Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I have always been attracted to garments made from natural fibres, ie. cotton, linen and silks. I have sensitive skin so wearing synthetic clothing actually irritates me and I find myself overheating. I wanted to build a brand of classic pieces made of silk I couldn't find anywhere else. No groundbreaking designs, just basics that you know you can find every season.
I also wanted to make them at an affordable price point so everybody could have a little bit of luxury and not be terrified to wear their silk pieces on a daily basis. I wanted to make this silk range affordable but great quality. I sourced an amazing factory in the hills of China on a trip to Shanghai, where the quality and craftsmanship is second to none. I communicate almost daily with my contact there and we have a great working relationship. I am really very lucky.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We collaborated with brands and bloggers from the very beginning. We were lucky enough to already have some contacts in the fashion world we could use to spread the word; everyone seemed to be thrilled about the market we were about to enter. Most of our traffic is direct. The names and descriptions of our products make us easy to find if you are looking to buy silk clothing.
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 use the Shopify app regularly, it's just so simple to use when you are away from your desk. We also use Instagram, VSCO cam, Squareready and Foursixty. We currently hold all of our stock at our office, so we send our orders from here via Click and Send (Australia post) for domestic orders and DHL for international orders. We will look into dropshipping probably later in the year but at the moment this works.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Find something that you are truly passionate about. The money doesn't always come rolling in straight away, and it can be hard to stay motivated when you are living off rice and beans, but believing that you have a great product makes it easier to keep going. Be kind to people around you, don't be afraid to ask for help, and read Shopify's articles on your home page every day. Some of their advice is invaluable from experts in the field.