I don't look like your typical fashion entrepreneur. And in fact, I have no retail or fashion experience. But I was completely fascinated by the e-commerce revolution and after 10 years out of the work force staying home to raise my kids I woke up one morning with a serious case of late onset entrepreneurialism that i had to cure.
I am the founder of a 1 year old e-commerce site dedicated to selling top-quality pre-owned designer bags on consignment to Canadian women.
LOVEthatBAG sells pre-owned designer handbags in almost every style and brand you could want. How the site works is fairly simple: prospective sellers email photos of their bags to me with a description of their condition, and I decide whether or not the bag is right for the site. Then you mail it (or drop it off in person if you happen to live in Montreal), and it gets put up on the site. LOVEthatBag takes between 30 and 50 per cent of every sale. It’s a similar concept to American sites like Fashionphile, Malleries, and Yoogi’s Closet, but since bags are shipped in Canada, customers don’t have to worry about hefty taxes and shipping costs.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
It's a lot of work setting up any business and i looked around at several e-commerce platform before deciding on Shopify. I liked that it was so user friendly and that is was Canadian. LovethatBag fills a niche or void in the Canadian market. I am proud of how Shopify has taken off. I am store owner 35600 (something like that) and now there are over 100,000 store owners. That's how I see my business in 10 years!
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 have just started using Stitch for inventory management.
Google analytics, Google Adwords, regular Mailchimp newsletters, SEO, Facebook and other social media, marketing and pr strategies are all things I think about all the time.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
I never thought about the challenges, I just saw the gap in the market and thought pre-owned designer bags would be a good idea for an e commerce. We’re growing and selling more each month. Even though I concentrate my marketing efforts on Canada, LovethatBag sells and ships all over the world.
Obviously you have to have a good product, but I think to be a successful entrepreneur you have to live and breathe what you are doing. My business is what I think about when I am showering and when I am walking the dog. And that may sound daunting but it's also a lot of fun.
I’m not in it for the short haul. I am looking towards the longer horizon. I think it’s going take me a while to reach where I want to be, but we’re getting there.