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 parent and "baby wearer," Adriane longed for a place that gave new parents in-depth education about baby carriers, cloth diapers, nursing supplies and other eco-friendly products in a relaxed, communal atmosphere so that they could make informed choices. She ended up choosing products that were practical, stylish and eco-friendly and that empowered new parents to live simply. Adriane was already familiar with many trusted brands, so she reached out to them directly. About 30% of our 80 vendors are overseas. Our top selling baby carrier is made in Guatemala, but sold out of Germany. She continues to discover new products through trade shows, blogs, social media, personal experience, and direct pitches from vendors.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Word of mouth and local parent listserves. We opened as a retail store first and word spread of our welcoming vibe, informed staff and curated product selection. In the last year Shopify POS accounted for 75% of sales followed by our online store at 25%.
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?
ShipStation and Stitch are indispensable. We hold inventory and ship web orders ourselves, so all of our shipping and receiving goes through one of these apps. Mailchimp is another valuable tool and it's integration with our customers in Shopify saves us a lot of time. We take great care in the way our products are packed and presented to our customers, so all orders are fulfilled in-house. Our packing slips often include hand written notes and smiley faces :)
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Bend over backwards to please your customers, even if it feels like you're losing money. You'll make it back in word-of-mouth referrals. Always strive to improve the customer experience!