betsy & iya started in 2008 in a coffeeshop with a notebook, a bright red pencil, and nothing to lose. Among scribbles and coffee stains, the words “jewelry making” appeared in that notebook.
Betsy wrote it down, thought about it for a while, and then she made some jewelry. And it worked, so she did it some more.
Six years later, we've grown from a one-woman venture to a team of 11 (and two office pups!). Betsy is the designer of our line of jewelry, which is produced in our Portland, OR studio, located right behind our brick & mortar retail location. Here, we also stock merchandise from other companies like ours: independent artists & designers from across the United States (and a few internationals, too!)
We wholesale our in-house line of jewelry to 140+ boutiques across the country. Our Shopify store handles the majority of our retail and wholesale business, and we run Shopify POS for our in-store transactions.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We started with our fingers in multiple pots: we had an Etsy store early on, set up booths at craft shows, bizarres, and street fairs, and pounded the pavement for wholesale accounts. Shopify came into play in 2010, and become an increasingly valuable component of our business ever since. We opened our brick & mortar store in 2011. We now generate the largest portion of our income from in-store sales. Wholesale is our next largest revenue stream, which we run through Shopify by using Customer tags and some custom coding. Online retail is next, followed by off-site events, like Renegade Craft Fair.
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?
Our cornerstone integrations with Shopify are Stitchlabs and Shipstation. Stitchlabs handles Purchase Orders and keeps our inventory synced up across our Shopify and Etsy stores. Shipstation makes getting orders out the door a breeze. We've recently implemented TheShopPad for iPhone users. We're using Inventory Planner for projections, as well as Chimpified to automatically add opt-ins (from online and in-store customers) to our MailChimp list. Lastly, Perkville handles our customer loyalty and referral programs.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Grow in every direction at once (or at least *almost* every direction at once).
Love your customers.
There are no shortcuts.
Tell stories and be genuine.
Hire your weaknesses as soon as you possibly can.