Female Startup Club

6 Quick Questions with Katie Spies, Founder of Maev (part 2)

May 27, 2022 Season 1 Episode 346
Female Startup Club
6 Quick Questions with Katie Spies, Founder of Maev (part 2)
Show Notes

Today on the show we’re learning from Katie Spies, founder of Maev.

Founded in 2020, Maev started as a collective of dog parents who wanted better for their dogs. After Katie’s adopted dog George experienced a health scare, she turned her focus to nutrition to keep him healthy and happy. With help from her pet parent community, she began conducting deep research into the modern dog’s biological needs and the shortcomings of products we’ve been told to trust. Fast forward to today Maev has raised $9 million dollars and is on a mission to disrupt the industry.

In this episode, we talk through the origins of the story, when Maev was 1-2 people sitting in a WeWork in Soho, hand-making food, and doing things that no one really understood. Encountering every problem that could happen. To have now raised $9M and nailing the customer satisfaction and finding some great businesses to partner with. One thing that makes the journey with Maev a little more difficult than usual, is the fact the product is shipped as a frozen good. In Katie's words, "I've aged 15 years since shipping frozen food."  It’s really logistically difficult. We were lucky enough to be able to learn from her mistakes, and she delved into some tips that make the process a little easier for others looking to get into frozen food. Firstly, you need to make sure your AOV is high enough to cover the costs of shipping. Secondly, you can benefit a lot from finding ways to fit more in the shipping boxes. And finally, finding those innovative partners is absolutely key.

Aside from that, I loved hearing about Katie's approach to her customers in this episode. It's incredibly inspiring. It's the kind of thing every company knows they should be doing, but it often gets left behind on the list of priorities. And that's that she takes five customer phone calls a week, and has since the beginning of starting the business. The customers or potential customers chat, and she just gets to absorb. There's so much to learn here. If we can understand the customer better than anyone else, you will literally be able to build any product. It’s so fulfilling, and humanizing is great. People want to buy things from people, not faceless corporations. Sometimes they’re a highlight, sometimes they’re a distraction, but they’re always useful.

Besides that, we also get into some nifty little tips when it get's to e-mail marketing and some guerilla marketing tactics that have proved successful since the early days of Maev, and helped them build up those initial 100 customers.

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