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Ecommerce Building Blocks

Ecommerce Building Blocks

By Jason Wong
Ecommerce Building Blocks is a podcast hosted by Jason Wong, serial eCommerce entrepreneur and investor. Each episode is a lightning quick 20 minute interview with an eCommerce founder or expert to hone in on the concepts behind their most successful ideas. This is not about tactics, but about the story behind a strategy. Tactics get outdated as technology changes, but strategies and principles last forever. Jason wants to know how people strategize and how we can make those ideas last.
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Ep. 34 How House Of Léon is Reshaping the Luxury Furniture Industry

Ecommerce Building Blocks

Ep. 36 Okay Sis’s Mady Maio on Why Founders HAVE to Prioritize Mental Health
In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason is joined by Mady Maio, host of the popular business and lifestyle podcast Okay Sis and co-founder of the travel recommendation app Camber. Jason and Mady talk about mental health for founders and entrepreneurs: why it’s so important and what all of us can do to make sure we use our well-being to show up for the projects we love and ourselves every day.    Jason and Mady start their conversation by talking about the particular challenges that face female founders and entrepreneurs, and why preparing mentally and emotionally is crucial to balance and success. Mady shares what self-care looks like (NOT bubble baths) for her and how this plays into her definition of success. In the second half of the episode, she and Jason talk about Camber app, what it has to offer, and how Mady has navigated her relationship with her co-founder through inventing, building, and finding investors for this project.    Topics Discussed:    - Female founders / female entrepreneurs  - Mental health in business and entrepreneurship  - Building an emotionally supportive professional network  - The most common hardship facing female entrepreneurs  - The emotional side of business  - Designing practical, impactful self-care routines   - How hustle culture prevents us from showing up at our best  - Camber App  - Expectations for founders in 2022  - Working with a co-founder and loving it    Okay Sis podcast:  Mady’s Twitter:  Mady’s TikTok: @madymaio    ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍 Jason’s twitter:  Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
September 21, 2022
Ep. 35 Aishwarya Iyer from Brightland on Finding her Brand’s Superpower and Creating a Cult Product
Brightland might be the first sustainably sourced DTC olive oil company to exist, and it has achieved cult-status for its freshness, its colorful and beautifully designed bottles, and its personal touch. All of this is thanks to Brightland’s founder, Aishwarya Iyer, who joins us this week to share her story, and some tips for finding your own success story. It often seems like crossing the distance between an idea and its execution is impossible, especially when you have a product in mind but no clue where to start. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason wants to find out from Aishwarya Iyer how she went from corporate communications to founding Brightland, the much-heralded sustainably sourced California olive oil company. Aishwarya eschewed the typical marketing tricks used by DTC founders and chose to lean into her skill set. She focused on what she could do, and on how she could educate herself in areas where she needed to learn making every step of the production process into something personal and meaningful. Topics Discussed: -The difference between product affinity and brand affinity, and why it matters for your marketing strategy -How Aishwarya Iyer got the idea for Brightland -Her thought process in telling the story of Brightland -Why she began with PR and Communications instead of branding -How Aishwarya Iyer legitimized her product even without a background in food -Using your superpowers as your marketing compass -The preparation that went into creating Brightland’s supply chain: olive education, establishing relationships with farmers, creating packaging -How packaging and shipping are intertwined, and how to prepare for common pitfalls -How to use DTC’s major communication advantage when you experience delays -What makes a cult favorite? -How Brightland takes their customers on the journey with them, and why that is so valuable. -Aishwarya Iyer’s if she could do it all over again advice to herself as a young entrepreneur ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: Brightland: Aishwarya’s Twitter: Aishwarya’s LinkedIn:
September 14, 2022
Ep. 34 How House Of Léon is Reshaping the Luxury Furniture Industry
Steven and Jordan Neman started House of Léon as a DTC business that only the brave would attempt: furniture. Massive, bulky, made to order, and expensive, how could they apply DTC building blocks to something so far outside of the box? In this episode, Jason talks with Steven about how they got started and what they are learning along the way. Jason and Steven begin by talking about what went into founding House of Léon and how they were able to work around the standard furniture manufacturing conventions that guarantee that almost everyone is paying the same prices for mostly identical pieces, no matter the branding. Instead Steven and his brother Jordan began by designing one-of-a-kind pieces and then found someone who would make them to order, always putting their vision first. Of course, the brand has only existed since 2021, so there have been lots of learning along the way - Jason and Steven get into what it takes to manage inventory when it is so large in size, how to manage it by doing market research ahead of time, and what Jason wishes he had learned when he was at the beginning of his founders journey. Topics Discussed: Jason’s 56 page deck for ecommerce founders What changes for companies based on the size of what they sell - from tiny false eyelashes to sectional sofas House of Léon’s founder story How House of Léon was able to upended manufacturing’s hold on furniture pricing How House of Léon stands out: quality materials and excellent design How to avoid making products your customers don’t want Listening to your customers to make production choices Different inventory problems: overstock and stockout Different inventory solutions: conservative ordering and demand prediction Jason’s take on hiring early in the business life cycle ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: Steven’s LinkedIn: House of Leon instagram:
September 07, 2022
Ep. 33 Using a Little to Do A Lot: Capital Efficiency with Matt Mullenax from Huron
Matt Mullenax founded Huron because he saw a void in the men’s grooming industry and tested this hypothesis by launching a dummy brand before pouring all of his capital into developing real inventory. He and Jason run through how this testing worked, and dive into the topic of capital efficiency - a solid business concept in the age of rampant branding. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason invites Matt Mullenax to outline his business mindset in a variety of ways: what it means to truly be a leader and to grow a team, how Matt detected and leveraged a disconnect between high-end and chain store skin care products for the male population, and why carefully watching the two metrics of gross margin and profitability will outlast any waves of hyper growth, virality, and branding trends. Jason shares stories from his own business and breaks down how Matt’s theories can be applied to time usage and social media marketing. ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: Matt’s Linked In: Matt’s Twitter:
August 31, 2022
Ep. 32 Barry Hott on How to Get People Invested in Your Content
Barry Hott is a growth consultant with more than a decade of experience guiding brands through advertising and strategy on every social platform. After working with a who’s who of Fortune 500 companies and viral DTC brands like Harry’s and Keeps, he has branched out on his own as an Austin-based consultant. In this episode Jason picks his brain about how to get paid social to pull people into caring about your brand. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason and Barry Hott talk about why Barry is still excited about making ads even after the social media landscape has changed so much. He  believes that meeting customers where they are is the #1 principal behind successful advertising no matter the medium. He and Jason talk about structuring a business to make sure this is always possible even when technology or trends change. Then they shift to Barry’s theory of getting around the brain’s ad-blockers by creating content that places attention and engagement above branding. Topics Discussed: -Differences between creating ads for startups and for Fortune 500 companies -The challenge of shifting messages between platforms -Why internal dev is not always the best for your marketing plan -What every business owner should factor into their 10 year plan -How to get people to care about your brand -What it takes to break through the noise -Making people feel something or getting them to want to solve a problem -Differences between DTC twitter and mega-advertising twitter -Stunt cars Barry’s LinkedIn: ​​ Barry’s Twitter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
August 24, 2022
Ep. 31 How Gefen Skolnick’s Independent, Learning First Business Model Rocketed Couplet Coffee to Success in One Year
By the time Gefen Skolnick finished college she had already dipped her toes into the world of venture capital, and was well on her way to a tech career in Silicon Valley. But in 2021 she put down the laptop, founded Couplet Coffee, and became an immediately successful CPG entrepreneur. A year later, Couplet is wildly successful in both online DTC and on retail shelves and Gefen is exploring what it means to grow a business intelligently and intentionally, all while having fun and enjoying great coffee. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason picks Gefen Skolnick’s brain about why she founded Couplet, how she broke into the saturated coffee market, why package design and inclusivity go hand-in-hand, breaking into wholesale, and tips for founders who are looking for creative ways to self-fund. The most important takeaway from this wide-ranging interview is that Gefen figured out early on how to think in ways that work for her business. She asks a lot of questions, gathers tons of information, and then makes decisions for what works best for her bottom line. Listen ahead for inspiration and new perspectives on marketing, sales, growth, and more.  Topics Discussed: -Couplet Coffee’s founding story -Breaking into the saturated world of specialty coffee -How Gefen decided what kind of product she wanted to sell -The open space Gefen saw in the coffee market and how she filled it -Why packaging design is half the battle in some markets -How taking her time and asking questions influenced Gefen’s business plan -The way Gefen approaches growth - in advertising  budgets, sales, and seeking funding -How wholesale can stabilize revenue -Intelligent growth Gefen's LinkedIn: Gefen's Twitter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
August 17, 2022
Ep. 30 A Homemade Soy Candle Company’s Slow Burn to 7 Figures Through Storytelling & Community
Alicia Reisinger started Wax Buffalo Soy Candles out of her home and grew her business to be both a hub of community in her brick and mortar flagship store as well as a thriving DTC online business. In her seven years as a business owner, Alicia has defined her company through her willingness to be vulnerable and to share her story each step of the way, and it has paid off emotionally and financially. Here, she shares her story with Jason, talks about her community building approach and gets deep into 21st century content strategy. Jason invited Alicia Reisinger onto Ecommerce Building Blocks to showcase an entrepreneur who is both a working mom, and who didn’t use the typical steps that many Ecommerce founders use to get their product out into the world. Alicia started extremely local, and still uses her local community as a foundation for her entire business. Having this home base allowed Wax Buffalo to grow at a slow and steady pace. This episode covers the intangible factors that go into how entrepreneurs scale their business, and Alicia’s journey as a storyteller, mom, and business founder. With a surprise detour to Google’s content strategy pyramid, Alicia and Jason conclude their conversation with Alicia sharing her most important lesson as a business owner. Topics Discussed  -Wax Buffalo’s founding ethos and story from spending 100 on candle supplies to millions in revenue -The toxic history of candles -Why founders should think about the life they want when making business decisions -Building a strong business foundation by growing slowly -What it took for Wax Buffalo to build their community -Is vulnerability a good content strategy? -Jason’s TikTok 101 for businesses who haven’t joined yet -The 3H approach to content -Wax Buffalo’s middle path approach to making big decisions and long-term plans Wax Buffalo: Alicia’s LinkedIn: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
August 10, 2022
Ep. 29 Building Blocks Summer Roundup - Top Advice from June & July
This bonus episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks is  a great place to start if you want  to see what you can learn from the show. Jason has selected these clips from some of our favorite summer interviews. Listen ahead for aha moments that will apply to operators, product developers, and marketers and use these foundational segments as units that will help you build to your next level. Topics Discussed: -Inventory Management -ROI simplified -CTA’s for your audience on TikTok -learning how to ask your customers to do something -educating your customers so they know what your product is worth -how inclusive marketing inspires people to pay more for your product (and to be loyal) -understanding how customers prioritize their spending -summer 2022 marketing and operations This episode features clips from: Episode 21: Optimizing ROI with Dynamic Inventory Management  feat. Adii Pienaar from Cogsy Episode 23: How Brands Can Go Viral on TikTok feat. JT Barnett  Episode 19: Going Viral with Mission Driven Branding feat. Lindsay McCormick   Episode 24: Building a Loyal Community feat. Emily Miethner  ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
August 05, 2022
Ep. 28 Creating a Multi-Million Dollar Brand as a Social Media Dog Influencer
Bryan Reisberg founded his dog backpack company, Little Chonk, after his beloved Corgi, Maxine, had amassed a huge following on Instagram and TikTok, from being shown getting carried around in modified backpacks all over  the New York City subway. Jason talks with him about the dog backpack community and what it’s like to go into business after you are already an influencer. In this week’s episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason talks with Bryan Reisberg about his journey from proud dog owner to successful pet backpack entrepreneur. Using only unpaid social media, Bryan successfully sold out of his prototype in 4 minutes and has continued to perfect his design and to expand his inventory (and Maxine’s following) over the 10 months since his company launched. Bryan’s marketing stack demonstrates that having an enthusiastic following and an engaged community always wins over ad-spend. Topics Discussed: The expansion of TikTok during the Covid-19 pandemic How the TikTok algorithm rewards niche material Using each social media platform for what it is capable of doing How Bryan’s viral content lead to product development and not the other way around Steps to pulling together a company from hiring designers to creating an advisory board Why responding personally to customers is important How drumming up excitement takes constant connection with your audience ➡️ Building Blocks website: Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: Little Chonk’s TikTok: Bryan’s LinkedIn:
August 03, 2022
Ep. 27 Jack at Duradry on Why Creating Niche Products Leads to Massive Success
Jack Benzaquen founded Duradry to provide solutions for people who experience excessive sweating. In the process he created a product that has rescrambled the very full DTC deodorant playing field and has been massively profitable year-over-year. Jason interviews him about his product development and marketing in this upbeat episode. In this week’s episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason invited Jack Benzaquen onto the show to unpack how Duradry became so profitable in the already saturated deodorant market. The answer: when you’re going into a competitive space - go deeper. Jack did his research, found an unexplored niche in the market, and deployed all of his business acumen toward solving a specific problem for consumers. He used visual marketing and customer testimonials to stand out, and has been extremely profitable year-over-year. He and Jason discuss this as well as early investment models for CPG businesses and why going all-in and quitting your job should also have some data to back it up. Topics Discussed: Changes in the DTC consumer packaged good landscape over the last two decades The importance of not waiting too long to launch The concept of iterative product development The importance of not being afraid to start Investing in founders and ideas vs investing in the perfect product Optimizing for cost vs optimizing to solve a specific problem Standing out in saturated markets by finding your niche The formula: find your niche, dominate it, then use messaging to expand Why UGC’s are best for products that claim to solve a problem The trigger for Duradry’s astronomical year-over-year growth How to mitigate risk when putting all of your eggs in one basket Jack’s hot take on VC’s ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: Jack’s twitter: Jack’s LinkedIn:
July 27, 2022
Ep. 26 How Jordan West Made 100k in an Hour with Gated Launches
Jordan West has founded several Ecommerce businesses, runs and agency, and also hosts a successful podcast of his own where he shares marketing  tips for other founders in the space. Jason invited him onto the show to share his recipe for creating demand with gated launches. They get into building community, the steps for ensuring a profitable launch event, and lessons learned over the course of a successful career. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks Jason and Jordan West get into the nitty gritty of of gated launches - how to do them, which channels to use, and which community pool to pull from to ensure their success. All product launches depend on the community that surrounds the brand and Jordan also has great tips for building a community for your brand, whether it is oriented directly around your product or around other shared interests and activities. Finally Jason and Jordan reflect on what it means to constantly be learning on the job, from hiring experts to continually educating oneself. Jordan’s Linkedin: Jordan’s podcast: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
July 20, 2022
Ep. 25 Get Your Influencer Outreach Right with Kynship’s Cody Wittick
Cody Wittick is the co-founder of a highly successful agency that pairs businesses with influencers and he is known for tweeting practical daily business advice to his many followers. Jason invited him on the show to pick his brain about what the influencer marketing ecosystem is really all about in 2022 and how to make the most of it in your business.  On this week’s episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason and Cody Wittick take lessons from Cody’s experience heading influencer marketing at Qalo and now at his own agency, Kynship. Cody is passionate about people doing influencer marketing the right way and has a lot to say about what that means. First, as a foundation, it’s about building relationships. Cody gives great advice about how to reach out to influencers, how to approach them, and how to develop a relationship with them organically so that when they support your product it comes from a genuine and authentic place. Next, it’s about content - and as Savannah Sanchez emphasized so much in our earlier interview with her - no matter the platform, there are ways to create great content that pulls customers in and makes them want to know more. After Cody gives his step-by-step breakdown of how to do influencer outreach correctly, he and Jason discuss how to set up flows for sending out product, and talk about the dangers of looking at vanity metrics when deciding which influencers to pay for. Cody’s Twitter: Kynship’s website: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
July 13, 2022
Ep. 24 Building a Loyal Community through Education with Emily Miethner
Emily Miethner co-founded Travel Cat with her husband when they became cat parents and realized the market for pet products was missing a company that was geared specifically toward cat owners. With their targeted community building and inclusive educational approach, they’ve built a deeply loyal customer base and a profitable business. In this week’s episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason and Emily discuss the meaning of community in the broader sense, and then Emily breaks down her strategies at Travel Cat for creating meaningful experiences for customers (and their cats). The approach to branding and marketing for pet products is interesting because it requires an understanding of how much your customers are willing to invest in caring for their pets. Emily breaks down how she builds trusting relationships with her customer base through in-person and virtual education events. For the second half of the episode she and Jason pick apart a case study of the biggest mistake Travel Cat has encountered in its 5 years of business. Along the way they provide a not-to-be-missed guide to finding and vetting 3PL companies once you need to scale fulfillment.  Emily’s LinkedIn: Travel Cat Instagram: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
July 06, 2022
Ep. 23 How Brands Can Go Viral Again and Again with JT Barnett
Depending on your interests, you might know JT Barnett from his time as a pro-hockey player or as the founder of Honey House, one of the early TikTok houses that blew up in 2020. In the last year, JT has pivoted from being a viral TikTok star on multiple accounts to running his successful consulting business helping brands learn how to have an impactful presence on the platform. Jason and JT get into all of the above, and most importantly for our listeners, they talk about what brands should be doing with this platform, what they should avoid, and why it is absolutely not too late to prioritize TikTok in your marketing stack. In this episode, JT and Jason dive into what makes TikTok a revolutionary platform - why it works so well for reach, and also how the algorithm works to categorize creators. JT debunks the myth that it might be too late for a brand to get a robust presence on TikTok, shares the #1 misconception he sees brands approach the platform with, and then provides alternative strategies. TikTok is all about giving your community a backstage pass to the story of your brand - and Jason and JT go deep into how brands can achieve this, what it means for smaller companies, and what they need to keep in mind if they want their content to go viral. JT’s site: JT’s LinkedIn: Social media: @jtbarnett ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: This episode is sponsored by Varos. Get started for free by typing WONG into the referral field at
June 29, 2022
Ep. 22 The Future of Influencer Marketing with Alessandro Bogliari
In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason talks with Alessandro Bogliari, the founder and CEO of Influencer Marketing Factory about what has changed since influencers first arrived on our screens more than a decade ago and what will be happening to influencer marketing in the near future. Jason and Alessandro also have a fascinating conversation about the differences between global western and eastern approaches to online marketing, app usage, and shopping - and the impacts of each on technology and marketing as a whole. As a former influencer himself, Jason invited Alessandro onto the show to discuss what has changed in the influencer space and what is most exciting about influencer marketing now. In recent years influencers have shifted from being promoters of 3rd party products to essential, entrepreneurial shareholders in the larger marketing ecosystem. Meanwhile, in places like China and Korea, users have been using super-apps and online streaming platforms to make in-app purchases for at least the last decade, so influencer marketing in Asia is much more gamified than it is in the US or Europe. While western countries may end up with this kind of cultural shift at some point, for now, Alessandro emphasizes his belief that influencers are best placed top-of-funnel across multiple channels where they can get more eyes onto your branding. In this environment your influencer marketing will have a cumulative effect, driving more traffic and interest, generating comments sections that provide further insight, and creating a community and culture that will take your brand further forward. Influencer Marketing Factory: ​​ Alessandro’s Linked In: Alessandro’s twitter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
June 22, 2022
Ep. 21 Adii Pienaar from Cogsy, on Empowering Brands to Optimize ROI with Dynamic Inventory Management
Adii Pienaar is a third time founder with Cogsy his successful operations software business, and Jason invited him onto the show to talk both about his shifts in mindset through years of building companies as well as the nitty-gritty of supply chain and inventory wisdom he uses to ensure his clients make the most of their working capital whether they are placing their first PO or restocking after years of being in business. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason and Adii talk about what Adii has learned through founding multiple successful companies - why empowering employees and crafting a value-based culture is truly what makes life worth living and work worth doing. Adii also shares the greatest lesson of his career so far, and it is not a hack, but rather a mindset aimed at challenging his earlier conceptions of growth and thirst for expertise. This leads him directly to the Cogsy founding story, and how a dynamic, responsive service is able to upend the static grip that spreadsheets have on operations and inventory management. With the contextualized data that Cogsy provides, DTC businesses are able to make more accurate predictions about what their inventory needs and lead times will be, and will also be able to craft messaging to their customers that contributes to higher conversion rates and more brand loyalty. Finally, listen to the end for Adii’s rules for any brand placing their first PO. ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: Adii’s Twitter: Adii’s Book: Life Profitability Cogsy: 
June 15, 2022
Ep. 20 Kenny Haisfield from Kenny Flowers on True Brand Authenticity
Jason invited Kenny Haisfield, founder of Kenny Flowers onto the show to delve deep into the philosophy of creating high quality apparel with an authentic story and coherent lifestyle focus. Together, they go behind Kenny’s founding story of recreating his father’s vintage Hawaiian shirt to what it means to grow a lifestyle business year over year, how to make room for emotional investment in the brand, and why quality allows businesses to level up alongside their customers to create a lifelong relationship. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason talks with Kenny Haisfield about not just the origin story of Kenny Flowers, but how his company has evolved over the last seven years. It started with one shirt, but what was the timeline from the initial idea to where the company is now, with multiple verticals. And what was the focus on each year of that journey? Kenny attributes much of his success to being very clear not just on what he wanted to make but the reason why he wanted to make this product. He believes that focusing on every aspect of a customer’s experience of a product is the definition of both quality and of what it truly means to make a lifestyle brand. If a customer feels that something was created with them in mind, they will have a genuine experience with the product. This leads Jason and Kenny to talk about the marketing approaches Kenny’s company has taken which are designed to create a specific mentality and feeling that a customer can take with them wherever they go. This aligns back to the quality that Kenny wants to educate his customers about so that they can see that this lifestyle is more than just aspirational marketing and is about enjoying time spent with his products. Kenny’s business: Kenny’s instagram: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: This episode is sponsored by Varos. Get started for free by typing WONG into the referral field at
June 08, 2022
Ep. 19 Lindsay McCormick from Bite on Going Viral with Mission Driven Branding
Jason invited Lindsay McCormick onto the podcast to tell the story of founding Bite, a company she started to make personal care more environmentally friendly by getting toothpaste tubes out of the oceans. Lindsay had to lay the groundwork from manufacturing to supply chain to customer education ahead of any success and it paid off when Bite went viral on Facebook in 2018. Listen ahead for her wisdom on what a thriving, mission driven company looks like and how she continues to expand the company’s offerings and revenue. On this week’s episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason sits down with Lindsay McCormick, founder and CEO of Bite (Because It’s The Earth) a sustainable personal care brand that started by taking toothpaste out of the tube and putting it into tiny capsules. The word sustainable can be a catchall, so Jason and Lindsay spend some time talking about what being a truly sustainable brand means at Bite, from the mission, product materials, operations, supply chain and education. Any mission driven brand needs to be able to take complex, nuanced information and to break it down in a way that customers will understand and relate to. Lindsay outlines the ways Bite tackles messaging on various platforms, and who the brand focuses their most energy on. She shares the challenges of designing carbon neutral and plastic free packaging and shipping in an environmentally friendly way. Bite isn’t the same price as a tube of toothpaste from the pharmacy shelf and Lindsay provides insights into successfully communicating the cost of being environmentally friendly so that her customers can make the choice to pay a premium for Bite’s products. This leads Lindsay and Jason to agree that understanding customers in terms of their priorities and reaching them at the level they are at is always the key to successful branding. Finally, Jason and Lindsay talk briefly about the attention economy and how the most successful companies can make pivots in spreading their message across all communication channels. Episode links:  Bite:  Lindsay’s Twitter: Lindsay’s LinkedIn: Carbon Fund: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: This episode is sponsored by Varos. Get started for free by typing WONG into the referral field at
June 01, 2022
Ep. 18 Ronak Shah on Obvi’s 0 to 30 million in 3 years
Ron Shah is the CEO of Obvi, a collagen supplement business he founded with 2 friends in 2019 and now with 30 million in sales across DTC and retail. Jason invited him onto the show to get underneath the idea of runaway success to find out about the incredible amounts of preparation that went into being ready to build a sustainable business in an already saturated market. On this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks Jason interviews Ron about what it was like to found Obvi. Ron and his other two co-founders set themselves up for success by doing a huge amount of research and preparation in their careers previous to venturing into entrepreneurship. Jason and Ron get into the details of what it is like to work with friends, and how to clearly define roles within the leadership structure of a company. For the bulk of the episode, Ron shares the step-by-step process he and his co-founders used to jump-started Obvi with their own money in the already extremely saturated supplements market. They were able to make their initial ad-spend work super efficiently by almost immediately developing a community of loyal customers and going back to them repeatedly to get feedback on exactly what products they wanted to use. This created a positive feedback loop of innovation and retention that is still going today. Once you hear the Obvi story you will realize 1.) Ron’s success isn’t by chance and 2.) it is possible to build your own business without funding if you prepare yourself and make a good plan. Ron’s Twitter: Ron’s linkedin: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: This episode is sponsored by Air. Get started with using Air for free at
May 25, 2022
Ep. 17 Jacob Sappington from Homestead Studio on Sustainable Growth
When Jacob Sappington was getting started as a freelance retention marketing specialist, Jason Wong was his first client and their friendship grew from there. Now that Jacob is a partner at Homestead Studio he and Jason reconnect to underscore the importance of retention marketing and the specific role it plays alongside other channels in a company’s growth plan. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason invited Jacob Sappington onto the show to discuss how brands can make the most of retention marketing by understanding what it does well and how it can work with other marketing channels like paid advertising and influencer marketing. Jacob outlines how he sees all marketing channels as touchpoints inhabiting different places on a timeline. Retention marketing is a way of keeping a product top of mind at customers on all parts of their journey with a brand. Jacob talks about specific ways that brands can stand out, and why it’s most often not about generating more content volume. Jacob and Jason give their hot takes on what’s going on with email marketing in Spring/Summer 2022, and they end the interview with some reflections on the difference between being an employee and taking on the role of partner. Jacob’s twitter: Homestead Studio: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
May 18, 2022
Ep. 16 Savannah Sanchez’s Winning TikTok Strategy
Savannah Sanchez is a paid social and media buying expert who runs an agency that seamlessly pivoted from helping clients advertise on Facebook and Snapchat to making millions for advertisers on TikTok. She and Jason Wong pick apart what it means to truly succeed at marketing on TikTok, and why it is so much more exciting than previous social media platforms. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks Savannah Sanchez and Jason get into the workings of TikTok content and what is most important to keep in mind when making creative decisions for marketing on this platform. If it could be boiled down to one word it would be AUTHENTICITY. Advertising on Snapchat and Instagram that featured polished and edited creative worked the best, but in TikTok, the most important thing is to make an ad look native to the platform. Savannah shares the rules for getting the most out of working with influencers and her 3 steps to making powerful content for TikTok. Finally she talks about how to measure whether your TikTok creative is working for your efforts, what metrics to pay attention to, and why the comments section is a very powerful tool.  Savannah’s site:  Savannah’s twitter:  ➡️ Building Blocks website:  🍍Jason’s twitter:
May 11, 2022
Ep. 15 Charles Tichenor on Why Facebook Ads Still Work
Charles Tichenor IV has made millions of dollars for his clients through Facebook ads and trains other businesses and marketers advertise on Facebook. If anyone has the learnings to make the most of changes to the platform  in the wake of ios14 and TikTok’s emergence it is this guy. He shares his insight and philosophy in this -  dare we say optimistic ?- episode of Building Blocks. Jason and Charles sit down to talk about what Charles has learned from a decade of successful advertising on Facebook. His findings over such a long period of time have left him with a refreshingly positive perspective on how advertisers can use Facebook's smarter-than-ever machine learning capabilities to work for them. With the rise of TikTok and the IOS14 update, Facebook is focusing its algorithms on end user experience. What this means for advertisers is that they do better when their priorities align with the platforms. Charles shares the three things marketers need to do to succeed on Facebook right now, his formula for finding the right creative approach to use, and most importantly, his definition of a.) the kind of platform Facebook is and b.) how it should fit into your business model. ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter: Charley’s Twitter: Charley’s LinkedIn:
May 04, 2022
Ep. 14 Jon MacDonald's CRO Starter Pack
Jon MacDonald is one of the world’s top CRO experts and he just came out with a book outlining the principles that have allowed him to lead brands like Nike and Adobe success and longevity. In this conversation with Jason, he breaks down some of the laws of Conversion Rate Optimization with advice for how any company can use data to increase customer retention. In this episode Jason asks Jon MacDonald, the President and Founder of The Good - a CRO firm - about the CRO principles that have led him to success. First Jon addresses the idea of small improvements: if you are trying to increase conversions, the best place to focus is the top 10%. Then he lists some common misconceptions about CRO that he has seen over and over again in the last decade - and how to properly approach them. CRO does require some specialization, so John tells Jason his best practices for building a team that can combine data analytics, creative and marketing seamlessly and he also gives advice to the businesses out there who might not yet be at the stage where having a whole CRO team is affordable. Finally, he gives a great step-by-step run down of how to gather information from customers about what works and what doesn’t in your store, and how to use that information wisely to give your brand longevity and to keep your customers coming back. Jon’s book: Jon’s twitter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
April 27, 2022
Ep. 13 Patrick Couddou on Standing Out in a Saturated Market
In this episode, Jason talks with Patrick Coddou - pronounced like canoe! - co-founder and CEO of Supply Razors about what it was like to have a great idea for a product in an already crowded space, how he found the room for inventing something new and identified his customers needs, and why interpersonal relationships transformed the way he thinks about his business. Before Patrick and his wife launched Supply Razors and took their product onto Shark Tank, he cut his teeth selling fighter jets to foreign governments. An obsession with the precise shave he found in a vintage single blade razor was the start of the story, but when Supply came into the world, it shared the stage with many large, already successful men’s grooming companies. Jason discovers Patrick’s singular focus on engineering and tinkering with his hero product to deliver something truly unique, and delves into the copywriting that Supply uses to target their market and to constantly deliver relevant solutions to the problems their customers are trying to solve. Finally, Jason and Patrick share from each of their experiences why building rapport with colleagues, potential mentors, and even competitors in the space helps to create an environment where business can thrive and people help one another to achieve their goals. Topics Discussed:  Supply Razors before and after Shark Tank The saturated single blade razor market Product differentiation in a crowded field The Men’s grooming space in 2022 Iterating a hero product vs expanding verticals Solving specific problems for skeptical customers How to educate your customers about why they want your product Copywriting’s job in a saturated market Patrick’s #1 piece of advice: invest in your relationships and let them take time Patrick’s Linkedin: 🛶 Patrick’s Twitter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
April 20, 2022
Ep. 12 Shane Hegde on Revolutionizing Visual Content Management by Focusing on People
Shane Hegde founded, which is superseding platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive in organizational visual asset management. Not only is Air revolutionizing how companies collaborate on media projects, it also has a reputation for being a truly great place to work. Jason and Shane get into what it takes to innovate products and being a great employer in this value-packed conversation. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason talks to Shane Hegde, the co-founder and CEO of Jason has specific questions for Shane about how Air has a reputation for being a great place to work, with excellent operations. Shane shares his hard-earned wisdom (as Jason says, there’s no real “founders school”) that led him to build his organization on principles he truly believes in. He and Jason discuss how he ran his team when it was just him and his co-founder, and how he runs it now. Then he breaks down the essential components of a true one-on-one, and talks about why this essential meeting is what makes his company run. These meetings allow employees and employers to give each other tactical advice, constructive feedback, and to understand the larger scope of the organization and its goals. Finally, Jason and Shane talk about Air’s product and how it is seeking to innovate by being the world’s first cloud-based creative operating system. Shane’s Linked In: Air: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
April 13, 2022
Ep. 11 Andrew Goble on Marketing Jambys Through Prioritizing Product
Jason talks with Andrew Goble about founding Jambys, the crowd pleasing performance inactivewear brand. They get into the details of why product development was Jambys’ priority, how branding came from customer feedback, and risks to embrace or avoid during a company’s early days. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason talks with Andrew Goble, co-founder and co-CEO of Jambys, about what it took to go from idea to market in 4 months, and how the Jambys team built the brand on a shoestring in such a short amount of time. Andrew is still the only full-time marketing person at Jambys and the reason is simple: he and his co-founder wanted to allocate as many resources as possible to perfecting their product. Andrew and Jason talk about what it was like to learn on the job during Jambys’ meteoric rise, Andrew’s philosophy of continual improvement and learning from mistakes, and how to incorporate the customers into what a brand is and who it is for. Jason and Andrew finish on a high note with advice to all founders on how to approach risk the right way and what it means to be able to learn from one another. Andrew’s Twitter: Jambys: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter: Sign up for Jason's weekly newsletter:
April 06, 2022
Ep. 10 Kevin Lee from immi on Growing a Team from Scratch
Kevin Lee, co-founder of immi, comes from a background in VC and product management, and brought his learnings from those experiences to guide his success as a founder. In this episode he shares his insights on making the most of every hire, delegation, and creating processes and culture that allow the whole business to grow and thrive. In this episode Jason was curious about how Kevin Lee and his partner developed immi, the world’s first high-protein plant-based instant ramen, but more than the product, he wanted to focus on the people. Kevin is known for being a leader, and as a young founder himself, Jason was curious, how was Kevin able to go from working with money to managing a business and scaling up to having a thriving staff in such a short time? Kevin shares candidly about what he had to unlearn to become a good delegator, the team-wide written exercises that took his team to the next level, and his standards for hiring and setting expectations in a way that makes the most out of each person’s time at his company. Going it alone will only get a company so far and Kevin’s vision for growing the entire immi team will be inspiring and helpful in pragmatic ways to any entrepreneur at the beginning of their hiring journey. Books recommended in this episode: The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building by Matt Mochary The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber Kevin’s company: Kevin’s twitter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter:
March 30, 2022
Ep. 9 Ben Jabbawy from Privy on Solving the Right Problems
Ben Jabbawy on how Privy hit its stride through focusing its energy on customer feedback, what problems early stage founders should focus on and they should be trying to please, and why you can never go wrong by providing value (especially to people with proven intent to use your brand). In this week’s episode, Jason sits down with an old friend, Ben Jabbawy, the founder and CEO of, to talk about how Privy (and email marketing) have evolved over the last decade, and what it was like to found a Saas company at the earliest stages of ecommerce. In the beginning Ben’s business model provided lots of different options to many different kinds of businesses, but it wasn’t until he “got in front of his skis” and had to scale back that clarity struck and he found the principle that he’s built everything on since then: find one kind of customer, solve one kind of problem for them, and expand from there. Ben and Jason share their similar experiences with specializing and focusing on what customers want and need from you, and why being flexible and learning from feedback and data will withstand the test of time, no matter what your business model is. Ben’s daily podcast: Ben’s Twitter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter:
March 24, 2022
Ep. 8 Building a Real Lifestyle Business with Olamide Olowe
Olamide Olowe on building a real lifestyle brand and how she got Topicals into major retailers like Sephora. Jason invited Olamide onto the show to catch up, founder to founder. Olamide shares her founding story, fundraising story, cash flow management learnings and how she was able to get on Sephora shelves. It’s hard to break into the beauty industry, learn how Olamide went from trackstar to founder of a darling DTC startup. #sephora #fundraising #startup Olamide's Twitter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter:
March 15, 2022
Ep. 7 James Camp on Flipping & Monetizing Great Sites
James Camp on how to acquire and monetize great niche content sites. If you’re looking to get into entrepreneurship and making money online James’ story will show you where to start. On this week’s episode, Jason sits down with web property flipper, James Camp from Nanoflips. Jason and James dive into the rabbit hole on how to acquire niche content sites, how to improve them and what size of business is great to get your feet wet in the flipping space. They discuss how to analyze a web property, how to fix it up and how to think about exit. And if niche content sites aren’t your thing Jason and James also talk about flipping houses, watches, NFTs, and eCommerce sites. James Camp’s Twitter: Building Blocks website: Jason’s twitter:
March 09, 2022
Ep. 6 Kevin Miller from Gr0 on Driving Traffic with SEO
Jason talks with Kevin Miller about how he became an expert in SEO and organic revenue, and what it was like to start Gr0, which has been called the best SEO agency in the United States. In the conversation, Kevin reveals what he believes it takes to be the kind of CEO it takes to run a company that employees want to be at, and how he has achieved that in his workplace. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason talks with his old friend Kevin Miller. Kevin is an astute expert on organic revenue and SEO and the founder of Gr0, an SEO and digital marketing agency. Jason asks Kevin what inspires him about SEO and why SEO has the reputation for being something that either works or doesn’t work. In the beginning, Kevin didn’t know the answer to that question himself, and committed to cracking the code. He continues to test on his own web properties consistently, and to apply his learnings to his own sites and his clients. In only two years, Gr0 went from 0 - 80 employees, and Jason and Kevin wrap up the interview by going deep into what it means to be a good employer, a good CEO, and a good business partner. Gr0 has received numerous accolades for being a work environment that people love, and Kevin’s insights demonstrate the values and frameworks that lead to people truly being able to do their best work in a creative and supportive workplace. Kevin’s LinkedIn: GR0: The Word Counter: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter:
March 02, 2022
Ep. 5 Nick Saltarelli on Why Building A Factory Was The Only Way
Jason talks to Nick Saltarelli about what it was like to start the fastest growing chocolate brand in North America, what building a factory from the ground up in the 21st century looks like, and why Nick thinks manufacturing is the next great opportunity for ecom entrepreneurs who are really serious about their product. In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks with Jason Wong, Jason introduces us to the world of manufacturing with his guest, Nick Saltarelli, the coFounder of Mid Day Squares. When Nick and his now wife and brother-in-law were dreaming up a business they had no idea they would get so deep into consumer packaged goods that they would end up starting their own factory. They wanted to create a food product that lived up to the hype and couldn’t compromise on ingredients or composition, so they had to build it from scratch themselves, leveraging to get investors by keeping retail prices down and making their first million from the manufacturing hub they built in their apartment. Nick thinks the time is nigh for young entrepreneurs to take back manufacturing for North America, he gives some solid tips for truly hustling, and he gives some solid relationship advice too! Follow Nick’s twitter and linked in: Mid-Day Squares: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter:
February 23, 2022
Ep. 2 Chris Meade on Bootstrapping CrossNet into 3000 stores
Chris Meade with the from-the-ground-up story of CrossNet, the 4-way volleyball game, how he got into 3000 stores while also being a viral ecom brand, and his philosophy of learning along the way. In this episode of Building Blocks, Jason Wong talks with Chris Meade, co-inventor of CrossNet, entrepreneur, Forbes 30 under 30, and now a self-taught ecom and wholesale expert. It’s rare for a DTC ecom product to make it so deeply into the world of wholesale, and Chris talks openly about all of the things he had to learn as his product began moving from online sales to the shelves of sporting goods stores. Chris’s entire framework is about trying all sorts of things, learning along the way, and sharing what works. He touches on the details of contacting retailers for the first time, negotiating with manufacturers to optimize cashflow, funding and financing pitfalls and solutions, in-store vs TikTok marketing, and why sharing what he has learned is the most essential part of his success. Follow Chris’s Link Tree: Chris’s Newsletter: Building Blocks website: Jason’s twitter:
February 16, 2022
Ep. 3 Eli Weiss on Olipop’s Obsession with Customer Experience
Eli Weiss on using CX to build customer retention and word of mouth, how Olipop uses CX as a primary acquisition channel, and what’s next for Olipop. Jason invited Eli onto the show because he has not only been a part of Olipop’s meteoric rise from a niche DTC healthy soda brand to an expanding presence in major retail chains like Target, but he has done it through focusing deeply on customer service. As Eli and Jason agree, so much of customer service feeds into retention if it’s done right, which is an insight Eli seems to have hit upon in a major way: customer service is where customers are directly telling companies what works and what doesn’t. Jason and Eli dive into this intuition, and how it can impact an entire business. Eli’s Twitter: Olipop: ➡️ Building Blocks website: 🍍Jason’s twitter:
February 16, 2022
Ep. 4 Chase Dimond on $100 Million in Attributed Email Revenue
Chase Dimond on how email marketing changed in 2021, how to segment and run tests to make your marketing program effective, and why specializing opened up his entire career and community. Chase Dimond, self-described email marketing nerd and partner at Structured Digital Marketing Agency was the very first guest on Ecommerce Building Blocks. In this pilot episode, Chase and Jason apply the Building Blocks framework to trends in email marketing in 2021. Chase shares his breakdown of how email marketing has evolved in the last 18 months, his approaches to segmentation testing, his favorite cadences, recommended testing timelines, and specific variables to isolate when testing for patterns in digital marketing strategy. We get to the crux of the episode when Chase shares the moment in his life when he realized he had a philosophy to live by in order to be successful in his career, and why sharing his successes and failures with others has been so positive for his business. Chase's Twitter and Youtube: Building Blocks website: Jason's Twitter handle: @eggroll
February 16, 2022
Ep. 1 Nik Sharma on Taking Brands from 0-1
Jason talks to Nik Sharma about how community always overpowers bells and whistles, what works in building a community for (and with) your customers, and his thoughts on how NFT’s will impact ecommerce. For the launch episode of Building Blocks with Jason Wong, Jason sits down with an old friend and DTC expert, Nik Sharma from Sharma Brands. Both Jason and Nik agree that the hardest part of any brand’s story is taking it from 0 to 1, and Nik recently had a big success doing just in one of the most saturated markets in existence right now - skincare. Nik and Jason jump into how even with a competitive space brands can succeed on the strength of their product’s legitimacy and the brand’s community. From community, we jump into exactly what it is that makes some brands lifestyle brands (and others not)  and how these kinds of lifestyles are exactly the reason why ecommerce entrepreneurs shouldn’t tune out of the conversation about NFT’s. They’re not just tokens but the most exciting way to give customers exclusive access that Nik and Jason can imagine for the future. Nik Sharma’s newsletter: Building Blocks website: Jason's Twitter handle: @eggroli
February 10, 2022