Jessi Freitag, a business operations consultant, invited me to be her guest at the Iroh’s Corner podcast, where we had a great conversation.
We talk about the motivation behind starting Fiddle and how I started building software to solve inventory and operational issues to help CPG brands succeed.
We also dive into the significance of having a good co-founder and recruiting the right people when starting a business.
There is much more I was excited to share with Jessi and her listeners about the CPG space, Fiddle, and business growth. Hopefully, you will appreciate it too.
Listen on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here.
Instructions on how you can follow, rate and review The Physical Product Movement are here.
Ken Ojuka: Welcome to the Physical Product Movement, a podcast by Fiddle, we share stories of the world’s most ambitious and exciting physical product brands to help you capitalize on the monumental change in how, why, and where consumers buy. I’m your host, Ken Ojuka.
Taylor: If you’ve been around our podcast for the past few months, you’ve no doubt heard of Jessi Freitag. She’s a CPG industry veteran, operations consultant, host of the startup CPG podcast, and the host of her own podcast Iroh’s Corner. Today’s episode is with our founder, Ken Ojuka on that podcast. And yes, if you’re keeping track at home, this is their third interview together, which completes their podcast hat trick. During the interview, Ken shares his career path from being a CPG brand owner to creating software for CPG brands. His focus on building inventory software with a modern, intuitive interface and how he strives toward work-life harmony. Enjoy the episode
Jessi: Today, I’m joined by Ken Ojuka, founder and CEO of Fiddle, a modern inventory operations software for CPG brands and manufacturers. CPG stands for Consumer-Packaged Goods. So, think about food, beverage, and makeup products. I’m on Ken’s team at Fiddle through startups CPG, a community of primarily food and beverage company founders, where I’m the current seasons’ podcasts host.
Jessi: I’m a software nerd and had to see a demo of fiddle immediately. And it was totally awesome. Inventory, food safety, integrations, everything, a girl like me dreams of. I recorded this episode with Ken in October of last year, 2021, and since then have been a guest on his podcast. And I posted him on the startup CPG podcast.
Jessi: And every conversation with Ken has been an absolute delight. At this point in arrow’s corner, I’ve interviewed more than 15 food and tea brands. So, I thought it’d be fun to go behind the scenes, into both the software that growing food brands need to run and what it looks like to start and grow a software company.
Jessi: So, grab your tea, think about all the steps it took for that tea to get to you. And I hope you enjoy our conversation. Hi, Ken, welcome to the show today. So excited to have you here.
Ken Ojuka: Oh, I’m really glad to be joining you as well. Thank you.
Jessi: Awesome! I would love it if you could start out by telling us about Fiddle software.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah.
Ken Ojuka: So, Fiddle is software for CPG brands and manufacturers. And what we do is we just help with a lot of the back-office stuff. So, you know, we’d like to think of ourselves as kind of after the checkout or after the purchase, it’s all the stuff that you use to manage the products that you sell.
Ken Ojuka: And so, we help you with inventory management. That’s kind of our base, but we also help you with managing your sales orders. So, if you’ve got wholesale orders that are coming from a bunch of different channels, we help you with that as well. And then all of the sourcing and purchasing. And then we also have a production.
Ken Ojuka: So, help you as a physical product brand to be able to have the product, to sell to your customers.
Jessi: Awesome, that’s great. And what’s the best way to, to find your website, follow what’s happening with Fiddle. Can you tell us a little bit? Just the best way to connect with you.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. Yeah. The easiest way is just going to fiddle dot io. And we, I have a little chat there, so you can just click that and then you’ll be in contact with us.
Ken Ojuka: If you want to contact me directly, I’m just email@example.com,
Jessi: Excellent. And I always liked it. Have exciting news at the beginning. So it’s not buried at the end. Is there anything exciting coming up later this year for fiddle that you want to?
Ken Ojuka: Yeah, we actually have some news that just happened.
Ken Ojuka: We just closed around a foot of funding. And we have some pretty cool new board members and we’re just pretty pumped up for the feature of fiddle. That means that we get to hire more team members and we get to continue to do so. And so yeah, things are rocking and rolling over here and we’re pretty excited.
Jessi: Excellent. That’s awesome! And I’d love to just hear the story about why you started Fiddle and how?
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, thanks for asking. I mean, you know, it’s interesting because a lot of these products, you know, you think, oh, they just showed up overnight, but you know, Fiddle’s kind of in a long time in the making, you know, it probably started like some of these ideas started when I was actually a CPG brand myself.
Ken Ojuka: And I had a nutraceutical product that I would sell. And so, we did, we did some, some like, whey whey protein. I sold that for a long time, had some weight loss products but you know, some, some bodybuilding related type products. And we were, we would sell those online, but we started having some issues and the main issues that me and my buddy that was doing the same thing, the main issues we were running into is that we were having a hard time getting our product from our manufacturer. You know, we had sales going, we were pretty good at the sales and marketing side, you know, and the sales kept coming through on our e-commerce sites, but we would always stock out and, you know, back then we didn’t really know why and what the real issues were, but we were just getting pretty angry at, you know, with our manufacturer.
Ken Ojuka: And fast forward a little bit. My buddy, actually, his name’s Ryan after a particularly bad experience where he ended up losing a lot of money because he ran out of product and had to refund, you know, a pretty big deal. He got pretty angry and he just threw his hands up in the air and he said, you know what, forget this.
Ken Ojuka: I’m going to start manufacturing myself. I’m going to figure this out. And so secretly, you know, I was kind of rubbing my hands together and I was, you know, kind of smiling because I was like, I want him to manufacture. I wanted him to go into it because I wanted to use him. I didn’t want to deal with these other people that I was dealing with, you know?
Ken Ojuka: And so, I trusted Ryan and I knew he’d do a good job and actually help them to buy like some of his first equipment. We drove down to LA together, picked it up, put it in a U haul truck and drove back. We live in Utah, so we drove back to Utah and helped him set up his first facility where he started to manufacture products.
Ken Ojuka: And so that was pretty early on. You know, I just helped him get into the business. But what happened was that he grew really quickly. And then, you know, a few years later he approached me and I’m a software guy and kind of have a software background. And Ryan knew this, and Ryan actually convinced me to build software to help him
Ken Ojuka: to manage everything that was going on and the problems were inventory, purchase orders, all the production type stuff, like production scheduling. And so, I literally had an office in his manufacturing company. I would go into the backroom and build something and then I’d go show it to somebody.
Ken Ojuka: And while we ended up learning a ton about manufacturing, We also learned about the brands that interact with the manufacturer and kind of through this experience, you know, we feel like we got a pretty good background on kind of the connection, you know, between a brand that wants to introduce a really compelling product to the market, you know, and they’ve kind of poured their heart and soul into it, but then also the manufacturing side, you know, and the reality of like actually, you know, getting in the raw materials to produce this product.
Ken Ojuka: And then deliver it to the brand in a timely fashion. And so, anyway, that’s kinda the background that product that we built internally is what became Fiddle, you know? And so that journey is probably like a three, four-year journey.
Jessi: Super cool. I love that. I’m wondering about your kind of career path. I noticed a bachelor’s degree in information systems, and then you talk to you about having a CPG brand. And then starting Fiddle. I’m wondering about, did you think that you were going to eventually build a software company? How did you find yourself with the CPG brand? I’m curious a lot about a little bit of the even further back.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. So, it’s interesting because I think where I’ve landed is pretty much a bullseye in terms of, you know, my personality and my interests. So, I’ve always been really interested in software and started programming in high school. And just kind of did that, but I didn’t think I would do it as a career, but, you know, just liked it
Ken Ojuka: and my mind just kind of works that way. You know, it makes sense. But then I, I’m also, you know, I’m an entrepreneur at heart, you know, in fact, my, when I was graduating college, my goal was to never have to give my resume to anybody, you know, because I knew I wanted to just like I wanted to start my own company.
Ken Ojuka: And so, I dabbled in a lot of different things. One of them was a CPG brand and that actually worked out really well. I could have continued to do it. In fact, one of the things when Ryan actually started his company and he, then he came to me and said, Hey, we need. You know, the software in space is pretty terrible.
Ken Ojuka: One of the challenges was that I had to shut down, you know, some of the other stuff I was doing because I knew it was going to kind of take everything I had, you know, in order to make it successful. And so, I had to kind of wind down my CPG brand and then I’m glad I did. So, in terms of, you know, I’m a tech nerd at heart.
Ken Ojuka: I love technology. You know, my heroes are guys like Elon Musk’s or the, you know, the Bill Gates. You know, like Jeff Bezos, you know, type guys that build these amazing software companies, Elon, you know, he’s done a lot of different things, but you know, a lot of people don’t know this, but he was behind PayPal.
Ken Ojuka: You know, he was one of the, you know, what they consider the PayPal mafia. And it was a software company. And so anyway, those are the guys that I really look up to. And you know, I just think of the change that they’ve made in this world. So softwares has always been a big of what I’ve been into, but the cool thing about fiddle is it kind of marries this interest of physical products and CPG brands and helping entrepreneurs to be able to get their businesses off the ground and to be able to succeed, you know, their business with the tech, you know, side of me.
Ken Ojuka: So anyway, that’s a little bit about my background and kind of how I ended up where I am.
Jessi: Excellent. And I’m wondering, so you talked about being at the manufacturing company, you’re showing. You’re showing early versions of fiddle to the different teams. What does that look like to then turn it into a fully branded tool that you’re selling?
Jessi: To other people, what are some of the steps? Were it, was it hiring more people? Can you walk us through kind of getting it to, you know, this kind of outward-facing company that you’re then giving a solution to other brands?
Ken Ojuka: Yeah, the interesting thing about the way Fiddle started is, you know, I didn’t quite realize how good I had it with this built-in first customer.
Ken Ojuka: You know, and like literally having an office in their facility, you know, learning about for instance, purchase orders, and how purchase orders need to work and then building it and then going over to the purchasing people, and sitting right next to them and allowing them to click the buttons and look at the screens.
Ken Ojuka: And it’s just this perfect feedback cycle where I could just look at their reaction. And I could tell them whether they liked it or not. If I nailed it, the feature or not, or, you know, the best part was when, you know, you nail something and it’s like, you just see their eyes just light up. And they’re just like, you just saved me, you know, four hours a week right there with that button, you know?
Ken Ojuka: So that was really nice, but I think, you know, I’ll just say this, if I ever, you know, let’s say started another company. I would figure out a way to get that type of feedback, you know? And that’s whether it’s a physical product or not, you know, software’s a little different because I could literally go back to the other side and just change it.
Ken Ojuka: But I think it’s really important to learn the lesson of just getting in front of the customer. Like in the same space, in the same room as the customer and just looking at them and you just get so many cues, you know? And so, I think, you know, some ways that you see that in the physical product spaces, you know, when early brands like go to farmer’s markets, for instance, and they’ve got their early versions of their products sitting there, and it’s like, literally as a customer, picks it up and looks at it and you, you can see the expression on their face.
Ken Ojuka: You can gauge that reaction much better than, you know, just selling it. Through a website or something like that. I think that feedback is really important to entrepreneurs, but in terms of you know, really answering your question, some of the stuff that you learn in that situation actually can lead you down the wrong path, you know, in terms of, yes, you want to take their feedback and you want to listen to everybody’s feedback, you know, it’s important for you as an entrepreneur to still realize that you still need to make a decision there just because the customer asked for it doesn’t mean that’s something that you should release or that you should build, or that you should invest in, you know, you know, your business and you need to trust that, you know?
Ken Ojuka: And so for instance, early on we built some things that were pretty specific to this company and the way that they work now, while I still think it was really valuable to get that feedback, you know, we, we did have to learn to kind of pushed back a little bit and rethink things and say, you know, is this going to be important for a wider range of customers?
Ken Ojuka: Is this really the direction that we want to go as a company? Is this the market segment that we want to serve? And so, in terms of actually, getting it out, yeah, we have to, you know, it’s like any business, you know, you can only do so much by yourself and then you have to start building a team.
Ken Ojuka: Bringing people on to help you, you know, and so for instance, one of the early things that I did once I knew that we were, we had a piece of software that was, that was something that a lot of people needed. If I recruited a co-founder it’s a buddy of mine named Morgan. Morgan and I had known each other from, we kind of lived parallel lives in a lot of ways in that we both played soccer in college, too.
Ken Ojuka: And we are both defenders. And so, we were really used to working with each other and yelling at each other and covering for each other and all of that. We just worked really well as a team. And Morgan’s just one of the hardest workers that I know. And I’m, I always describe him as like a Swiss army knife, you know, while I’ve got a lot of the sort of the tech side and the product side.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. You know, there’s just when you start a business like this, there’s just a lot of random things that need to happen, you know? And so Morgan’s just one of those guys that can look at a problem. He can figure it out and he’ll just, he’ll come to an answer and a solution and then implement it, you know, he’s, he can literally tackle different things.
Ken Ojuka: So, for instance, if we have problems with customer support, then you know, Morgan takes it and. You know, analyze it, figure out how to improve it. If it’s a problem with sales, he’ll figure that out. So anyway recruiting, you know, good people, you know, and starting with a really strong co-founder is what I recommend.
Jessi: And how big is the team now? And how is it, you know, do you have, I’m guessing. Like backend developers and front end and what’s kind of the makeup of the team look like now?
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. So, we have a development team overseas. We have about six people out in the Philippines and then we have about 12 people in-house.
Ken Ojuka: And so, you know, we’ve got marketing, we’ve got sales. A bunch of our team in-house as sales. We’ve got a couple of developers in here too, so it’s a pretty small team, but I, you know, I think, you know, building this type of software and this type of market. You know, competing against, you know, like we, we literally go up against, you know, tools like a net suite, you know, which is billions of dollars and just a massive tool.
Ken Ojuka: You know, so, you know, I’m pretty impressed with our, with our little team and what we can get done with, with such a small team.
Jessi: And do you target working with a certain size of the brand? Like, are there, are there brands that are a little too small for you and then at some point, do they, do they, is there, are there tools that are larger?
Jessi: Do you have kind of a sweet spot for size?
Ken Ojuka: Yeah, that’s a good question. So, we have customers that are prelaunching you know, that are doing a lot of things like R and D. You know, if you think about the early days of starting a CPG brand, you may need to order a bunch of products like raw materials from, you know, many different suppliers.
Ken Ojuka: So, you know, if you need to manage that whole process you know, track your COGS. You know what it’s actually going to take you to make this product, you know, before you actually go into production, that’s pretty important. But really the sweet spot, the sweet spot is you’re, you’re doing, you know, let’s say half a million to a million in revenue.
Ken Ojuka: So, you’ve got some sales coming in and maybe a year plugged into a couple of different channels. You know, you’ve got like your Shopify and Amazon site, but you may also be dipping your toe into wholesale, or just going wholesale is like you, your primary channel. But our biggest client is doing about 70, 65 to 70 million in revenue, you know?
Ken Ojuka: And so, we can, we can be with them for quite a while. And so, you know, you just think about it. You need to get serious about your inventory, especially when you land some of these, you know, say you land like a Target, you know, Target doesn’t mess around when it comes to, you know, do you have the product in stock?
Ken Ojuka: You know? So, when they’re looking at you as a potential partner with them, they just want to know that you’ve got systems in place and that you’ll actually deliver on what you promise, you know? And then, you know, the other thing about Target is, is Target and Costco. A lot of times, they want to know that you’re making your product safely when, so part of Fiddle is we, you know, we help you out with sort of the, the traceability and document control so that when Target says, Hey, can you show me the batch record for this particular lot number that’s something that you can just in a few clicks at Fiddle.
Ken Ojuka: You can pull that right up and get it over to them. And so, it just makes you look a lot more professional and that you’re a partner that they can trust. So hopefully that answers your question.
Jessi: That’s great. What differentiates Fiddle from some of the other solutions out there? Like you mentioned, I know I’ve seen solutions that are server-based, and I believe you’re cloud-based. I’m curious about some of the differentiations and how you separate yourself.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. So, in terms of differentiation, I would say the main thing is we are a slam dunk for any company, you know, any CPG brand that is involved in the manufacturing in one way or another. And so, you know, whether you work closely with, like a co-packer to get your product out, or you even source some of the raw materials or packaging component, to send to your co-packer or if you manufacture in-house that’s kind of where I think people choose Fiddle.
Ken Ojuka: You know, like I mentioned in. The startup story or the founding story of Fiddle is that we grew up in manufacturing. And so, we just really understand them. I think that we’ve got a tool that makes that process a lot more seamless. And it kind of goes to a bigger philosophy that we have, which is a lot of the trouble that you run into in this space
Ken Ojuka: and we can broadly call this space. Like the supply chain is that you’ve got independent parties working together in order to produce something and where some of those problems occur are in the margins, right? It’s in the connection between your brand and your supplier or your brand and your co-packer that’s where things kind of fall apart.
Ken Ojuka: And so, you know, just going forward. And you know, with some of this new funding that we just received, we just want to continue to innovate in the margins and make it just a lot more seamless to be able to work with these partners that you have to work with to produce a product. And so we think that there’s, there’s a bunch of tools out there that will, you know, manage your product and.
Ken Ojuka: You know, within your own company, within your own facility, that’s, you know, that problem is largely solved. But where, where it gets tricky is when, you know, you’re managing, let’s say inventory, you know, not only in your facility or your warehouse, but it’s also at your fulfillment center. And then you’ve also got some inventory at a co-packer or several co-packers that you work with.
Ken Ojuka: That’s where, you know, this stuff starts to get pretty tricky, and it starts to, to, you know, that’s the complication and that’s where we just want to, like, we want to solve that problem for brands. So anyway, that’s, you know, those are a couple of points of differentiation. I’d say also, you know, we’re cloud-based, we’re born in the cloud.
Ken Ojuka: You know, this isn’t something that we thought of after the fact. We’re just meant to live in your browser. And then we can we’re a good solution for, you know, just really small teams. It might just be one or two people. But our biggest client has about a hundred people in the system, you know?
Ken Ojuka: And so, whether you’re a large or small team you know, I think Fiddle is a good, a good solution. The other way that we think about it is that a lot of brands, they live in a tool like a, like a Shopify, you know, and if you think about the complexity of a Shopify, it’s actually, it’s a pretty well-done tool where, you know, just the average person can jump in and within, you know, just an hour or two.
Ken Ojuka: They’re selling their product online and that’s where we aim, you know, with Fiddle as well. A lot of, the reason that brands don’t use some of the existing tools out there is that they’re really complicated. And then, you know, you almost feel like you need to become a supply chain expert in order to succeed with these tools.
Ken Ojuka: And so, with fiddle, you know, we just want to make it a lot more approachable, a lot more. You know, and, and hopefully sort of at the difficulty level of like a Shopify, right. And so just lineup with where brands are. If you live in Shopify all day and then you click over to Fiddle, it shouldn’t feel like all of a sudden, you’re going back in time, 15, 20 years, you know, to a very difficult clunky looking UI.
Ken Ojuka: It should be. You know, pretty seamless and fresh and, you know, feel modern. And so those are some of the things that we think about.
Jessi: Excellent. Yeah. When I saw a demo from Andy on your team, I was like, wow, this is a really fresh, modern interface. It was very intuitive. I was like, so if you click that, I think I know what’s going to happen. Like it was, it was really cool to see. And also, the different connections that you have, where it was like, oh, here you can just connect your Shopify account or whatever. And I was like. Great, then how much does that cost? And he was like, no, it’s just, it’s just part of the tool. And I’m like, oh cool. This is like, this makes sense to me is how I would want it to work. So, it was really cool to get to see a demo.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. Yeah. I’m pretty pleased with what we have and where we are. You know, there are areas where, of course, we need to improve and we need to add more features and, you know, need to simplify things. But I think that’s one of the reasons people choose Fiddle.
Ken Ojuka: You know, and you know, it’s not necessarily even a knock on some of the other products out there. You know, if you need something else, you need something else. But the people that we’re going for, care about these types of things, right. And it’s usually, you know, younger demographic, you know, these are, these are people that are moving really quickly.
Ken Ojuka: You know, you’re not coming from sort of the old school days where, you know, it takes forever just to get an email back from somebody. Or, you know, in some of these cases, you know, when, when I was working with this manufacturer, it was literally a fax, you know, it was like, that’s what people, that’s how they interacted.
Ken Ojuka: It was, you know, send us a fax. And it’s like, how do you even do that? You know, we don’t know that, you know, we don’t even know how to do that. Anyway, you know, the younger demographic, you know, care about UI, care about experience, want to onboard like their employees really quickly, you know, this isn’t, you know, you hire a new team member and they need to go to like a one-week training, you know, in order to get up, get up to speed, they should be able to get up to speed.
Ken Ojuka: And I’ve actually seen that in Fiddle, you know, within, within an hour or two there, they, they feel, they feel good in the system, you know? So anyway, that’s, that’s kind of what we’re going for.
Jessi: I’m curious about, I’m always interested in the early parts of a business and some of those, you know, stories that we don’t always hear as much about.
Jessi: So, you have the product that you’ve created for this initial company. And then what did it look like to get your next few customers? Were it referrals of other people who heard about it and asked you about it? Were you then deciding to market it and go out to people? What did that process look like to take it from being, you know, with this one customer to then getting your first, next few customers?
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. And have you read Peter Teal’s book, it’s called Zero to One and you’ve heard of that book?
Jessi: I have, yeah!
Ken Ojuka: Yeah! And that book is really interesting because you know, they talk about, you know, getting from, you know, basically going from zero to one customer, that’s, that’s the hardest part, you know, like going, you know, kind of bringing something into existence from nothing that’s, that’s always the most difficult.
Ken Ojuka: And then once you kind of have a customer you kind of have a little bit more confidence. You know, and you kind of recognize patterns and you kind of understand some of the limitations of your tool or its limitations of your team. And so, you, you know, you kind of quit saying yes to everything, you know, you start kind of focusing in on, on, on what you want.
Ken Ojuka: I would say, I’ll say this is that early on. You know, we really thought we wanted to sell to manufacturers. And it wasn’t until, you know, we kind of stepped back and realized all of the learnings that we had really was the part where you’re directly facing a customer, you know? And in this case for the manufacturer, that customer was the brand, you know, and we really kind of stepped into that mindset of a brand and kind of what they want their expectations of.
Ken Ojuka: One of them, like a manufacturing partner, but then also realizing too that, hey, I’ve been that brand. And in fact, the whole motivation for Fiddle came from a frustration I had as a brand. Right. And, and some of the issues that I had as a brand, you know, interacting with manufacturers. I think that in the early days, you know, the first six months to a year we were able to pick up some customers, but not as many as we’d hoped.
Ken Ojuka: But it wasn’t until we kind of realized that you know what, we’re actually a really, really good solution for a brand that we started to get some traction. And so, talking to these brands who feel like they are stuck in a spreadsheet, or if they do adopt an inventory tool, it feels like it’s made for.
Ken Ojuka: You know, sort of, manufacturing type type background for, for us you know, leaning into the brands and, you know, getting to know the brands was, was both like, you know, we had, we got a lot more traction, but it was, it’s kind of being true to who we are, you know, we’re brand people where, you know, we love talking to these brands.
Ken Ojuka: Sometimes, you know, we can get a manufacturer, but you know, I, I much prefer talking to a brand, you know, it’s exciting. I love their products. I love what people are trying to do. And the challenges of being a brand and taking a product to market that’s kind of our sweet spot. So, you know, I think it was just being more congruent with who we were like, who I am as a person, but then also who we are as a team.
Ken Ojuka: What, where we are, you know, kind of fired up and excited. And I think that that translated into, you know, we started, we started clicking, you know, and, and so, so we’ve been having a lot of success signing up CPG brands. So, yeah, so the early days, you know, I think just taking a product to market it’s actually just a lot of work putting it in front of people and realizing, and trying to identify all the parts where, hey, maybe we built this specifically for
Ken Ojuka: that manufacturer or for that, you know, specifically for that workflow. But what about these other workflows? You know, what about these instances where, you know, a user is kind of in a different mindset or they look at this a little different, you know, and so, you know, those types of things early days, I mean, it’s a lot of demos.
Ken Ojuka: It’s a lot of just trying to get in front of people and show them the tool, have them click around and then look at their reaction, look at their face, look at, you know, you know, are they, are they happy? Are they delighted that, you know, this is solving a problem? Or, you know, are they kind of like, eh, that’s okay.
Ken Ojuka: You know? And so, it’s, it’s an iteration, you know, and I think, you know, with software, you just see it in these, you know, in software, you call it a commit when you like actually take some of the code you’re working on and you commit it to the database of code. You know, like you kind of merge it with everything.
Ken Ojuka: It’s just one commit after another. And so those iterations, you know, turn into thousands of commits and the software continues to evolve.
Jessi: Excellent, And I’m wondering if you’d be willing to share a little bit about the, you mentioned just closing a funding round. Have you, is this your first round of funding?
Jessi: Have you raised some other rounds of funding? What are some of the fundraising processes? Looking like, and having that, I know that I have some background in angel investing in fundraising that can take a lot of time, especially on the founders. So, what does that process look like for you if you’re willing to share about it and what will that enable you to do over the next few years? You know, what were some of the goals, I guess, for this next round?
Ken Ojuka: I think early on you know, it’s a Fiddle’s about four years old? Early on, you know, we talked to some investors, and you know, we had some success, we were able to make friends and family around. That’s the very first thing we did.
Ken Ojuka: And then we did what we’re calling our first pre-seed, you know? So, pre-seed one that, that’s something that we actually closed at the end of last year. You know, so December, January of this year, and then the round that we just closed, we call it our pre-seed too. And all these names are, you know, they seem so arbitrary, you know, what you call it.
Ken Ojuka: Pre-seed now used to be a Series-A, you know, years ago. And so, you know, that’s just kind of how we’re looking at it and you know, we’re going to be right on target to raise a seed round, you know, our actual seed round of financing in the spring, you know, early, early summer. And so the way that it’s looked, I mean, it’s, it’s kind of like, you would think, you know, you, you contact these people.
Ken Ojuka: You’re trying to get a meeting with them, whether it’s a virtual meeting or in-person before COVID we were doing a bunch of in-person pitching Utah just happens to be, you know, pretty big manufacturing. And there are actually a lot of product brands that are coming up too in Utah.
Ken Ojuka: And there’ve been some, you know, some huge, huge successes. And so, you know, we were, we were pitching a lot of VCs and Angels, you know, that were kind of aware of what was happening in the market. But, you know, I’ll say this, I think it was kind of slow going when we were so focused on manufacturing.
Ken Ojuka: As soon as we, you know, kind of started going after CPG brands, that whole thing flipped on its head. You know, so for instance, I get about one email a week of some inbound, you know, from an investor that’s interested in what we’re doing and wants to set up a meeting that wasn’t happening at all before, you know, we were doing all the outreach.
Ken Ojuka: I think that there are a lot of investors that have put money into CPG brands. And so, they are just intimately familiar with some of the, you know, the inventory, purchasing, you know, growth scale type problems that CPG brands run into. And so, when we kind of talk about what, you know, the pain points that we solve, I think that it resonates with a lot of these investors.
Ken Ojuka: And so, we’ve had quite a bit inbound for our seed round, you know, the next round that’s coming up. You know, we already have about 30 or 40 investors on a list that are interested. And when I say interest is actually a different interest level than, you know what I’ve seen before.
Ken Ojuka: I think I know what, hey, they’re just being nice. They’re just kind of blowing you off too. Wait a minute. Everything is different. Like these guys are actually reaching out to us. They’re checking in with us. They are very interested in investing. They just want us to grow a little bit more before they can put in some money.
Ken Ojuka: So, you know, I’d say, I’d say all in all. I, I think, you know, in talking to my other entrepreneur friends, I think our journey has been pretty typical for an early-stage company. You know, I, I think that you know, We have a kind of hit on a pain point and we’re playing in a space where I think the pain points are pretty apparent and they’re not just emotional.
Ken Ojuka: They are also like, it’s a pain point that hits the bank account. You know, when you make an inventory mistake, like holy cow, You know, you’re strapped all your, your cash flow, you’re working capital’s gone, you know, because you bought too much product or you know, there was a production mistake, you know, because something wasn’t communicated correctly or, you know, whatever, or you’re out of inventory because you didn’t realize the lead times, you know, or you’ve been selling product for a while and you realize, wait, we’ve actually been losing money because you weren’t clear on your COGS.
Ken Ojuka: You know, you know, those are problems where I think an investor can look at that and say, you know, I want to make sure my team, my team is on top of these things. You know, let’s look at Fiddle, let’s see what they’re doing, you know? So anyway, I think, I think in some ways it’s been pretty typical, but then in other ways, I think that we’ve found, you know, a little bit of a tailwind focusing on CPG brands in that investors get it, you know, it’s, it’s not a hard conversation for them to realize.
Ken Ojuka: Sort of the value that we bring.
Jessi: Right. Switching over a little to Fiddle’s culture. I’m curious about your leadership philosophy and as you’ve grown, the team, what things you’ve been intentional about as far as building Fiddle’s culture.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. You know, that’s always a hard question for me to answer, you know, I still think in some ways, we’re still young.
Ken Ojuka: You know, and so it’s just, you know, it’s like, we’re such a small team, you know, does it really make sense to, you know, to spend all this time, you know, like, you know, identifying our culture, that kind of stuff. I think it’s really important. I think that it’s something in, in recent years, I think that has highlighted how important those things are.
Ken Ojuka: But, you know, I’d say for instance diversity, you know, like, so I’m, I’m from Uganda. Originally, I’m an African American. I would love to have a diverse team, you know, with, with just, you know, we’re equal opportunity for everybody. If you’ve got the skills and you want to come work and you’re excited about what we’re doing, you know, bring it, we, we are, we’re totally open, you know?
Ken Ojuka: So that’s, that’s something that I’m thinking about, you know, and as we continue to hire and as we grow, you know, that’s something that I think we’ll be cognizant of. I, you know, I actually find that you know, and maybe this is something for somebody, somebody that’s listening, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re looking for, you know, some female,
Ken Ojuka: salespeople, you know, we just find that we’re, we’re demoing and showing the product to a lot of female founders. Right. And I, and I think it’s important for us to kind of, reflect the, the market that we’re selling to, you know, and I, and some of the best salespeople that I’ve known in my career in software and in like CPG space that I’ve played in have been females and they’ve been amazing.
Ken Ojuka: You know, so anyway, we’re, we’re looking for some female salespeople. If there’s somebody out there that’s interested and just hired our first female programmer, you know, and that’s something technically I’ve got, you know, I’ve got two daughters and I look at them and think that they’ve got all the potential in the world.
Ken Ojuka: I’d love to see more. You know, more women in tech, you know, and in programming specifically, that’s an area that I’m kind of focused on. So, I’d love it. If you know, one or both of my daughters got into programming into, you know, something technical like that. And I think they’re totally capable of doing it, you know?
Ken Ojuka: And so, we’re interested in hiring you know, like women programmers, You know, and so anyway, diversity in general, that’s just kind of a high level. Like let’s, let’s see what we can do here. I don’t want this to become sort of a pro culture, and you know, some of the negatives that you hear about Silicon Valley type companies, you know, let’s see if we can do it a little bit differently.
Ken Ojuka: You know, one of the other, you know, points that we’re really interested in is we want to make sure that we serve sort of the, the, the, the new guy, you know, the, the smaller companies that are getting off the ground, we want to make sure that Fiddle, you know, can relate to. We don’t want to go so far up the market that we kind of forget about, you know, about, hey, there, there are entrepreneurs, there are startups out there that have these particular problems.
Ken Ojuka: And I think you know, I might, I might’ve mentioned it before, but we integrate with Shopify and I just really, I just really like Shopify as a company and as a model, I like what they’ve done. They’ve been able to have a product that serves a lot of people, but then, you know, they introduced Shopify plus, you know, in some of the more advanced features and that’s how they went on to market.
Ken Ojuka: But the product still remained pretty approachable to the average person, you know? And so, for me, that’s really important with fiddle culture-wise. And then, you know, I think, you know, one of the other points that I can, you know, bring up about culture and it might just be about, you know, my personality and Morgan and I’s personality as the two co-founders.
Ken Ojuka: Is it really direct, you know, we, you shouldn’t have to tiptoe around things, you know, we’re, we’re all trying for the same things here. Let’s just talk about it. Let’s just, you know, if you’ve got an issue, just bring it up. You know, I, I don’t like, you know, all this, you know, mask drama and, you know, just being inauthentic, you know, I think that.
Ken Ojuka: You know, the places that I’ve worked and the places that I, you know, that I admire, the companies that I admire, you know, you’ve kind of got a culture where people can just talk to each other and you kind of give the other person the benefit of the doubt and, you know, realize that they’re trying their best.
Ken Ojuka: You know, if there’s a mistake or, you know, offense in some way, it’s. I think it’s something that we can, we can hash out and we can just, you know, be adult about it and then, and then kind of move forward with our goals. So anyway, those, those are a few things that come to mind.
Jessi: Yeah. I also noticed on your own podcasts, which I’d love to talk about in a second, you ask people about their, a quote that they live by and why it’s impactful for them. And I’m wondering if you could answer that question.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah, so I love Mark Twain. Mark Twain has a quote where he says, don’t let school get in the way of your education. And you know, it’s, I, you know, I’ve worked in, in the path of, I’ve worked with you know, a lot of youth and you know, people that are, you know, thinking about their future and going forward and, you know, and also just in talking to my kids and stuff, of course, I want my kids to go to school.
Ken Ojuka: Of course, I want them to go to college. I think it’s really important. I think there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of value there, but you know, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking. That’s kind of the end all be all. And you know, another way to look at it is just because you have a college degree doesn’t mean that you’re educated, you know?
Ken Ojuka: And just because you don’t have a college degree, doesn’t mean that you’re not educated. I think there’s a responsibility there where you are responsible for your education. You know, and I think that this is something that is way more applicable and truer today, you know, in 2021, then, you know, then maybe it used to be it’s it’s that there’s just so many sources where you can learn what, you know, the, the skills that you want to learn.
Ken Ojuka: You know, and, and I think, you know, for people listening to this podcast and, you know, I think of like a CPG brand or somebody that’s got a business idea and wants to, to launch it and get it out there. You know, I mean just the number of resources that are available. You don’t have to go to some CPG school or something like that in order to be able to launch a product, you know, there’s a lot of ways in which you can just figure it out.
Ken Ojuka: And in fact, when, you know, you mentioned my podcast, when I talk to people and I hear their founding stories of some of these, you know, some of these iconic brands. You know, some of these, it’s just people figuring it out, you know? So anyway, that’s a long way of saying, you know, I love that quote because I think that you take responsibility for learning the things that you want to learn.
Ken Ojuka: And you can’t wait for, you know, some teacher to show up and just kind of tell you everything. I think that, you know, getting educated. You know, leveling up your skill, you know, and, and your ability in whatever area you’re interested in, that’s your responsibility. And it’s something that you can do.
Jessi: Great. And this is a good segue into, can you tell us about your podcast, what you talk about there and where people can find it?
Ken Ojuka: Yeah, so it’s called the Physical Product Movement Podcast, and you know, it’s kind of what. But it sounds like I think that we live in a world where retail, product development, it’s all just being, you know, flipped on its head, you know, with the internet and, you know, things like Amazon, you know, just completely changing the way people shop with the ability like how easy it is
Ken Ojuka: to go from idea to like, okay, I’ve got a physical product. Now, people accidentally find themselves as like CPG brand, you know, founders, you know, because they just had an idea. They tried it and started working, you know? And so, I just think we live in a different world where there’s just a lot of brands and there, you know, there are more and more coming out every single day.
Ken Ojuka: I forget the number of. Hundreds of thousands of new brands launched on, on Amazon, like all the time, you know, and it’s just something that’s been compounding over years, you know? So anyway, I just think it’s something that’s going to continue to happen. And so, it’s never, you know, there’s never been a better time to start a product company.
Ken Ojuka: I think it’s never been easier to find manufacturers’ co-packers suppliers. I know, you know, some people still struggle with it. But man, it used to be way harder than it is today. It’s never been easier to find somebody to actually make the product, right? It’s never been easier to then put up a website and start selling the product, you know, and, and find a little market, you know, spin up some Instagram ads and, you know, start sending some traffic towards your, whatever it is you’re offering, you know?
Ken Ojuka: And so, I think it’s a great time, you know? And so with, with our podcast, what we’re trying to do is we’re kind of trying to surface, you know, some of these stories and people’s journeys, you know, getting into this sort of physical product world, you know, and we also like to make sure that they talk about some of the challenges that they’ve had and some of the lessons learned and so that people listening to the podcast.
Ken Ojuka: Kind of walk away with some tips, you know, some takeaways and so Physical Product Movement podcast you can just search that, and any podcast player and it’ll pull right up, or you can just Google it and you’ll find it there. You don’t have to go to fiddle.io and we’ve got links to that podcast there.
Jessi: Great. And I’m also wondering. With you having a lot going on with your family, with running fiddle, you’ve got a podcast. What does it look like to manage work-life balance or yeah? How do you make sure that you’re staying connected and grounded and present in all the different aspects of your life? I’m curious if you have any tips for people.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. Well, okay. So first of all, I don’t know if I have any real tips. I don’t know that I, you know, always do it right. Or I’m a, you know, a great role model for that. I think everybody is just trying their best, you know? And what I’ve realized over the last few years is that I don’t actually know anybody that doesn’t feel busy.
Ken Ojuka: You know, I think all of us kind of feel stretched and we felt busy and, you know, kind of at our limit one, you know, one tip, you know, and this is maybe for founders that they have kids. Is that one of the things that I’ve done that I think kind of forces, you know, and I say force just because I want to lock it in.
Ken Ojuka: I just want to make sure it happens. Not because I don’t want to do it, but it kind of forces me to like, have some time with my kids. Is that I actually got involved with coaching there, their teams. And so like, you know, I played soccer in college and my kids, you know, my older kids are playing soccer.
Ken Ojuka: And so, I just signed up to be an assistant coach. And I, you know, I tell you there’s, it’s almost every time I have to go, it feels like I’ve got a million other things going on and it’s like, it’d be really easy to make an excuse and skip it. You know, and everybody would understand, even my kids would understand, you know, dad’s got a lot going on, but for me, it’s just been really important to like kind of lock-in that time.
Ken Ojuka: And so, I’ve got scheduled time with my kids. And the funny thing is it’s not even necessarily the practices themselves or, you know, driving to a game or the game itself. It’s actually the, you know what I just mentioned, it’s driving to these things and having just a few minutes in the car, you know, with like my, my ten-year-old daughter, you know, and just kind of catching up or driving to practice, you know, or just joking around, you know, before practice or after practice, you know, like those are the things that, that, where I feel like, you know, we’ve been able to kind of reconnect and stuff.
Ken Ojuka: So, if I had a tip, you know, of one of the, you know, the things that I think I’ve done right, is that, and I can’t. I can’t say that I have time for it. I don’t have time for it, but because I kind of locked it in and just raised my hand and said, yep, I’ll be the assistant coach. It kind of forces me to make sure that I’m there and that I’m contributing as much as I can.
Ken Ojuka: And then you know, I get some of those metrics. Yeah. So anyway, that’s one thing. The other thing I would say about work-life balance is that there’s actually a quote from Jeff Bezos. You know, it sounds, you know, let’s just say I liked Jeff Bezos a lot more before sort of the recent divorce and all that that went on.
Ken Ojuka: But I think as this quote still has some applicability as he talks about it, he’s like he doesn’t really believe in work-life balance. He believes in work-life harmony and that there are just different times. You know, there’s a time and a season for things. There’s a time when work is just going to be a grind and it’s going to take, you know, everything you got.
Ken Ojuka: And then there are times where it’s like, you can, you can pack in a little bit more, you know, for me, it’s like family time, just always trying to find some, some extra family time, you know, or, you know, there’s time when you can, you can invest more in, in like working out and really being healthy and all that kind of stuff.
Ken Ojuka: I think, you know, you can try to balance it as much as you can. I think you’re always going to be a little bit. You know, but, you know, looking at it more like, like work-life harmony and just, you know, like realizing that you’re going to be off-balance a little bit, you know, here and there. I, anyway, I, I think that that’s a good philosophy in, and at least one that, that I try to look at things that way like right now I’m in the middle of a startup.
Ken Ojuka: We just got fundraising. I mean, it takes all your energy. And so, this is just, I’m going to be off-balance for that sort of season as we, as we fundraise, but we closed our round and, you know, things can get back to a little bit more normal. So, you know, I’ll be able to find a little bit more time to spend at home with my kids and with my wife. So that’s, that’s, that’s my view on it.
Jessi: Yeah. Great. Thank you for sharing. And then I have a couple of questions. I like to ask everybody the first one is, is there an oddly satisfying part of your job? It could be something mundane. It could be code related. It could be team-related, really anything but something that you’re like, I love when this small thing happens. It just gives me a little energy or makes me happy.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. Well, you know, so from the early days of fiddle, I was always really involved in, you know, bringing on new clients. And I love that. I’ll go to a meeting with my team here and they’re bringing up clients that I don’t know anything about.
Ken Ojuka: Like I wasn’t involved in bringing them on board. And you know, it’s just, to me, that’s just a little bit satisfying in that. Oh, okay. We’re actually building a team and we’ve got other members of the team that are handling some of these really, really important tasks. And in some ways, it’s like, these are some tasks where like, sure I could do it, but actually think, you know, the members of the team that we have, it’s like, they can do it better than I could do it.
Ken Ojuka: So, you know, I’m glad that they’re handling it. So, you know, that’s, that’s something when it’s like, we, we sign up a new client and it’s like, you know, when, when the sales agreement comes in, that’s like the first. That I’ve even heard of them. Right. That means that we’ve got a process going and we’ve got a team.
Jessi: Nice. I love that. And then do you have a favorite tea? Are you a tea drinker? I’d love to hear, if you have a couple teas that you’d be willing to share that you might drink.
Ken Ojuka: You know, I’m, I’m pretty bored with tea, with tea you know, like, you know, I, I like, you know, I just like a good mint tea, you know? I also really like ginger tea.
Ken Ojuka: You know, I like the ginger flavor, you know, a little bit of that. The spicy taste. And then one, one tea that I’ve just really started to enjoy is like a rooibos. And there’s just a bunch of different, different ones, but I don’t even know if I’m saying that. Right. You know, it’s probably a mispronunciation, but you know, good rooibos tea and I couldn’t really give you any brands or whatever.
Ken Ojuka: That I do, but that’s, that’s kind of, that’s kind of my, my, my tea story. And I know for a Teener like yourself, you know, maybe that’s a little, little tame, but you know, whatever, you know, that’s, that’s kind of where I’m at.
Jessi: Okay. We have all the, we accept all levels of tea drinking on this podcast. It’s a safe space.
Jessi: So I’m, I’m a big rooibos drinker. So, I love that.
Ken Ojuka: And how did you pronounce it?
Jessi: I think you were rooibos is what I’ve said and I think that’s yeah. Okay. But I also, yeah, I could be, I could be wrong too, so, but that’s how I’ve said it.
Ken Ojuka: So, something in that vein, what would you recommend, you know, to somebody that wants to expand their tea drinking a little bit?
Jessi: Oh gosh. Well, I would, we’ve got so many good tea brands in Portland. Like I love there’s a brand in Portland called plum deluxe and they do these little sampler kits where you can try a bunch of their teas and they do a bunch of amazing herbal blends. They’ve got some with ginger and mint and you can just order a little bit and make a couple of cups and then kind of decide what you like from there.
Jessi: So that’s been going through them has been a good way to kind of expand the different types of tea I like, and taste different things, because they make it really easy to be like, oh, you don’t have to commit to a full thing. A few little packets and then from there, and then they’ll also give you recommendations of if you like this tea thing, you’ll probably like this one and they do a good job walking people through the tea education process.
Ken Ojuka: Cool. I will try them out and, you know, as the weather gets cold, I end up drinking a little more tea. So, thank you.
Jessi: Cool. Before our final section, which is tips and drags, is there anything else that you wanted to share or that we missed? Before we go on to that section, any final words to the world?
Ken Ojuka: No, I guess what I would say, you know, having built the CPG brand and then also a software brand, you know, I’d say, you know, it really just comes down to customers, you know, and really understanding, loving, you know, the customer loving the problem that the customer is trying to solve, you know, the space in their life that, you know, your product can fit in and really kind of understanding all of that.
Ken Ojuka: That’s. That’s really what it’s all about, you know, and that, and I just think, you know, the more FaceTime with a customer with customers, the more you can, you know, really it’s more than just, you know, a survey of like 10 questions, you know, it’s like really digging in and kind of sharing, you know, sharing time and sharing sort of the empathy that you have, you know, the limited empathy that we have in our lives.
Ken Ojuka: It’s like sharing that with your customers and kind of inviting them into that space and really kind of getting into their world. I think that that’s kind of the key to all of this. And so, if we’ve had any success at all, you know, and I think it’s because we’re, we’re really trying there and I think, you know, like anybody else, sometimes we’re good.
Ken Ojuka: And sometimes we make mistakes, but you know, we always try to kind of revisit that and get better at it and improve and iterate on, on just understanding the customers we’re trying to serve.
Jessi: All right. Well, our final step section is tips and drags. It’s just kind of a fun thing. Tea tips are the sweet part of the leaf, and then the drags are like, you know, what’s left at the bottom of your cup.
Jessi: So just kind of thinking over your last week, what would be like a highlight and what would be kind of low light. And usually, we go back and forth and start with drags, and then we can end on our highlights. So, I don’t know if you, if you have a drag, you can go for it or I can, or I can start us off.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. You know, I, I might actually steal one that I, that I heard on a previous episode, you know, that you talked about, which is, I can’t remember if it was actually, you or your guest, but you know, I love fall. Like fall is my favorite time of year. You know, I love, you know, just the trees and all of that, the cooler weather, you know, it’s sort of like summer, you know, the heat was just crazy.
Ken Ojuka: And then it’s like all of a sudden it’s like, oh man, I just want to be outside all the time. But then, you know, we’re kind of getting to that part where it’s getting, okay, now it’s getting a little too cold. You know, it’s like getting where it’s uncomfortable being outside. And I absolutely, you know, it’s funny.
Ken Ojuka: I love fall. I absolutely hate winter and I’m not a winter person at all. And so winter in Utah, that’s a little bit of a drag that’s. Anyway, I grew up in Arizona and so it’s like every winter I consider moving down to Arizona. I cannot stand the snow. I can’t stand the cold.
Jessi: Yeah man. Yeah. I’m yeah. I’m not looking forward to getting darker and colder. I would have to say mine drags this week. It’s kind of silly, but I just, I don’t know if I’ve really been having trouble concentrating or what, but I have had so many cups of tea just the other day. I had a cup of tea. I made it in the morning, and I think I reheated.
Jessi: Three times before I ever took a drink, which is just a Cardinal sin of tea drinking to even reheat it in the first place. And so, I was just like, oh, I hate when you make an I saw a meme to the later that day that had like, it was like the cup of tea I made. And then the new cup of tea. The previous cup of tea that didn’t even get drunk is looking jealous at the other cup.
Jessi: And I’m like, that’s me all the time. I’m always making the next cup and then realizing, oh shoot, I didn’t even drink the last one. So, trying to, I feel bad for those cups of tea that don’t get drunk or they have to get reheated. It’s very sad.
Ken Ojuka: Well, two comments on that are I didn’t even know there were tea mints, you know, I didn’t know that was a tea. But I’ll have to, you know, like add that to Twitter or something and get some more of that going on in my life. The other thing is, I’m just happy to hear that I’m not the only one that does that. So, you’ve oddly, you’ve made me feel a little bit better.
Jessi: There we go. Do you know what your, do you have a tip for that you want to share?
Ken Ojuka: Well, I, you know, I, I just go back to my previous comment. Let’s, let’s have that be my tip, you know, which is, you know, it’s all about. You know, you’re, you’ve got to understand them. You’ve got to, you’ve got to fall in love with them and like really enjoy serving them and really get into their world and like, you know, fall in love with the problem that you’re trying to solve, you know, because it’s not about your product, it’s about the space in the customer’s life that kind of makes room for your product, you know, and really understanding that.
Jessi: Yeah. And do you have like a, like a highlight, like a positive like a tea tip, I guess, of, you know, something, it could be also your fault, but you know, something that you’re, there was a highlight from the last week or something.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, we were chatting a little bit before the interview.
Ken Ojuka: My family just moved, and we only moved five minutes away and you know, doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but I’ve got a bunch of kids. I got five kids and it’s like when we moved into our townhome, it was. Just my wife and I, and it was a pretty easy booth, you know, and I was coming off of a sort of single college life, you know, where I just didn’t have much, you know?
Ken Ojuka: And so, it was the move with a piece of cake. So anyway, 14 years later, you know, in that same house, it’s like, wow, it just accumulates a lot of stuff with kids. And so anyway, the move has happened. We’re in a new place. We’re sleeping at the new place. I’m pumped up about that. You know, the new house has more backyard and more space just in general.
Ken Ojuka: We and my kids are just loving it. You know, and it’s almost like we didn’t realize how cramped we were in our old town home. Until we, until we got out of there, you know, and then it’s like, okay, this is a good place for my family. So anyway, that’s a huge win and I’m super pumped up about that.
Jessi: Yeah. I’m glad I’m congratulated. And I’m glad that you’ve survived. The survived the move, that’s a lot.
Ken Ojuka: It really is moving. I don’t know anybody that likes moving. It’s just always so hard.
Jessi: It is. Let’s see for my tips. It’s also another small thing, but I have seen this time of year, I love all the fall fruits like fruit and vegetables.
Jessi: Any, any fall produce is my favorite and local. I’d seen a local post about these apples that were actually pink in the middle. Like bright pink. And somebody had made these, this beautiful, like pie out of them, which was so cool. It kind of had this pink and white there’s kind of a blend inside and they made this beautiful tart.
Jessi: And I was like, oh, that’s so cool. I got to find those. And we were able to find them at the Farmer’s Market this weekend. And it’s just this apple and you cut into it and it’s bright pink inside. And it’s just so cool. And so that was just a highlight. I still have some left. I’m eating them really slow because each time I just have to Marvel it how
Jessi: pretty it is inside. So that’s just been, and I love finding new fall fruits and pears. And I went and got in Portland, we have a place called the Portland nursery and non-pandemic time. They’ll do this apple festival where you can go try like 60 different varieties of apples and then buy them afterward.
Jessi: And they priced them all just like a dollar, a pound, super affordable and accessible. And non-pandemic. They still have all the bins out. And so, I went and just bought a ton of apples and stocked up the fridge yesterday. And so, so yeah, any and everything apple-related this time of year just makes me very happy.
Ken Ojuka: No, that’s awesome. I’m going to have to hunt around for this apple. My wife always likes trying new fruit, you know, and so I don’t even know the names of some of the fruits she brings home, you know, but it’s just kind of fun. Just to kind of see what it’s like, and then my kids just absolutely love any fruit. So, so yeah, I’m going to have to look for that.
Jessi: Well, thanks so much, Ken, this was fun to chat with you and learn more about your background and about Fiddle and some of your philosophies. It was awesome. So, I really appreciate your time and sharing space on the podcast. This has been super fun.
Ken Ojuka: Yeah. Yeah. And I, I appreciate you doing this, you know, I love this. I’ve just kind of discovered your podcast and I’ve started listening to some of the episodes and, you know, anyway, right up my alley. I love this. So. you’ve got a new subscriber.
Jessi: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Ken Ojuka: All right. Thanks Jessi.
Ken Ojuka: The Physical Product Movement Podcast is brought to you by Fiddle. To find out more about Fiddle and how our industry-leading inventory ops platform is giving modern brands and manufacturers all visibility into their inventory and operations. Visit fiddle.io, and then make sure to search for Physical Product Movement in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or anywhere else podcasts are found. Make sure to click subscribe, so you don’t miss any future episodes. On behalf of the team here at Fiddle. Thanks for listening.