Surviving as a retailer reliant on in-person selling with Sue Monhait of The Ribbon Print Company (episode 327)

You may know Sue Monhait as the host of the Gift Biz Unwrapped Podcast, but she’s also the owner and CEO of The Ribbon Print Company, a B2B eCommerce business selling customised on-site ribbon printing hardware, software and supplies. Founded in 2009 they now have annual sales in the mulit-six figures, with a margin growth in the last of 22%.

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About Sue

Sue’s background and work experience is in marketing, even before computers came online. As her career expanded, she was there when email and websites came into being and marvels at how easy and accessible it’s become. 

About the Business

  • Located in the United States 20 minutes N. Of Chicago
  • Worldwide Customers
  • Target customer are small business owners
  • Offer Total Control to Businesses
  • Used for many different industries
  • Shopify Site
  • Gift Biz Unwrapped is on WordPress

When the business transitioned to Shopify, Sue says that they garnered new customers just by being on the Shopify. She was impressed by the SEO basics that came baked in to the platform. 

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Gift Biz Unwrapped

Sue’s other business is her Podcast Gift Biz Unwrapped. The podcast came out of a need Sue saw over and over from people she met with while she was working trade shows.  She says that she ended up coaching people who were having a hard time starting their own businesses right in her booth. 

The Team

Sue says that she is intentionally building the Ribbon Print Company to sell down the road. For that reason, she has been taking herself out of the day to day operations wherever possible. Her team is made up of three people who do order fulfillment and customer service. She also leverages her Facebook Group to do customer service and make it abundantly clear that email and FB are the two channels to get customer service. 

Making the Hard Calls

The success of her business comes back to the primary mission of giving customers what they want. While at Trade Shows, Sue says that Amazon approaches her all the time to get Ribbon Print on the marketplace. But she has not followed that path because they have a robust onboarding process for their products that leads to an overall better experience. Another large craft store with multiple locations was courting the Ribbon Business with an opportunity to be in stores, but she had a very strong intuition not to go into stores. Both those decisions were hard to make when it came to short term rewards, but Sue says she feels strongly they were the right thing to do


Sue loves trade shows because she gets to see all of her customers. In fact, they tell all their customers to use their booth as a home base. The pandemic has made the company lean on their Facebook Groups more. A lot of businesses in the same space relied on Craft Shows and Brick and Mortar.

Through her podcast, Sue has been guiding and helping people set up their business online. 

Virtual Shopping Shows

Sue has been seeing the growth of Virtual Shopping Shows. She works with a company called At Home Events that offers live, direct to customer online shows. The shows are set up with many vendors, but each business is given a time slot. The best part is that these shows always drive customers back to your online headquarter—the website. 

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Google Ads

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

  • Build your sales panel. Multiple Place that all come back to your  online website

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • B2B eCommerce Podcast Interviews
  • How grew their B2B eCommerce sales 1,999% in 3 years with Jeremy Parker
  • Marketing and growing a craft supplies store with Alana Banks of Fridays Off

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