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Inside Alpaca

Starting a company with 27 handwritten thank you notes

Karen Borchert
August 24, 2023

One year ago today, I officially launched Alpaca with:

  • 32 cupcake boxes from Michael's
  • 60 packs of note cards
  • 180 expo markers
  • 1000 pack of Stickers from Amazon
  • 1000 pack of tiny Llama erasers
  • 1 box of 250 personalized pencils
  • 27 handwritten thank you notes
  • 1 photographer friend
  • 1 designer friend
  • 1 teacher friend
  • 1 principal willing to return my calls

We built 27 packs of supplies and appreciation for teachers at one Omaha school. They were paid for by me and my parent friends (our kids go to that school), and the whole thing was still called a "project."


Next week, Alpaca will fulfill and deliver 2,600 packs of supplies for 75 schools in our community, while preparing to launch our next city in the next few months.


The photographer friend runs marketing. The designer friend built the brand. The teacher friend designs the packs each month. And a team of incredible, dedicated people help us fulfill and deliver them each month.


If you're wondering if you can take something from a basement to a startup in a year, you can.


If you're wondering if your customer will buy it, go ask them.


If you're wondering when it's time to order branded pencils, it's now.


If you're wondering if your "project" is too small to be a company, it's not.

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