doesn’t have it, but this one does, if you’d like to switch to another store.”
Andrew: Oh, got it because . . . right. Right. So one of the things that you did was before you started, you sent out surveys to your friends to get feedback from them. And I would imagine that your friends versus some of these investors would have a different spending profile when it comes to alcohol. I get it. Right.
Lindsey: Yeah. So we wanted to understand like: Do you want delivery? Do you need it in 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours? What do you generally buy? How many bottles? How much do you spend? How often do you go to the liquor store and stuff like that? So we just kind of wanted to get a sense of consumer behaviors to kind of understand and try to get at like lifetime value and like how much people spend a year on alcohol, how frequently they go to a liquor store.
Andrew: So what did you learn from the surveys that helped shape the product?
Lindsey: Well, I think we wanted to validate that people would want delivery. We wanted to validate people would shop on their phone for it, since we were going mobile first. So I think those were two things we wanted to validate. I think it was obviously kind of by age bucket. It varied on how many people wanted to shop on an app versus go to a liquor store, who would shop at a website versus an app?
Andrew: The younger people would want an app.
Lindsey: Yes, exactly. So it gave us a sense of our target demographic. And then I think we also assumed people underreported how much they spent on alcohol because no one wants to be honest with themselves perhaps.
And then I think another learning we had was we thought Minibar a lot of people would be ordering kind of late night, like when they ran out. So a lot of the early stores we signed kind of only stayed open till like 9:00 p.m. So we were a little worried that customers would be disappointed at like 11:00 p.m. But what are we now, like four years later, it really isn’t the late night customer that’s our core customer. People are really ordering between like 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. So it’s on their way home from work, they’re ordering a bottle or two of wine or alcohol for dinner or for friends, etc. So it really never happened that it was that like late night running out.
Andrew: Yeah. I think that there has got to be a use for that where people are at a party and they need more alcohol, but more often, for me, it’s, “I’m having a party. I need to buy a bunch before people come over. I’m not going to go to the store.” Amazon does not sell Laphroaig. They do not sell Scotch. They sell pretty cheap whiskey, as far as I know. I never know how to spell Laphroaig, so I was just Googling around to get the spelling of it. And then I typed it into your site. And I see the store that is closest to me doesn’t have it, but immediately it said, “But Flatiron Wine and Spirits has it in San Francisco.” So now I’m going to switch stores.
Lindsey: Oh, great.
Andrew: Yep. And there it is. And now I’ve got it there.
Lindsey: Exactly. You can get your fancy Scotches and whiskeys.
Andrew: The one that turns everybody off, except for me. I fricking love Laphroaig. By the way, guys, I’ve got some really good feedback from a guy named Chris who said, “Andrew, every time you type in your interviews, it sounds like you’re pounding on a keyboard.” I do type a lot. I will continue to do search. We are working to edit that out. Let me know. I’m going to talk right now and type. Tell me if this is coming through on mic. Keep giving us feedback at contact@mixergy. Let us know.
I have to keep searching. You know what? It’s an obsession, I have to tell you. You cannot, Lindsey, tell me, “Andrew, it switches stores,” without me having to go and see. Does it really switch stores? At what point does it switch stores? Is it elegant or is like [work in progress 00:37:23]?
Lindsey: Well, I’m glad it worked out.
Andrew: And you know what? It really is a nice process.
Lindsey: Good. I’m glad you like it.
Andrew: We do buy a lot of gifts for whiskey and it’s a pain in the butt. Even like the little details. We are recording this nine days into January. People are going to listen to this obviously after today. The copyright on the bottom of the site has been updated already to 2018. Those little details matter a lot to me.
Lindsey: I will give my team credit for that. I can take no credit for those very thoughtful details, but yeah, I mean, I think to your gifting point, it’s interesting. So we started out as on-demand alcohol, but that only allowed us to serve kind of, for the time being, like major metros. And obviously, people want to send gifts to people across the country. So we launched two additional products. One is shipping from liquor stores, which we do in a couple states. We don’t cross state lines because that gets into legal kind of iffy area.
And then we also, more recently, launched much like we’re a marketplace that works with local liquor stores, our product also works to work with vineyards. So we just launched Vineyard Select, where we partner with vineyards. And they can ship to about 40 states across the U.S., which allows us to be able to serve 91% of the U.S. population, which is great. And it coincided nicely with when Amazon Wine was shutting down due to their purchase of Whole Foods. So they now have liquor licenses, so they can no longer operate their wine marketplace. So hopefully, we’re giving vineyards [inaudible 00:38:58].
Andrew: So if you have a liquor license, you can’t have a marketplace?
Lindsey: Yes, in some states. So they decided to shut down their Amazon Wine marketplace. So now we have a kind of vineyards on our marketplace so you can send gifts to people, even if we don’t have our on-demand product in your area.
Andrew: How did you know that that was important for you guys to add?
Lindsey: I mean, I think we just see kind of what our gifting rate is. So it’s interesting. You know, generally throughout the year, about 5% of our orders are gifts. That doubles in December to about 10%. Since we launched this Vineyard Select program in December, over 70% of our orders from Vineyard Select were gifts.
Andrew: I want to find out how you got your first customers. I know you got your first store by you probably were walking around New York. There are tons of stores. They’re all independent. So you can work it with one of them. You ended up getting a bonus store in Brooklyn, so that allowed you go into Manhattan and Brooklyn. Yeah, I get that. And I get now also how you understood the laws. I’m curious about how you got your customers in the beginning before you bought your subway ads. Let me take a moment to talk about my sponsor and then go into how you marketed and got customers to come into this business.
First, I’ve got to tell everybody about a company called DesignCrowd. Do you know DesignCrowd or am I about to blow your mind, Lindsey?
Lindsey: I think you’re about to blow my mind.
Andrew: Way to go, me. All right. Here’s the idea. You have great designers. I have this great designer, Jose. I fricking love working with him. He’s helping us a lot. So then why would I need DesignCrowd? Here’s why. Sometimes I want fresh ideas. Sometimes I want not just one person to tell me how we design it, but to see lots and lots of people design something. And that’s when I go to DesignCrowd. Unlike you, I get a sense from you that you have realty good taste. I’ve looked at your house. I’ve looked at your website. I’ve hunted around for little issues and problems. I couldn’t find them. I don’t have good taste. I mean, look at this. This t-shirt is the height of my like dress up.
I buzz my hair because I hate figuring out what haircut I want, but I still understand that people judge us based on our designs, based on our product designs. Frankly, the number of people who will subscribe to my podcast varies based on how the cover art for the podcast looks. Now I can go to Jose and say, “Jose, you’re a genius. Please design good cover art,” but then I get one person’s take on it.
Instead, I decided I’m going to go to DesignCrowd. I filled out a short form. A form makes it sound a little scary, but it’s a few questions to prod you into like opinions, really sharp opinions, which it turns out I do have. There’s things I want. There are things I don’t want. I went in and I told them what I wanted. And then I got flooded. I forgot about it. This was Friday night. Monday of the next week, I got flooded with different design areas. Lots of designers get to look at what I’m looking for. And they each started to take a stab at what I’m looking for.
And Lindsey, I’m going to be open with you. I knew that at the time, the number one business podcast was Planet Money. So I said, “Let’s create a little confusion.” Let’s not call it confusion. “Let’s create a little bit of halo effect. Copy their color.” And so everybody started copying their color. And everyone started giving me every other thing that I wanted. This one guy said, “Here’s the color that you’re looking for. And I’ll make it look nice, but what if you went yellow? Maybe it will attract or get your attention?”
I looked at it. I said, “You know what? Yellow actually makes a lot of sense.” And then I give him some feedback. And I give everyone else some feedback. And they gave me more iterations, more iterations. I picked the one that I liked, which happened to be yellow. And boom, I now have a nice design that I wouldn’t have considered. In fact, it’s contrary to what I would have asked for. And it’s all because dozens of designers gave me about 100 different designs to pick from.
That’s the way it works with DesignCrowd. If you, Lindsey, ever want something like a new logo, a new website, maybe you’re going to an event and you want a nice banner design and you want lots of people to design, let’s say a crowd of designers, well, there’s a special URL you can go to. You don’t want to go to designcrowd.com. That’s where the hoi polloi 00:42:45 go. And I know you. You’re in Manhattan, right? You need some place better.
Here is this special location just for us, designcrowd.com/mixergy. We’ll give you not only up to $100 off. And if you’re listening to me, the $100 is not going to make a huge difference in your wallet, but we should always save money. More importantly, you’re going to get to see my design and get to see the 97 different designs that I got as I was trying to figure out what to go with. And you’re going to get to see the guy in the Philippines who I hired. And you’ll understand why. You’ll also see how much I paid for it, all beautifully done on designcrowd.com/mixergy. Go there. Get a discount. They stand behind their work, guaranteed, or your money back. Designcrowd.com/mixergy.
Good. Did I blow your mind?
Lindsey: Yeah, totally.
Andrew: All right. Hopefully, it will be in the back of your head . . .
Lindsey: I’ll go check it out after.
Andrew: . . . and when you’re ready to hire a bunch of designers, you’ll go there or when a friend needs it. Okay. Let’s get into the marketing. Where did you get your first customers? How did you get anyone to even download your app?
Lindsey: We really just emailed every single person we probably had ever met and was ever in our contact list. And then we also probably did the same with like social media and stuff like that, so posted that we were doing launching. We sent an email. And then we also had hired a PR firm. So they got us some good press. So that helped get us traffic and kind of slowly grow our email list. And then we could appeal to people to refer their friends. You know, if you refer the friend, you each get $10.
And then we were super scrappy. We would go to offices and do happy hours at like-minded companies. We did one at Warby Parker. We did one at various different places where we were the ones pouring the drinks, serving people. We had little promo cards about Minibar telling everyone. So we were pretty like scrappy at the beginning and did not spend a lot. It was not until like a year or two, probably two years later, maybe, that we did like subway and stuff like that.
Andrew: Oh, the office happy hour is such a great idea. And the reason you were doing it is you were thinking, “People who work at Warby Parker have taste. They don’t have time. And they have the money that they might want to buy this liquor.”
Lindsey: Yeah. And they are also probably like our age demographic and all of that stuff. Exactly.
Andrew: Do you know if that paid off at all?
Lindsey: We don’t have a great way to track it, but at those early stages, it was just about getting like buzz, eyeballs, awareness, and then hopefully, slowly trial would come, as well.
Andrew: And of all these things, what worked best? Was it friends, the social media stuff, the PR, or was it the get $10 when you give $10 to your friend?
Lindsey: I mean, I think the PR, like that’s at a mass scale, right? Like we were in “The New York Times.” We were in “New York Magazine,” all of those things. So that really helped, but it was challenging to get some press at times because we were a local business as opposed to a national business. So a national publication, that’s sometimes challenging because they don’t want to promote something that barely any of their readers can use, except the ones in kind of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Andrew: And so were they ending up talking about something else, like that article that I mentioned that was featuring your house, your apartment, and then as a side note said, “This is what you do.” Is that the way that you ended up getting press?
Lindsey: In the early days, it was more about like, “Launch. New. Minibar. Check it out.” So it was more dedicated, kind of very clear in what we do press.
Andrew: I see. And so the “The New York Times” article makes sense, because I’m looking at it right now. I told you I can’t have you say something and then not look at it, but they’re featuring all these beautiful food options. And one of them is Minibar. And it’s okay that it’s a New York only thing, because “The New York Times” is a New York newspaper, but, of course, they have more readers outside the New York area, which means that you end up getting bigger attention and more credibility. That’s the way it was.
Lindsey: Yes. Mm-hmm. And that helped us also like when we launch new cities, we usually have like a wait list of customers that have heard about us and signed up to be notified. So that helped (a) tell us where people wanted us the most, and that we had the most people on the wait list, and then gave us like a built-in kind of list to start marketing to because, obviously, a marketplace, you need both sides. You need both the stores, as well as the customers to buy.
Andrew: How did that, get $10 if you refer a friend and give them $10 thing, work for you?
Lindsey: It worked well. I don’t think we promoted as much as some other sites. And then kind of there were some challenges. For example, like most referral sites, you could stack five of your referrals to get $50 off a whole order. In alcohol, you’re not supposed to really sell in most places below wholesale cost. So you would have to place five orders on Minibar, each getting $10 off. So those are some challenges and nuances, but our customers are our greatest advocates.
Andrew: The website, I’m looking at an earlier or I was a moment ago. One of these tabs, I don’t know. I’ve got 50 tabs by the end of each interview. And I’m not usually a lots of tabs person. I like to stay focused. I can’t find the tab, but I have good . . . Oh, there it is. The first website, basically, there was not much going on there. There was a wait list. And there was a place to put my phone number so you can send me a link to get the app. It was basically app list-focused. At some point, you realized, “We need to have a website.” What sent you to the web versus having a mobile app only experience?
Lindsey: I think two things. One is it’s a lot easier, as you are proving, to go to a website. Like you just type it in. There’s no really barrier. People go to websites, different ones all day long, but it’s a lot harder to get someone to pick up their phone, go to the App Store, look up Minibar, download it, and open it. Like those are a lot more steps and a lot higher barrier. So it’s a lot easier to get people to just come see what you do, try you out, etc. on a website.
Also, we have a pretty decent size business that is corporate. And I don’t think an office admin, an office manager, or whoever might be ordering alcohol for the office wants to place that order on their personal phone. So it makes it a lot easier for them to do it at work on a computer on a website.
Andrew: That’s a shift that led to a shift, the shift in thinking about who your customer was. At first, the customer was people who are like us, who want to buy a drink late at night and no one else delivers. The shift from there to the office manager is a big one. How did you end up recognizing that this was a market, a group of people, who you need to address?
Lindsey: I think it was probably doing some of the happy hours at offices. And the people that we were coordinating with were like, “Yeah, it’s horrible going to the liquor store.” You know, for an office, you have to carry so much, whereas an individual consumer, you’re probably only carrying two or three bottles, which you can do, but for an office, it’s a ton of alcohol. And if you’re getting beer and wine, you have to go to two different stores. Do you need ice? That’s so heavy, etc. So I think that kind of led us to that this is another great opportunity for sales and customers. Also, I feel like the party customer, like if I’m throwing a large party and am placing a large order, I’d rather do it on a website than on an app. So our average order size is higher on our website, but our customers on the app really shop more frequently.
Andrew: There are a few things that catch my attention on this early website. I mentioned the wait list and the phone number, but another one is, “Bottles and Models” that you said on the website.
Lindsey: Oh, gosh did I?
Andrew: Okay. There are no models. Sorry, guys, but there is a large collection of bottles around so you can find exactly the liquor you’re looking for. And then on the bottom, I’m telling you, I have to click on everything and look at everything.
Lindsey: How did you even find this?
Andrew: Internet Archive.
Lindsey: How did you even know what you’re looking at?
Andrew: And then it links to, “Join the Team.” So I said, “Let’s see what roles she was hiring for at first when they launched.” It just redirects to one role. “We are looking for an engineer.” You were two non-developers. You were looking for a developer. And I can’t fully follow that link. And then the final thing is LLJ, Inc. which is still the name of the company. It’s your first initial, Lara’s first initial. What’s the J?
Lindsey: Jed, who was the person who originally funded the business that was in our class at Wharton.
Andrew: And was he a big enough investor that he ended up being part of the founding team?
Lindsey: He never worked at Minibar, but he definitely helped make it a reality via funding and support and brainstorming early on.
Andrew: What’s Jed’s background?
Lindsey: So he went to Wharton with us, and he kind of worked in like the private equity hedge fund area. And now he also kind of incubates startups as well.
Andrew: That’s one of the benefits of going to Wharton. I remember as a kid saying, “If I go to business school, it’s got to be Wharton.” First of all, how many articles did I read that happen to mention that you went to Wharton? I went to NYU. No one’s going to say, “Andrew Warner, who graduated from NYU.” They just don’t say that, but Wharton and Stanford and Harvard and Yale and a couple of other schools, they get mentioned. That elevates your brand in these articles, number one. And number two, you get to meet people like Jed.
Lindsey: Yes. We met . . . and Lara.
Andrew: Did you go through your whole class list when you were raising money?
Lindsey: No. I mean, I feel like we went after like a targeted group of people to fundraise from.
Andrew: All right. Finally, let’s talk about raising money, because this was a challenge for you. Talk about that and the realization that, as an entrepreneur, this is a big part of your job.
Lindsey: Yep. I mean, I feel like it’s very off and on. It’s like you fundraise for three to six months. It’s all-consuming. And then you get the money. And then you can go back to working on the business and really focusing on the business. It’s obviously helpful, which we were lucky enough to have, to have an amazing team that you trust to kind of keep the ship running while you’re doing 1,000 meetings, pulling diligence, going to San Francisco to meet with investors. So it’s definitely very time-consuming and not necessarily why you got into startups to do that. You obviously meet a lot of interesting people. It forces you to really dive into the metrics and answer hard questions, which is beneficial for the overall business, but it’s definitely challenging fundraising and challenging kind of stepping back from the core business to focus so much time on it.
Andrew: I would never have guessed it. I would have thought it would have been in the beginning, but it’s throughout the life of your business. You’re always fundraising or talking to investors. If you’re lucky, you get to do that, it seems. One of the investors said to you that closing a round is like a condom. How is closing a round like a condom?
Lindsey: Well, he said, “A lot of times people celebrate when they close a round, but it’s just the beginning. Like you now have to do something with it.” It would be like celebrating when you bought a condom. You have to actually do something with it.” That’s what [inaudible 00:53:59].
Andrew: Now you have to actually go figure out how you’re going to spend the money and get the results that they’re looking for. Are you feeling pressure?
Lindsey: Are we feeling the pressure?
Andrew: Are you feeling pressure, you personally?
Lindsey: I think it makes a huge difference to have a co-founder. So if someone’s worried or freaking out or overwhelmed, you have that kind of steady person that you can turn to and they can kind of take a step back, help you figure something out. Or if someone’s going on a vacation, someone has something going on in their life, whatever, you have that like amazing sounding board, amazing partner, that you trust, to kind of run with the company. So I feel like that’s . . .
Andrew: Is there an example of something that you went to Lara with and she helped steady you?
Lindsey: Yeah. So I feel like we both kind of . . . well, we have similar backgrounds. I feel like we have different personalities, which is helpful. I hate like a million things coming at me at once, like trying to do 1,000 things. I like to focus on one thing. But if there’s one big huge challenging problem, that doesn’t overwhelm me. So I feel like, but Lara’s amazing at like 1,000 things coming at her, and she can just accomplish all of them. She operates at inbox zero. She’s the most efficient person. So I feel like that’s extremely helpful.
Andrew: So when you have a lot of things that are overwhelming, you can pass most of them on to her, but focus on the one that’s maybe a critical issue for the business.
Lindsey: Yeah or divide up the different types of challenges. She also sleeps for like four hours, so she’s always on the clock.
Andrew: You guys are both co-chief executive officers.
Lindsey: We are, yes.
Andrew: How do you divide up the responsibilities then?
Lindsey: Yeah, she does a lot of the kind of internal stuff, so technology, product, creative. And I do a lot of the external stuff, like acquisition, marketing, operations, and sales.
Andrew: That’s probably why [you’re on here 00:55:48].
Lindsey: So the kind of less exciting stuff, like legal and accounting and all of that stuff, we kind of divide that stuff up, as well.
Andrew: All right. The website is Minibar Delivery, right?
Lindsey: Yeah, Minibar Delivery.
Andrew: Minibardelivery.com. And, of course, it’s in the App Store. Go check them out. And get that $5 discount. If you’re in Texas, you now know how that’s going to work out for you, getting delivery in Texas. Do you guys deliver in Florida? That’s also been another place where we can’t send gifts.
Lindsey: Yeah, we do.
Andrew: You do?
Lindsey: And we should have shipping across the whole state very soon. So then you can send it [anywhere 00:56:26].
Andrew: Across the whole state of Florida. You know what the answer is? I hate to admit it. I thought I was the only one who did this, but there’s a woman on my floor here in the office who works at a major magazine company, who had to send out gifts I think for sponsors. And she was sending out wine. I said, “How are you doing it?” She goes, “I don’t tell anyone. I basically put the wine in the box myself. I put bubble wrap around it, and I ship it out. And I tell them that it’s like paperwork. And that’s the way to do it, the only way to do that.” So we tried that one time. It exploded on somebody’s doorstep.
Lindsey: Oh no.
Andrew: Yeah, because you don’t want to send someone like alcohol that smells like alcohol. And broken glass that smells like alcohol in a box, that’s just not . . .
Lindsey: Well, if you have tons of gifts to send, we have an amazing customer service team. There’s a form on the site, or you can just send us an Excel spreadsheet with like the person’s name, address, gift note, what you’d like to send. And we can take care of all of it.
Andrew: Yeah. I didn’t see the contact. I didn’t see the form on the site to contact you, but I guess that’s right on the bottom.
Lindsey: Yeah, beneath the [inaudible 00:57:31].
Andrew: Contact Minibar Delivery, or you have a phone number. I noticed that over the years. And it’s a 917 phone number where I could actually text you guys.
Lindsey: Yes, you can text us. We also, at the bottom under Extras, it says, “Give a gift.” And if you scroll down, it says, “Download gift form.”
Andrew: Extras. Give a gift. Got it. Okay. Yeah, I was trying the gift option through the site also.
Andrew: There’s always a gift option.
Lindsey: And then we suggest gift items for you.
Andrew: All right. And the two sponsors that you heard me mention is, guys, Baby Bathwater. If you’re interested in coming and want to go, email me or text me because really, we are going to be hanging out at this beautiful ski slope. I don’t even ski, but we’re going to go hang out there. They’ve got great food, great parties, great conversations. So really, if you’re going there, it’s going to be kind of a close relationship with me and the other entrepreneurs who are there. So feel free to ping me, if you’re curious about it or have questions about whether it’s right for you. Babybathwater.com/mixergy.
And DesignCrowd, you can see the design that I got from it. Even if you don’t want to use them, you should go see the process that I used to pick my design. Go check them out at designcrowd.com/mixergy, but frankly, you’re going to want to use them because it’s pretty inexpensive and up to $100 less, if you use that URL.
One last thing. Guys, keep sending us feedback on the audio. We are working on improving it. You came in, Lara, just before we had this new plan. Sorry, Lara, I called you by your founder’s . . . Lindsey. Co-founder, co-name.
Lindsey: No biggie.
Andrew: You are like one of the last guests that we’re having on here without sending them a mic. You sound good. A lot of my guests do not sound good enough.
Lindsey: I think I had headphones on, so hopefully that helped.
Andrew: It did help. I hope so. But guys, you know what? Let me know. How are my interviews sounding? How is the editing process sounding? Arie loves it. She said, “Andrew, please tell people today to send us more feedback.” She’s been doing editing. She wants more feedback. Email us a whole team, firstname.lastname@example.org. It will go to Arie. It will go to me. It will go to everyone else. We are curious. We want to improve the audio quality. All right. Lindsey, aka Lara, aka the founder of this, no, the Wharton graduate . . .
Lindsey: Co-founder, yeah.
Andrew: . . . who founded Minibar, thank you so much for being on here.
Lindsey: Thanks so much for having me.
Andrew: Okay. Thanks. Bye everyone.