In September of 2010, I moved from Brooklyn to New Orleans after the BP Oil Spill in order to create BirdProject.
I became inspired to form the company Matter upon seeing the great success of our launch product, BirdProject. While developing the project I saw the need for socially inspired products which sustainably and poetically fulfill our basic needs. In all of our products, our materials are sourced of sustainable materials and as locally as possible. To use BirdProject as a case study: BirdProject Soaps are made with natural, locally sourced ingredients: biodiesel glycerin, fair trade olive oil, aloe, activated black charcoal, and a light cypress scent - reminiscent of Louisianan bayous. They are made by Emily Manger Davis of Sweet Olive Soaps, a third generation soapmaker from New Orleans and the ceramic birds at the center by John Oles, a local ceramacist. Our packaging is made of 100% recycled paper & soy inks, screenprinted in New Orleans. 50% of proceeds are donated to cleanup, $21,000 to date!
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
I got my start on Kickstarter and eventually found shopify. I love the customer service provided for my customers by the automatic order & shipping notifications to our customers.
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 heart ordercup! After using a couple of other fulfillment apps on shopify, ordercup is where I've found my home. Products are shipped from our HQ, each order given TLC w/ a handwritten thank you note and a little 'lagniappe' - a tradition in New Orleans of a little something extra. We ship using USPS boxes which are cradle to cradle certified.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Begin building your email list by using chimpify from the get go; blog consistently about your process; and use social media in addition to newsletters to connect with your customers.