#21: Building and Scaling the Grace Eleyae Brand with Grace Eleyae Part 1

Season #3

In this episode your host Emmanuel Eleyae talks with Grace Eleyae - founder and CEO of graceeleyae.com. She talks about her background and how she was introduced to the entrepreneurial world. You’ll hear about how she created the first SLAP and got her business started. She also talks about the struggles they faced in the beginning and the different lessons they learned. You’ll hear some valuable insights on finding a “high value problem”, why it’s important to have supporters in your corner, and focusing on what works for your business.


Grace’s Background

  • (1:12) Grace’s background as an entrepreneurial child and her side hustles.
  • (5:46) Why Grace had an entrepreneurial background and wanted her own business.
  • (6:57) Grace talks about what she did in her 20’s and the different jobs she worked at.
  • (9:09) How taking fashion courses inspired her and gave her the skill to create the first SLAP.

The Genesis of the SLAP

  • (10:38) Grace talks about making her first prototypes for the SLAP, sharing it with friends and family, and making her first sale on Etsy.
  • (14:08) Grace shared her idea with Emmanuel, and he didn’t understand the concept of the SLAP, he didn’t think it would sell.
  • (16:30) Emmanuel gave Grace a credit card with a $10,000 limit to start her business. She set up her website, did a photoshoot, and purchased inventory.
  • (18:20) Emmanuel & Grace talk about the importance of having people in your corner to push you forward and support you when you’re just starting out.
  • (21:39) You should have people to hype you up, and only listen to criticism from people who have actually bought the product. Emmanuel also talks about the importance of listening to customer feedback.

Struggles in the Early Stages of the Business

  • (24:16) Grace talks about her struggles trying to find a manufacturer to product her hats.
  • (26:00) Grace talks about launching her business and how difficult it was to try to market to everyone.
  • (28:13) Grace & Emmanuel talk about how an influencer promoting their product caused a spike in sales and sold out their inventory.
  • (31:51) Grace talks about identifying a “high value problem” that the product solves and finding the right demographic to market to.
  • (34:09) Emmanuel talks more about the importance of high value problems and product market fit, as well as the emotional aspect of the problem.
  • (36:26) Emmanuel and Grace talk about finally finding the niche demographic for their product, audience testing, and selling people a solution to a problem.
  • (38:08) Grace and Emmanuel talk about coming up with the name for satin lined caps & why deliberate SEO wasn’t necessary.

Lessons Learned

  • (40:35) Emmanuel talks about how using influencer marketing boosted their sales more than ads and they needed to do more of that and how entrepreneurs need to pay attention to what works and do more of that.
  • (42:29) Emmanuel talks about how often entrepreneurs miss out on opportunities to grow their business - they need to double down on what is currently working to make them sales.
  • (44:52) Grace talks about her faith in her product and how important it is to get the product into people’s hands to actually try it.
  • (48:32) Emmanuel talks about the importance of having hype people and getting negative feedback from influencers - don’t listen to criticism from people who didn’t pay for the product.
  • (50:24) Emmanuel and Grace talk about how using influencers to review your product can help to identify what kind of messaging you should use for your product.


Grace's Website: graceeleyae.com

Grace's Instagram: @graceeleyae 

Grace's TikTok: @itsgraceeleyae 


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