Ruby makes the leap to selling online

How do know when it is time to move your business online? For Beets & Apples founder Ruby Hong, she started selling local before taking her handmade soaps, candles, and bath salts business online.

This week on Amazon’s This is Small Business podcast, host Andrea Marquez talks with Beets & Apples founder Ruby Hong, a second-generation small business owner who grew up watching her mother own a small business with a sense of pride and joy. Ruby thought one day she might come up with an idea to have her own small business as well, finally striking inspiration when she realized one of her favorite ways to de-stress could become a business.

“One of my favorite ways to de-stress is taking a long hot bath,” Hong says. “[It] occurred to me that, using these products, Why don’t I make it for myself? That’s how it started. I start giving out the products like bath salts, and soaps, and candles to my friends and family, and they loved it.”

Ruby tested and learned from her local community, setting up shop at farmers markets and selling to friends before jumping into online sales. After meeting and learning from her customers face-to-face, she knew it was time to make the leap to selling her products online.

“I got an invitation from Amazon Handmade,” Ruby says. “I was gaining confidence in myself as a business owner and in my products in those six months that I was selling at farmers markets, I knew that I had a great product. I started listing it on Amazon Handmade and it started getting a lot of attraction and orders.”

However, as Ruby learned, selling online can be overwhelming. That’s where Nicole Leinbach, owner and founder at, comes in. Nicole details how businesses can transition from brick-and-mortar to finding success online, sharing experiences from her many years as a self-described “small business geek.”

Listen and subscribe to This is Small Business anywhere you get your podcasts.

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