Elevate Your Brand’s Content Through Powerful Writing, Creativity, & Strategy With Meg Seitz at Toth Shop 0

  • Meg Seitz,  Contributor

    Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, an agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. Former Brand Training Specialist at Lululemon
Elevate Your Brand’s Content Through Powerful Writing, Creativity, & Strategy With Meg Seitz at Toth Shop

Like so many entrepreneurial ventures, my company – toth shop – started before I even knew it was toth shop. I was working for Lululemon Aathletica at the time here in Charlotte; I was also three-fourths of my way through business school. I was working and going to school (on the full-time-graduate -in-two-years schedule, mind you) at the same time; not sleeping, working constantly, and then feeling guilty for not working in every odd, quiet moment I experienced was all normal.

Also deeply ingrained in the daily modus operandi at the time – or perhaps, just my personality – is my inability to say no.

So, when a friend came to me asking for help writing his emerging brand’s story, marketing collateral and investor pitch deck, I said ‘yes’ – no questions asked.

What he knew about me is what would become the hallmark of the business I run today – I know how to write and I know how to think like a businessperson. English major MBAs are a unique bunch. But I love when the two cross-pollinate. It’s weird, I know. It’s also my competitive edge in that not all English majors love business; and not all business thinkers can write the creative, sexy, copy people fall in love with.

So, I started with this friend’s project. Then another – and another – until I had a full-time side hustle. I named it toth shop (‘toth’ is my middle name – my great-grandmother’s maiden name she used at Ellis Island in the early 20th c.). I took it full-time in 2015.

With all that said, that first project wasn’t just a project – it was this beautiful, fun process of carving out a new cavern in my brain. An undiscovered cavern that opened me up to the possibility of partnering with business owners and entrepreneurs to dig in, carve out, strategize, create, design, and write their stories, websites, investor pitch decks, marketing collateral, press releases in a way that was fun, smart, and well-written – but also in a way that made people pick up the phone, click through, engage.

And – funny thing – it also allowed me to do the very opposite, too – take the creative side of any startup venture or established business and sharpen, tune, refine it to market, sell, succeed.

Both scenarios share a through line. And that’s storytelling – not only the art, but also the logistics. And we’re not talking about the traditional definition of storytelling – but, the really personal, intimate, precise brand of storytelling that nails a brand’s identity and captures someone immediately.

All that can be a big process. Fortunately, there are three ways I start that storytelling process; and, quite honestly, three things you can do, too.

  1. Ask why. Then, ask why again.

    With all due respect, I ask why I’m here a lot of times when I’m in a new meeting. Then, I ask why again; I find that the more I ask why, the deeper we go into the story of why – without you even knowing it. I can find out very quickly why you need to re-write your story, why need to re-examine your core values that drive your story, or why that drip campaign copy just ain’t working in the customer’s digital journey.

  2. Set a timer; do a brain dump; look for middle paths.

    This tends to be a rather emotional and cathartic process for entrepreneurs or business owners. Set a timer, and then write (or type) like your hands are on fire – write out anything and everything about your business. This is what I call a brain dump. Then, let’s talk about it – in those moments, I’m looking for repeat words, middle paths, ideas that support each other that can go into your brand’s story.

  3. Do an audit of your stories out in the world.

    Instagram has changed the word ‘stories’ for us. Shake that off for a second. In this context, when I’m talking about stories, I mean – where is your brand out in the world, and where is the story you’ve been telling. Are you telling the same story on your website as you are on all your social media platforms? And then is that the same story in your marketing collateral, drip campaigns, e-books? A lot of times – I see multiple stories across multiple platforms which is my marketing 101 lesson of the day – every day – you need to tell the same great story, consistently.

Ironically enough, I was in L.A. a couple of years ago when I had a professional epiphany – I wasn’t having fun. And I wanted to work in a way that was fun, fresh, exploratory – a total adventure. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I’m getting that kind of experience hand-over-foot now. I know you get it.

The good news is that the adventure continues – toth shop is launching a test concept in L.A. and we couldn’t think of a better crowd to partner with than L.A.Startups. Mention L.A. Startups and you’ll have exclusive access to a discount on our services forever. Let’s tell a great story.

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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Seed vs. Series Funding Rounds: The Difference 0

It’s one thing to fund your small business with the money in your savings and contributions from friends and family, but when you’re dealing with professional venture capitalists for funding, you really need to know what your fundraising options are.  At the very least, you should be able to differentiate between the Seed Round and a Series A. This will help you decide which of these options is best suited for your startup funding needs.  So, Seed vs. Series Funding Rounds: what’s the difference?

Seed Round

This is the money you raise to fund your initial product development and market research. The Seed Round is the capital a company needs to build a foundation for its new product. Usually, this is a series of investments from about 15 or so investors, which can garner anywhere from $50,000 to $2 million. However, founders also often benefit from the additional knowledge that experienced investors bring to the table.

In exchange for their investments, investors receive a preferred stock option or equity stake in the company. If you are starting a company then these funds help you to tweak your business model, while focusing on gathering crucial business partnerships. The Seed Round allows you to have more time to breathe and make changes to your original plan for action, optimizing your business model and strategy.

Of course, with venture capitalists on board and money in hand, if you’re the founder of the startup then these investors will expect you to actually know what to do with the money they invest in your business because now they are a part of your company.

Series A

Series A is a subsequent round of fundraising to the Seed Round, though it’s possible to skip the Seed Round and go directly to Series A. If the Seed Round is all about laying the roots for your foundation, then Series A round is about growing and strengthening the branches.

The name of the round is derived from the fact that these investors tend to expect Series A Preferred shares in exchange for these investments. Series A investors tend to expect that they are the first to receive those preferred shares (which is something to remember when seeking this type of funding).

In this round, the number of investors is usually smaller, but they’re often much bigger partners with larger contributions (averaging $2 million to $10 million). The larger amount of funding is the main reason why some founders “go straight to A’s,” but the downside is that you are often expected to give up a bigger piece of your startup for that bigger chunk of capital.

Seed vs. Series Funding Rounds: Which Is Better?

Seed vs. Series Funding Rounds: which type is best for your business? It’s really a case by case basis, but, in general, there are several good reasons why you may want to start smaller with the Seed Round. With the Series A, the greater investment amount of investment tends to increase the pressure on startup founders, so there isn’t as much time to make changes to the business model.  Startup founders also give up more control of their company, which is another piece to consider.

It’s best that you lay down the foundation of your new company before you going to Series A, but if that’s something you’ve already done, then you just might be ready to move to the Series Funding Rounds. Assemble the crucial components of your team, come up with a working business model, and optimize your distribution. Check off each of these goals, secure the funding, and then it’s up to you to use it wisely!

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

Luxury Bedding at a Reasonable Price From Parachute 0

Luxury Bedding at a Reasonable Price From Parachute

If you’re going to jump out of a plane, you’ll probably feel better if you have on a parachute. If you want a good night’s sleep, then you may want to check out the bedding and bath essentials from the Parachute brand.

Parachute was launched by Ariel Kaye, who spent some time in Europe and once slept upon what she considered as the most comfortable and softest bedding she had ever encountered. Her frustration at her inability to find that same type of linen motivated here to found Parachute in 2014. Now she can have those beddings she wanted, and many others can get them too.

To make sure that their beddings are of the highest quality, they only use the best materials for their bedding and bath essentials. For their sateen and percale fabrics, they only use 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton. Parachute uses pure European flax for their linen, while their soft towels are made from 100% Turkish cotton.

In the few years since their founding, they’ve grown so that their factories are both in the US and in Europe. In Portugal they manufacture their percale, sateen, and linen fabrics. In Italy, they make tablecloths, tea towels, and napkins. Turkey us where you’ll find their factories for making shower curtains, rugs, bathrobes, and towels. In the US, they deal with down and feather and down alternatives.

These items come with a simple understated style along with a natural color palette. Yet they also feature smart details that set them apart. You’ll find a cozy shawl collar in their bathrobes, while there’s a neat back envelop closure in their pillowcases. All their home textiles are completely natural, and they contain no synthetic materials or harmful chemicals.

The even donate a bed net to prevent malaria for every Venice bedding set they sell, and customers can pitch in too. All returned items are also donated to Habitat for Humanity. With their commitment to quality and social responsibility, they’re poised to rise in the bedding and bath essentials business sector.

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

UpKeep’s Maintenance Management Software Seeks to Save Businesses Time and Money 0

Equipment maintenance isn’t really one of the most glamorous jobs in the office, but it is one of the most crucial.  If this is your responsibility, then you must make sure that you keep your equipment running at peak performance all the time.  UpKeep‘s maintenance management software is seeking to help with this task.

You need to keep your tools maintained properly so that unnecessary repairs can be avoided.  If repairs are inevitable, then they must be scheduled and performed as quickly as possible.  You are better able to succeed if you can manage all your tasks in an organized manner, and for that, you have the maintenance management software from UpKeep.

With this software, you will actually be able to automate the entire process so that things can proceed more efficiently.  You will be able to arrange the appropriate personnel to service the machines that need maintenance at the correct times.  All in all, this program from UpKeep allows you to manage everything.

This can range from something as simple as creating a schedule for preventive maintenance to finding the trends regarding the breakdowns of your tools so that you can minimize such occurrences in the future.  The maintenance management software enables you to see if maintenance tasks are done on schedule, and you can turn on notifications for every completed maintenance task that is done.

With the app, you can assign work orders, prioritize tasks, and enable communications between employees and teams.  You can monitor your inventory and have spare parts on standby.  With your historical data on equipment failure stored, you can identify conditions and problems quickly, in order to avoid them.

UpKeep’s maintenance management software allows users to significantly minimize their equipment downtime, saving valuable resources like time and money.  You can avoid expensive repairs with cheap maintenance procedures and are also able to avoid delays that can add up to great costs when you can’t deliver work on time. The savings from this product will bring you over time will quickly match and eclipse the cost of using UpKeep’s maintenance management software.

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.