Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I launched LightBox Photography Cards on Kickstarter in January of 2015. After 30 days on a popular crowd funding site, we ended at 935% above goal with nearly 2,000 backers in 27 different countries! Once the campaign wrapped, there was no way for other buyers to get their hands on the deck, so I opened a Shopify site to continue to take pre-orders - this gained me another few hundred orders while production began. After wrapping up initial fulfillment on the original deck, I have just launched a follow-up deck — LightBox Photography Cards: Macro Edition! Being both a photographer and graphic designer, I was able to create the cards all on my own. I partnered with a terrific printer who saw the project through production. While they are a seperate entity from LightBox Photography Cards, they have become an integral part of my team.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
I utilized social media by building hype around the project; it's free and unbelievably effective. When you cultivate a relationship with people, earn their trust and confidence - you create a supporter for life! Since launching the new Kickstarter campaign, it has become the single biggest traffic boost to the Shopify site. I am already planning a series of follow-up decks to keep that particular ball rolling.
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?
My best tool is the relationship I have with my local post office. I do all the fulfillment myself - making each and every package a personal experience for my buyers. I let Shopify do all the heavy lifting as far as payment processing and I love how easy it is to access customer information for fulfillment purchases. I do all fulfillment in house, that way each and every package has a personal touch.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Link up your stores to your social media feeds, Make the experience a personal one that buyers will be proud to support.