Podcast Episode Description
Follow Cady Kuhlman:
How do you attract the next generation to connect with your Natural Products Store?
An Natural Products Store Owner’s View
We sat down with Cady Kuhlman to uncover the secrets of running a successful natural products store from an insider’s perspective. Cady brings a passion to advocate for health and wellness as a next-generation owner of Nutrition World in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She shares her unique journey in the natural products industry. And that includes her vision to educate younger audiences about nutrition and her commitment to expand beyond the local community.
What is the Next Generation of Natural Products Customers Looking for?
In our chat, Cady talks about the seriousness of childhood sickness, trusting intuition, and natural remedies. Cady elaborates on her strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of the natural products industry. She tells us how she maintains the core values of her store while embracing change and innovation. She also highlights the importance of a personalized approach to health and wellness. And that’s why Nutrition World offers individualized health consultations and blood work to address root health issues.
A Personal Connection in Natural Products Stores
Finally, we explore the power of personal connections in the world of nutrition and wellness. Cady shares her experiences of building authentic relationships with customers and forging unique partnerships with wellness practitioners. We wrap up our conversation by discussing how to maintain successful natural products stores in this ever-evolving industry. From focusing on quality, education, and partnerships to creating a welcoming store environment, Cady’s insights are invaluable for anyone striving to attract the next generation to your natural products store.
Cady developed a love and passion for nutrition just like her father Ed Jones, so becoming co-owner of Nutrition World in Chattanooga, TN, was a natural fit.
Cady holds her Masters in Holistic Nutrition and has been a lifelong student of holistic health and healing. She and her father together are passionate about helping people embrace their body’s ability for self-healing by giving it the nutrients it needs.
Full Show Transcript
Cady Kuhlman: 0:00
Back then they used to teach this wisdom and they used to teach it within the households. To stay, there was remedies and also peat. Now it’s what is that? Let’s get a diagnosis with the and then the mind and the mother, it all wrapped up in it, and there’s no healing properties. Going on with their business, they are all the time.
Tina Smith: 0:21
Welcome to the Natural Products Marketer podcast. I’m Tina.
Amanda Ballard: 0:26
And I’m Amanda, and we’re here to make marketing easier for natural products businesses, so you can reach more people and change more lives.
Speaker 4: 0:36
Hey guys and welcome back to the Natural Products Marketer podcast. Today we are joined by Katie Coleman from Nutrition World in Chattanooga, tennessee.
Speaker 5: 0:45
I absolutely love Katie and I’m so glad that we got to interview her on this episode. Katie is a dear friend and I actually had the honor of working with her and her dad for many, many years, and so I’m really excited to be able to share some of her wisdom with all of you today. On this episode, we’re kind of diving into Nutrition World’s business model, but in particular, wanting to understand Katie’s position of being a next generation owner something that she said that I thought was fantastic, which she said hold on to the wisdom from the past but move on with the times, and she fleshes that out more and more in this episode, so I think you’ll really enjoy this one.
Speaker 4: 1:25
Yeah, plus, she covers what really differentiates Nutrition World, and probably many of you as well, which is a real concentrated approach with their customers on their health and wellness journey. So we’re going to dive right in with Katie now so that she can share everything that’s going on and make them what’s making Nutrition World such a great place to be in the independent retail space.
Tina Smith: 1:50
Katie, thank you so much for joining us. Katie, with Nutrition World is here with us today and just wanted to have the opportunity for Katie to introduce yourself and tell us why you’re in the natural products industry and what you love about it so much.
Cady Kuhlman: 2:06
Yeah, thank you so much for having me, you guys. So I grew up in the natural products industry and so it was kind of just a, you know, a born into thing. But as I have gotten older it’s a heart connected passion of mine and so you know I was raised going to health conventions. I was raised in a very health conscious family and I was raised in our health food store as a little girl ringing on the registers and doing all of those things. And then I had a choice as I got older to stay in the family business or to go and do my own thing, and in my heart all of me really wanted to stay in the family business. So that’s how I got into that. The industry was through that and thankful you know that I’m here today continuing to do it and have no doubt I’ll be doing it for my whole life at some capacity.
Amanda Ballard: 2:54
Yeah, that’s awesome and it’s funny. We’ve interviewed a couple people, including you, know each other and you’re the only person that has like been born into it and like it was a natural thing. Everyone else was like a big accident or major health crisis, and so it’s just interesting to hear your perspective of someone who’s literally been in this since you were in diapers, so it’s very cool.
Cady Kuhlman: 3:18
That is cool and that’s oftentimes what I’ve heard from even employees or you know, when we’ve interviewed people or other health practitioners, it’s like they had a big health crisis or they kind of saw that maybe the way that the health system that they were in or something hadn’t treated them, perhaps the way to get them fully well, so it made them open the door to question it. And then they go through that door and they entered this world.
Tina Smith: 3:42
But no, I was kind of always in this world, so yeah one of the things that we wanted to talk to you about, katie, is you’ve always been in this world and you said you want to stay in this world, so we’re curious about what that looks like as a next generation owner, operator of a supplement health store. What are you looking most forward to about continuing to grow the store in the community there?
Cady Kuhlman: 4:10
I could easily answer that my big hope for our store is to start reaching family, and so what I mean by that is to start reaching people out of younger age, reaching the moms, the babies, the pregnant women, the younger husbands and the toddlers and the kids, and really start growing with these families. We’ve, you know, in our business we’ve always serviced, I would say, 45 plus year old and I still want to service those people and I still find so much value in the anti-aging components and you know preserving those years as they get older to be very quality through their nutrition and their supplementation. But I really want to start with like the ground up and start at a younger, more family oriented age. So I really hoping that, you know, through these conscious decisions and choices that we’re making in the store, we start seeing that we get those 20s and 25 and 30 year olds that I do believe are looking for the more holistic and healthier options but may not know that something like us exists in our community yet, and so it’s reaching those people. And you know, being a mama of two boys, I’m very connected to the power of health during pregnancy and the power of health on that growing child. I mean, that’s the future of our world and our country and so really trying to set these mamas up on the right nails and the babies up on the vitamin D with K as they grow, and just these little changes, I think, have such a big impact that could be made on the whole world, and so that’s really the hope for me is reaching that and then also reaching outside of our community. So, like we have such a wonderful town and such a wonderful, you know, place that we are, which is Chattanooga, but I’m so passionate about this I want it to reach greater. So I wanted to reach, you know, other states and across the country and that mom and dad up in New York and, you know, all bigger Mark’s fans in so hoping that we can start, you know, growing outside of our community.
Amanda Ballard: 6:12
Yeah, that’s great. And you know, katie, I’ve known you for a very long time now and I’ve seen your passion kind of change and just watching you mature as an adult and you know, step into motherhood and all of that as it relates to business, like as you’ve learned these, you know, or discovered these newfound passions of you. Know, like health has always been a passion, but now it’s like I care about my little children so much and want them to start incorporating these, these things that maybe we didn’t have access to when we were kids 30 years ago. So can you kind of walk us through like developing those personal passions and then how that’s translated into implementing those passions into your business?
Cady Kuhlman: 7:01
I could quickly say that I was actually having this discussion earlier with a one of our employees here, very related to what you were just asking, and this is kind of a gross thought. But you know, when we were growing up all of us here I don’t know how many times you guys remember catching stomach bugs or I don’t remember how many times you caught horrible clues, but I never actually had a stomach bug down at my feet very rare. But maybe one search twice and y’all slide. For you know, sickness is normal. But the level of sickness within children and within the growing population right now seems a bit excessive to me. And if we just think back and even relate, like I’m saying, to our younger years you know I don’t think we all grew up for two to three days every quarter of the year on repeat, and then did it again the next year and then the next year. So for me it’s like recognizing that there’s a problem and kind of allowing for the parent to see oh so it wasn’t always this way, or oh, kids didn’t catch mono and then ear infection and then strep and then flu and then stomach bug, and kind of wake up to that. Now I’m not saying that we should live in a sterile world with no sickness. We need it. Sickness is great for our immune system. We need our children need to be sick, but the level of duration, severity and continuing of it just seems like there is a systemic problem. So my hope is that I can kind of set up through education and through restore the idea that there’s a problem and that there is a solution. So when people start saying like, oh, it wasn’t that way, like kids weren’t growing up in class all the time, you know like, yeah, the janitor I saw one time for some stuff you know, on the throw up and we moved on. But like now school teachers are saying like it’s a lot, like kids are sick and then they’re here and then they’re leaving and then they’re sick the next day and you know. So that type of theory. I want to help people see that we don’t have to accept that and that we do have nutrients and remedies and solutions and answers to oh, my child did get a little tummy ache, a little bug, a little diarrhea. We can start nipping those things in the bud before the severity continues and then we can actually work on healing so that when it does happen again it’s less severe and then before we know it, hopefully the child’s gotten more immunity, more antibody and they don’t experience just this continual level of heavy things. So I hope that kind of answered the question. But it’s like seeing the problem and then finding that there are really good solutions to this.
Tina Smith: 9:32
Yeah, that sounds really great. Hey, just watching things happen. You’re right, I don’t remember having a ton of illness whenever we were growing up, but it does seem like we’re constantly hearing about that from other parents. So I love that you’re working on that problem and trying to bring some solutions to the table, just because you’ve had that experience as a mom. And I’m also wondering along the lines of what’s coming up for you guys in the store, like what are the things that you’re looking to arm yourself with as you’re moving more into the management operations of the business? Are the things that are on your mind constantly, that are happening in the industry, or even like what’s happening with supplement stores across the nation? What are you thinking about all the time?
Cady Kuhlman: 10:26
Yeah, that’s a big question. So I try to find the balance of, like you know, looking into what are the trends and what’s going on with the rest of the nation but then also setting ourselves as kind of like a tone and a pace for the natural products industry. So my hope would be that that, you know there’s a collective consciousness and a collective energy and a hope that we can almost be that kind of like flagship of always moving ourselves forward than others could catch on to. So I do definitely always try to keep up at the forefront of, you know, education and knowledge and trends, but not so much that we lose any kind of core value or any kind of core belief system that we have here. But I definitely do think about, you know, independent stores and I do see that you know a lot of reps will come in and talk to me and say that their independent stores they need to visit or no longer in business or you know COVID hurt the independent store. I hate that because I don’t feel that we’re all really for one another. Honestly, like we are raising, everyone is doing the work that we’re doing. So I I never want to hear the end of an answer closing or about thriving, but I think that there’s so much, so many ways to thrive now in our industry and so many ways to not be hurt by the internet and not be hurt by Amazon, and you know we have triumphed through the age of internet sales and triumph through the, you know, years of COVID, and I think it was just setting up the right plans and plates and executing that, and so I wish that other independent and I my hope is that they can execute it as well, because I think we’re all in the same team. Together we’re getting more natural products into more people’s hand, and that ended up itself is raising, you know, the awareness of of what our industry does and what our industry can do for them, and so you know, I would say, following trends to a level that then always pulling back on, like what is our main goal, and our main goal is to offer, you know, the highest falling supplements that have been vetted, looked at and and researched, and we know what’s on our shelves is trustworthy, and so we’re always kind of doing our own in-house research and our own in-house team of looking and vetting and cutting and deciding what to bring on to our shelves. So, yeah, I mean, I think that was kind of a generalized answer to all of that, but I definitely do keep up with what the industry is doing and I think that it’s always an ebb and a flow of something seem to be going really good in our industry and then there’s things that seem a little bit worrisome, but at the end of the day I always think there is still a lot of hope and a lot of movement in the industry always.
Amanda Ballard: 13:22
Well, I love what you said about like looking at your, your mission kind of statement or your, your values, and making sure that, no matter what you’re doing if it’s adding a new product or looking at these trends it’s like does it fit? And I think, as a second generation owner, it’s like you. You’ve been in a very successful family business for so many years now and so it’s like hold fast to what has been at the core of the business, you know, for over 40 years. And then, as you move into you know the new era of Katie at the helm, you know, like thinking through you know this, like these are the things that cannot waver, so and you look forward to the future. It’s like, okay, how do, how do these new products or new services fit into this kind of tried and true method Exactly?
Cady Kuhlman: 14:13
And like you know. With that being said, you know there’s, there’s a trend right now in our industry of like, alternative, like gummies or alternative like, you know, little little peaches or like little sweet pain was in. You know that’s great and that’s fine. But like, does that service our, our public and our population? And you know, to its best, is that fill our nutrient deficiency? No, so we have brought them in. There’s a place for those in a grocery store. There’s a place. But it’s always getting back to like our core and what we do best of the best. And you know we only have so much retail space and so I always go back to like we don’t want to dilute our market of like. You know, dad has told me before, at one point I think he sold yoga clothes or something and it’s like, does that really fit our stores? So it’s always going back to like a clean mission and a clean because then that clean, to how the customer received it. You know they have an understanding of what they’re going to receive in our store and it’s not muddled and like, oh, they can, they’re bringing all these goods. No, we’re just bringing the best of the best. And if we don’t have it. You know there may be a reason for that, but we definitely just want to just have what we feel is going to service the public the best, and we’re honestly doing that every day in a way of trying to partner with companies that are either more practitioner based or more supportive of end of the year network and mortars, or a little bit more well researched to where they are giving us these in depth training so that my staff gets really well educated and really you know well deep dive onto the nutrients. So then we strengthen that partnership because they understand company and the ethics and so just everything down onto a small level. Here it’s all about like connection, partnership and then that mission, ours.
Tina Smith: 16:05
Yeah, I know a lot of the mission there. Katie is around and I think this is a differentiator for you guys, but it’s around consulting with the individual customer as they come in and helping them find what they need. You guys have coaches and can actually have people bring test results and have consults with nutritionists and all of the ongoing weight loss and just health coaches. So I’m curious if you think that helps you guys stand out, because you were talking about competing in this online world. Is that what drives some of that traffic to continue coming into your doors? Is that consultative approach? Definitely.
Cady Kuhlman: 16:50
And I hope that more people and we can get that message out more about our consultations that we offer, because I do think that’s the way that a lot of health is moving is into this personalized health care realm. And I think when someone’s going to their doctor or their physician of which we do feel has a very good place in our society but when they go and they’re not receiving help for their root cause or they’re not receiving answers about their diet or their toxins and what they’re using, or they’re not receiving these deeper answers, we are here to kind of guide them along into finding out those deeper answers. And that doesn’t always mean that we have the answer and maybe that we’re the roadmap to get them to the answer. Or we may, you know, recommend another practitioner that knows. But we ultimately are the ones that are seeing and kind of serving the problems, the deficiencies, the issues. And we have this tree on our wall here, functional medicine tree, and I have one in my office hanging in it. It has like the roots and we best looking at like how’s our sleep, how’s our stress, how’s our nutrient deficiencies, how’s our you know, mindfulness or peace, or do we have any kind of stress relieving activity we’re doing. We have like microbiome on there, we have relationships. So it’s like we do that in those coaching consultations. We are sitting there looking at all of that and then we start putting the puzzles together and we start putting the subtle net plan what few things can we remove from the diet? Do you drink clean water, you know? Are you waking up in the night? And it’s never one answer to get someone to feel the best. It never is. It’s a. It’s a lot of little intentional answers to get them to where they’re going to feel their best. And so, yeah, the coaching is critical for us here and even on another level, on our four. I mean, our staff is, and though they’re not technically coaching, they’re listening and they also are doing the same process just in a smaller few minutes of time. And if they see that person needs consultation, they recommend a consultation. You know where they will sit down with a coach that certified and do that our appointment. But we’re never about like, pick the supplement and that’s your answer. It’s let’s listen to all of those pieces and then let’s do what we can come up with to start you on that. You know, start you on that route. We do blood work here, which is just awesome. So we have a nurse that comes in and does it on the last Friday of the month here, and then she has an office behind us. So we’re very tied also to, like you know, values, blood labs and values. So we’re not guessing or hoping. We’re literally going to look and see oh, your vitamin D is low, okay, so that’s why you know you make the illness way. You may be catching more sickness. There we can optimize the vitamin D. Oh, that’s a good cholesterol. Let’s put the, you know, let’s put the backboard coach so that in fun, because you’re having this couple of symptoms. But that and so definitely you know, using our best knowledge, then also using, you know, tests that are not going to lie, so they’re going to get that exact answer.
Amanda Ballard: 19:44
Yeah, that’s great and I love that. That’s a just. You realize that that was something that you could do better than anybody else and you just like, ran full speed with that of. You know and and I think you’re spot on people want that personalized touch and then you know it’s a great marketing move to. Then you know you’re building that relationship Now you have their loyalty and they’re a customer for life.
Cady Kuhlman: 20:12
Exactly Now, totally, and I think you know a lot of, I think, our age group and whatnot. If they are a little skeptical, or maybe they need to be understanding a little bit more of the power of a nutrient. I mean the simple like either Omega three tests or vitamin D test shows them oh, I am low, I didn’t get all that for my food. Or oh, I had no idea. And then so we supplementing and then retesting in three months and they see the power of what those two little nutrients did. They’re like, oh, okay, and then before they know it, they felt symptom relief or improvement in different areas. And so you know, there’s power in just feeling better, but then it also power in seeing the numbers approve that such a great level. One of my big intentions for moving forward or to launch more courses on our website is, I think that’s going to be a way that we can reach more people nationwide. I want to offer some of the wisdom that I’ve been taught and our coaches have been taught through courses and have people listen in on those courses, and so the first one that we’re going to be filming here soon is actually on raising mothers, intuition and an at home medicine cabinet for mothers. And so I see within my friend group going in society here that oftentimes mothers are scared even of a slight fever with a child, or, oh, a slight run in nose or oh, I’ve even heard. Oh, their cheeks are a little warm and red. What do I do? And so trying to calm some of that fear, first of all because we’re warm and it’s a little bit fear. Second of all, sickness is normal. I know I spoke about the severity being so extreme. That’s not normal. But sickness is little, cold, little runny noses, all of that are okay, it’s okay. But the fear has driven a lot of people to think I have to get a diagnosis for that, do I need to take a lens or do they need to check? So like a lack of intuition from a mother to just know, okay, they’re acting fine, they’re drinking water, they’re still eating, they’re not so lethargic, they’re not having late word breathing or something that is, you know, would be scary. And so just kind of a lack of intuition, because our grandmas and great grandmas and back then used to teach this wisdom and they used to teach it within the households to say, here, get this onion poultice for their feet and that’s going to draw an infection, go, boil up you know garlic and eat some cloves. Like there was remedies and also peace to know. Okay, the child had a cold, she’s going to be okay. Now it’s, what is that? Let’s get a diagnosis and then the mother gets all wrapped up in it and there’s no healing properties, going on with nervousness and fear all the time. And then the mothers don’t know that natural remedies are a pay for their child. So, moving into like what can a mom have at home for her kid? And like some of my go to remedies for you know earaches and you know if a tummy bug had come in the house and there was little mild symptoms of that, you know losing colds and viruses and allergies. There are like lots and lots of natural remedies for those. But our generation doesn’t know that. So they go to what they know, which is let’s just run to the doctor and if you have young kids, you get to the doctor and the doctor says, well, they have a virus. We can’t do anything for a virus, but you can, so we can help you on that part with the virus.
Tina Smith: 23:31
Yeah, that just seems like Katie that’s walking more into this consultation that you guys are talking about and having the relationship with the people that are coming to you to help them find the answers, which feels like and I could be wrong about this, but it feels like it kind of makes you bulletproof against the rest of the online retailers because you’re having a personal relationship with people and helping them find the answers to their needs. You’re not just providing them with a supplement.
Cady Kuhlman: 24:01
Exactly, and Amanda, you know she’s so sweet, I love you and and Chates. So you know they worked in our store in the nutritional world for a while and we’re pivotal for a lot of our success and so we’re always grateful for that. But Amanda remembers, like the age of you know, a lot more online sales through Amazon and a lot of people started clicking to buy their supplements online and you remember little worry of that and a little fear, but that was because I think we didn’t have a game plan fully at that time. It was evolving. Well, now I see no worry on life stores at all. I mean, what we offer is education and that personalized touch of rich, you know an online Amazon or a fight across or something completely fine, but there’s no personalized touch going on there. There’s no educated sit down discussion. You know there’s not one on one swapping of connection and me listening and that person hearing, and all of that. It’s just not there. So that will always be offered from us and, if anything, that’s just going to ramp up over the years. So that’s really the you know the key. Yeah.
Amanda Ballard: 25:07
Well, and I love that, because you know, Now that you’re looking into adding these online courses and even offering Zoom consultations, you’re allowing for people around the country to have that personalized touch as if they were in person. And then, yeah, you can order from us online too, which is great, so you have really all of your bases covered. But get that personal touch to people, whether it’s through an online class, through your podcast or whatever it is where it’s like you feel like you know somebody. Even if you just listen to a couple episodes of their show, it’s like, oh yeah, my friend Tina Exactly.
Cady Kuhlman: 25:49
I’ve listened to her podcast a couple times and you developed these odd relationships with people that you’ve never met in person, and it’s you know, we connect with the client and it’s so genuine, like you’re saying, and so we’re invested in that person and then their health and then their best interest, and so we want to see them to a place of wellness. So we want to keep hoping that they want to meet and keep moving with us on that so many times. Like you know, stress is such a big factor of our environment in the US and so much going on that sometimes you know, yeah, they do offer a supplement and they will buy from us. But sometimes it’s just listening to someone and it’s just pinpointing stressors in their life and maybe how we can help them move through some of those stressors. So it’s just really cool to see that that health is, it’s so multifaceted and that we can kind of do that like road map for that person to get to their answer.
Tina Smith: 26:42
Yeah, and I think too, katie, the other thing that I’ve heard you talk about you touched on it a little bit, but just for people who are listening, who don’t know as much about nutrition world one of the key things that you guys have done is bring in vendor partners and welcome them into your store, right next to your store, so that if someone does need medical advice, or if they do need a chiropractor or someone like that, you have these partnerships where you can point people to the right place right here in this community. So I think that’s another differentiator for you guys in town, for sure, yeah.
Cady Kuhlman: 27:21
Thank you, and that was our intention too was like kind of a one stop corner and it’s the wellness quarter is the name of it, and so we have 17 practitioners currently between our store here behind our store and in that wellness quarter building, and so that is right. It’s like, for example, a child comes in and we weren’t earache and we can’t treat and diagnose. I have to say that. But there are things that can help the immune system to fight, and so I could suggest a couple of drops to go into that child’s ear out, some natural potent herbs that will help chill and support the immune system. But then I also think they need to go to the chiropractor so the chiropractor can help do a little bit of adjusting on that ear and the station tube and all that, and I actually don’t think that our drops may work on its own. I think that it needs both together. So it’s just cool to see the partnerships work in that synergy and I see it all the time. It’s like we’ve helped them here and then they go there and it’s the complete picture. So that’s exactly what we were hoping for and it’s definitely accomplished, because we’ve got the chiropractor and acupuncture and the saunch therapy and we now have a red light or not red light sauna, sorry, we have an infrared sauna and we have yoga and Tai Chi, so classes for stress relieving and we have hormone balancing place that does some bioidentical low dose hormones. They manage the hormones perfectly well, yeah and oh. And then the biggest thing that’s been one of the biggest highlights and partnerships of probably why it has been our integrated medical doctor, dr Johnson. It’s over at the Laws Corner and he’s practiced 40 years of medicine and was in the ER as a hospitalist and taking care of sick and dying patients and hospice and all sorts of things. That has moved in now to more of the well-care and more of the integrated medicine and he’s triple board certified medical doctor. That went back and got that integrated medicine more added into his title and so now that’s when he practices, so he looks at like the deeper issues and the root causes and then he walks his clients over to our store and he actually walks the aisles with them to understand the supplements and the whys of what he put them on. I mean it’s and that’s like a dream come true, with that blending both worlds, which is really the way it should be, and so hopefully that part of the momentum with all of this.
Tina Smith: 29:49
Yeah, and you know with Dr Johnson, he’s booked up through like June now. So this was such a need that you guys understood needed to happen and then you made that connection for people. So you just think that’s brilliant and so for anyone who’s listening to this, looking for those opportunities in your own community and helping bring partnerships and having these consultations and one-on-one relationship, that is a huge difference that you can make in your community and it does just help you not worry about the click and the online shopping.
Cady Kuhlman: 30:27
So yeah, exactly, you feel empowered with your choices that you’re taking. You know and you’re not. You’re not just guessing of what you need, you’re knowing. So.
Amanda Ballard: 30:37
Katie, I’d like to ask you what advice would you give to other, you know, up and coming owners, second generation owners, as they kind of prepared to take over the family business or maybe they, like, recently started running it. You know, what are some things that you would say to them as just some words of encouragement or words of wisdom.
Cady Kuhlman: 31:00
Yeah, definitely. So I would hope the person and the person listening to this or the one that’s going to be taking over, would have the heart and the passion for it, because I think that it takes. It takes that I don’t think it can take someone that just comes in and wants to analyze data or numbers. It takes a heart connection. So I hope that that you know the way it was born into me and it’s been even birthed at a greater level as I get older. I hope that that’s there, or I hope they can find that, because I think that this business I mean we’re we’re healing and we’re we’re connecting and we’re crying with the people and we’re hoping and we’re loving, and so there’s a lot more than, like the black and white of just data or, you know, analyzing. But I hope the person has, has those qualities or is open up to that, opening up to the idea of falling in love with what they do. And then, second of all, I think it would be to, you know, use the wisdom of the first generation and use the wisdom of what made the business successful, but then always having an open heart and an open mind for a direction it may need to go. So it’s like holding both cards and both candles kind of at once, because I definitely think you know where my dad has been so peddable has been, like he’s he’s never been about profits or he’s never, ever has been about just whatever makes us money. It’s always been ethical and mission and getting the right things and the right people’s hands and not just selling people stuff. So like always holding that wisdom and that you know as a forefront for us, but then also seeing like how can we meet the needs of those that are now the growing population and how can we meet the needs of the public? And I think with, you know, the internet and our phones and things that are a bit more instant and and people do want stories and connection more than maybe you know my dad’s generation did or maybe you know before the internet as much. So it’s like kind of having a pivot and keep moving forward in what the public wants or else you’re going to miss that boat. So for me it’s like my whole generation wants an experience. So, like you know, walking into our store, it does matter to my generation to see that it’s pretty, it does matter to say that they’re greeted and they’re it’s, you know, a good feel with the music and their plants and that all they seem kind of silly. I don’t think that was necessary. My dad, you know, started the business. I don’t. I think people could go into almost a bear. I mean, I think about our old building even, and it was just shelves and no wall decor, no plants. I would never have happened and I can picture it exactly and that kept us in business and kept us to grow to our location now. But there is like an experience people want. So I think it’s making sure that you, you do give them an experience. So, summarizing all that, it would be holding on to the wisdom that’s worked, but making sure we’re still moving with the times, because that is necessary to stay open and to stay in business and all it’s just pivoting, being open minded, so when something doesn’t work, trying it again, trying a different way, being seeing a problem and finding a solution, and just like for me, it’s just, you know, at the end of the day, it it’s not about rights and wrongs and whatever, it’s just like. We know what we want to do. We want to, we want to change health within our country, we want to change Millions of lives. So what do we need to do to do that? So sometimes that means the maintenance states, but we pivot and grow and so just keeping that energy in that heart Among all of that, and I think it would all it all right.
Tina Smith: 34:31
So we’re getting close to the end of our time, katie, with you, appreciate you so much for coming and spending time with us and answering a lot of our questions, and we have about five questions that we like to ask everyone at the end, sort of rapid-fire first thought and then To wrap up this interview. So what do you think most people in the natural products industry wish they could change about marketing?
Cady Kuhlman: 34:59
What came first to mind was that I think people would hope that it’s really easy and it’s. It actually takes a little bit more work Than what they think. So what I mean by that is like we have a marketing team here and so we have someone that’s creating the content, someone that’s then posting in on different outlets, meaning like our billboards, our Facebook, our Instagram. We have in-store marketing and then going back and you know Google Adwords, so paid content and then we have SEO that you’re helping us with, and so I mean marketing. I don’t think it has to be cumbersome, but I think it takes a team approach and it takes intentional. You know people that are looking at the right data and the right ways of getting that information into their hands. I do know a couple of businesses in town that are new and starting up and they just posted on Facebook and hope somebody sees it. I don’t think that works. I think it has to be very intentional. You know the right words, the right key words, the right paid, you know things and all of that. So I think it just takes a plan.
Tina Smith: 36:00
Okay, so what’s the single biggest decision you feel like has led to your success in this industry?
Cady Kuhlman: 36:06
Personally, I think that I’m I am very good at following my heart with stuff and listening to like a deeper intuition of when we need to go, and I am not the person. I even mentioned this earlier, and this is why it might be nice to have this person on your team. I am not the black and white analytical of all things. I’m more of. This is what I’m reading and feeling and we’re gonna move in that direction, and then that’s you know why it’s great to have someone that’s like well, here’s the data to show what’s working, what’s not. So for me it’s, it’s that like, it’s that Heart connection to, to listen and then maybe have another source of that black and white analytical connection, and that brings like the perfect bird of why I think we’ve been so prosperous.
Tina Smith: 36:54
I love that feeling of intuition, which is exactly what you were talking about with moms and helping them develop that a little bit. So if you can advise people to do one thing like low hanging fruit in their natural products stores, what do you think would give them a quick win?
Cady Kuhlman: 37:12
First thing that came to my mind is not obsessed over trying to be the lowest price, mmm, I don’t think that they have to be the lowest price in town, that we’re very fair with our pricing. We always want to follow that policy and we always want to stay within the guidelines of the company, but I don’t think that it does have service to anybody to try to be a value store or a low price. I think that People that are interested in coming into the natural products industry Understand that you’re they’re gonna be paying a little bit for this, and I think, if you offer the services of education behind it, they’re going to be okay with with paying what needs to be paid. So that’s something I would be gone is is not price gouging, not high price, I think, though, but not not cutting so low or so margin so low that we end up, you know, hurting our own selves to try to to get into the public is a low price store, so that’s something I think is okay.
Tina Smith: 38:08
Any shout outs for any vendors in this industry that you really love working with.
Cady Kuhlman: 38:13
Love working with standard process they’re phenomenal. We love working with designs for health. Love working with life extension They’ve been great. Love working with life seasons phenomenal, like, probably that’s one of our strongest partnerships, I would say. The great support to independence Um, we want, it’s been great. I mean, they’ve been with us for so long, like over all the years, they’re wonderful. Yeah, there’s a probably our top ones that we really love working with. And then we’ve moved over the years into some more Practitioner grade ones like cell core. That’s been life-changing for our store. And then I’m mega sport biotic. So moving into microbiome labs, that they are great. So I would say those are my quick shout out yeah. And for those.
Tina Smith: 38:59
Is it what in particular like comes to mind that makes them so wonderful to work with?
Cady Kuhlman: 39:05
So, like with life seasons, they’re just a lot in it. So they’re willing to support on a deep level with, you know, the right type of discounts, the right type of pricing, the right type of trainings, the right type of Support. They’re just great on, like all friends. Within the last ones I said, like cell core and microbiome labs, it’s more of like so much science and protocols given to us and so much deep level of training. So that is such an asset for our store. So I love that aspect. And then you know, with the blue bonnet and the Life extension is just always steady, good quality at a good price to us, never problems with Very low out of stock, very easy to work with and so you know, rarely raising price on those kind of just always like a good standard company. And blue bonnet very much supports independence. I know I think they’re still family on themselves, so they they love to support them. You know the line of independence. And then life extension gives us a lot of good trainings as well because they’re very scientific too. So I think I kind of look at like you know how well they’re gonna support us via margins and and trainings. And you know, coming in and greeting our staff and bringing them samples, because that’s always that creates that partnership there, and Then looking at like how the depth of knowledge versus the science and the protocols they can give us. So we try to have a blend of kind of both of those type of company in the store.
Amanda Ballard: 40:32
I just have to rewind just because are those that weren’t there when Katie was talking about you know, making sure that your store looks nice and Dating decor and you know, plants and all of that. It wasn’t that long ago Within. I mean, I got, I guess, five years, six years ago, where the wall of nutrition world literally looked like an Argyle sweater, a brown Argyle sweater, and Now it’s like just stunningly beautiful, um and like. Anyway, it just immediately brought back a flashbacks to that terrible Decor, so I’m gonna talk about it.
Cady Kuhlman: 41:13
I have pictures, I have some panorama shots of that. I’m just like, yeah, like a diamond Argyle pattern in like kind of like cracker barrel colors like very like yeah, yeah, and dark woods and red and it. It just had kind of like a punch tree feel, not really being by branch, like you know.
Amanda Ballard: 41:33
It helps help, if not by yeah.
Cady Kuhlman: 41:36
I’ve got feel. No, probably just six years ago or so, I would say that you know, entire remodel, rebranding of colors, rebranding up, just cleaner look, because the point is we won’t be able to see the products on the shelf and Then get a feel from the plants or a feel from the words on the walls, but not to overdo it. So thank you. Yeah, it’s been. It’s been a process of making it the way that it is, and we just redid the outside last year.
Amanda Ballard: 42:02
The outside still kind of had somewhat of an outdated look and so now there’s a co-piece of that’s between the outside and and five and but I think I think it’s, it’s a good tip for other retailers where it’s like and it Doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, like I mean, you can make it whatever you want it to be, but I mean just a fresh coat of paint and some plants that can Literally transform the way that your store looks and, like you said, you know, change the experience when you walk in, where it just feels Lighter and brighter, and when you’re trying to sell health like. Shouldn’t that match, you know?
Cady Kuhlman: 42:37
Totally, and it kind of has to with the way that people perceive things now in the world, because, yeah, they aren’t gonna want to go into a shop that is Dengier, colored at, dingy, lighting and and dusty kind of, and and not any Vitality. What they’re coming for is vitality. So they want to perceive that real quickly and be like oh, like I feel good here or oh, that that feels just nice in here, and then that kind of starts that whole Healing journey for them, because they’re already believing what they’re about to buy and that is true and what you guys you know, if you’re listening and you’re an independent, you have the same thing on your shelf. But they’ve got to perceive that in order to like buy into it. So there’s so much to be said, I think, for aesthetics and like. I mean it’s that even just clean one, not costing a lot, but making sure they’re on that right track of what people like today, which is, I mean, kind of even like your background right now, on the when you’re, you know, in your office. It’s like like clean and vital green plants and all that.
Tina Smith: 43:39
Yeah well, katie, this has been such a treat. I’m so thankful that you decided to spend this time with us today, and I know that the words of wisdom that you’ve shared are gonna be able to help a lot of other Independence who are listening to this Just maybe realize that there are a few tweaks that can happen that can help them align more with their values, trust their intuition and move into relationship with our customers, so that they’re not competing against online brands and selling things online, and that’s our goal. We love independence, too, and we want this whole industry to be more successful, because people in your communities need you so much and You’re right, it’s like a rising tide. The more people that we can help, the whole world’s gonna get a little bit better. So I just really appreciate your time and and wanted to express our gratitude to you for being here with us today.
Cady Kuhlman: 44:35
I’m spending time with you guys and you know I love you both, so thank you for having on here and we will chat.
Amanda Ballard: 44:41
If anyone wants to kind of pick your brain, is there a good way that they can connect with you?
Cady Kuhlman: 44:47
easiest would be email if they want to email me, and then we can schedule a call from that point. So you know the ad y at nutrition delin duck Awesome.
Amanda Ballard: 44:57
Thank you, thanks, amanda, thanks, katie. All right, thank you, bye, bye. Thanks so much for listening to the natural products marketer podcast. We hope you found this episode to be super helpful. Make sure you check out the show notes for any of those valuable resources that we mentioned on today’s episode.
Tina Smith: 45:12
And, before you go, we would love for you to give us a review. Follow, like and subscribe on Apple podcast, spotify, youtube or wherever you’re listening today, and Make sure you join us for our next episode, where we give you more marketing tips so that you can reach more people and change more lives.