Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
We had an existing organization called 'SoLatina' that provided resources and information to single Latina moms. One of the features was where the moms could ask questions to various professionals and experts free of charge. Our most popular professional was our makeup artist/cosmetologist. She received so many questions about makeup that it was hard for her to answer them all. A lot of the mothers mentioned that there weren't any brands that "spoke" to them as Latinas. So we launched our makeup brand, The SoLa Look, to fill that void. We sourced our products with research, research and more research. We worked hand-in-hand with contract manufacturers in the US. They customized products to the needs and specifications of what we wanted for our customers.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Our first sale came as the result of a video posted by 'WhatWouldLizzyDo', a YouTube Beauty Guru. She talked about our lipsticks in her video and we will forever be grateful to her for it. Lizzy is the best! Subscribe to her channel everyone! Instagram and YouTube promotion are generating the most traffic and sales for us. We also send out occasional newsletters to subscribers using MadMimi. Engagement rates keep getting better each time we send one out.
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?
Yotpo Reviews - a great way to get customer reviews for your store. It's often said that customer reviews establish credibility for businesses. People love reading them. Heck, I love reading customer reviews before I buy anything online!
Abandonment Protector - automated way of reaching out to customers who abandoned their shopping cart. For us, it has already paid for itself. This type of app is a must-have.
In-Stock Reminder - we don't want to lose out on orders when one of our products is out of stock. This app automates the process of allowing customers to receive notifications of when the product they want is back in stock. Another must-have.
Order Printer Templates - you can customize the invoices and packing slips you send with the orders. It helps with brand awareness.
Klaviyo - customized notification e-mails. Love this app. Each customer order gives us a chance to contact them on at least 2 occasions via e-mail. So it's important to have a professional looking template. Klaviyo gives us just that. Love it!
We package, label and print postage in-house. Then it's either a trip to the post office or a visit from a USPS truck.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
My friend and business colleague Felix would always tell me not to waste time trying to make everything perfect. I'm a sucker for detail and that held me back a lot. Felix helped me realize that it's better to learn on the fly and start generating sales rather than waiting to create the "perfect" store, the "perfect graphic", the "perfect" text, the "perfect" launch date, etc. Don't sweat the small stuff. If you have an idea then go with it and you'll get your proof of concept soon enough. And remember...everyone's path to success is different.