While working as a real estate agent, I found myself biking to high-end listings in spandex and feeling exposed. After getting numerous compliments on the skirt I started wearing over my padded shorts, I created some prototypes and proceeded to sell out at the very first Bike Swap I attended.
I knew then there was a need for practical athletic wear for a range of sizes (I wear a woman's size 12 and many of the products on the market are tailored to a size 2).
Sourcing products has been a learning curve that we are constantly navigating as we grow. We have made the commitment to stay 100% made in the USA, and have hired stay at home women to seamstress for us.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Events generated the most sales initially, and have been a great way to increase brand exposure. Our skirts are also available at retailers across the nation, our brick and morter store in Vancouver, WA, and online at www.sweetspotskirts.com. We still attend numerous events throughout the country each year and enjoy connecting with our customers face to face.
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?
With so many different channels of distribution, we desperately needed a centralized inventory system. Shopify has been integral in our sales operations since we launched it last Spring. It has made our inventory much more accurate and freed up time on our end.
We utilize Shipstation, Payware and ship via the USPS. One of the great things about opening a brick and mortar store was the ability to move out of my (overcrowded) garage and fulfill orders from the new store.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
If you have inventory with multiple channels of distribution, Shopify streamlines that process at a good cost. We were able to cut down employee expenses by not having to oversee inventory constantly. Another piece of advice I'd give to fellow entrepreneurs is:
Don't be afraid to live your life on the edge of a 200 ft. cliff. It's a great view, and you tend to make good decisions when you are on the ledge and the next step is 200 feet down.