Announcing My First Startup: nebrowse

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It all started with a tank top.

Last year at this time I created a top (which quickly turned into a brand) called Talk Herbie To Me. It began as a play on words.

I placed my first order for 24 shirts and nervously paid the bill with my credit card. And then the bad thoughts instantly found their way in. What if they don't sell? I'll have to eat this entire bill. I can't afford this. This was a terrible idea. I'm screwed.

But then I announced the shirts and something cool happened... they sold.  My Nebraska pals grabbed a hold of it and supported the hell out of me. So I took a few more orders, made a few more shirts and things started rolling. I remember jokingly telling Chris last August that it was my goal to sell 200 shirts. It seemed far off, but I was hoping I could "ride it out" through October.

To date, I've sold around 9,500 shirts.

I didn't see that coming. It still shocks me.

Initially, I started Talk Herbie To Me as a way to make some extra money to pay for comedy/writing classes. But it's come a long way from that initial plan. It has become a full time job.

Not all of my shirts are Nebraska related, but I won't deny that a huge reason for my success is all in thanks to the Nebraska community. When they support something, they go all out. They buy one thing and then they tell all of their friends. It's amazing.

Another huge part is because of you. Because of this blog. Thanks to the past six years of running and promoting this thing, I have a pretty cool platform to reach people. I'm thankful for this and really grateful.

So then I started to get a lot of emails and questions from fellow sellers and small business owners, both from Nebraska and beyond, asking me how I was able to get my products out there. There's a lot of people who sell amazing things, but sadly a lot of them just can't get exposure to show off their work.

So I started thinking.

I wanted to come up with a niche marketplace that would allow other people a way to get noticed, without getting lost in the clutter. I've already seen for myself that the buyers are there, but they don't always come to you. Sometimes you have to find them.

Last December I started planning a way to create my own marketplace. I wanted it to be a completely full service site. And the niche would be Nebraska, but it also goes beyond that.

After more than ten months of planning, creating and developing, we launched nebrowse: a place to shop the good life online.

We did a soft launch to a few sellers last week and the response blew me away.

After I announced we were open to sellers to start setting up stores I had that initial feeling in my stomach of "oh no, what if no one comes to my party?" I got that feeling a lot as a kid. I foolishly thought that as an adult it would go away. It doesn't.

But people came to my party and what a relief that was! And every night after, more and more of you showed up.

You can take a look at the site by clicking here. While Nebraska is our primary market, not everything is Nebraska related and we don't want it to be. So if you have something awesome you've created and want a smaller more niche market to sell it in, set up your store. I'd be happy to have you, walk you through the process, and will personally promote you.

The thing about starting a new business is that you have an idea where you'd like it to go, but it always seems to turn another direction. The customers will make it what they want. So I'm really excited to see what this develops into and I'm excited to watch it grow.

In the meantime, hop on over and nebrowse with us a for bit :)



And PS thanks for reading today and every day. So much of what I'm able to do is all in thanks to this blog and all of you. Your support doesn't go unnoticed.

39 comments:

  1. This is super exciting & good luck with it! I'll be checking it out tonight! :)

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  2. Such a great idea! I love all of your t-shirts....I ordered the "my bae" tank top for the 4th and I still wear it all the time.

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  3. That's amazing, congratulations!! So excited for you! I'm a huge fan of your writing and your blog, and it makes me happy to see you achieve amazing things. Congrats!

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  4. Congrats! It it similar to Etsy? Looks great!!!!

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    1. Thank you! I'd say it's similar in the way that one clothing boutique is similar to another. Not trying to invent the wheel here, since we all know there's a lot of online marketplaces for artists and creators. Just trying to establish a more niche market is all :)

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  5. Wow congrats! This is awesome!

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  6. Congratulations! This is so awesome!

    And wow! I knew you were doing pretty well with your t-shirt business, but I didn't know it was going THAT well!

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  7. How exciting! Create the life you want to live :)

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  8. This is pretty much the coolest thing any blogger has ever done. so proud and inspired by you!

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  9. How exciting! I'm sure it pains your Nebraska loving heart to do this, but if you start making PSU gear, I'll connect you with my contacts in Happy Valley ;)

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  10. you ---------------> #grownasswoman #soinspired #canonlyspeakinhashtags #wow

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  11. Ohhhhh - NEbrowse! Nebraska! I get it!!!! OMG the wheels are turning ... In loving this idea .. You are great!

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  12. This is AWESOME!! Congratulations!! I love that this is a niche marketplace. Etsy has gotten so overcrowded, and I love your design:)

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  13. Congrats, girl! Love it. Who did your branding? They did a fab job!

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  14. How cool and creative. Keep up the great work and hope it takes you faaaaar!

    Just picture the swanky future offices of Nebrowse and interns running around and you all making awesome happen. That came come true, huh ;)?

    Congrats!

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  15. Just want to comment quickly here and tell you congratulations on this! Even though I'm not a Nebraska fan (sorry!) I know that they are a huge powerhouse community and this couldn't be a better business idea. I don't know how you do it all, but it's pretty admirable. I'm the kind of person who has a million ideas but know I will probably never do anything with him. I wish I could be half as cool as you are ;) And that's not a joke. Serious! Also, have to tell you that I got my dog shirt in the mail yesterday (impressive shipping time by the way) and I put it on immediately. I love it!

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  16. so awesome!!! huge congratulations on taking a leap of (impressively calculated) faith! so happy for you and to see this continue to explode! #girlboss

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  17. That's so awesome! I can't wait to see everything you have for your new brand!

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  18. Sounds like a sweet deal! Congrats and good luck! Going over to take a peak now!

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  19. Get it Tay! You are such an inspiration!

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  20. This is awesome! I went to grad school in Nebraska and lived in Omaha for the last five years. What a perfect niche market! Nebraskans are the best, and will gobble up anything Husker! All the best!

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  21. How exciting! I can't wait to check it out. Good luck- doesn't sound like you're going to need it though ;)

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  22. Yay I just signed up :) I use etsy right now (www.frameddecor.etsy.com) but I am always down to try new things and see how they go! Excited for you!!!
    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

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  23. Sounds like an incredible venture! You're such a go-getter... I've always admired that about you :) Best of luck!!

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  24. Congratulations, this is seriously exciting!

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  26. You go girl! I love seeing people take risks and succeed in their own small business! Congratulations!

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