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Start Small: Pretty Pallets, Part 3



We've been following Pretty Pallets since day one and recently caught up with Jesse Jones-Patrick for an update. Take a look.


You mentioned before that it was a long process to get the permits in your original city. How did you handle that same process when you moved to a new market/state?

Washington state is much more friendly to small businesses. The process up here was absolutely effortless. I laugh now thinking the paperwork was what could have been my make or break in California.


You’re essentially re-launching your business in a new market. Is there anything you did differently this time around now that you’ve done it once?

We now partner with local wineries, breweries and craft rooms to keep our rent costs next to none and can offer a partnership with purchasing beer/wine during the parties. No need for a liquor license/permit. Win-win. 


Was your existing customer based beneficial to establishing your new biz?

Beneficial - always, not necessarily a make or break to our success up in the Pacific Northwest. The reason I loved this idea was it fit multiple demographics.


It seems like you’ve had more traction in Washington - is that true? If so, why do you think business has been better now?

I live in a small town, so word travels fast. It’s not as concentrated as the Bay Area. We’ve also grown to offer custom pallet signs and we now sell on Etsy which has been an area of the business I didn’t anticipate before. We sell nationwide now.


You had a big life change at this time (big move) - was it difficult to make the decision to put your biz on pause? What factors did you consider during this process?

It was very hard, but I’ve always been good at triaging and prioritizing my life. The first weekend we moved in, we were unpacked - the faster the better. My husband is also my voice of reason when I want to push myself too far, he helped me see it was only a temporary setback.


Progress Report

What’s the biggest challenge keeping you up at night?

Scalability - we’re growing rapidly and it’s difficult for us to meet current demand at the timeframes I’d like. Quality is never jeopardized, so sometimes turnaround times have to get pushed.


What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?

We found a solution for cutting costs and we’re now able to pass that along to our customers! We officially launched the beginning of 2016, but with the move, we didn’t host our first ‘paid’ party until the end of April  - Within 3 months, we’re nearly profitable. Its really exciting to see our hardwork and dedication to keeping costs low paying off.


What surprised you the most about the process so far?

People’s appreciation to the quality of work we provide and their support for what we’re doing. Repeat customers are our biggest compliment.


What’s your next step?

Grow - We’re in the trenches right now. I do a little of everything; designing signs, marketing, accounting, business & customer relations, managing my team, social, etc. We’re looking to expand our team starting in October which would allow me more time to focus on our growth as a company and give us all a better “work life” balance.


Read Part 1 of the Pretty Pallets story here.

Read Part 2 of the Pretty Pallets story here.

Tierra W Google Small Business Advisor
January 2017

I love that "work life balance" is a goal for them. Wonderful interview series! Tons of advice and tips that any small business could learn from. 

BrandonSchaefer Google Small Business Advisor
January 2017

@Brielle B submitting all the paperwork needed to operate as a business definitely varies from state to state, but I'm glad it was easy in Washington State. A lot of people that want to open up a business start to do the required paperwork, but then it gets confusing and they never end up finishing it.

tomhalejr Badged Google Partner
January 2017 - last edited January 2017

This is very interesting, I'm glad I found came across this. Smiley Happy However, I can't access the page with part one of the story. Could you check on that, or perhaps re-post it again @Brielle B? I'm missing a big part of the story, and I want to know more. Smiley Happy

tomhalejr Badged Google Partner
January 2017

Got it, thanks @Tierra W

Brielle B Google Employee
January 2017

Glad you enjoyed it, @tomhalejr (and thanks for providing the correct link, @Tierra W)! I've fixed the link - I hope more people will check out her story!