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Hi there! I'm Molly: small town enthusiast, digital marketer, and mom of 4, passionate about helping local, small businesses thrive. Stick around to learn how YOU can flourish while living and doing business in a small town.

molly knuth

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Your Merch Mentor with Amanda Hofman of Go To Market Studio 

Go to your nearby junk drawer.

Don’t second-guess me here, just do it.

How many branded pens and pencils from businesses do you have in there?

Any unused coupons or miscellaneous business cards floating around?

What about little sticky note pads with a logo emblazoned in the middle of the paper?

Do you actually use these items or are they just taking up space as you organize and reorganize them each March during spring cleaning?

Friend, if you own a business and want to make custom merch, please hear me when I say: we can do better than pens and post-it notes.

Enter, my new friend, Amanda Hofman, your new Merch Mentor.

Meet Amanda

Amanda Hofman of Go To Market Studio is the “go-to” for creating anti-boring custom merch for your business that will turn heads and keep you top of mind for your ideal clients and customers.

Amanda is a wife, human mom of 2, dog mom, and co-founder of Go To Market, her second company in her entrepreneurial career. 

She and her company create custom-branded merchandise for businesses, authors, podcasters, and more. They’re flipping the branded merchandise industry on its head by challenging the age-old practice of sticking the company’s logo in the middle of whatever product they are handing out, be it tee shirts, hats, pens, lunch boxes, tumblers, etc. 

Instead, Amanda and her design team dig into their client’s mission, vision, and branding to create designs that represent their values. As a result, they create swag that clients and customers are willing and excited to rep!

The other part of the Go To Market model that is revolutionizing the industry hinges on sustainability and inclusion. All their client’s online merch shops are print-on-demand, meaning companies don’t have to order and store massive quantities of coffee cups, pre-sized tee shirts, and the like. Clients and customers can place their orders online and get the size, shape, color, style that they want. This leads to less waste and more intentional and valued usage of the products.

On Taking Risks

In Amanda’s story, I kept hearing moments in time where she bet on herself and took a risk (our March theme here at MKM), such as:

  • selling her first company when it was profitable and very successful (at 38 weeks pregnant, no less!)
  • announcing that she was developing a kids’ toy as her new business endeavor, only for her to walk away from it before it went to production
  • trusting herself to try again with a print-on-demand business

Amanda says that much like exercise, making “risky” moves and increasing the resistance in your business never gets easier. 

You just get more experienced and are capable of tolerating more risk.

One of the things Amanda and I really connected on in this interview was how taking risks looks different for everyone. 

Amanda makes it very clear that while she doesn’t shy away from risk, she has a support system and a partner whose steady income and insurance makes space for some of these seemingly “risky” choices without putting her family at risk. Amanda underscores that this is not the case for everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit, and must be taken into consideration when thinking about a risk.

Key Takeaways from Today’s Episode

  • “You gotta walk through the suck to get through to the other side.”
  • “We expect things to be custom and meaningful and interesting and targeted.”
  • “We’re focusing on teaching companies…how to make items that really reflect their values. So we’re not printing their logo front and center, we’re printing something that’s meaningful to the business. We’re trying to harness the thing that makes a business, an author, a podcaster special.”
  • “The other part we’re doing is the sustainability piece where everything prints on-demand…everything prints as it’s ordered, so that people get what they want in the size, shape, color, style that they want it.”
  • “It’s really about connection…People aren’t connected to your logo, they’re connected to ideas. They’re connected to the way that you make them feel.”
  • “So many business owners want branded merch because they love their brand.”
  • “There are risks that we’re willing to take and not.”
  • “That I feel like we just have to acknowledge it…Entrepreneurship, a variable income is very challenging if you’re raising a family. A variable income is challenging, period. And then if you’re raising a family, like, I can’t imagine that level of stress.”
  • “I’m not a failure. I tried something, and it didn’t work out.”
  • “When a company is giving a gift where there isn’t choice, even if it’s thoughtful, even if it’s beautiful to you, you’re still giving a burden to people at some level.”

Go to Market with Amanda

Check out all that Amanda and Go To Market Studio has to offer on their website or connect with her over on LinkedIn for all the updates in her upcoming adventures.

Helpful Links Mentioned in the Episode

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Hi there! I'm Molly: small town enthusiast, digital marketer, and mom of 4, passionate about helping local, small businesses thrive. Stick around to learn how YOU can flourish while living and doing business in a small town.

molly knuth

Meet the blogger