Chris, owner of online business Cielo Pill Holders, creates products that give people an unexpected reason to smile.

From Starbucks to Amazon Exclusives

Until January 2013, Chris Boerner was a global strategist and brand manager at Starbucks in Seattle. It was a coveted job, but she knew it didn’t feel right for her. She wanted something where she could interact directly with customers, while having the time to start a family with her husband. And so she left Starbucks, not knowing what her next steps would be.

One evening, searching online for pill holders that could store medication to treat her autoimmune condition while she was on the go, she was surprised to find that there was nothing out there that was functional, strong or beautiful.

“I started to think about all the people in the world who need regular medication, and all they had right now was junk that didn’t close properly, that barely worked, and that was ugly.” And so the idea for Cielo – which means sky┬áin Spanish – was born. Chris quickly found a manufacturer who shared her vision for connecting with customers and who could manufacture the pill holders for her.

Going to where the customers are

The next step was figuring out how to get the product out there to people. “At first I thought about getting in touch with medical associations to find people with chronic illness. But then I realized I needed to get to customers where they already were and fit seamlessly into their life.” She realized Amazon would be the best fit for her product.

pill holders

In less than two years, she’s become a part of the Amazon Exclusives Program, which works with innovators to sell products that will be unique to Amazon, in exchange for giving sellers extra support and marketing. She also had two children in that time, fulfilling both her personal goals. Her business now sells tens of thousands of the pill holders, and as a result of her success, she’s started selling in Europe and Canada using Fulfillment By Amazon.

Selling in new markets

“I was worried at first about selling in new markets. How do I manage efficiency in supply chain while maintaining profitability? It gets expensive and I don’t want my customers to take on that expense. Working with World First made that process easier and helped me keep more profits when selling in new markets.”

Her biggest motivation is her customer. “I keep looking for ways to give people an unexpected reason to smile. I hear from customers that these pill holders are meaningful to them. Selling in new markets was the natural next step for me.”

World First USA, Inc. helps sellers like Chris bring more of their profits home when selling abroad. Learn how we can help you too.