Our podcast today is with the founders of Riad Tile, a patterned cement tile company owned by married couple Kale and Aubrey Butcher. The pair live in Dallas, mere miles from our HQ. So we invited the parents of three into our studio to tell their inspiring story that is very different than most we've featured.
More times than not, our guests are entrepreneurs or employees that have fallen into a path that they've cultivated or wanted to explore from an early age. But Kale and Aubrey started a company they had no clue about out of a personal need and desire to put something in the world that they felt needed to exist after searching high and low for it with no luck.
How did Riad Tile begin?
We wanted to take a big trip before we had kids and we went to Morocco. We were planning to renovate our guest bathroom at the time and thought "why don't we just buy some tile while we are here?" Turns out tile is extremely heavy and isn't easy to carry on. We eventually couldn't find what we were looking for and decided to have it made ourselves.
How did you start this company with zero background in sales, let alone selling tile?
Talking to friends and people that are much smarter than us, Googling things and asking questions led us to so many things we would have never known about. Like fulfillment, we didn't even know what that was and one day we said to a friend, "wouldn't it be great if if someone could ship and store this stuff for us? We could sell so much more of it." That's when we learned about fulfillment centers. We had no clue they existed!
Kale, this is now your profession. How long did it take you to take it from a side hustle to a full-time job?
It took about 18 months. I never would have guessed it would happen that fast but we set goals and when we hit them, we looked at each other and said, "okay... I guess this is the next step".
How did you get the word out about Riad Tile to trigger sales and make it your career?
One way was that we started an Instagram page and began sharing photos. We'd follow popular cement tile hashtags and comment on those images. Kale would spend hours and hours liking and commenting on similar interests. We sought out influencers and reached out to them.
Do you have any good business advice for our listeners?
Just be relentless. Be persistent, relentless and consistent.
Don't miss their entire podcast. It's so good! And for other Fridays with Flea Style episodes from this season, visit fleastyle.com/podcast-season-three/.
Lead image by Carley Page Summers; other images courtesy of Riad Tile and @riadtile via Instagram.