This was published on Founder Institute's Grad News on September 11th by writer Amity Sims.
Seattle FI Grad, Pieces of There, Delivers a Taste of Home to Nomads and Transplants
Now a days, spending your entire life in the place you were born is practically unheard of. Most US cities have a healthy population of transplants, ranging from permanent residents, to wandering nomads. In spite of their affinity for where they currently reside, a transplant's hometown will always have a place in their heart.
To combat any loneliness one might feel for their city of origin, Liz Kulin launched Pieces of There, a service that helps transplants enjoy a piece of home with carefully curated care packages comprised of goods representing their hometown.
Geekwire recently featured Pieces of There in their Startup Spotlight, and interviewed Founder and CEO, Liz Kulin (Graduate of Seattle FI), about what makes her service truly unique. Below, a segment of the article has been republished:
"I love living in Seattle.
But my roots are very much in Ohio, the place I called home for my first 18 years. Every once in awhile, I get a hankering for stuff from the Buckeye state.
As a transplant in Seattle, it’s easier than ever to tune into news or sporting events. But what about the physical products — a nice slice of Coccia House pizza for example — that I grew up with?
Liz Kulin, a Seattle entrepreneur, wants to help on that front. Her 9-month old startup, Pieces of There, offers specialized care packages tied to certain geographic regions. (Here are some from Ohio, and even a few from Michigan, though I don’t understand why anyone would ever want to buy one of those).
Kulin is transplant herself, having lived in Boston, Boulder, San Francisco and now Seattle. In fact, the idea started when the 33-year-old grew homesick for her hometown of Nantucket Island.
“My mother would send me care packages of local products from Nantucket, and each time it would make me feel closer to my favorite place while far away,” she said. “I realized that there are over 1 billion people in the world living in a place that they did not grow up in.” Earlier this year, Kulin was accepted into the Founder Institute accelerator program where she worked on the business model and tested the e-commerce concept.
The site now has 125 different care packages from 25 different geographic locations, and Kulin is just starting to ramp up sales with a big push planned for the holiday. Here’s more from Kulin in our latest installment of Startup Spotlight:
Explain what you do so our parents can understand it:
"We sell care packages of local products from cool places all across the United States.”
Inspiration hit us when:
“A customer tells me that one of our care packages made them feel closer to a place that they miss. This is the only reason why I started Pieces Of There and it continues to be the only reason why I wake up and work on it every day.”
VC, Angel or Bootstrap:
“We are currently bootstrapped by myself (and my incredibly supportive wife). Bootstrapping has made most sense to our business in this early-stage of building the offering and developing traction.”
Our ‘secret sauce’ is:
"Speed to marketing, sleepless motivation, and dedicated relationship with suppliers. Each care package of local products comes from the actual location that the consumer is buying from. In other words, if you — or a friend or family member— live in Boston but miss Chicago for some reason you can buy a care package of Chicago local products. The care package is put together in Chicago by a real Chicago native who knows Chicago local products. Our supplier ships the care package out to you straight from the place that you are missing.”