We are a USA manufacturing company that produces Catan Boards for playing Settlers of Catan.
We provide a transportable playing surface that organizes the hexes, ports and roads of the game so that a stray elbow or over-enthusiastic cat don't disrupt it. Games are often played in the evenings, so we also allow for temporary moving of the game to make room for pizza.
All of our products are manufactured within 20 miles of each other, in San Luis Obispo, CA. We use USA-made packaging, and buy materials from US suppliers. Keeping manufacturing local is very important to us, even as we scale to meet international demand.
What are the key factors that have helped your store be successful?
Keeping manufacturing local was probably the most important decision in the success of our store. Being able to bike over to a manufacturer and meet with them to go over plans is priceless and speeds up development time greatly. The concept that manufacturing in the US is too expensive can be true sometimes, but we've found that not only are the costs manageable, the added benefit of speed and agility more than makes up for any added per unit costs.
One other added factor in our success is the fantastic support of our Kickstarter backers. Our backers have been crucial to the success of our online presence. Having 5,600 passionate, positive people supporting you as you grow really helps keep you going as you encounter the inevitable hurdles of product development.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Probably the top recommendation would be that when you're starting out, setup the systems of your business with the mindset that it should be able to be run without you. When engaging with customers, however, do things early on that don't scale. Write little personal notes on packages. Say hi to them on Twitter. Invite local customers to come check out your shop.
The early days are when people find out what you're all about, and taking the time to make people's experience special will always be worth it and it will create the culture of your company in the process.
Any Closing Remarks?
Shopify is awesome, and empowers us to make a living making cool things that we love to play with. So thank you Shopify.