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an interview with
simple teen life

There are a lot of things we love about our jobs, but one of our absolute favorites is a happy client. The humans we work with are such beautiful souls, and when we enter that relationship we strive to go beyond simply producing marketing deliverables and actually learn and grow and connect with one another.

Recently we had the opportunity to work with Conni Rasmussen, public school teacher and founder of Simple Teen Life. STL produces activity boxes for teens, and it is run entirely by teens. Their goal is to “Slow Teen Life DOWN,” as teens these days are so bogged down by schooling, family obligations, extracurriculars, and pressure to be like their peers that they rarely, if ever, get a chance to just stop, unwind, and reconnect with themselves.

When Conni came to us, she was looking to revamp the STL website and add in ecommerce capabilities so they could take their business to the next level. Our web team ended up doing exactly that, plus bits of copywriting across the site to help elevate the brand and explain more of what they do. We sat down with Conni after the project wrap-up to get here thoughts on the experience.

C/C: What was your process for deciding to choose Create/Captivate over all the other competition?

Conni: Being a new business owner, I knew I wanted our already exiting web site become a little more informative and add an ecommerce store front as our business was slowly growing. The site had to have ecommerce capabilities that were new yet maintain the basic integrity and simplicity of our existing WordPress site that was designed and managed by my staff that is 100% teenagers.

The first three designers I met with were telling me what I wanted, yet never asked me what I wanted. They didn’t seem to be interested in what our mission was as a business, or my request for the design to remain clean and simple as our name implies—SIMPLE TEEN LIFE LLC. None of them felt like a good fit for our mission, my personality, or our budget. When I finally went on interview #4 and met Kaycee and Cara, I knew I’d found our designers!

C/C: What stood out to you most about working with us?

Conni: Honesty, positive energy, and genuine concern for customer/client relationships was immediate when I spoke with Kaycee on day one. Create/Captivate was the ONLY group that offered to work directly with the teens on staff to get their input on the design and training for the new website and WPBakery (the back end design structure of their WordPress theme). I knew I had found our home with C/C within the first five minutes of meeting Kaycee.

C/C: What was your #1 takeaway from the website design process?

Conni: Do not be in a rush. Take time to discuss what you want as a client, listen to the designer’s ideas, work together, and realize that a great product takes time and discussions.

C/C: What was something you learned while working with us?

Conni: I learned that the key word is working “with” C/C. Creating something so important for an ecommerce business, I needed to have someone I could ask questions to and feel confident that the answers were in the best interest of my company and not in the best interest of C/C. I never had any doubts that they always kept what was best for STL at the forefront.

C/C: What were your goals for your new ecommerce site, and do you feel you’ve made progress towards those goals?

Conni: These were our main goals, and I absolutely feel we’ve made progress in every area:

• Bring traffic to our shop and web site
• Provide the visitors with an easy and personal experience
• Go beyond blogging
• Increase sales and overall awareness of our mission
• Easy to maintain and manage from the back end for teen staff

We have also been able to keep our business alive in a pandemic, expand our audience and attract new customers, and learn so, so much about running a business.

C/C: In what ways has having an ecommerce site changed your business?

Conni: It took our business from being just a simple awareness campaign to a company that had a product with a purpose, spreading our mission to a much greater distance.

Having an ecommerce shop challenged the teen staff—as well as myself as the founder—to a new level of needed skills. One of the reasons I created STL was to help teens realize that their talents, ideas, and energy have value. I want teens to believe in themselves and build confidence by trying new things needed to run a business.

Having a shop has increased the skill set of the teens in areas of marketing, photography, making promo videos, maintaining a website, public speaking, and creating new Simple Boxes every two months. So the shop not only increased our sales, it increased our knowledge base in how to run a small business! We have so much more to learn, but boy have we already learned more than we ever thought possible once we started the ecommerce shop.

Our most successful campaign to date was Dec 2020, when we created a Military Mailer for teens (ages 18-21) in the military during the holiday season. STL has a give-back charity for teens in foster care, and the extreme success of the Military Mailer enabled us to donate a portion of our profits to this cause.

Despite COVID and virtual school for the teen staff since March, we were able to continue our ecommerce business and still follow all the social distancing rules. We just had to revert to Zoom for a while! People are shopping online more than ever now. Had we not had an ecommerce shop, our product, the Simple Teen Box, that originally relied on vendor shows, would have become dead in the water. With the shop we were able to give the community an opportunity to purchase with a purpose this season for our young active military, and we were able to give back to teens in foster care because of that success. It was so much more than we could’ve expected in our first six months of having our new site, and we’re so grateful for our relationship with C/C that made it all possible!

To learn more about our work for Simple Teen Life, click the link!

An Interview with Simple Teen Life