Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?

"Velma" (aka Valerie) has been in the embroidery business for over a decade. We grew up with all things monogrammed (we're from Texas!) and she fell in love with designing her own monograms and creating beautiful items for her home, or to give to friends and family. We started out sourcing from well known, upscale vendors, and we still use those vendors with our new SM Luxe line. We also create our own products for some of these bespoke items. We branched out into using overseas suppliers a couple of years ago and this allows us to offer the lowest prices possible on some of our popular items!

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

Facebook was a big help in making our first sales! Our loyal customers join our email list to receive notices about new products, great sales, and more. We have been featured on deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social which is a fantastic way to reach new customers. And we love Instagram as a way to engage!

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?

Product Customizer is an app we started using right away, and it's vital to allowing customers to make our products their own. Back In Stock and Bulk Discounts have made some tasks very easy and we love them. An app we just started using is Pop-Up Window and we've seen great results from it. We love Shopify Experts to make minor (and sometimes major) tweaks to our site. It's so fun to watch our site evolve with all the apps and tools available through Shopify. We handle shipping and fulfillment internally and we use ShipStation.

What are your top recommendations for new store owners?

When starting out, don't be afraid to make mistakes! Some of the things we do now are the results of learning the hard way, but we wouldn't have learned otherwise. Try this and try that...try everything and see what works best for you.

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