How This Print On Demand Business Built Trust By Putting The Brand First With $1500


Ben Lebowitz started West & Willow, a modern pet portrait brand, less than a year ago.

And when he started, he knew it was a crowded market.

But he saw an opportunity.

An opportunity to build a real brand in the space.

And he had the perfect background to make it happen.

After working in the agency world for a decade, he knew a thing or two about brand-building.

So he set off on a print on demand journey with just $1500 and a lot of late nights on YouTube.

And in 2 days, his business was profitable.

Fast forward one year later, and West & Willow has turned into a thriving ecommerce brand. Here’s how he did it.

You can tune in above👆 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or anywhere you get your podcasts.

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  • The launch ad they’re still running a year later.
  • How to build trust with your audience from the very beginning.
  • How to get 20-30 pieces of user-generated content (UGC) every day.
  • Why discounts are the right move for their brand.
  • [6:25] How did your marketing background help when you were getting started?
  • [8:03] What did the launch look like?
  • [10:05] How to get social proof without any customers.
  • [13:41] Coming up with an initial ad budget.
  • [16:32] How they sustain the momentum through marketing.
  • [18:30] How to get insane UGC.
  • [26:15] The best campaign you’ve ever run.
  • [28:16] What’s the case for running discounts?

This article originally appeared in the Privy blog and has been published here with permission.

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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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