The FORT Podcast: Natalie and Caleb Ebel

In Episode 19, Chris talks with Natalie and Caleb Ebel, Co-Founders of BackDrop, a paint company looking to change the way we paint our homes, backdrops and offices. They chat about the struggles of launching a company, working with your spouse, raising capital and how their previous employment prepared them for starting a company.

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1:57 – How did you decide to start Backdrop?
6:30 – How did your previous jobs prepare you for starting Backdrop?
8:35 – Do you need a huge budget to build an amazing brand?
9:31 – What is different about Backdrop and how are they changing the industry?
17;38 – What are some of the biggest things you’ve learned since launching Backdrop?
20:51 – Has your supply chain changed as the business changed?
22;30 – Manufacturing Processes
26:09 – What is it like to work day in and day out with your spouse?
30:20- Was there a “we are going to do this” moment for starting the company?
33:17 – What was the process of raising capital like?
37:27 – What was launch day like?
39:40 – What channels are available to you for growth?
41:48 – What does the customer experience look like?
43:50 – How did you determine the process finding best practices?
48:30 – Mentorship
56:00 – What are the biggest challenges you face today?
58:07 – Framework for Setting Goals
1:00:12 – What do you look for in the hiring process?
1:01:50 – How do you learn?
1:05:05 – What’s the best advice you have ever received?


Natalie and Caleb Ebel are the husband/wife co-founders of Backdrop paint, Caleb had worked in financial operations for Warby Parker and Natalie was a marketing expert with deep digital experience. They workshopped the concept for a couple of years, finally launching in November with support from a small group of investors. Backdrop is also intended to do away with the inefficiencies of the sampling process. Instead of $9 tryout cans or expensive (and tiny) fan decks, customers order 12-inch square adhesive stickers for $2 apiece. Also available is a branded line of supplies—tape, brushes and the like—that are sold à la carte or as $40 bundled kits. The goal was to create a smooth, simple, e-commerce experience, with the convenience and speed online buyers have come to expect.

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