We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Ruyle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what do you attribute your success to?
Back when I helped people create or enhance their own online businesses, I noticed a common theme, and that was that no matter how easy you can make selling products online, only 3% would stick with it. The most important factor in the success of WodBottom is that we stuck with it no matter how discouraging it felt. And there were a lot of rough days and months where we didn’t know how we would keep going. My partner and I had the courage and full hearted belief that we would be successful, which is how we got through the darker days. Building a business is HARD, but if you have the patience, courage, and a partner that balances out your weaknesses, success can be around one of the next corners.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always been one to throw myself into unknown territory. I never thought I would make women’s athletic apparel, but I am always willing to try new things. When considering what products WodBottom will continue to make, we knew we wanted to make things people got excited about! Our knee sleeves and silicone wedding rigs were great and people loved them, but no one ever gets excited about either, nor feels the ‘I got to have it’ pull. Because of my CrossFitting and weightlifting, I was in a few Facebook groups full of women sharing progress and motivation, but the things they really enjoyed talking about the most were food and clothes. So we thought, let’s create a pattern that is fun, unique, and that speaks to these women. So our first pair of shorts with unicorns and with a rainbow mane was released and it sold out in pre-order. While that first foray into shorts went without hitch, there have been steep learning curves and many mistakes made, but a lot learned from each mistake. The most important thing that we keep front and center is the customer. What does the customer want or need from our products and from our interactions with them? This has let us build a brand that truly feels like it was built with our customers and I know our customers feel they are part of it as well.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in Madison, WI has its benefits! There are so many great restaurants, so you can guarantee my friend and I are going to appetizer hop in downtown Madison. Cento, Graze, and Eno Vino would definitely be on my list. But not everything is about food! Hahaha I love being outdoors, so we would take a hikes in one of the state parks close by, Like Blue Mounds State Park with its incredible views. I would also rent a pontoon boat and hang out on one fo the lake… Madison is on an isthmus, so either lake has beautiful views of the city and university. Granted I need warmth, so this would only happen in the summer, but I imagine for warmer blooded people, a fall boat ride would be majestic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Michelle Sombes-Boyer from the University of Wisconsin – Small Business Development Center. She has helped us in so many ways by providing her unemotional business guidance as we navigated through growing pains. She also encouraged us to apply for a start up accelerator, gBeta, which is part of gener8tor, a nationally ranked accelerator program.