We shine this week’s small business spotlight on The Giant Peach, an Endicia customer and online business that creates and delivers branded merchandise for up-and-coming underground artists in the hip-hop music scene.
Founder Karen Dere’s extensive knowledge of the music industry has been the driving force behind the company’s eruptive success since its inception in 1999. We sat down with her to find out more about her passion and philosophy that continues to keep the beat of her online business booming.
Endicia: This is a very unique online business. How did it all start?
KD: It was all very organic. The Giant Peach started to relieve local hip-hop artists from the time-intensive task of creating brand merchandise so that they could focus on what’s most important, their music.
So we approached the business with an artisan perspective and wanted to make garments specially designed for the fans of independent San Francisco Bay Area hip-hop labels and artists. After that took off, we expanded to the web and began carrying clothing lines of popular and local designers and collectives. Some of our most popular lines have been Obey and merchandise from Stones Throw Records.
Endicia: Wow. Have your products reached fans outside of the United States?
KD: Definitely. About a quarter of our orders are international, and we’re just happy that we’ve been able to meet fans and make friends around the world.
Endicia: Nice! Since we’re a shipping software provider, we’re curious to hear your thoughts on same-day shipping. It seems to be a big trend today.
KD: I am actually not a huge fan of same-day shipping. I don’t think it’s a good use of our resources. It takes a tremendous effort to get products from one place to another in a short amount of time. I’m probably crazy for saying this, but sometimes there is a beauty in waiting for things, even if it’s just a day.
Endicia: Interesting. Thanks for sharing that unique perspective. Lastly, what principle do you regard as a leading factor of online business success?
KD: Resilience. Things have changed so much both in the industry and for us as a small business since we started over a decade ago. Looking back, I know it would’ve been easier to start out with more of a business background. It has been a continual learning process. We listen to feedback and try to make changes accordingly. But what really built up and maintained our success is our ability to spring back and keep going when we encountered a hurdle.
And with that, we’re still standing today to carry out the mission we started with—we let the artists focus on their music while we create and deliver specially made products for the fans.