Growing a Product-Based Side Hustle with Katie Hunt of Proof to Product

Ep. 277: Growing a Product-Based Side Hustle with Katie Hunt of Proof to Product

Today's guest is Katie Hunt, founder of Proof to Product.

If you've ever wanted to learn how to create a product-based business, then today's episode with Katie Hunt from Proof to Product is for you. And even if you don't have a product-based business, you're not gonna want to miss this episode because the advice she shares will apply to you too!

Katie is a business strategist, and mentor to product-based entrepreneurs who helps makers take their product from concept to being on the shelf at stores like Target and Anthropologie.

She’s worked with thousands of entrepreneurs through her in-person conferences and online courses she offers.

Katie is also the host of the popular podcast, Proof to Product, where she takes listeners behind the scenes of growing a product-based business. Her guests share their successes, struggles and how they’ve made difficult but important transitions in their business to continue growing.

Katie has taught classes for CreativeLive, The National Stationery Show, and The Savvy Experience, and she’s been featured on two of my favorite leisure-reading websites – BuzzFeed, Brit & Co, and also interviewed on a variety of popular podcasts.

Whether you have a product-based business or not, you’re not gonna want to miss today’s episode. And if you know someone who is a maker, maybe they have an Etsy shop and dream of seeing their notecards on the shelf at Anthropologie, send them a link to this episode!

Today we’re talking about:

  • Katie’s journey from starting a side-hustle stationary company to helping makers get their products on the shelves of retail shops.
  • How a guest blog post about doing tradeshows transformed Katie’s business.
  • The most common mistakes product business owners make when they are first starting out.
  • How Katie built a business around what she wished she would have known early on in her journey.
  • Parallels Katie sees between product-based businesses and service-based businesses.
  • How to figure out your “enough” and why knowing it is so important.
  • Why it’s so important to know the WHY behind starting your business.
  • Why it’s actually a good thing that not everything is going to be a home run.
  • How Katie built her team and how she runs it.
  • How burnout happens (and what to do about it).
  • The online training tool everyone should be using (even if you don’t have a team yet).
  • Why your audience is critical to the success of your business.
  • The one belief Katie had to change about herself to get where she is today.

My favorite quotes from Katie:

  • “I just want to support female entrepreneurs that are trying to do their thing.”
  • “There's no easy button in business, but at the same time there are people that have been through it before that can lend their advice and expertise and struggles and successes as well to help you.”
  • “Test the market before you dive head in.”
  • “Money is important, but it’s not everything I’m seeking. Our definitions of success shift as we gain more experience in business.”
  • “Systems and processes are truly what make a business run.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:


Katie Hunt is the founder of Proof to Product (formerly known as Tradeshow Bootcamp), a business strategist, and mentor to product-based entrepreneurs. She’s worked with thousands of entrepreneurs through her in-person conferences and online courses she offers.

Katie has a passion for creating, a mind for business and a strong desire to help others succeed. When she’s not cheering on her clients or dreaming up new workshops, you can find her spending time with her husband and four young children, hosting friends for dinner, or surfing Instagram.

Connect with Katie:

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