Inc. Magazine Discusses How Hendrick Boards Uses Pinterest

February 27th, 2012

This most recent player in the field of social media might seem like it doesn’t fit into your marketing model. Here’s why you’re wrong.
Marla Tabaka

If you could promote your brand via what the Wall Street Journal boasts as “the hottest start up…in Silicon Valley,” would you jump on board? Well, if top brands such as Martha Stewart, Michael Kors, Pepsi, and Nike see the potential, it’s probably a good idea to follow suit.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can “curate and share things you love.” With millions of new “pins” a week, not only do “pinners” consider posting and reposting stuff they love fun and inspirational, but also Pinterest has already proven itself as a powerful social media platform. Businesses are joining Pinterest to display product, create brand awareness, build communities and, in some cases, grow profits by leaps and bounds.

On December 5, 2011, Holly Xerri was enjoying lunch out with a friend. But a series of text messages from her husband eventually took Xerri’s attention away from her friend. “I will never forget it,” she says. “More and more orders were coming in through the website. I had to excuse myself from lunch to go see what was going on!”

Xerri is the inventor of a clothing accessory known as the Camiband. Only a few months earlier, a Camiband was worn on-air by Today Show’s Jill Martin, so naturally Xerri assumed that the influx of sales was a result of the Camiband’s morning-show debut. “I thought that the Today show was the biggest thing that could happen for my business,” she chuckled. “We had 3,500 hits when the Camiband was worn on the show. But I was wrong; it wasn’t the biggest thing that would happen for us!”

Xerri and her husband hadn’t heard of Pinterest at the time, but their analytics showed a heavy amount of traffic coming from southern states, where interest in Pinterest was spreading like wildfire. “Someone pinned one of my Camibands and it went viral,” Xerri says. “In 4 days I had about 40,000 hits on my website, all from this Pinterest.” It’s been more than three months since that memorable day and Camiband orders generated from Pinterest traffic have never stopped.

Experiences like this are not unique to Xerri’s business. I heard from more than 50 small businesses when I reached out for Pinterest success stories. Most of them indicated that Pinterest is among their top-10 referring sites. These entrepreneurs feel that their consumers are expressing higher levels of loyalty due to the community being built around the brand. And, many claim that traffic generated from Pinterest far exceeds traffic numbers from Facebook and Twitter combined—not bad for a newbie forum!

The folks at Daily Grommet have been active on Pinterest since late August 2011, and in only one month’s time Pinterest was among their top 15 referring sites; today it is in their top five. According to their analytics, site visits from Pinterest increase on an average of 160 percent each month, with 83 percent being new visitors. Since they sell unusual products curated from all over the world, the folks at Daily Grommet created a group board to act as an extension of their community and for sourcing new product ideas. This board grew to over 3,000 followers in the first few weeks. So far, they’ve seen over 60 pins from their Pinterest community, affectionately known as their PinPals. They’ve also pinned conversation starters and hosted a giveaway for their PinPals, so their activity is not limited to pinning.

These community events seem to be flourishing on Pinterest. Amelia Lerutte is a social media intern for i Love Dogs, who says that their Pinterest community has added a whole new dimension of two-way communication between them and their readers. “It’s the perfect platform for us to post our photo contest entries and advertise upcoming photo contests,” Lerutte says. “We were initially drawn to Pinterest for its unique ideas and we ended up loving it because it drives traffic to our websites as well.”

And for you crowdsourcers, Pinterest may provide the means to meet your financial target. Hendrick Boards, a clothing and skateboard company that donates a portion of the purchase price to local animal shelters, found that Pinterest is a great way to crowdsource around the cause. “The audiences seem to be much more engaged with causes,” says founder David Hendrickson. “In fact, the area where we see the most growth through Pinterest is connecting people to the nonprofits we support at Hendrick Boards.”

So, what if you don’t sell a colorful product line? Pinterest is still can be a great tool to generate new traffic and leads for B2B and service-based businesses. Here are some ways you can add this new marketing channel to your bag of tricks.

Like any social media platform, you gotta play nice in the sandbox! Take time to repin, like, and comment on other boards. Build a strong community and work on enhancing the way you communicate. We tend to communicate with words, which don’t have near the impact as pictures do. So how can you use visuals to speak to the value of a service or product that doesn’t include a line of trendy clothing or ornate jewelry?

Source: Speaks with David Hendrickson

February 9th, 2012

Dena Stapleton
Pet Advocacy Examiner

David Hendrickson is the founder of Hendricks Boards in 2011. He works along with his two brothers. People have a hard time telling them apart as they are triplets. This newly owned business is just in their beginning stages but have already surpassed everything they thought they would be doing by now. It all started with a rescue dog from a local shelter that had been poisoned. David Hendrickson saw him and there was a connection, but it was more that just any connection. This connection fueled a need to educated people about shelter animals and the importance of eco-friendly products. Hendrickson’s favorite pastime is skateboarding. His rescue, William goes on his adventures with him cradled within Hendrickson’s arms. With this vision Hendricks Boards was born. These eco-friendly, handcrafted maple and bamboo skateboard decks help to express that vision as well as the distinctive apparel. The boards painted with handmade paints and stains from coffee grounds. The apparel designs are eco-friendly as well with water-based paints and the accessories are constructed of natural materials including hemp and bamboo beads.

It is known that every purchase is a way to give back to the animal shelters and rescues all across the nation as part of this vision as well. Proceeds from every purchase are provided to help the animals. These proceeds can range from 20% to even 40% of the purchase price. This could be $10 on a board, $5 on a t-shirt and even $3 on an accessory. To put it in laments terms for the donations, for every $10 raised that helped one large shelter or rescue dog eat for an entire month. If $50 is raised that can actually take a stray off the street and into a fur-ever home.

I came across David Hendrickson through a mutual animal loving friend, Sia Barbi of the Barbi Twins and animal activists, and I just knew I had to interview Hendrickson. During the interview Hendrickson shows just how much he loves his William and how it helped him to better the lives of so many shelter animals out there. Just think this is three brothers making a business of helping bring awareness to shelter animals across the United States; can you imagine if we all set aside a little time to find out more about our very own local animal shelter? Just inquire about what they may need and bring that awareness to the local community to help. It all starts somewhere and this is how it all started for David Hendrickson.

Dena: Where were you in your life before finding William?

David: Before I met William at a local shelter, I was enrolled in college, and, like many college students, I was still figuring out what I wanted to major in and what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I loved animals; I had a passion for art; and, I skateboarded every day. But, before William, the thought of combining my interests never even entered my mind.

Dena: What made you go that day to the shelter? When did you know William would be the ONE?

David: I had been volunteering at a nonprofit for kids with special needs and we started organizing visits to a local animal shelter. On one trip to the animal shelter, a new batch of dogs arrived, but one in particular caught my attention. One of the shelter volunteers carried a small chi-mix puppy. I immediately inquired about the puppy and learned of his story of being poisoned at birth via his mother, who had ingested household chemicals. They did not know how long he would live as three of his siblings and mother had already passed away. I went to meet who would eventually be called William. All he did was lick my face relentlessly and I knew right then and there –that he was the one. I set into motion the adoption of William.

Dena: After bringing him home, what complications did he go through?

David: When I adopted William he had Canine parvovirus and had to be on antibiotics for three weeks. He then had two surgeries to his mouth and stomach from being poisoned for the first six months of his life he had major damage done to the roof of his mouth and his intestinal lining. I’ve dedicated the last three years of my life to William and his recovery and now dedicate the rest of my life to animals just like William and the nonprofits that save them.

Dena: What was the moment you knew you needed to do something to benefit dogs like him?

David: William and I frequently skateboard together along the boardwalk of Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, California. On one of these occasions, I had contemplated my life, my career and my future. I sat on my skateboard, looked at the sunset with William in my arms licking my face. At that moment, it all came together. I asked myself, how could I combine skateboarding with art to help little critters like William? This is how the initial concept of Hendrick Boards was born.

Dena: How did you get started? Was it hard?

David: At the time I started to plan out and lay the foundations for Hendrick Boards, I had no idea how to build a website nor did I have much money. But, I did have two things going for me: I can learn anything and I had an iphone. I immediately listed my iphone on eBay, which gave me $250 starting money. With that money, I purchase a screen printing machine, a few screens and five blank skateboards, and I set out to start designing. At the same time, I learned how to build a website simply by looking at the coding of other websites and was able to build the first generation My initial sales were from family members and close friends. But, it simply spread from there and Hendrick Boards has grown beyond my wildest dreams.

Dena: How many rescues and shelters have you helped in 2011?

David: Hendrick Boards, together with our customers, have helped upwards of 500 shelters animals across the nation. Every little bit helps. But, donations are just one aspect of Hendrick Boards. We are creating a network of cause-oriented consumers, many of whom are donating to their local shelter for the very first time, becoming more aware of the need to support shelter animals and adopting shelter animals. And, we are extremely proud that many that we are reaching via Hendrick Boards are now volunteering at local animal shelters. Just recently, a group of six Hendrick Boards fans volunteered at an animal sanctuary, Mostly Monkeys.

Dena: How is business doing now for you, especially with this economy?

David: At Hendrick Boards, we have a simple vision: to see a world where every animal has a loving, caring and respectful environment. We live it every day. But, we could not realize our vision without the support of our customers. While Hendrick Boards provides the vehicle for donating (from 20 percent to 40 percent of the purchase price), our customers are the real heroes. We have a changing economy. Consumers are more willing than ever before to purchase products that support a cause, particularly companies in which their sole mission is built around the cause.

Dena: How do you enjoy working with William? Do you go for short breaks to spend time with him outside?

David: William never leaves my sight. We are inseparable – whether during business meetings, designing new shirts or creating a skateboard. William has become our office mascot and our inspiration, for he, along with the millions of shelter animals, are our guiding force. And, yes, we do take many a breaks during the course of the day. And it is our daily ritual to end the day skateboarding with William in my arms.

Dena: Where do you see yourself in a few years? What are some future goals with helping pets?

David: Put simply, we want to become the Tom’s Shoes of shelter animals and rescues everywhere. By the end of 2012, we have set a lofty, yet attainable goal, of saving 10,000 shelter animals. We will do this by engaging new audiences who may have never donated to local animal shelters in the past, building awareness of the important work done by local animal shelters and pet rescues, and growing our network of animal shelters and cause-oriented consumers.

Please take a look at the slideshow of pictures as you will see William and some of the great eco-friendly products that were inspired from him. Then pass them along to another and make this statement of his even bigger.