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

Though the Middle East is often featured in the news in a negative way, we knew the people who lived in many of these war-torn countries were hardworking with a lot to offer.

As we looked for ways to partner with artisans in Jordan, we decided to focus on products that were natural, handmade, and showcased the beauty of their region. We began partnering with artisans who made beautiful kitchen and home items from olive wood, then added a hand-made olive wood jewelry line and hired disadvantaged women to assemble each piece.

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

We started selling our products locally at markets and shows, then expanded to North America and Europe. We are grateful to Shopify for providing a way to reach more people, and our online sales channels are now our most profitable.

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 use Google Analytics and Live Insights by Yahoo to better understand our sales funnels and how customers find us. We also use MailChimp for Shopify to gather email addresses and stay in contact with our customers. We've added additional variants to our products to allow wholesalers to purchase in bulk, providing a seamless way to offer wholesale pricing and retail pricing on the same website.

What are your top recommendations for new store owners?

My top recommendation to new store owners is to connect with your customers on a personal level, and give your most loyal customers everything they need to share your story for you. If you start with ten loyal customers who can't stop talking about your company, it will turn to 100 customers and take off from there.

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