Bella Materna

We started our maternity fashion business back in 1999, when there was no 'fashion' in maternity. Manufacturing 99% of what we sell, both online, in our boutique and to wholesalers all over the world!

Designers by passion, we love to rock it when someone is in need, and trust me, when you are a new mom, you Need it! Knowing online would grow, we were pioneers back in 2000 when we launched our first website, we had a strong following on-line and then brick and mortar stores began to call in orders.

How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?

It has been 14 years and many software platforms later, I have never been so excited like I am about Shopify. I have been very impressed with the ease of use, the app partnerships. The seamless integration of information between systems is really changing our landscape and we will be free to step up our game and focus on the customer and fashion even more! Thank you Shopify

Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?

Shopify on the front, Lettuce in the middle and QuickBooks Desktop at the end. Kind of an open faced business ready sandwich.

Lettuce handles the shipping for us, except International - we use Stamps and UPS Worldship for that. I implemented 2 other inventory management systems in 2 weeks before landing on Lettuce - that flexibility all because of Shopify, to find what works for my Small Business.

It is critical as a business owner to have a map of your commercial landscape, the only way to create a map is with data! Now that I have Shopify linked to Lettuce linked to QB I feel like Columbus sailing to new parts of the world, .and I won't fall off the flat earth!

What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?

If you have a store, you have to try these apps:

1/ Magic Zoom Plus

2/ Zopim - Chat software

3/ Shopify - Product Reviews

4/ Chimpified - Mail Chimp (easily imported sizable database)

5/ Back in stock - tells customers when it is back in stock, and lets me know the demand - critical for designers!

6/ Customer Sure - great customer service tool

7/ Store Locator - perfect. So EASY!

8 Traffic Control - fix 404 errors...this is big when changing from an old site.

9/ Shopify - Variant Images search engines like to know there is an image for each this.

10/ Shopify Facebook store - I set this one up on my phone while playing soccer with the kids - SO easy.

11/ Printout Designer - Easy, design your own template with your data.

12/ Plug In SEO - helps me know what I am doing right.

13/ Meta Tagger - does something no one else can do.

Next step for me is reporting I can map my data! My inner Entrepreneurial Geek is Excited!

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