Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Robyn Levin is the Founder & CEO of Robyn Levin Media, a strategic marketing & PR consulting firm that advises entrepreneurs and companies on using digital marketing to increase sales and visibility, something of the essence for every business. Robyn started ice skating at the age of 2 and later became a competitive figure skater. As an athlete, she learned the importance of discipline, dedication, and focus, which became essential traits to possess in her entrepreneurial journey.
After a series of interesting events, she ended up purchasing a bankrupt ice skating arena in Florida. In just a few years, she turned that into a 40,000 square foot million-dollar enterprise, forging a strategic marketing partnership with NHL Florida Panthers, as well as securing advertising sponsorships with Coca-Cola, Subway, and other brands.
Using Technology & Storytelling to Help Accelerate the Client’s Growth and Visibility
While she was building the ice arena business, Robyn realized the importance of PR. You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you’re bound to fail. Leveraging her education in business and marketing, together with her experience as an entrepreneur, Robyn was able to get her ice arena to receive regular press. That helped grow the business even further until it was sold to the NHL Florida Panthers.
It was around 2000, and after taking some time off from the entrepreneurial roller coaster, Robyn started noticing that the communication & marketing world was rapidly changing. Everything was transitioning online, and websites & blogs were becoming fundamental assets for every business. That’s when she moved to California and funded Robyn Levin Media, intending to leverage technology to help businesses through strategic marketing. From then, she helped guide PENSCO Trust, a financial services client, tripling their assets to $3 billion in less than three years while also having her clients featured in the New York Times, USA Today, WSJ, Money Magazine, Today Show, and more.
And now here’s Robyn Levin.
Full transcript below
Video on Helping Entrepreneurs Through Strategic Marketing
Video From Robyn Levin Introducing R. Levin Marketing Group
Visit RobynLevin.com to See How Her Company Can Help You With Strategic Marketing
Free Training on How to Easily Improve Your Brand Awareness
Schedule an Appointment for Increasing Brand Awareness with Digital Media & PR
Connect with Robyn on LinkedIn
Get Motivation, Inspiration, and Ideas to Level Up Your Life.
Subscribe to the How’d It Happen Podcast
Want to be the first to know when new episodes are released? Click here to subscribe
Thank you for being a How’d it Happen listener. Please enter your email address below to subscribe, or subscribe on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Write a Podcast Review
Also, podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we receive, the more likely we’ll be able to get this podcast and message in front of more people (something about iTunes algorithms?). I’d be extremely grateful if you took less than 30 seconds and 5 clicks to rate the podcast and leave a quick review. Here’s how to do it in less than 30 seconds:
Click on This Link – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/howd-it-happen-podcast/id1441722417
Click on the “Listen on Apple Podcast” Box
Click on “Open iTunes” – You will go directly to the iTunes page for the Podcast
Click on “Ratings and Reviews”
Click on the 5thStar (or whatever one makes the most sense to you 🙂
Podcast with Robyn Levin. Helping Small Businesses Through Strategic Marketing.
business, work, people, Robyn, thought, cocktail napkin, marketing, arena, skating, started, ice, years, florida, entrepreneur, clients, buy, figured, customers, wanted, pretty
Mike Malatesta, Robyn Levin
Mike Malatesta 00:09
Hi everybody welcome back to the HOW TO HAPPEN podcast, I’m very grateful that you were here today, and I’m glad that you listen, subscribe, and share these episodes with your friends. That’s what makes the show, grow, you’re definitely going to want to listen to and share today’s episode because I have Robyn Levin with me today, Robyn, thank you so much for joining me. Thank you, Mike. It’s a pleasure to be here. So here’s a little bit about Robyn. Robin Levin is the founder and CEO of Robin Levin media, a strategic marketing and PR consulting firm based in Sarasota, Florida. She is a passionate connector of small business owners to big brands, Robin. Robin has forged strategic partnerships with companies like Citibank, the NHL, the Women’s Sports Foundation sports celebrities, and many others to dramatically raise awareness and revenue for her clients. You can learn more about Robin on her website which is www dot Robin, our OPYN Leben Lev i n.com, and I was very fortunate to be introduced to Robin from by Dan Steiner, Dan has been on the podcast before, I don’t remember what episode he was one of the really early people who came on in support of what I was trying to, to get off the ground and he’s remained a great friend, ever since and Dan wrote a fantastic article in this times on walkie buzz times that is in May of 2021 about Robin and I read the article when I was think I was eating my cereal in the morning, Robin, I read the article, and I thought to myself, Oh, I have to I have to reach out to Dan and see if he can connect me to Robin, which he did. We had an initial call and here she is, and I think you’re going to be blown away by this woman so Robin, I start every one of my shows with the same simple question. How did it happen for you.
Robyn Levin 02:20
Love that love that idea. Well, let me take you back just a little bit at a time. I heard the sage advice, follow your passion and the profits will follow I’m sure you’ve heard that and there’s that. And so I took that literally. And for me, I ended up by a bankrupt 40,000 square foot ice skating Arena in Florida, of all places. So that was my second valve into my entrepreneur career. And so when people say they think that you’re crazy with an idea, I’ll say, after you hear my story you’ll hear why sometimes you know you’re on the right track. If everybody else thinks you’re nuts.
Mike Malatesta 03:05
Yeah sure, because, yeah, a lot of people are gonna just try to talk you out of things as opposed to you know get behind and say oh, Robin, that’s the best idea I ever heard. Right, exactly. So connect for us the passion and the ice arena, and I, yeah, sorry I might have cut you off there but I connect those two for us.
Robyn Levin 03:28
So I grew up as a competitive figure skater, in the Philadelphia area. And so I’m an athlete, and since a very young age. In fact, my mom put me on skates at the age of two, so I probably could skate before I could walk. And I never in my wildest dreams thought I would end up in the business of the ice skating world, but it just happened that I had moved to Florida from New Jersey. With my then husband, and we were looking for a new business opportunity. And so my folks were visiting me in Florida and I suggested at the time, why don’t we go ice skating my mother, by the way was the child star in the ice valleys, the Ice Capades and even starred in a movie. So we have that deeply in our blood. Okay, and they were visiting and I just want a women’s Christmas holidays and I said let’s go ice skating, and there were only two arenas in South Florida at the time, no surprise, so we jumped in the car. My, my dad and husband, my mom and myself and we went to the first break, and the ice was absolutely awful. So we left, because we’re I saw, we prefer a sheet of glass kind of ice. So we went to the second place, and as we drove up there was this huge billboard, and it looked like it was in blood red had painted sign and it said, For Lease for sale and out loud jokingly in the car I said for us. Let’s go buy an ice skating arena. So, we went into the facility and we were greeted by a grumpy old man with a heavy New York accent, no offense to New Yorkers. But we said can we go skating and he said well you better hurry before the ice nuts. So he explained that the business was in bankruptcy, and he was the landlord and he had no idea how to run this arena and he was pretty stressed out. So the guys went to the compressor room and we took the ice, and that is how I got introduced to the ice arena and then after we left we had so much fun we were like little kids, bringing back such wonderful memories. And I thought, well we’re just, we’re just moved from the Northeast, and there seems like there’s a lot of families moving down to Florida from the northeast, they probably have similar memories like I did. Maybe we could bring this whole thing back to life. And with that, I started doing a lot of research and I went and visited the arena, and I was surprised to find out that they had a steady flow of figure skaters, about a half a dozen hockey teams, and the infrastructure was already in place, and they also had Olympic type of Olympic us skaters that were coaches, so I figured we have a pretty strong foundation. And now the work is going to begin. As far as really getting into the analysis and the feasibility of the business side of it. And what did you end up
Mike Malatesta 06:23
determining because those things someone like the present owner for example could have made a better go of it. What did you do differently.
Robyn Levin 06:36
So we found out that the owners were a group of skaters, with very little business background, and they were just totally mismanaged, so, for whatever those are the main reasons that I heard, but there was very little data to go by as far as the numbers of the business. So I decided I’m going to go around to some of my prime cities and find ice arenas and talk to the owners talk to the managers get to learn the business a little bit more, and then do as much research, research as I could and ended up writing at the time this is crazy but a 40 page business plan, I ended up writing. The hardest part for me was my five year pro forma again, I hadn’t done that before. And number two, we had such little data to go by, right. So they started to come together like this, this could be a real viable business, given the factors that I discovered, though the odds were against us. I will say, in the industry.
Mike Malatesta 07:38
And the, the folks that you talked to in the industry that were outside of your geography let’s say were they willing to help you in any way they can or they were at a center where they, because it’s a really, it seems like a really smart strategy like I’m, there’s, there’s lots of experts out here. And if I’m not a competitive threat to them why wouldn’t they tell me you know what I need to know to be successful.
Robyn Levin 08:04
Exactly. Great question, and they were so open, They would tell us everything from the best vendors who to stay away from who to buy from the problems that they just spill their guts and tell me everything.
They’re really friendly.
So it was very helpful.
Mike Malatesta 08:23
How did you, you know, before you move to Florida, what were you, what were you up to and was, was the, how much fear was involved in actually buying a business or was that something that you had already done, you mentioned second so maybe you had already done something like this.
Robyn Levin 08:40
Prior to that I had been a partner in a mortgage company I was a mortgage banker, so I did have a successful business doing that. But this was a was a lifestyle change that we wanted to make a change be closer to my in laws at the time, and we had a boat so we took the boat down to Florida, and built a house, and then the business came next. Okay,
Mike Malatesta 09:03
so there was, were you were you intending to just stay in the mortgage broker industry when you move there and just kind of,
Robyn Levin 09:11
we did think about expanding that and and opening up in Florida, and it was a pretty tight market at the time I think we were heading right into a recession, and it just didn’t seem like the right climate for that business, and we were ready to make a detour. Okay, that’s
Mike Malatesta 09:29
so you, you get your 40 page business plan, and you get whatever financing you need to get it all put together and all of a sudden, you are the owner of a 40,000 square foot ice rink.
Robyn Levin 09:43
Yes. So, raise money, and we opened up a few months later, and I also had the very good fortune of having the Florida NHL hockey team Florida Panthers were coming into town to have a brand new team. So I reached out to the general manager Bobby Clarke growing up in Philadelphia, I had asked him a letter and said I don’t know what your plans are for your practice facility but I would love for you to come visit ours, and see if we could be your new home. And he came up I had I there was a rumor that they had already signed with another rank in Miami, but it turned out that things were going that well and was a little convincing we ended up signing a five year contract at a very big advertising, sponsorship. In addition to that,
Mike Malatesta 10:32
So that would be their practice arena or,
Robyn Levin 10:35
so we were their practice facility, okay, and some LED 11,000 square feet to them so they built their training.
Robyn Levin 10:43
quite a bit of money into that and then it was a conscious decision to we wanted to have the practice sessions open to the public. So we really were tied to the Florida Panthers hockey team in so many different ways.
Mike Malatesta 10:54pr
Got it. And what page of your business plan had bad plan. That’s called luck and timing, yeah Bobby Clarke, that’s amazing Broad Street bullies Bobby Clark says that he’s that’s phenomenal. I’ve got a Bobby I’ve got a old school, Bobby Clark hockey card I was just going through recently. Yeah, cuz I grew up in, in near Philadelphia too so that was my team and that was awesome. So if you walked into something I think I might have fallen over. So, huh, it was,
Robyn Levin 11:29
yes, that was very exciting. And we are also that was also the time, tells you how long ago was fighting around, Tonya Harding and the Nancy Kerrigan little. Yes, that’s very sad for them but again it just had a surge in viewership for ice skating. Right,
Mike Malatesta 11:48
right. So did that so did you start I mean the connection with the Panthers seemed like sort of an unintended, you know, amazing blessing but what about, what, how did you approach the operation of the of the rink before that like, you know, your, your public relations expert, I’m wondering what you did. I don’t know if you were at that time or that sort of something that you’ve become since but I’m wondering what you did to sort of breathe life into this place keep the compressors going and do all, all the things that I needed to do to take this thing,
Robyn Levin 12:24
yes. So my partner had the background in building and he was an engineer, we thought very differently. And my background was in money, marketing, and I skating. So between the different skill sets we combined. And basically, our goal was you make sure we have the best ice skating surface, and I’ll make sure we make money. That was our simple goal. Okay, now I do have a marketing degree and a degree in international business, but really there’s no, there’s no substitute for getting in there and just doing it. And I learned early on. I remember reading a story about a chicken franchise I was working at the gym, reading a story about a chicken franchise in our local Fort Lauderdale, newspaper, and it was about a husband and wife who happened to be customers, customers of mine, and there was a full page article on their business and I thought, wow, my business is really successful. I mean, really different. And we should be in the newspaper, we should be in the media, so I figured I need to go the PR route and start telling the stories because the stories were fascinating, my customers, not necessarily our business but it was all about really human interest stories, and I’ve been a little bit of a social butterfly since I was a kid, and curious by nature, like you to find out about other people’s paths where they came from, it’s their story, and I love learning about their culture and so that that worked really well so I started figuring out, it started with a press release, and I would package these stories together take the photos, put it all together and pitch the proper editor reporter and idea, and that triggered dramatic regular press, and we were very fortunate. I’ve had great relationships with the reporters, and they love the stories and so they helped catapult the visibility.
Mike Malatesta 14:27
And that’s so smart to tell stories about your customers, and, you know what your business means to them or what it does for them instead of promoting your business right because the stories of how their experience, improves their life is a much better story than hey we got, you know, whatever you, you have right because, yeah, very smart, very smart. And so how long did. Did you, well I guess first of all I should ask, Did you remain passionate about skating, when you’re, when you own a skating facility, or did
Robyn Levin 15:10
it was as much as I wanted to return to skating, we work so hard in the business. You know the saying about as an entrepreneur you can work any hour you want, you’re gonna be working a lot of them, yes. So we worked so hard that for the first two years I didn’t have time to skate. I was too busy building the business building our culture or our employees. I opened up a 2500 square foot retail shop. And then we build a sports bar because we figured we wanted our customers to linger longer and how can we keep them from having, having more fun. So I was very driven about the customer experience, and our goal was, I would tell the staff. We want people leaving here saying that was so much fun. I can’t wait to return. So we were extremely customer focused, always smiling. Okay, so we have these Canadian hockey teams that would come in, we would have tournaments, and they would leave because they wanted to drink their beer in the morning and they wanted to drink their beer in between games and afterwards and smoke their cigarettes and in the lobby and so I thought well, we have this beautiful window overlooking the ice domain and why not put in a sports bar, and with palm trees and get a beer license, instead of losing them to go down the street to the local sports bar, so we ended up putting in sub zero sports bar, and I basically was just increasing more profit centers under the same square footage.
Mike Malatesta 16:40
And you mentioned it, so. Did you get Sub Zero to kick in to put their stuff in there too and you named it after them or was it really was sub zero, the ice thing,
when was our business.
Robyn Levin 16:57
But I did get I grew the brand really essentially two ways. Always leveraging partnerships so we had great partners we had our distributors, and then with the Ice Arena, I would sell dashboard advertising so when you would go around the rink, you would see signage, and so we raised revenue through advertising, and work with Coca Cola and subway and pretty much the local businesses. So, strategic partnerships, If you are really the two keys that still work today. Yeah, very much so.
Mike Malatesta 17:32
And eventually, the Panthers bought the bought the business from you, is that correct Actually yes. How long did you own this for
Robyn Levin 17:41
a really great run we had also did celebrity workshops, there was a time I there was, there wasn’t always easy, in fact it was. It’s a hard business I wouldn’t tell anybody to just go and take that on, without a huge commitment to, to the time it takes the staff it takes the hours it takes. So there were definitely ups and downs, it was definitely not a straight path, but once we got it going. It shaped like a hockey, like a hockey stick.
Mike Malatesta 18:14
So you, you mentioned that the Panthers weren’t part of the business plan, what are some other things that you ran into that you were just describing maybe some of the hard things that you had not. Maybe anticipated or you certainly would rather not have experienced maybe.
Robyn Levin 18:31
Oh so we inherited one Zamboni and parts of a second Zamboni. In the middle of winter our key machine broke the backup one wasn’t really holding up too well. Okay, so we had a $50,000 unexpected expense and had applied to Fargo, North Dakota to buy a new Zamboni.
Mike Malatesta 18:51
Okay. That qualifies
Robyn Levin 18:53
just some of the some of the unforeseen things that weren’t in the business plan, but we like it, like a pandemic, you have to you have to pivot and figure out other ways to, to make the business successful. So that wasn’t planned. But we worked around that. And again, I just put more of the time and energy into the PR side and so the more stories that we were getting bus loads would come in have kids to go skating. We really, really put the arena on the map,
Mike Malatesta 19:25
do this just a kind of an off the cuff thing Robin but do a lot do people Sue ice rinks a lot for injuries.
Robyn Levin 19:34
I feel like you have a direct line right into this business yes they do they slip and fall a little kid gets his chin cut and then see you know they want to have a plastic surgeon deal with it so there was some of those, we would have, we could have 1000 people skating in in a four hour time period with 12 birthday parties going on and there’s a lot happening, and with that many people. You are bounces somebody, somebody slides, gets a little injury, but fortunately for us, it really didn’t. We didn’t have too many. We didn’t have threatening lawsuits for that. Okay reminder issues that we had to work through and calm them down.
Mike Malatesta 20:12
Well, fun fact, and it’s wouldn’t have helped you in your Zamboni situation but when I was growing up, actually where my mom still lives our next door neighbor Ivan was a Zamboni repairman in the Philadelphia area. Yes, I. Yes. So he, he worked on the, you know, the, the flyers and but whatever the, I can’t even remember the name of the arena now but yeah so that was kind of a little sorry for little fun fact, take us off, off, on a little detour there apologize but it just popped into my head.
Robyn Levin 20:50
It would have been nice to have one we have, we had handy people but that’s a specialty for sure. That’s the one thing I did not do I never drove the Zamboni people would do that. Oh, you never do that I haven’t done that.
Mike Malatesta 21:01
Oh I thought for sure you’d be out there doing that that would be great PR, maybe. That’d be cool.
Robyn Levin 21:10
Let’s say there was one of the PR pitches was a couple prepares for an ice cold marriage.
Mike Malatesta 21:19
Okay, that’s a good. All right,
Robyn Levin 21:23
wedding attire. We also had, you know, I think that one of the keys to to the success was listening to our customers, and instead of, you’ve may have experienced this, you’ll go into a store and ask for a product and somebody at the store will say no we don’t carry that we get that request so many times, but we don’t offer that. And so, why not yeah right when we would hear the request for certain things I would be tuned in to think that could make sense. Let’s explore that. And, for example, we ended up opening a little consignment shop because the parents would come in, say, my kids are crawling so fast we just bought skates from your last six weeks ago I need new skates, what do I do with the old skates. So I said well maybe we could resell them. And so we just had this little consignment shop going in there to to, again, keep them loyal keep them, giving them something back so they can not feel like they’re just throwing their money away,
Mike Malatesta 22:17
right, right, just another thing to keep them coming back to you. Right, oh by new skates, you can get rid of my old skates. Yeah, that’s perfect.
Robyn Levin 22:27
Yes, and then some other things that weren’t planned. I had a opportunity. If you asked me about the scary times yes there was I’ll remember there was a time month was May, and we were struggling. It was just this was a little bit weak, and payroll was getting a little scary. And I remember my manager was on the phone and I heard him say, oh no we could never close the ring for a weekend. And I’m thinking, who wants to buy the ring for a weekend, so I just took the phone and said let me, let me see if I can help this person, and I said tell me, who am I speaking to and how would you like to use the facility for the weekend, and it was a production studio out of Miami, and they said we want to come and film a commercial, and we needed an ice skating arena. And I thought, well, this is a good opportunity. I’m gonna have to figure it out now that we just booked all the space skating time over the year. I will figure out how to make it up to everybody but we that’s for sure. So, I, I knew my numbers, and I threw out a number and they said yes. And so they ended up coming in and filming the Olympic commercial for Lennox air conditioning, and they turned transformed the entire arena into a speed skating track these trucks in people in was really excited so then I made a flyer saying we’re now production studio for for your next film or your next commercial.
Mike Malatesta 23:59
Yeah, I’m like, fine. So they, they customized it and then they put it back the way that it was, is that right,
Robyn Levin 24:05
it came in we were to completely transformed into a studio set, and they had the vision to transform it during the commercial, and then shortly thereafter I was approached from a German magazine that wanted to film their swimwear line on the ice. I said why not.
Mike Malatesta 24:27
And so when, how long did you have it for and use what happened after you ended up selling it to the Panthers,
Robyn Levin 24:34
so I had it for about five years and I did have an exit plan, like Stephen Covey says that famous author, know your end. Know your end goal. So I definitely knew that I wanted to build it, grow it and sell it and move on to something, whatever is new and next, and I actually got to take a little bit of time off, which was the first time in a very long time, Probably since I teenager, because I’ve always worked, and I took some time off and then it was around 2000 When the internet started coming around and websites started to come into the discussion and I thought well this is going to be something big. And I want to get involved. And at that point I decided I was too young to be done, I wanted to do something new. And I had an opportunity to San Francisco, and that’s my digital marketing company. So I, I left Florida was there for 12 years and went to San Francisco which I was there for 12 years. And I wanted to utilize the PR background that I had, and also leverage tech, there’s somewhere there’s a little geek in me. So I like to use technology and storytelling to help accelerate the client’s growth and visibility, and I figured why not go where the action is. That was, California.
Mike Malatesta 25:56
In, did you know someone there Robin or him or did you do sort of what you had done when you were looking at the ice rink where you were looking at trends of people moving, you know, from the northeast,
Robyn Levin 26:07
CEO of a company who I just noticed headquarters to Florida. And we talked back and forth and he said if you really want to get involved in that arena, not arena but that field, then you definitely want to go out to California, and we made, he made some introductions, and that’s where I went, and was very very fortunate to meet a company meet up with another CEO at a company that needed a lot of help with their brand building and visibility they were successful successful but little known. there are best kept secret in their industry. And I was hired to help them out and that became a seven year contract, and help them grow to $3 billion in three years. And that was in the financial services arena, so it wasn’t quite tech but I use the tech, and use the marketing background to help them out.
Mike Malatesta 27:07
Okay, so that’s all so pretty billion in three years, I mean, where their expectations, much higher. I mean,
Robyn Levin 27:15
that was, we’re pretty pleased that was. It was a niche industry in the alternative asset retirement arena which is known as self directed IRAs, so it was just an unknown untapped marketplace that I was becoming aware of, and I thought well this looks like it’s going to be a big opportunity both for myself in the client and the industry.
Mike Malatesta 27:44
Okay, before I get more into that I want to go back a little bit if you don’t mind you mentioned that you’ve been working since you were, you know, in high school and I wanted to go and ask you about some of those jobs, what were some of your early jobs, just trying to understand what’s informed you as as you were coming of age, so to speak.
Robyn Levin 28:05
I have a retail background. So I worked in retail, when I was in college. I also volunteered for rehab hospital. So getting back was important to me. And I helped the geriatrics actually with physical therapy and I thought for a minute, maybe I’d want occupational or physical therapy when I was in school but then after that experience that was too, that was that. And I decided not to do that but um so I have a pretty strong retail background. And when I graduated college with a marketing degree I thought I would be able to get a job as a director of marketing but back then those jobs were scarce, and it was very hard to get into marketing. So the route was sales corporate sales, so I ended up going into that direction. For NHL.
The international air freight carrier.
Mike Malatesta 29:06
Oh okay, yeah, I thought you said NHL that’s like the hockey. I’m sorry DHL yeah okay, all right. I guess I have that in common. Well, yeah BHL parts yeah right.
Robyn Levin 29:24
Yes. So my background has been in marketing. The goal is always to, it’s the study of this the psychology psychology of human buying behavior basically the minor in Psych. Okay, and
though as I said,
Robyn Levin 29:41
many entrepreneurs don’t go, as you know, very successful ones, either drop out of college started dot start their career in a garage. It’s not necessarily the education is good but it’s not going to really, it’s a good foundation but there’s just no substitute for getting in there and really, if you want to be an entrepreneur you just got to get in there and take the risk.
Mike Malatesta 30:04
Yeah, calculated risk. Right, yeah, find the problem and solve it. And I also come from
Robyn Levin 30:10
a family of entrepreneurs, my, my father was a corporate attorney who was founding partner at a law firm, very sadly he died very young. and my. His father was a butcher, and had a booth in the Reading Terminal so for any listeners out there that know Philadelphia. He had a stand there and my cousin’s our whole family is our entrepreneurs my brothers in the waste management business for about 40 years.
Mike Malatesta 30:37
Really, that’s what business I’m in my day job, it seems. I should connect the two of you. Yeah, what, what does he do what, what, what is a partner, what part of the, oh, okay, okay.
Robyn Levin 30:53
He’s a broker he’s he’s moved everything from hazardous materials to paint to ever. Okay, cool.
Mike Malatesta 31:01
So when you got to definitely connected to, yeah you should yeah let’s do that and when you got to San Francisco, and you were, you know, talking to the CEO of the trust company that hired you, was it was. I see I’m trying to connect to your experience as the entrepreneur in the ice skating rink with this new opportunity was there a connection at all or was it your degree and your and just sort of the all of the things that had made up your career. Up till then that that you know I impressed the person and said yeah, we can you know this this makes sense, I’m just,
Robyn Levin 31:40
oh well, I thought I was doing research in the industry because personally I wanted to look into putting real estate, buying real estate with my IRA. Ah, okay. And I was looking like yourself to diversify my investments, and I learned that you could do this but it was a really complicated process. And I remember asking my CPA, how do I do this like I want to I want to learn about investing my retirement funds in other areas outside of the stock market. And he said oh it’s so complicated and it’s pretty negative about it and so I did a little more research. And this company happened to be in San Francisco. So I spoke with VP of marketing. And I said, What are you doing to get the word out. This is such a great opportunity that people need to know about. So it was a personal interest, like the skating, if you want to tie it together. There’s a personal interest a bit of a passion, and the VP of Marketing says yes we really really need some help in this arena. So he set up a meeting with the CEO, and we met, and I had some ideas right off the start and we had a couple of meetings so proposals, and started working together, said we really need to help. So with that I was really early on with, we started a CEO blog blogs are just, just starting. We wrote an e book the first one in the industry
Mike Malatesta 33:23
first ebook. That’s interesting. Okay,
Robyn Levin 33:26
so it was both word of mouth and also an introduction. And my goal when I got to Tiburon I lived in Tiburon if you know where that is. I don’t where is that a Mill Valley, it’s just across from San Francisco. And when I moved there and saw the San Francisco skyline, and this beautiful ferry that would just take people from the Tiburon to San Francisco, I visualized how wonderful would that be to have an office in the city, amazing clients in the city, and to commute by ferry, what a lifestyle. And fortunately I was able to make that happen.
Mike Malatesta 34:06
And so you spent, I think you said seven years. Was it seven years total there and in San Francisco, San Francisco before you move back and
Robyn Levin 34:15
I was, I wasn’t just exclusive to them. I also had other clients with marketing for, and also speaking at conferences on marketing and I created this little cocktail napkin plan which is four, four step marketing strategy template which is still available today to help unfocused entrepreneur entrepreneurs and business owners get clear on their marketing, and it’s an interactive template, so I was, I launched that, and I had other clients that I was also working with so it wasn’t just that one client, okay, marketing agency.
Mike Malatesta 34:52
Okay, and then at some point, you moved back, you move that agency back to Florida. Is that right or, or no.
Robyn Levin 35:01
Yes, yes I was there for 12 years. Okay. There was a start and a stop because when I got there originally it was right at the height of the tech bubble. So I got there if you picture going up a roller coaster, I was just about almost to the top. That’s the economy and just completely plummeted. In the early 2000s, but then there was the restart things happen fast out there so
that was a 12 year.
Mike Malatesta 35:32
Got it. Okay, so this cocktail napkin plan thing can you tell us what can you walk us through that, that I’m really interested in that force. You said it’s a four stage process or four,
Robyn Levin 35:48
is it it’s unfortunate I used to when I was consulting, I would use a cocktail napkin and just ask some, some questions and help the clients get clear, and I figured if I can do this on a napkin, why not make it like an internet interactive template which is a PDF, and it walks you through four steps for questions. And so the person answers the questions, and it provides marketing clarity and it also has strategies to choose and it creates a one year timeline with quarterly marketing strategies and goals. And at the end, it fits on a cocktail napkin so you can actually print it out, the size of the cocktail napkin. Okay, so it’s for cocktail napkin plan. COMM if anybody wants to grab a free strategy template.
Mike Malatesta 36:36
Okay, cocktail napkin plan, calm. Okay, that’s pretty cool. So that’s like a four quadrant thing I like it. So when. So, um, I don’t know I guess, I guess I’m interested now like, since I’ve got you here and since you’re a marketing expert and most people aren’t. I think most people probably couldn’t I would have a hard time filling out the napkin, my right I could, I think I might have a hard time filling out
Robyn Levin 37:07
the napkin, like it’s interesting, I’ve had people that say this is so ridiculously simple and I’ve had other people tell me that they spent eight hours on hallway in their condo in Lake Tahoe by the fireplace told everybody does not talk to them for eight hours straight, and so it’s a different experience for everyone.
Mike Malatesta 37:27
Okay. So when is that sort of way you get started with all of your clients now Robin or is it that just one. It’s a good. Yes, it’s a great tool.
Robyn Levin 37:38
Good. Getting clear on the marketing messaging. A lot of people today with social media and they chase platforms and just run to the next platform to do the marketing, and oftentimes it’s not the platform, it’s the message that is missing the message is not possibly a perhaps the correct message that they’re getting out there. So that’s a part of the cocktail napkin plan is also walks you through the different strategies and there’s traditional and there’s also digital marketing and how to tie all this together in a cohesive way,
Mike Malatesta 38:13
you know, have you, well first of all before I ask that question, I guess I’m you brought up, you know, chasing platforms and I think to myself, oh my gosh you’re right there are so many platforms now and every one of them, you know positions itself as something that you know will, you know, stack your lead funnel, you know so full of, you know, your business will go like the business you talked about 3 billion and in three years and I know because I have, I have like a very strong interest in marketing but no skills, no skill set or no formal training so I’m the kind of person who can be impacted by or influenced I guess by all these different things and what you said, I think actually made a lot of sense when, if you’re not clear about your message, it doesn’t really matter what platform you’re on is that what you were saying.
Robyn Levin 39:10
And also, for example the client that I was talking about is Pensco Trust Company, and they had two audiences, they had a b2b and b2c Audience So even in that example, how you communicate in the beats with a b2b audience is completely different language than how you would communicate with b2c. And so that’s one example of two different audiences and then you look at the different channels of communication and then where they are in their buyer journey. So there is a lot that goes into it.
Mike Malatesta 39:42
And are you saying, Are you saying that, getting clear about your message that has never changed. That’s sort of always got to be that sort of always has to be the foundational part of a marketing plan in order for it to be successful and because I was thinking to myself, you know if all of these new platforms and, you know, plugins and all this stuff that you can do now if it all made everybody rich faster I think the economy would be doing much better to be something more, I guess I’m just, yeah, does it really start with the basics, get the basics right and then platform,
Robyn Levin 40:29
even in terms of elite athletes, it goes back to, you have to master the fundamentals right even with with athletes and so with marketing that the pace of change today is insane, as you well know, marketing is just everything is disruptive things are changing so quickly, what worked yesterday doesn’t work today what works today won’t work tomorrow, and it’s, it’s important to be up on all the technology but also return to the fundamentals and the basics and look at your customers first, before your product and your service,
put your customers first.
Mike Malatesta 41:06
And who do you like to work with now is there particular industry purpose driven entrepreneurs. Ah, there you go. Okay. Yes, they’re making a positive impact. And just out of curiosity, how do you define purpose driven
Robyn Levin 41:27
that they’re making a difference in in this world in a positive way, not just as not not just chasing money but it’s for the improvement of something besides themselves.
Mike Malatesta 41:41
Okay, fair enough. So, let me get back to the messaging thing because I’m kind of fascinated by this so sorry if I’m being, if I’m spending too much time here but I how I find that, and this has happened to me, people that are in a business are so close to the business they often miss what the message really is, they discount the value of what they’re doing, or they, you know basically define themselves the history defines everyone I mean there’s just sort of, there’s this inertia I think sometimes to get just gravitationally pulled into sameness. And I don’t think that’s right, that’s not what you should be doing, but I’m wondering how well in your experience, what do you see people come to you for help. What do you see them doing that makes them, you know, ideal clients for you and outside of being purpose driven they must have, they must be missing something.
Robyn Levin 42:41
Well, sometimes they, they’re so focused on their product or this service, so it’s more about the features rather than the benefits. Yeah, another, there’s other areas where they’re clearly thought leaders in their industry but they haven’t taken the time to elevate their thought leadership and talk authentically about why they’re in the business that they’re in and how they’re making an impact. Sometimes as an entrepreneur, you get so busy in the business and with so many other things that are happening that
marketing’s complicated, right.
Robyn Levin 43:19
Yeah, that’s right. It’s the psychology behind it, it’s what’s, what’s going on, what’s going to motivate that customer, or that potential customer. How are they going to find you. How will you make their life better. So the communication is vital. The tools are one thing, the tactics or strategies and then there’s the whole story that’s wrapped around it.
Mike Malatesta 43:46
It’s kind of like your whole approach at at the at the ice arena where you were focused on your customers experience not, you know what we’re getting out of it right. That’s what that there’s two people, how’s it going to help me or how am I going to feel better as a result. Right, I was in the business of providing ice cold fun and entertainment. Nice. Do you miss it. I know it’s been a long time but do you miss running that running the facility and, you know, building it the way you did and having all those things happen, or is it just kind of like, Oh, well that was a thing that I was into for a while and now I’m on to whatever else I’m doing.
Robyn Levin 44:28
I’m fascinated by by by what’s new, what’s next, I do gravitate towards that. It excites me, and I like to share that with the clients that I’m working with to introduce them to new ways to do things. So, as much as I loved it. It was an amazing ground for learning everything you could possibly learn as an entrepreneur, and building a culture I had a wonderful, wonderful staff. And so I missed those parts of it but I’ve had really great opportunities beyond that and I’m still looking for continue on. No, I was creative. I kept people would tell me I was creative and I used to think, oh, that meant you painted or you wrote poetry and I didn’t consider myself a creative person. And I think as I get older, I’m recognizing that I am more creative than I thought, in different ways.
Mike Malatesta 45:21
Yeah, that’s so funny that you say that because I think, I think. And for a lot for a long time, I think that’s what it was if you were an artist, you were a painter or a poet or a sculptor or whatever and now the term artist is used, sort of ubiquitous. I don’t know if I got that, when it’s used all over the place for any kind of talent so anybody, any creativity is his art now so I think I’m glad you said that because I believe that everybody has some art in them. They may not be able to paint, you may not be able to write well, they may not even be an author and they may not be a sculptor, they may not be a poet, but they have something that’s unique about them that’s artistic and creative and it’s not something that you know they picked up by education or they or, you know, influence, it’s just something that is innate is natural in them, and waiting to come out or be explored. Do you feel the same way
Robyn Levin 46:25
I do, I think, as, as we have new experiences, and if you’re open to new ideas and go with the flow. I think that’s one thing with skating, to be in that that flow, the mental state of flow and things are just going and you’re out of your head and you’re just living and experiencing it. And I think that that’s where creativity comes from in a different mind rather it there’s so much information and the pace of change is happening so quickly so slowing down isn’t a bad thing getting going for a walk in nature and there’s something to be said about calming our brain and
Mike Malatesta 47:14
yeah well sometimes creativity come in, right, you have to speak, you have to slow down to speed up I’ve heard people say, you know that’s kind of what, what you mean you have to get out, whether it’s, Yeah you have to give your creativity, an opportunity to you know bubble up, I guess to use sort of a corporate word bubble you know so you get if you get you can’t be creative if you’re in the midst of doing stuff all the time, right, it just doesn’t happen very well that way even though people will think it does because it’d be like oh I had a great idea why, you know, but actually being very creative and being maybe transformational or coming up with transformational ideas isn’t going to happen when you’re surrounded by a bunch of people who are working on, you know, the same thing they work on every day, you have to get, I think, I think you’re right about that you have to get out. You have to get your mind in a different place, so that you
Robyn Levin 48:11
mean sadly the pandemic forced all of us to go into a different place. We all had to be creative, and we had to make changes and do things differently at a pretty quick pace, so that’s, it’s interesting to see how people have are changing their lives and their attitudes because of that.
Mike Malatesta 48:32
And so, how did you segue here but the guest speaker. Because position or whatever it’s called, you’ve had a warden. The Executive MBA Program, where did that, how did that develop or evolve or where did it come from. That sounds pretty heady so that’s why I’m thinking that’s pretty cool.
Robyn Levin 48:54
This is one of those circumstances. I have. I think I’m a natural. And so I was at a Temple University meeting in San Francisco, I happen to see a meeting there and I thought well that could be interesting. Maybe I could meet some people from Temple that I haven’t seen in a long time so I ended up meeting quite a few people including the faculty of the marketing department, and we started talking and I was accepted to a program at Temple where I was a junior, my junior year abroad I studied international business, and for a year. And so we were talking about that experience and I said, Gosh, I thought I was just going to fail, it was a hard, hard program those people would think, Oh, you went to the Netherlands for a year,
Mike Malatesta 49:47
because that’s all Americans know about,
Robyn Levin 49:51
that it was more like this phenomics I had no idea how hard the program is going to be. And so I think I told them I think you should move that into your MBA program which they eventually did move into the MBA program. But then, because they, they asked what I was doing now and I told them about the digital marketing and webinars and YouTube and all the things that are happening with how marketing has changed so much. And they said, Would you like to come back to Philadelphia next time you’re there and teach a class to our marketing students. And I said, Sure, I’d love to because I would go back to Philly my family’s still there and I would go back several times a year, and I was invited to teach at the Temple University School, and also Wharton’s executive program for MBAs, their MBA students tongue twister their executive
Mike Malatesta 50:45
program for working working specialists, so somebody like me wants to get my MBA at Wharton. You’d be a guest speaker in working professionals
Robyn Levin 50:57
to teach there and I shared the cocktail napkin plan with the students I use it as an exercise to teach them. How did you how to use, how to market your business and get a plan on on a little cocktail napkin. But I also thought it was fun they had, we had contests with the kids how to grow a business using social media for example, and they, we ended up having teams put together and then there was a little contest and within 45 minutes, learned, and they created businesses. And on paper and utilized all the strategies and then they competed and the winners got the credits, so it was really exciting. Nice.
Mike Malatesta 51:41
Do you remember how the Netherlands was an abroad destination for international studies, what was the draw.
Robyn Levin 51:50
So there was a school there called, there is a school, the University of Nairobi, the Netherlands Institute for Business, and they have 500 students and 30 Americans, that,
that attend. Okay,
Mike Malatesta 52:03
so it’s a small actually
Robyn Levin 52:04
school and the administration building, and the bar. We’re in the 13th century castle, which was super cool with surrounded by. Cool, so we had happy hour. Zelda bar, just the basement of the bar.
Mike Malatesta 52:19
So that had to be amazing to think about the people who were there. Back then, you know what kind of people were there discussing issues of the day and writing probably some, you know, unbelievable books and poems and you know all of that, maybe diplomacy, you know, maybe, maybe,
Robyn Levin 52:40
exactly we, there were students that were definitely headed in that direction. And, yeah it was it was a fascinating time and a wonderful group of people. So, what’s some international business was the big. That was the the main theme, international business, okay.
Mike Malatesta 53:02
So that was the main theme and beer and powered were only in Amsterdam, this was outside of Amsterdam. Okay, that was just on the weekends now just kidding.
Robyn Levin 53:19
Where’s, where’s, where are you going where’s your business going where is marketing going. I am Swat, I’ll tell you what I just did something, something new for me. I’ve been in the I’ve utilized video with storytelling. For many years, since 2008. So for a musician client, I just CO produced and directed to music videos, and it’s all about the story of the song. So I’m marketing in the pandemic marketing a musician, right now is the Nashville show not country. Her name is Autumn night she’s exceptionally talented. She’s also an actor, and we just started working together. Less late less in the fall, actually, in the fall of this year.
Mike Malatesta 54:15
Okay. Fall of 2020
Robyn Levin 54:19
Yes, Yes, so the things have changed a lot. With that, we started for my clients, we launched virtual events, virtual concerts, virtual fundraisers. Um, I have a nonprofit client that I work closely here in Florida with. And instead of their physical death like a lot of people on the call that are listening, everybody had to shut down their physical events, and so they said, What should we do, should we just wait till 2022. Then I said, are 2021 And I said no, why don’t we have a virtual event, instead of the physical Expo. So at the end of last year, together with the team I put together we hosted our first virtual learning Expo, and have 200 attendees, and it was two and a half hours long to put together an entire program with some with comedy with musicians, and with education. In fact the keynote was about how to improve your brain health performance. And it turned out that it was more successful than there in person events so we’re going to have another one for in November.
Mike Malatesta 55:32
Robyn Levin 55:34
So just embracing, embracing change embracing the technology, the tools out there and really what’s fostering it was really fascinating as we’ve fostered a community online of older citizens that felt absolutely desolate lonely and isolated during the pandemic and they said how the safe, there a lot. One of them said to save their lives, the online learning experience. They felt trapped in their environment, and they couldn’t see their family or their friends and so this basically got them through the pandemic.
Mike Malatesta 56:07
I had a feel good example of purpose driven purpose driven yes you’re right. So Robin, how do I mentioned your website at the beginning, Robin levin.com How do you want people to get ahold of you because you work with people anywhere you can help people anywhere the, the cocktail napkin goes global. Right, so, yes. Okay.
Robyn Levin 56:32
Oh, they can get, get ahold me, my website is a little bit, calm, and for us to learn more about the PR process, I do I am. I have a course, it’s called PR dash course 101 dot com they can easily enroll that’s a 10 minute preview of how to get started in a PR process. But you asked me where I’m going, I’m also producing more content to have online courses so I can teach people what I’ve learned and help them as much as I can, through online education.
Mike Malatesta 57:09
Wonderful. Robin it’s been so much fun to get to know you and thank you for coming on the show, for those of you who are watching you’ll see you got this great smile that never leaves, it’s always there, it’s so it’s just so much fun in your eyes laid off and it’s just, you’re a joy to talk to and thank you for sharing your, your amazing experiences with us today. Thank you, Mike. Thank you so much for having me on your show, it’s been really fun. The recording has stopped. Okay. Thank you. You’re welcome all that went over. Yeah, well that’s the way it does. I hope it all goes okay where we went and, you know, I had fun with it. Yes, I had fun. Definitely, I’m not your typical story right. No, not at all. It’s really fascinating how you went from Florida to San Francisco and that’s, those are big, those aren’t like minor little life changes, those are dramatic life and career and opportunity and all kinds of those are big and you just, I applaud you for that takes a lot of strength and I know you’re a natural connector and you’re all these things but still it’s, it’s,
Robyn Levin 58:32
it takes strength or it’s a bit, it can be a bit crazy but I think it’s, for me it’s for you listen to your intuition and your guidance and you get this strong gut feeling, it’s so strong, that it’s hard to resist. Along with.
I think knowing,
like with with the web.
Robyn Levin 58:55
Going where the opportunity is part of that. But yes I do, I think the studying abroad, opened my eyes to travel, and so it definitely catapulted me to make bigger moves and, and, and travel. Well, after the rink I didn’t say this but after the break. It was really important to me to be mobile, and I wanted to have a business where I could be the only two things I needed was Wi Fi and a water view. Okay.
Mike Malatesta 59:27
No, that makes sense because when you have to go to the same place every day and that can, that starts to get can become a grind, you know, like, it’s, it can be. Now, I love, I love what you’re doing because now, at least the way I’m thinking about it is you get to work with these purpose driven entrepreneurs, and you get to live vicariously through the work you’re doing with them and the interactions you’re having with them so you get to see all these different businesses and how they, how they work and how they don’t work and how they, You know, and all these different entrepreneurs who, you know how they build teams how they build culture how they think about, you know their messaging, all of those things that’s a really kind of neat inside glance that a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to get
Robyn Levin 1:00:20
is and I really value those relationships too i they become friends a lot of times they’re just, you know, acquaintances, friends we’ve just I feel like we build a team. Yeah. And they’re usually pretty long lasting. So I do I get a lot of satisfaction, helping them grow and get the visibility that they, they deserve and want, then. Yeah. Nice. And so what I didn’t say when we’re not recording anymore right, no. So in, two years ago, around the thing today. I started a online, print on demand clothing shop from my photography I have my may have mentioned that I take my nature walks I take photography, that’s a big part of my going out into nature and calming down and taking walks, and so I decided to open up an online shop and use the photography put the photography on some protective tops that are called rash guards do you know what those are. I don’t know, so rash guards protects surfers when they go surfing, but there’s also. Now there’s some protective tops and I had a many bouts of skin cancer. And I wanted to have clothing that I could look fashionable and cool in and still protect my skin and I couldn’t find anything out there so when I was on an airplane I was taking pictures of the clouds and I made this, this photograph into like an abstract cloud picture that to me just screams, this needs to be on fabric. And with that, I wanted to make it into a sun protective top with UPS in it.
Mike Malatesta 1:02:03
Robyn Levin 1:02:04
So I found a factory but, and it’s called Print on Demand, I know that you’re invested in lots of different companies, you may have heard about this marketplace.
Mike Malatesta 1:02:12
I prayed about it for four books but I haven’t heard about clothing is it. It’s not 3d printed is it or is it
Robyn Levin 1:02:20
3d print on demand. And so I decided let me test this out and start making my own tops out of my from my original photography which is nature and sewer that goes and so I started the shop is live, I actually turned it on, guessing it’s not marketing is going to relaunch it on July 1
Mike Malatesta 1:02:43
Robyn Levin 1:02:44
And so, but I had to shut it down because a comment so I did make a switch in 2019, wanting to do this. Other passive revenue side, took my creativity and said My native also wanting some protective tops that were really cool and I could provide that to others as well. And, but then the factories closed for almost a year that they weren’t producing here in the US and it was us based. So, I decided to go on a whim on Saturday, just to see if they what was happening back in that in that day was so much had already been done for the shop and it’s just starting to get going. And then we had to close it.
Mike Malatesta 1:03:25
So how does it, how does print on demand work then so they’re, they’re able to, they’re able to make sort of single water.
Robyn Levin 1:03:34
It’s, it’s, it’s exactly right, so my shop is a big it’s a B EA ch why they bg.com. And basically you upload your designs, so I create the designs, and then I pick the products that I wanted to go on and the rashguards was a big part of it. So then, listening to my customers a guy asked me, one of my friends who had melanoma, he said hey I want one of those shirts, can you make me one. I never thought about hitting the men’s market. Their form fitted service and spandex and they have the ups for 40 in that. And so he said oh and by the way, can you put Nantucket on it so I completely personalized it for him. So it’s personalized print on demand.
Mike Malatesta 1:04:21
And is this shirt itself something that’s already been made and then you just customize it for you, Robin, or is it something that is made just for.
Robyn Levin 1:04:31
It’s like picture a t shirt when you know you know how they do still screening on yeah sure. Yeah, so they have the, the basic solid color shirt. Okay already. So my photography is being printed instead of screen printing. The ink is printed, through the printer so it’s it’s more eco friendly. Yeah, and there’s less metals there’s less water involved, and it’s printed right on the garment, and then they are hand cut sewn and stitched.
Mike Malatesta 1:05:05
Okay, so existing garment customized with your art, essentially. And
Robyn Levin 1:05:11
then, now they’ve opened it up where you can personalize it so right to put your name on it. Or maybe your favorite hockey team on it so you can take this basic, you pick the product from my shop, you can pick the design, and then you could actually put your own text on there you can put emojis on there, and then it’s shipped to your house or wherever you want it to go. And I didn’t want to get into that because I figured we already talked about so much.
Mike Malatesta 1:05:40
Was it easy for you to find a partner to do that for you. I mean, outside of COVID What was it difficult search or No,
Robyn Levin 1:05:49
no, I’m really good at. I do a lot of research, enjoy it and I just, I researched about at the time so this was two years ago I researched the top three or four companies that I wanted to work with, and I looked at the products I looked at the pricing, customer support team. And then picked accordingly. And the one had locations in California, and again my brand was based on I wanted it to be designed to maybe us eco friendly. And
Mike Malatesta 1:06:21
that’s how I chose purpose driven. I like it.
Robyn Levin 1:06:27
So, as I said I wanted to share that but I figured we went into so many different things I didn’t want to complicate it.
Mike Malatesta 1:06:34
Well I’m glad you shared it with me after it’s I’m going to check it out because I am interested in the whole I’m interested in you what you’re doing but I’m interested in the whole thing, like I wonder how the. So they’re basically using
Mike Malatesta 1:06:53
They’ll sell the shirt to anyone. They’ll just customize it for anyone that’s how they, I’m trying to figure out how money, because it’s a lot of setup and stuff to do individual things even if you’re starting
Robyn Levin 1:07:06
to buy their product, the raw product the products at half the price so they’re they’re making it no doubt on the product itself. Yeah, okay, so they have, they have tabs. They have, I just over the weekend I saw that they now have laptop patent cases and backpacks. So this is going beyond what I originally started out for but as they add new products I can basically use the same design on more products, I see
Mike Malatesta 1:07:33
so they’re so they actually are sort of r&d for you in terms of new products, it’s like, Hey, Robin, we have this now, do you want to put your, your design on this, oh that is so cool. And then so it’s like a Spotify of sort of a little bit from the distribution side right so they’re letting people. I mean not production, the Shopify account kind of like Shopify. That’s what I meant Shopify sorry I said, Hey, I told you I worked with the NHL. True, you did. Yes.
Robyn Levin 1:08:08
Yes. So if I open a Shopify store. I’ve now integrated it with Facebook and I think today I got Instagram on there too. And so, shoppable items like this are the next thing shoppable social selling.
Mike Malatesta 1:08:24
How long did it take you to find something that was fashionable enough for you that you really liked the way it felt and looked and all that.
Robyn Levin 1:08:33
I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how leggings for myself, what are the top and the samples were incredible, the colors are vibrant, they don’t wash out. I’ve probably watched 30 times they don’t wash out they don’t fade, and all my customers who bought them just, they can’t believe the comfort and the fabric it’s super soft and stretching, and it’s durable, and the colors are vibrant. Okay, so my photography is a lot of flowers sunsets seascapes. So it’s all nature and abstract type.
Mike Malatesta 1:09:16
And when did that start your photography. Oh, photography,
Robyn Levin 1:09:21
I’ve been doing just casually for 10 years. Okay. So 10 years, but I just in 2019 had the idea to put it on, to put it on fabric, I just thought it just, it was one of those ideas I looked at this and I said this needs to be on fabric, what should I produce and then I thought, I need some protected tasks. So you’re gonna insight into how my brain works.
Mike Malatesta 1:09:50
Well I’m gonna check it out abt comm Was it hard to get that domain, by the way,
Robyn Levin 1:09:56
I wanted something, It was actually pretty easy. I wanted something with. Beach, beach in it, beach, and I wanted it to end like Italian beachy, okay. And then, GoDaddy suggested a beach is available and I said, I read. Oh,
Mike Malatesta 1:10:12
I wonder. I’m amazed that it was, oh that’s really, that’s really neat. I really, it’s, it has a cute cute name to it, it has a big it has a fun vibe to it definitely does.
Robyn Levin 1:10:28
And so everything again, everything was falling into place when I talked about being in the zone before, But when you’re not resisting it, things are flowing, and it’s coming easier than you would think, I think if that’s your guidance, telling you you’re on the right track.
Mike Malatesta 1:10:41
Right. Nice. Well I hope it does well I’m going to check it out I’m, I’m going to go there right after I get off with you and see what
Robyn Levin 1:10:49
mine looks like i said i haven’t updated any of the new ones you have to just see what what was on there from the past. I would love to hear what you think about it. Okay,
Mike Malatesta 1:10:59
well I’ll check it out and I’ll let you know, no. Okay, hopefully. Okay, Robin, thank you. I’ll let you know when this, when this drops and we’ll go from there. Yes, let me know if you need any links to anything. Okay, I think I think I, well, I’ll let you know, I’ll let you know, you got the PR desk course when I went in there. Yeah, I got it. Yep, and the cocktail napkin plan. Yep. Okay, okay. All right. Okay.