Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
After becoming the proud owner of a cream frenchie, I wanted to shop for quality clothes for her but couldn't find anything online. So I thought, why is there not a 'net-a-porter' for pets like 'pet-a-pawter'? That's how it started. Then we saw a gap in bulldog apparel so now we have The Bulldog Shop where other stocky dog owners can find apparel tailored for broad-chested dogs! We started out by curating products from all over the world (UK, US, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, etc.), but we will be launching our own collection made in-house this fall.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
In the beginning it was mostly word of mouth, but the sales really went up when we partnered with Manny the Frenchie on social media platforms like Instagram.
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?
I have Langify, Shopify Reviews, Metafields to help with my store operation. Langify is perhaps the most impactful because it allows my Chinese customers to see the content in their preferred language. Internally, we pack and ship everything ourselves.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Define your target audience. Know your unique selling point. Think outside of the box. Don't be afraid to be different but make sure you know your market. Do not be deterred by the initial start-up cost, you can start your business with a very low budget with the services provided by Shopify. Be proactive, don't be afraid of reaching out to relevant people, especially on social media platforms. Last but not least, use the resources provided in forums and blogs on Shopify - that really helped me with a lot of troubleshooting.