Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
As a woman working in the beauty industry, I found a need and filled it. The biggest struggle of my day sometimes is figuring out what to wear to work and looking fashionable. I decided to create a line of luxury tees that had cute beauty slogans and sayings as well as my most popular graphic tee with eyelashes on it. Not only could I rock a cute tee to work, but it was centered around my passion for beauty! I hired a graphic design company in San Diego and found my shirts through a local manufacturer. I was very particular about the look and feel of the shirt because I wanted it to be a feel good tee; something women would want to live in and nice enough to throw on with a pair of slack for work.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
I launched end of April with nothing more than a website I created by myself on Shopify. I have no design background although in my next life I'd be a graphic designer! When I launched, I asked all my friends to spread the word and immediately focused on finding all beauty related people on Instagram. My main focus was Eyelash Extension Artists because that's specifically what I do for work and it's an ever growing business. I knew there was a real need and want for apparel for this niche and it took off immediately. My first day of launching, my sales were $900 and 80% of those orders were not from friends. Instagram and Facebook have been my main source of marketing. Instagram is so powerful ! I can post a picture of the tee of the day and get orders immediately. It's such an amazing platform for my business.
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?
I love the back in stock app. Again, I have no background in website design or the logistics of building a site and Shopify made it literally fool proof. People started emailing about out of stock items and I began to panic. There had to be a way for people to do this on the site without emailing directly. I did a little research and found the back in stock app which was a total lifesaver and has actually kept me from losing out on those sales. I personally fulfill each and every order out of my garage. My boyfriend split it down the middle so one half is my "office" filled with my inventory and area to take photos.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Think of all the things you're passionate about. Find a niche and create something for it. Think small. That sounds strange because people always say "think big!" but initially thinking too big for me was overwhelming. I wanted to create something for everyone and quickly realized if I focused on one area and just did that really well, I would be far more profitable. Lastly, love what you're doing. It's hard work and you don't make money right away... So figure out what you would do for free and still have fun doing it and start there.