My name is Mike Stone and I owned a retail store in San Francisco, CA. It was a design collective, which means everyone that worked in the store designed and created everything sold in the store, with their own two hands.
At the design collective, my store manager Jawn McQuade and I came up with an idea to create a fun and interactive element to the store, live Do-it-yourself workshops. It all started with a single terrarium making workshop, which sold out in under an hour. That one workshop quickly turned into ten workshops a week, featuring jewelry making, soaps and candles, and even creating unique light fixtures.
We decided to take a risk and run with the success of our workshops by turning it into a business. The idea was to take the high-demand workshops and allow people to create with Jawn and I, right in their own home. By selling complete DIY project kits and pairing each kit with a fun video tutorial that makes the experience much more personal and interactive, this was a possibility. So I sold my share of the collective, Jawn quit as manager, and we started MakersKit.
MakersKit gives everyone a shot at joining the Maker Movement.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
I remember our first sale in early 2013. We had just set-up our website when the order came through, excitement took over and we hand-packed the kit and sent it on its way! Soon after other small retailers began contacting us asking if they could carry MakersKit within their own stores. Naturally, we were blown away that other stores wanted to carry our kits! We take full advantage of the great applications Shopify offers, like StoreMapper which we have on our site for customers to find MakersKit products in stores near them. Shopify had the best templates to start out with and we customized our favorite to fit our brand.
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?
MakersKit uses Shopify for direct sales as well as wholesale. We chose to work with Shopify in part because of all the great apps. We use Fulfillment by Amazon that links so our Shopify store for automated fulfillment, this has saved us both time and money reducing the average order ship cost from $15 down to $6.
The Shopify Bulk Discount app has also been great in adding hundreds of discount codes in seconds.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Always be willing to take advice and consider any criticisms; actively seek feedback from your customers The relationships you build with your customers are just as important as your product.