Next up in the Innovate spotlight in Arkansas Business….Treatsie.
Little Rock startup Treatsie will be featured in Monday’s print edition of AB, the first of the month, as the featured IA client. Earlier this year, Treatsie launched a monthly subscription service for artisan sweets and earlier this fall opened its online store at Treatsie.com.
Treatsie ships to all 50 states, and beginning early next year plans to start shipping to Canada. Eventually, co-founders Keith Hoelzeman and Jamie Walden want to ship all over the world and offer international products as well.
Read more about Treatsie on Monday in the print edition of Arkansas Business, on ArkansasBusiness.com and on this very site.
As they grow their startup venture into the go-to source for artisan sweets — and the stories behind them — Hoelzeman and Walden want to help grow the emerging Arkansas startup ecosystem as well.
“We haven’t met anybody within the Arkansas startup community who wasn’t willing to help or connect to someone who could help us,” Hoelzeman said.
Walden said Treatsie has relied on the mentorship offered by Innovate Arkansas and members of the startup community in both central and northwest Arkansas.
Treatsie subscribes to the lean startup model. “If you don’t have $1 million to start up, it’s the only way to go,” Hoelzeman said. “I’d recommend boot-strapping it to test the idea.”
So far, the approach is working. After boot-strapping it to start, Treatsie attracted funding in its first year. (More on that in AB.) Walden said bringing aboard investors is both exciting and a little nerve racking.
“Once you take that first check, it’s a whole other level of ‘We gotta make something happen,’” Walden said.
Holidays have helped make something happen for Treatsie. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day (a little unexpectently, Hoelzeman said) and Halloween (Trick or Treatsie) have been big for the startup since launching early this year.
“Our premise was why should kids be the only ones who get candy on Halloween,” Hoelzeman said.
And of course, Treatsie is anticipating a big Christmas.
“We’re taking it one step at a time,” Walden said. “We want to make sure we get it right.”