Michelle Mitchell of Peel-Tek, LLC.
Tell us about yourself?
Michelle Mitchell is a proven entrepreneur with over 30 years professional experience marked by a trend of progressive positions of management responsibility.
An entrepreneur by nature, Michelle has built a successful track record of consistent value creation over the years across all the businesses for which she has been responsible.
Michelle has personally created and brought to market consumer products as well as owned or held executive positions in 4 successful businesses over the past 3 decades.
Michelle is the sister of the creator of Peel-Tek®, Scott Halbert and adds to Peel-Tek’s dynamic crew by offering her strengths as a dynamic speaker connecting with her audience seamlessly, relationship building, and marketing creativity.
What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?
That self-motivation is a key factor in being a successful entrepreneur as well as being able to operate outside of your comfort zone at any given moment.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Reach out (a lot) to other successful entrepreneurs in your industry. Learning from those who walked the trail before you can help you to avoid unnecessary obstacles.
A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?
It can be difficult, when you own and are running your own business you don’t have a typical 9-5 situation, you are technically at work all the time.
But balance is key to your wellbeing as well as the success of your company. I try to set scheduled “work time” as well as “rest time”. It doesn’t always go as planned but I find if I schedule it things are more likely to fall into place.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
Peel-Tek® Liquid Masking was developed by Scott Halbert, a contractor with over 35 years in the construction industry, due to needs he had while remodeling a home in California and the frustration of not being able to find a sufficient product to fit his protective and masking needs.
Scott took his 35 years’ experience in the construction industry along with 20+ years of working with various rubber compounds and created a product to fit his needs as well as the needs of the industry
What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?
Peel-Tek Liquid Masking & Peel-able Protective Surface Coating is the only masking solution on the market that is rated for use on both porous and non-porous surfaces.
Unlike traditional masking products, Peel-Tek can be used on sensitive surfaces like stained concrete without disrupting the finish as well as used as a protective coating on bathtubs during construction to prevent repairs or replacement of damaged tubs.
How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?
Our product is what’s considered a niche product, even though it has multiple uses which made it difficult to market at first.
There was really nothing like Peel-Tek on the market (and still isn’t) when we started out so doing the normal comparison to similar products when marketing was a bit more difficult.
It is paramount to identify who your consumer is and what issues your product will alleviate for them and continue to spread the word as often as you can!
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge we have faced in our business is not knowing what we didn’t know when launching our product.
There are so many factors to launching a new product or starting a new business and you really have to network and find mentors that can help you identify what is not clear to you.
What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in Texas over other states in the US?
Texas is very entrepreneur friendly! From business formation to tax help to most things in between, we have been blessed with folks who aided us and gave us the information in a personal way.
Are there any disadvantages of operating our business in Texas?
None that I’m aware of, at least for our particular demographic. Peel-Tek was created originally for the building and construction industry and there is still plenty of building and construction taking place in Texas!
Texas has a pretty diverse population. How have you found the quickly changing demographics have impacted your business? Have you got new opportunities? Managed to expand your business into new areas?
The diversity of the population in Texas is representative of the building and construction industry at large so the quickly changing demographics have not been an obstacle for our business at all.
It is often reported that, in Texas, politics and business are intertwined. Have you noticed this? Has it impacted your business?
This has not impacted our business
With rising prices across Texas (and the US as a whole) have you been impacted? Do you have a plan for dealing with inflation going forward?
We’ve been very fortunate in this regard, outside of shipping costs rising across the nation we haven’t suffered too much.
To date we have not had to raise the price of our products to meet the rising inflation but that may be changing in the very near future. If shipping costs continue to rise we will have to consider only offering free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount.
What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years with your business?
I would like to accomplish increased brand awareness and of course increase sales.
And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?
Visit our website, share our product with people you know, support small businesses, I believe small businesses are truly the backbone of this country.
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