Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Our gallery had a physical location for decades, and as time passed and it became necessary for businesses to have a digital presence, we began to transition from an exclusive storefront model to one were we would be able to not only share information about the artist and his work, but also allow for visitors to be able to purchase the work directly from the site. All the artwork in our store is the original work of Charles Beckendorf. They aren't just products, they're the work that spanned the lifetime of our father - the artist.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Our gallery in time became an iconic part of the Fredericksburg, TX community. And although our town was small, our following on social media grew and we quickly had a following around the country. Once our online store went live, our sales consisted of fans that never had a chance to come down to Texas as well as folks who lived right in our town. Facebook has allowed us to go beyond traditional marketing efforts and really let us share the artwork and the artist not simply as a product, but as an embrace to Texan nostalgia.
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 currently have 6 applications. From Google Analytics, Google Shopping, a contact form, and an app that facilitates BOGO sales. The apps that have facilitated "promo code" sales and BOGO have really allowed us to expand our marketing opportunities. Once orders are in we handle all aspects of shipping, fulfillments, and returns in house.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Having a website is not enough, and having a website isn't a one time setup. Like a garden it takes constant tending and nurturing. From actively creating content in your blog to sharing on social media, to maximizing our visitors experience through feedback. It's hard work, it's time consuming, but it is necessary.