Our story starts with a woman my age hearing her own voice for the very first time while her husband films it, then uploads to YouTube. It inspires millions of people to click "share", and I press play. After imagining how different my life would be without ever hearing music, I had to do something to help.
I did some research and discovered there are 360 million people with disabling hearing loss just like her. Most of them are in developing countries and can be helped with just hearing aids. Music is so important - it shouldn't be something that is dependent on status, age or location. I had to do something to help, and ended up starting a headphone company that donates to Starkey Hearing Foundation.
When we were first starting out, everyone thought we were crazy to enter a market that seemingly every rapper and electronics company in the world had already set foot in. The problem was that although the headphone market is massive, none of the existing brands were making headphones we wanted to buy. In addition to great sound quality, we set out to create headphones that were beautifully designed and environmentally friendly.
Since our official launch in April 2013, LSTN has helped restore hearing to 15,000 people in Peru, Los Angeles, New York, Kenya and Uganda through Starkey.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Shopify made it really easy for us to set up shop. I'm not a web designer by any means, but I was able to easily set up our entire site quickly with no help. We sold on our website exclusively from April - August 2013, and now are sold in major retailers like Whole Foods and Nordstrom. The majority of LSTN purchases are still online.
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?
Our favorite Shopify apps are Shop Transfer (for easy launching with international distributors), Store Locator (for people to check out the headphones in person), and Happy Ending (to give the customer easy ways to share their purchase).
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
My top recommendation for new store owners is to lead the site with great product photography. It's a lot easier than it looks and makes your store 100x more professional. Picking a theme that is responsive to mobile is also important as a majority of hits to our website are from smart phones and tablets.