Cole from talks about retiring from professional poker to start an eCommerce store, and why they are transitioning from Amazon to their own Shopify store.

Could you tell us about your background and what BirdRock Baby sells? 

I was a high stakes professional poker player from 2005 to 2016. While this was a great career during the online poker boom, over the past several years the poker industry has experienced significant decline. I was becoming burnt out playing a card game for a living and wanted to transition into a profession that would be creating value for people rather than trying to outsmart people in a casino or online cardroom.

In early 2016, one of my close friends (also a long time poker pro) and I decided to start an importing and e-commerce company. My business partner has two kids, and his family always had a hard time finding baby shoes that wouldn’t break the bank, but also wouldn’t fall apart after two wears. We contacted dozens of manufacturers before finding one with incredible quality and consistency that we partnered with to launch our baby brand, BirdRock Baby. Our flagship product is our genuine leather baby moccasins, one of the most popular baby shoes on Amazon.

birdrock baby shoes screenshot

Where did your first sales come from when you launched the online store? 

We initially launched solely on Amazon, and our main marketing effort was Amazon pay-per-click advertising. I think the driver behind our success on Amazon is our product; parents love our baby moccasins, they are well reviewed, and in the long run I do believe Amazon wants quality products and brands to succeed.

Why do you think it is important to build a store separate to Amazon?

Amazon is an excellent opportunity to launch a brand due to the rush of traffic it can bring, but to have a sustainable business I think it’s going to be important to have a direct relationship with the customer.

Baby shoes in particular are a product that lends itself to a lot of repeat business. If a customer purchases from us and has a great experience, they’re sure to need another pair of shoes a few months down the road.

While Amazon is working hard on resources for brands, it’s still more of a transactional platform and it’s hard for us to remarket to customers and make sure they find our product again for their next purchase.

Which apps are most important to your business? 

  • ShipStation - we fulfill all orders in-house from our San Diego warehouse. ShipStation saves us a ton of time on pick/pack/fulfillment. 
  • Klaviyo - incredibly powerful e-mail marketing tools for e-commerce store owners.
  • RetargetApp - dead simple Facebook retargeting campaigns. This is definitely the lowest hanging fruit as far as advertising goes. Takes 5 minutes to set up, very high ROI.


Birdrock Baby have a great example of a good F.A.Q section. Customers can find the answers they want straight away without having to contact support.

What is your average monthly revenue or number of orders?

We’re currently doing 100-200 orders per month on It’s a small part of our business compared to our Amazon sales, but it’s been rewarding and we are working hard to grow it.

What are you working towards now?

Our biggest focus right now is driving profitable traffic to our website. We’ve been working on several avenues from pay-per-click advertising to influencer marketing. One of my goals is to build sales on to match or exceed sales on Amazon by this time next year.

Where can we learn more?

You can find us at, and feel free to reach me direct via e-mail at [email protected].

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