When The Metropreneur interviewed Natalie Monaco in March, she was preparing to bring her invention, Covermade, to market. So far, so good.
As of June 8, Monaco’s patent-pending comforter, which has an elastic strap that keeps covers in place while users sleep, went on sale at ShopDOWNLITE.com.
“Now that we have units available for sale, DOWNLITE’s e-commerce team kicks into high gear and their flood of online marketing begins,” says Monaco. “Among many other things, their online push includes an email blast to tens of thousands of DOWNLITE customers who have purchased products on ShopDOWNLITE.com in the past two years or so. I have also sent out over a dozen press releases to publicize the launch.
“The exciting part about this is that you never know what’s around the corner. And the scary part is…that you never know what’s around the corner! So, you just think of the possible outcomes in the short term, make a Plan A, Plan B, and C, etc. for each− and hang on for the ride.”
Plus, Monaco will be a guest co-host on the ShopNBC home shopping network, where she’ll sell Covermade live, in September.
To learn more about her ShopNBC deal, keep reading.
The Metropreneur: You got a buyer at ShopNBC to meet in person a week after introducing yourself on the phone. That’s impressive. What did you say?
Natalie Monaco: It’s a long story! The ShopNBC buyer was at Market Week, a textile show in New York, and had seen Covermade. She talked to my partners at DOWNLITE at their exhibit area and she really liked the idea. She requested quotes, which was very exciting. So DOWNLITE came back to her with quotes a week later, and, to our surprise, it turned out that she had left ShopNBC. I was so disappointed because there was now a totally different buyer. The project stalled and nothing was happening.
So I called the new buyer, introduced myself, and told her that the buyer before her had requested quotes and had loved my product idea. She had no idea who I was or what Covermade was or that there was a sample somewhere in her office. I sent her the PowerPoint I had created for Covermade, and briefly reviewed it with her. I told her that the PowerPoint was great, but that I wanted to bring the product to life for her and show her in person. I asked her if I could fly to ShopNBC headquarters and meet her in person, and she agreed! I booked a flight for the next week.
[M]: You ended up securing your first purchase order during that meeting.
NM: Yes, the meeting did lead to my first PO, but it took months after the meeting to officially seal the deal. After I presented Covermade, I asked her if she had any questions, and she just said, “Well, I’m sold!” That was great! However, many things had to happen before the PO was official.
A lot of negotiation had to take place between DOWNLITE and ShopNBC, and I also had to film myself presenting the product to be pre-approved as a guest co-host. It seemed to take forever, but it was worth the wait!
[M]: What will you be doing on air?
NM: On air, the ShopNBC host and I will demonstrate the product and speak about the features and benefits. I will be going to guest co-host training at ShopNBC in August to prepare. I know we will be including B-Roll footage of photos at the DOWNLITE plant and also the B-Roll of the video DOWNLITE created of the product.
[M]: Are there plans for ShopNBC to purchase additional units if Covermade sells well in the fall?
NM: It all depends. But the plan is always to sell more!
To learn more about Covermade, visit CovermadeComforter.com.