My name is Kristen Powers. I am an artist and illustrator. In September of 2012 I, along with my husband and sister, bought RubberMoon Art Stamps. RubberMoon was a good, solid home based business that produced art stamps for paper arts and crafts for 20 years. The founding owners were ready to retire and move from the U.S. to Panama. I had a history of stamp designing and manufacturing and it was just perfect alchemy and serendipity that I was the one to become the new owner of RubberMoon!
My vision was to continue to produce the same quality, U.S.A. made product and give excellent customer service that RubberMoon had always been known for, only to add the elements of a bigger online presence and to update a very outdated website.
We design, manufacture and produce all of our rubber stamps in our studio, with the exception of some outside artists (who submit designs) and some of our raw materials.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
When we purchased the existing business it had a website and domain name but no online presence to speak of. The existing site was about eight years old and though we did make a few sales here and there, it was terribly difficult to navigate, the images were all different sizes and the search options were non existent. It seriously needed to be updated.
Our business is built on visual imagery and being able to view the illustrations and see all of the art offered in a nice, clear presentation is essential. We had someone who was helping us, but they were in another state and we felt it necessary to be able to add and update products ourselves.
We began our Shopify store in January of 2014. Our first week, we had thirty sales! That number was more than eight months of sales from the previous year with our old website! Our business has tripled from 2013! RubberMoon's Shopify store is definitely our top venue for sales.
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?
We make our stamps to order. We do everything from our little building on a Main Street in small-town U.S.A. We take orders, design, manufacture and do shipping and fulfillment ourselves,from one location.
We use Chimpify (our monthly newsletter gets great response), Facebook Store App and Wishlist by Micro Apps.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
As a new store, we feel, it is important to make a great first impression. Make sure your shop is ready and looking it's best before you launch. We also think that using all social media available to you is essential.
If you are able to do video marketing and connect with your customers through demonstrations or product sharing, we highly recommend this. And as always, fantastic customer service is a must.