We’re excited to welcome Louie Cesario to the MatchCraft team today. Louie joins us as Marketing and Community Coordinator and will be responsible for increasing MatchCraft’s client base.
In addition to managing various marketing initiatives, his duties include conference planning, sales support, vendor management and more.
Louie, a Chicago native, brings a passion for small business to our Santa Monica office. He’s already a serial entrepreneur: As an undergraduate at Arizona State University, he started Sudz Club, a subscription box service delivering personal care products like shampoo, soap and shaving cream on campus. Out of that grew Casual Solutions, an online marketing and web development agency he ran with other ASU students in his technology and digital marketing program.
We sat down with Louie on his first day to get some more background.
MatchCraft: What was your first paying job?
Louie Cesario: When I was in high school I worked as a sales rep for a beverage distributor. I sold Red Bull to all kinds of businesses, from gas stations to convenience stores to Walmart.
MC: Where did the idea for Sudz Club come from?
LC: One day one of my buddies came home from grocery shopping – he bought everything on his list except shampoo. He didn’t have a car, so he either had to get back on the bus or go to the local market on campus, where everything was really expensive. College students get creative about personal hygiene: I’ve seen people subbing dishwashing detergent for body wash or rubbing fabric softener sheets under their arms when they run out of deodorant. We figured there had to be a better option.
We submitted the idea for Sudz Club for an on-campus entrepreneurial grant program, and we got $10,000. We used that money on branding, buying our first inventory, and figuring out packaging and shipping.
MC: What was the hardest part of running a small business while going to school?
LC: Balancing my studies with the enormous needs of a startup company. We had to step out of our comfort zones and teach ourselves all aspects of running a business, from sales to marketing to logistics. I pulled a lot of all-nighters.
MC: Did you market your businesses in any particularly creative ways?
LC: For Sudz Club, we sent boxes to bloggers and vloggers who reviewed them in “unboxing” posts and videos. We also spent a lot of time and energy marketing on campus, especially when parents were around. Sudz the Bear was our business personality – all our social media was written from the bear’s point of view – and we had a big bear costume that we wore to campus events. We raffled off prizes we got from local businesses around campus to build our email list and social media following, and in exchange for the prizes we included promotional materials in our boxes. And we got a lot of press, including a feature in Entrepreneur Magazine.
MC: What’s the most important thing you learned from your businesses?
LC: Don’t rush into anything too fast. We threw money at ideas at the beginning and didn’t really strategize as much as we should have. We jumped in without a roadmap or milestones. Do your research, make a strategic plan, and stick to it.
MC: Best pizza in Chicago?
LC: Gino’s East or Lou Malnati’s. I’m deep dish all the way. My mom sends me care packages.
MC: What do you love and hate most about Los Angeles so far?
LC: I like being able to explore a new place. I’ve been hitting a different beach every weekend and I joined a beach volleyball league. I guess I could be stereotypical and say I don’t like traffic, but the truth is there’s not much I don’t like yet.