How Jodi Norgaard Advised ID Members to Tackle Manufacturing, Walmart and Amazon

2 min read …Jodi Norgaard delivered an ID Mentor workshop to ID Members about her experience manufacturing and selling a gender model positive plush toy doll that broke stereotypes, won awards, garnered huge mainstream media publicity, shook up retail toy aisles nationwide and launched her career as a highly regarded international public speaker.

ID Members spoke highly of Jodi’s presentation which provided them with a variety of references for everything from sourcing companies (for overseas manufacturing) to barcode providers to Amazon store managers. ID Accelerator member David Peck of Insightful Solutions LLC said, “I don’t know where to start or stop to explain what I got out of Jodi’s presentation. I got three pages of strategic and practical notes from it.”

I don’t know where to start or stop to explain what I got out of Jodi’s presentation. I got three pages of strategic and practical notes from it.

Likewise ID Member Dan Vissers said, “Jodi’s presentation was terrific. There were so many great insights and it was very motivational. Everything she said about persistence and tenacity in the manufacturing sector was spot on. I’m seeing it now and knowing she also experienced it gives me more confidence moving forward.”

Norgaard spoke about her experience being invited to the Obama White House via an email she wasn’t even sure was legitimate at first, but then ended up with her networking with the head of Lucasfilm and 148 other specially invited women entrepreneurs.

Some key advice that Jodi offered to entrepreneurs:

  • Toot your own horn because no one else is going to do it
  • Don’t grow too fast or start out with too many SKUs
  • Ask for help – ask anyone and everyone about anything and everything
  • Be persistent without being a pest
  • If you’re going to do business with Walmart, weigh the pros and cons and make sure your product is manufactured in an ICTI-certified factory (In fact do that before you start down the Walmart path)
  • Find a mentor
  • Remember that success is never achieved without failures: a lot of them
  • Make your product pitch short and sweet: You’ve got about 10 seconds

Jodi closed by saying, “You’re figuring out a product. And you’re climbing a mountain. There’s always a peak. Then another peak. There’s a vulnerability in being an entrepreneur. You know your product will work, but it’s convincing others that it will work.” She said, you don’t have to be a genius or have a ton of resources, but you have to step over fear, find courage and be passionate and persistent when things get difficult.

ID Members can access Jodi’s presentation with a request from the ID Connect form. (Input “Jodi’s presentation” in the comment section).

Let Innovation DuPage help you take your idea from concept to success with an open-to-the-public event, our Incubator program or the Owner-to-CEO Accelerator. To learn more, call 630-942-3340 to explore your next steps.