It all started in 2006 when SPIbelts Founder, Kim Overton, went for a run with nowhere to comfortably hold her key. Afterward, she went home and assembled the first SPIbelt. After months of hard work, development, and patenting, SPIbelt officially launched in February of 2007 out of Kim’s Austin, Texas apartment.
Eleven years later you can find SPIbelt products in over 40 countries. Despite SPIbelts international success, its headquarters remain in Austin, Texas where the majority of their products are still being handmade.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Kim Overton and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
My name is Kim Overton, I’m from Austin, TX and a mother of three young boys ages 2, 6 and 7. I launched my company, SPIbelt, 11 years ago after having the annoying experience of jogging with my keys tucked into my bra top. The idea for the SPIbelt hit me like a lightning bolt while I was on a run, I went home that afternoon and made my first prototype. Five months later I filed a patent and officially launched my business.
Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?
After launching my company in 2007, I worked as many hours as I could until needing to hire help. At that time I hired my brother to help with sales. About one year after launch, I was featured on the Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, which gave us great exposure and lead to more press. Our brand took off quite rapidly after that.
I have always been driven to work for myself and approach every idea and company with full passion and conviction. I knew early on that that SPIbelt was different, so I did envision mass distribution.
What is your main source of income?
SPIbelt sales through international distributors and domestic retailers.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
We are currently expanding our line for our customers to have more products to choose from.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
We utilize Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for brand awareness.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
PPC works to an extent but the algorithms change constantly. We find that shared customer experiences on our social outlets are one of the driving forces for sales and awareness with our products.
What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?
We appreciate the user experience the most. Anyone can pay for ad space and expensive marketing, but the real user experience is authentic and invaluable.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
We launched before FB was a viable platform for businesses, and not that is fading. So we have learned that staying flexible and knowledgeable about what our customer’s habits are is the best way to grow.
How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?
Our products are sleek but expand a lot! Other phone holders were big and bulky while our stays slim and tight to the body and looks good at the same time.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
How to divide my time between taking my company to the next level, and being a dedicated mom and wife. It’s a tough balancing act.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
Investing in a marketing campaign that I knew little about and had little experience with. Early on I produced a mini commercial that the world wasn’t ready for, but cost me $30K.
What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?
Try to not spend what you think you can sell. In other words, if your customers will buy about $10,000 worth of products in one month, you don’t need to have $50,000 sitting on the shelf for the month. Try to invest in what you think you can turn around in a short amount of time when you are in growth mode.
What new business would you love to start?
I’d love to start a business with my husband that allows us to combine our passions of being parents with helping others. We have one in mind that we’re currently working on! Stay tuned.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I’m grateful for the journey I’ve had. But if I must pick, I would have let people go quicker than I did. Having the wrong people on the bus can really suck the life and opportunity out of your business. Learn to let people go when needed, you are also doing them a great big favor.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?
Meditate on a daily basis and keep an exercise routine consistent, no matter what.
Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
When starting out, “Think and Grow Rich”, when established, “Traction.”
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
To remember, God made us with eyes in front of our head, not the back. Keep your eyes forward, look ahead! Don’t worry about the past.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Identify your customer base and where they are. Go to them and test out your product, your concept, talk to people before spending too much time and energy in one direction just to find out that’s not what the masses want. And launch without waiting for “perfection”, because no one idea will ever be perfect for everyone. Launch when you’re as close to perfect as you can get for the real potential customers you’ve spoken with.