Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
When our business was first starting out, I was handcrafting archival photo albums to order. Looking for another product that I could offer to customers that I would not have to personally create was very appealing. It was then that a boxed wax seal stamp was handed to me, with the suggestion that it could tie in nicely with our current type of craft & hobby clientele.
After some research, we came to find that there really wasn't much of an online presence for the timeless wax stamps and sealing waxes. We began pulling in like product from around the globe, creating a one stop shop for our specific type of product. We cooperate with other online wax stamp manufacturers, cross selling products and brainstorming innovations for applications, production & more.
We now create quite a bit of our own in-house products, but also pull in products from around the globe. We have sourced items from local artists, as well as finding artists from other countries through online research.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
When we first started out, there wasn't social media, or even paid online advertising (1997). It took making sure that our pages were recognized by search engines with the correct content, and posting information in message boards and user groups. Once PPC advertising rolled around, Google Adwords was the best route for generating sales.
Now in 2016, we are quickly learning that social media and email lists are our best route for getting our name out there, and welcome the change! Social media and referring links to blogs are quickly becoming our biggest generator.
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?
We have found that the BoldApps app Product Options allow us the most product control when creating and using custom made products as we do. We pack and ship all of our own orders.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
We strongly feel that we have been able to keep our doors open and running, especially through the dips in the economy, by working within our means. Never have we gone into debt or extended ourselves so thinly that we were at personal credit risk if the market dropped out from under us. We have suffered through some very lean times, but look back on those times as extreme motivators to become more innovative with our products and savvy with our advertising.