Empowered Women Empowering Girls
Do you like to craft, create or make things? Check out my interview with Jennifer Andrews, founder of Treppie, an online makers marketplace for girls and young women. In our conversation, Jennifer discusses how Treppie educates and empowers girls through entrepreneurship.
Our special guest today is the founder of an online makers marketplace for girls and young women. Please welcome Jennifer Andrews! Hello, Jennifer!
JENNIFER: Hi. Nice to see you, Stephanie.
Oh, thank you so much for being with us. So first, could you share a bit about who you are and what you do?
JENNIFER: I am a mom of two boys. I live in Denver, Colorado. and I own an e-commerce platform called Treppie.com. It’s an e-commerce platform for young female entrepreneurs to sell products that are handmade and learn how to be an entrepreneur and all that comes with it, all the business details that come with it.
That is so neat and I’m wondering, Where did this all start? Because it’s a brilliant idea and I’m wondering if it like got sparked from something or you’re like, Hey, there’s this missing thing, this need and I gotta fill it.
JENNIFER: There was a missing need in me, there was a missing need in the universe, and it kind of just all came together at the perfect time. I’m a speech language pathologist and I had a young student gift me a little handmade bag that she made. She was nine years old at the time and I was so blown away by her ability to do that. And I just realized that there were a lot of kids out there that had this skillset, but nothing to do with it. This was back in 2018. I got together about 18 girls at a local restaurant and we just had a mart, you know, just kind of like a little holiday fun mart. And the shopper line was out the door. I remember looking at a friend of mine being like, Oh wait, there’s something here. I just thought it was for fun and to do something to support the girls. And then kind of had another market and it grew.
Before we shut down in Covid, it had grown exponentially in like, just under a year, and I was like, I don’t know how else to scale this except to move online and how to not be shut down again. So let’s build something online. There were all these girls trying to sell all this stuff online and they didn’t know what they were doing. They didn’t know how to price it. They didn’t know how to market it. They didn’t know how to describe it. Their pictures were crazy. It was just one of those realizations where I was like, there is a market here, they’re all over and they’re all competing against each other. And they don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t have that education base.
So I was like, this is where I can step in. When we built it, I really had education in mind. Not just so that they could get up and sell something, but that they could learn something. These kids have a lot of talent and they’re just this bottomless wealth of knowledge and really quick to learn. I knew if I could just get them in one community, we could support each other, they could support one another and not be in such competition. They could learn business skills, they could learn new terminology. What is revenue? What is profit? Just the basic stuff so that they could move forward and think of themselves as a business owner without even missing a beat. So that they could just be like, Man, I need extra cash at 20. I’m in college. What do I do? You know, I’m just gonna start a business! And it’s just not even a thing for them. That was, that was my goal. I wanted it to be second nature for them and to not be scared of starting something.
You know, I am all about empowering girls and what an incredible thing, first to see the response to your local markets in Denver and be like, Oh, if you build it, they will come. And they came, and then to be like, We don’t have to be set back by a global event. We can actually make this reach more girls who can grow this to more than it started. And sometimes it’s kind of fun that it started out this idea and then it like bloomed or took different turns and to where it is now. Oh, I do wanna ask about the name Treppie. Where did that come from?
JENNIFER: So it’s Treppie, as in enTREPreneur. The I-E is kind of meaning like the little one, this smaller entrepreneur, just from being a startup, being younger, maybe less experienced. That’s kind of where the name is from.
Oh, I think it sounds perfect. It encompasses what it is and who it is serving and how they serve. You’ve touched on it a bit, but I would love to hear how does Treppie empower girls through entrepreneurship?
JENNIFER: So I always tell the girls we are different from other platforms in three main ways. One, we offer a community base. We ask Treppies to support other Treppies in a few ways. If you see something of a Treppie, repost her. If you see something that we’ve posted from somebody else, repost it on your instagram or TikTok account or something. And then we also ask Treppies to maybe send off goods to other Treppies for like an unboxing, an unveiling, like just to kind of do a review of the product to share. And that way they get feedback, they get right promoted, they kind of get aupported. They just feel seen by each other. And so that was important to me. So there is one.
Number two is that we offer this education. When they come on board they have to do like a 15-20 minute zoom call with me. Sometimes it’s an hour and a half. We go through everything about their product, and if they don’t know what they wanna make we’ll help them and dive into that as well, and think of their interests and what interests them in terms of products. We’ll go through ideas like that and brainstorm together. We’ll come up with product names, we come up with the pricing with them. We’ll help them write a good product description and explain what search engine optimization is. What is SEO and how does that affect them and why do they need to know that? Even photo taking. A lot of the girls love to take photos, some of them are really good at it naturally and others need some work. So everyone comes in with something they’re really good at and other people have some holes off the bat, we just try to make them well-rounded and understand a bit more than when they came in.
So this is not just like, Okay, you can just come sell your cute stuff on here and good luck. You’re doing more leading, and then they take the lead.
JENNIFER: Yes. We’re always circling back with our girls as well to say, Hey, we saw that cool product. Your pictures look great, except they’re a little dark. Can you go back in? Here’s why we need a functional photo. We need to show how it’s used, here’s why that’s important. We’re constantly giving feedback, we’re getting feedback. And some girls want it and some girls don’t. And you can’t force people to want to learn, right? But that’s what we’re here for. That’s what we’re available for. That’s what our reach out is.
Our third way that we’re different from other platforms is that we promote these girls. They film content for us and take pictures of their products and then we use it to promote them. We promote them on social media, we promote them through email blasts, influencers that we’ve hired, people that have been willing to work with us, and in podcasts like this. So we’re trying to get the word out, not just about Treppie but about these individual girls. Some of them have had in interviews on NBC news stations and in magazines, and so we’re here to promote them. I want Treppie to exist so they can exist and learn.
A lot of platforms charge a lot of money to be promoted and we don’t do that because these young artisans are not gonna be able to ever start a business if they have to put out money first. So we don’t charge to put up product listings. If you have a scrunchie and it comes in four colors when you upload the product, we don’t charge you for red, green, yellow, and blue 15 cents each listing. We’re not doing that. We’re just getting your product up, promoting you, pushing it out, and having you make some money.
That is really neat. You mentioned scrunchies. What other kinds of products can be found on Treppie?
JENNIFER: We have everything from wall art, bath and body, clothing, tons of jewelry, candles. We had hand painted dog paintings. Tons of crochet. It keeps evolving and girls bring products to us and I’m like, Wow, I need a new category. Hang on! We create something new so that they can come on board and have it fit for them.
That is so neat. It sounds like there is a great variety of just about anything you can make. I believe right now you can ship US. Some of our listeners are outside of the US and I wondered if you can offer girl entrepreneurs or artisans who live outside the US any tips for whatever they’re making or what they want to entrepreneur in.
JENNIFER: I think entrepreneurialism is the same no matter what country you’re a part of. You just have to have a passion. You have to enjoy what you’re doing or why do it, right? You have to want to learn and make mistakes because that happens every single day to me, it happens every single day to our artisans, and our Treppies that come on board. They think they know something, and then they upload something, and then we change it and we modify things. Then they’ve grown, right, because they’ve learned something new. So as long as you’ve got the flexibility and steadfast kind of personality that you’re willing to stick it out and learn and change and evolve, the entrepreneurialism is for you no matter what country you’re in. Hopefully someday we’ll spread even past our borders right past North America and and we’ll get global, or at least start being able to have shoppers ship that far.
Oh, I would love to see it grow and continue. I bet there would be a great interest. Before we go, could you share where people can find Treppie and connect with you?
JENNIFER: On Instagram we’re @TreppieMarket and on TikTok we are @TreppieTikTok. You can find us at Treppie.com. And if you want any more information, please email us at email@example.com. We are very quick to respond.
Fantastic. All right, Jennifer, is there anything else you want to share about Treppie or share with the girls?
JENNIFER: I’m so proud of our girls. I gotta tell you, they blow me away. There’s so many places to shop, there’s so much e-commerce,there’s wonderful platforms out there. Try us. We have amazing products, something for everybody. And you’re supporting the next generation of female business leaders. That really is what we’re here to do. So give us a shot and have fun with our products and our girls.
Oh, that is great. Honestly, it’s been such a pleasure talking with you, Jennifer. Really appreciate you being on the show.
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