I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, overwhelmed with flowers and gifts I was unable to use during my treatment. This inspired me to set up Not Another Bunch Of Flowers – a handpicked range of pretty and pampering get well gifts that make practical and more thoughtful alternatives to flowers.

While flowers seem to be the quick and easy ‘go to’ option when someone is ill, and with many hospitals now banning flowers, I have chosen gifts that are suitable for use during treatment and surgery and are guaranteed to brighten up any loved one’s day.

I source products that I found useful during my treatment by approaching the suppliers and have also visited trade shows and have added other products that I would have loved to have received when I was ill.

How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?

It was so exciting when my first sales came through! I have had to rely on PR rather than pure marketing as my business concept is about encouraging people to realize that there are alternatives to flowers when someone is ill. Luckily my local papers, radio station and news channel were interested in running my story and the resulting PR led to my first sales. I also get business through Google AdWords and through social media.

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 am incredibly grateful to Shopify for enabling me to set up my business on a small budget. The back-end is really user-friendly and there seems to be an app or tool to solve every issue! The support staff are fantastic to work with too – they are efficient, friendly and extremely knowledgeable.

My business is very new and at the moment I have one member of staff and between us we are able to fulfill all orders ourselves. All of my gifts are lovingly wrapped and tied with a ribbon and a tag with a handwritten message and I don’t want to lose that personal touch.

What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?

I would wholeheartedly recommend Shopify to anyone looking for an e-commerce solution. In fact, I already have recommended it to a number of friends. The free trial allows you to see how easy it is to set up a site with no obligation, so there’s no reason not to give it a try to see how straightforward it is to create a fantastic e-commerce website.

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