V.LU STYLE (pronounced Vee Loo ) is a distinctive line of Fashion Jewelry & Accessories. Born and raised in New York City, Veronica Bates began her career as a freelance makeup artist and Showroom Manager for a women's apparel line in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan's garment district. In 1992 she relocated to Atlanta and worked for several years for Corporate America in sales and sales management.
Working for an Industrial Distributor, calling on Steel Mills and Food & Beverage manufacturing plants, work life was not very glamorous.
"One evening by chance through a mutual friend, I was introduced to the person who would eventually become my mentor: a Designer of an upscale fashion jewelry line. Over dinner I spoke about my past experiences and shared my passion for the fashion industry."
"I was given an opportunity to visit one of the industry tradeshows that weekend. It was extremely busy, and this gave me the chance to help sell for my new designer friend. Shortly thereafter, I was asked to work all of the Atlanta and Las Vegas shows. This led to an intensifying desire to have my own line of accessories. With focus and hard work, my dream became reality and V.LU was born! "
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
My first sales came from a customer that was recommended by my friend and my ex-boss. He shared my website with his inner circle of friends and neighbors. The positive feedback I received on my Shopify website was amazing
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 primarily use our Shopify store but now since we attended our first Shopify webinar we were made aware of the many apps that are available to expand our software. The first app we are looking into is the Bar Code Printer app as well as the Variant Images app. This will greatly help me in the back end of my business. We fulfill our orders from my warehouse here in Atlanta, Georgia. We ship via Federal Express Ground as we feel their service and shipping rates are exceptional.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
My biggest recommendation for new store owners is to do your research when it comes to your hosting company. You don't need to hire a "professional web designer". You can save thousands of dollars building your own site. You can cross train your employees also. Also, make sure that your web pictures are clear and you have adequate descriptions and meta tags for your products. Learn as much as you can about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to promote your business through social networks.