Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I launched LightBox Photography Cards on Kickstarter in January of 2015. After 30 days on a popular crowd funding site, we ended at 935% above goal with nearly 2,000 backers in 27 different countries! Once the campaign wrapped, there was no way for other buyers to get their hands on the deck, so I opened a Shopify site to continue to take pre-orders - this gained me another few hundred orders while production began. After wrapping up initial fulfillment on the original deck, I have just launched a follow-up deck — LightBox Photography Cards: Macro Edition! Being both a photographer and graphic designer, I was able to create the cards all on my own. I partnered with a terrific printer who saw the project through production. While they are a seperate entity from LightBox Photography Cards, they have become an integral part of my team.
I utilized social media by building hype around the project; it's free and unbelievably effective. When you cultivate a relationship with people, earn their trust and confidence - you create a supporter for life! Since launching the new Kickstarter campaign, it has become the single biggest traffic boost to the Shopify site. I am already planning a series of follow-up decks to keep that particular ball rolling.
My best tool is the relationship I have with my local post office. I do all the fulfillment myself - making each and every package a personal experience for my buyers. I let Shopify do all the heavy lifting as far as payment processing and I love how easy it is to access customer information for fulfillment purchases. I do all fulfillment in house, that way each and every package has a personal touch.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Link up your stores to your social media feeds, Make the experience a personal one that buyers will be proud to support.