The $10,000 Challenge – Where I Am Now


Hi! My name is Dimitry.

Me about to get handcuffed
This is me visiting my local police department ūüôā

This is the first in a (long) series in posts that talks about my ecommerce journey.

I’m going to cut the fluff & give you USEFUL, ACTIONABLE¬†tips to grow your traffic & increase your conversions.

No theorycraft – I’ll be personally testing everything I talk about.¬†

I’m going to go in more detail about how I got to where I am today in the coming posts – but for now let me get everyone caught up with¬†where I am & where I’m going.¬†

How It Started

Last winter,  I had an idea to get into the turkish towel niche.

It seemed unique, interesting, and the market was filled with

slow-moving, out-of-date companies.

Plus, I totally thought Turkish towels were awesome & that I would be able to sell them if I focused on the story.


I Kickstarted & Raised $22,400.


This was huge. I got the money to invest in inventory & development, not to mention I got to go to Turkey & meet our manufacturers! 

I’m gonna be straight with you.

I made mistakes.


I’ll write them up in¬†as much detail as I can¬†in the upcoming posts.¬†But you’ll have to stick with me until then.

After the Kickstarter, I spent most of the school-year going to classes (sometimes), fulfilling orders & growing a team for Loombrand.

I teamed up with Zion Kim Р a well-known New Jersey entrepreneur & marketer. Seriously Рcheck this guy out.

As well as Asif Hilal & Melissa Diep.

We entered the Rutgers Business Plan Competition in mid fall – hoping to gain some extra capital.

Won $10,000 from The Rutgers Business Plan Competition

I’m the nerdy looking guy in the red zip up sweater on the right side. I didn’t even have a suit for the competition. Suffice to say I got one soon after. ūüôā

The capital infusion was just enough to help afford shipping out the last dozens of towels to our backers.

Since then – I’ve been growing…

Through good old-fashioned SEO. SEO - as of 7/6/2015
as of 7/6/2015

Google has been kind to us:

Through the course of 1 year we’ve almost dismantled our competition for our original goal keyword “pestemal”.

We still have a little bit to climb, but I think we’re on the right path.

In fact, we’ve done so well that now we’re planning to take on the “turkish towels” keyword.

Going forward this’ll be a lot more lucrative and profitable for us. ūüôā

Through Instagram

pstml instagram 7/6/2015
as of 7/6/2015

Our instagram has grown up to 1,444 followers.

It’s hard for me to measure how many of our followers on instagram visit our website.

It’s working¬†for other people so I’m going to wait & see.

Through Email Marketing

PSTML email list growth
As of 7/6/2015

Email marketing Рthe holy grail of ecommerce marketing.

I’m at 497 mailchimp subscribers + 323 emails of backers¬†from my previous kickstarter campaign.

It’s a good list, but I still have a lot to learn about ecommerce email marketing.

Through Pinterest

as of 7/6/2015
as of 7/6/2015

My #1 competitor for “turkish towels” is doing a couple of things right.

One of them?


This was my inspiration to jump along and outcompete them at their own game. 

I’ve only started pinterest in June but I’m excited to see where we get.

I average 30-50 clicks a day from pinterest after only 2 weeks! Exciting ūüôā

How I’ll get to $10,000 monthly recurring revenue

Yeah, right :(
Maybe one day ūüôā

I have a plan guys. It’s ambitious and I’m super excited to share it in detail with you.

Here’s an outline:

1) Launch a $50,000 Kickstarter in a month.

I did $22,400 last year, and now I know¬†so much more. I’m ready for this challenge.

2) Sell $20,000 worth of towels to retail stores.

I’m working with Melissa Diep on the retail side of things.

Our craft show is scheduled July 22nd Р2015!

We’ll see how our product does & then refine our pitch to retailers.

3) Drive 1,000 viewers from Pinterest a day.

Pinterest is HUGE for my demographic.

It would be a crime not to take advantage of it.

This will be my #1 social media focus going forward.

4) Rank on the first page for “turkish towels”.

I’m only result 24 at the time of writing.

I’ve still got a loooong way to go.

But with the oncoming kickstarter & the rebrand, I believe I’ll get there within 2 months. ūüôā

5) Rebrand to Loombrand.

Everyone I know and their dog HATES the name PSTML.

I’ve heard:

  • It sounds like a programming language!!
  • Wait so is Loombrand a disease?
  • I’ll NEVER remember this….
  • “Dimitry & his company PTSML!”

like a hundred times already. Message received.

6) Expand Price & Product Selection

Right now Loombrand products hovers at the $40-$60 per towel.

This is slightly above average in my niche Рbut there is a market for cheaper & lower quality turkish towels.

I¬†want to get a piece of this delicious pie. ūüôā

Want to join me on my journey?

Want to hear how this story ends? Make sure you sign up for free updates to learn USEFUL, ACTIONABLE tips to grow your traffic & increase your conversions.

Until next time,


About the author

Dimitry Apollonsky

I'm a growth marketing pro that works with early stage companies to help them gain traction and reach their milestones through user acquisition, user retention and revenue growth.

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Hi! I’m Dimitry

I'm a growth marketing pro that works with early stage companies to help them gain traction and reach their milestones through user acquisition, user retention and revenue growth.

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Connect with me & stay in touch.