Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I got tired of looking for the perfect simple leather bag with minimal accessorising and its own uniqueness. We also noticed that there are almost no brands offering a good choice of colors and linings. The marker was there but no one fulfilled the need. Same goes for the shoes. We noticed a great need for beautiful custom-made shoes available in large and very small sizes.
Our products are all made in-house. We have a small factory producing both bags and shoes. This way we support the local tailors and their families.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Our first sales actually came through Etsy and orders that came via Shopify arrived via word or mouth. We did not use many sales channels at that time as this was all too new to us, but we learned as we went. Sales that come via our Shopify store are generated via Pinterest advertising. We also get a large number of orders via Etsy.
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?
Good quality photos are the key. We have 1000s of product pictures and all had to be edited. We actively use Mailchimp to send out newsletters and it works well attracting the repeat customers. Wanelo seems to be rising and bringing some traffic. Shipping and fulfillment are handled in-house by our own employees.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
We learned never to give up. We had NO experience in retail and fashion and it was very difficult to start. Learn and be able to find the right ways to promote and get your product and idea out there. For several months we had very little sales coming in until we started finding the right marketing channels. We knew we had to have patience and willingness to continuously learn, adapt to the changes, and keep going even though it did not result in much success at the start. I always said that "we are continuously pushing the train, which started moving so slowly we started loosing hope but never gave up. The train sped up and gained some steadiness - it made us want to do more to improve and succeed."