Violent Little Machine Shop’s Yanne Root “Be unapologetically you” the power of the personal brand (episode 104)

Yanne Root is the founder of Violent Little Machine Shop. Violent Little Machine Shop is an online only & wholesale business distributing their unique and crazy morale patches (and many other items). They launched in June 2013 and now approaching their 50,000th order.

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violent little machine shop podcast
About the business

  • eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only (+Wholesale)
  • Product Range Scale – niche
  • In Sun Valley, Idaho selling mainly within the USA
  • Team including 3-4 full time employees and two freelance artists
  • Platform – Shopify
  • Plugins:

Listen to learn more about the success they’ve had with email marketing through Klaviyo, with a 30-40% open rate and a 3-5% click rate.

Getting Started

Yanne got started in eCommerce because he was tired of his destiny being tied to someone else. He had a knack for inventing products and understanding what people would want to buy, and with the internet being one of the easiest ways to buy things, it was a natural fit for him to start an eCommerce business.

He enjoys having no one to tell him what to do or when to get up. When you enter a partnership, you have expectations of each other. If it’s just you, you have only yourself to disappoint. This is super motivating to Yanne because it allows him to hold himself to high standards and fulfill the drive inside him. It also helps to know that no one else is coming to do his work for him.

It’s all up to him.

Step Back Period

Yanne is taking his step-back period in Miami, Florida. He loves small-town life in Idaho, but it doesn’t necessarily facilitate learning new things or growing. Taking a step back allows him to evaluate himself, his life, his business, and implement new things in a different routine that is out of his comfort zone. It gets his mind working in different ways, which is important in a creative field.

Violent Little Products

Violent Little Machine Shop sells tactical patches that velcro onto tactical gear, allowing the users to display whatever they like and change their displays quickly and easily.

Some of the patches are enduring, while others reference of-the-moment trends. When something big happens, Yanne can have a patch made and up on the site for sale in ten minutes.

They also make patches for causes and donate funds to those causes, such as when the Charlie Hebdo attacks occurred. As soon as Yanne knew what was going on, they had “Je suis Charlie” patches made in support. Funds were donated to the memorial.

Listen to learn more about how a patch can go from concept to sale listing in just ten minutes.

Unapologetically You

Violent Little Machine Shop is rich in brand character and has a raw, honest, genuine voice. Yanne did that intentionally. He recommends that entrepreneurs do not fake it until they make it, but rather have no shame in owning their situation. Just be unapologetically you.

Listen to learn the importance of being yourself and having your own voice.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Email
  • Instagram

Listen to learn about how email is the most important marketing channel for Violent Little Machine Shop.

Tool Top Tip

  • Dropbox

Start Up Top Tip

Find your voice. What is unique about what you are doing and saying? Why is that interesting to other people? Make it interesting.

Just do it. Take action right now.

Listen to hear an example of how taking immediate action helped get Yanne ahead, even with some teasing from his friends.

Interview Links