Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?

I was raised in a restaurant family, and when my parents decided to retire, my sisters and I took over. One of the first things I did was to rebrand and repackage our mole that we were already selling out of our restaurant, and open up an online store to share our food and culture with the world. Since then, our online store has been steadily growing. This year, we were fortunate enough to have won the James Beard Foundation's American Classics Award, and since this is a national award, it's great to have this online platform to be able to offer our food from. Even if people can't come all the way to Los Angeles, they can still buy our mole through our Shopify store. We import our ingredients all from Oaxaca, the southern Mexican state i was born in, and the place from where all of our food is. This way, we can provide people with an authentic flavor and experience.

How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?

What i love about Shopify is that it opened us up to customers we never knew we could have. Our first order came from North Carolina, which really surprised me. And since, a big portion of sales go to out of state. Our first sale came from simply linking our store to our main website for our restaurant. What still generates the most sales is people looking for our restaurant, and clicking on the store link. We initially had it linked to our Shopify homepage, but when I realized one item was selling substantially more than the rest, I linked that item directly so that people automatically land on the item they're most likely to buy when they click on store.

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?

The Shopify back en on desktop is really yet best tool. The mobile app is great for getting up to date info on your sales, but the desktop is definitely incredible and my go to for anything. Other than that, I use FedEx's ShipRush to print out my shipping labels. Great program, but i wish there was a Mac version. We do everything internally. It allows us to keep the control of the users box opening experience.

What are your top recommendations for new store owners?

Don't be afraid to try to do things for yourself. Shopify is really easy, and if you take the time to mess around with it, it will pay off from a user experience point of view. I've helped plenty of friends start their store, and they all love it as much as we do.

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