In May, in honor of Small Business Month, Klarna invited small businesses to apply to receive one free year of payment services and $40,000 worth of free media services. One hundred small businesses were selected from the applicant pool, focusing on those most impacted by the pandemic, including minority and female-led businesses. In mid-July, Klarna announced the first group of recipients and is excited to share a bit more about these entrepreneurs and their businesses.
Meet Daniel Ralsky, founder of Satchel & Page, which specializes in certified, Italian vegetable tanned leather bags produced using old-world techniques by the company’s leather partner, a third generation family tannery in Ponte a Egola, Italy.
What inspired you to start your business?
The inspiration behind Satchel & Page is my grandfather’s Map Case from WWII. I was going through his things and found his 70-year-old bag that had literally been through war and still looked beautiful and strong enough to last another 70 years. We design all our bags with the same clean, classic styling and durability of that Map Case. We are not a fashion company. Our products will never go out of style and they are backed up with a lifetime guarantee. I think that resonates with customers.
What are some challenges facing your business as a result of the pandemic?
Our supply chain is severely constrained. Our workshop in Italy is having trouble growing their team to keep up with our demand and shipping times have increased from 30 to 60 days. So, we are constantly running out of stock on our best-selling products.
How might Klarna’s Small Business Impact Initiative grant help?
Since COVID started, consumers have seem to have a rising interest in very high-quality products that will last for years. To give customers the option to split their purchase into four installments with zero interest or fees through Klarna is critical and differentiates us from several of our competitors. Offering Klarna installments as an option at checkout has dramatically increased our conversion rates and we have seen a steady rise in the percentage of our customers who checkout with Klarna.
We have seen our margins decrease with rising costs from manufacturing to shipping. The Klarna Small Business Impact Initiative grant helps us preserve some of our margins with 0% transaction costs on Klarna purchases. It also exposes our brand to a new set of customers, which is critical.
How do you learn about who your customers are and what’s important to them? How does that impact how you run your business?
Our customer service team is the closest contact with our customers and their feedback is integral in most of the decisions we make. We also run bi-annual surveys to get a greater sense of our customers and what they are looking for.
What have you recently read or listened to that has been an inspiration for your work?
Our entire team shifted to working from home during the pandemic. The principles in “Atomic Habits” by James Clear have helped all of us rethink and improve our daily routines and consistency.
What lesson would you go back and teach yourself before starting your business?
Don’t overestimate what you can accomplish in 1 year, but don’t underestimate what you can accomplish in 10.
Click here to learn more about the Small Business Impact Initiative winners and their signature products.