In the previous parts of this series, we followed Julie’s inspiring journey from discovering her passion for jewelry making to laying the groundwork for her business. We’ve seen her overcome hurdles, from learning the ins and outs of business planning to creating a captivating portfolio. In Part 3, we’re diving into the exciting phase of Julie setting up her shop in various platforms. Buckle up as Julie takes her jewelry designs to the public through pop-up shops, music festivals, and the digital world.
What are your personal and artistic inspirations for your jewelry?
Definitely being from the Pacific Northwest, it’s all about the nature vibes, you know? Like, the trees, the rivers, the mountains – they’re a big part of who I am. I try to bring some of that into my jewelry, using natural materials and like, earthy colors. Plus, being indigenous, my culture is super important to me. I make some pieces inspired by traditional designs but give them my own twist. I feel like it’s my way of keeping my heritage alive.
From Kitchen Table to Pop-up Shop
Julie’s first big challenge was figuring out where to sell her products. She wanted to start small, without investing too much in a physical store. Her home had turned into a makeshift jewelry studio, and she needed to find a space where she could interact with customers face-to-face.
Julie remembered the buzz of the local markets and festivals she had attended in the past. It hit her – pop-up shops could be the perfect solution! These temporary retail spaces could provide the exposure she needed without the long-term commitment and expenses of a traditional brick-and-mortar store.
She started researching local events, craft fairs, and farmer’s markets where she could set up her pop-up shop. Julie reached out to the organizers to understand the costs, logistics, and requirements to be a vendor.
Once she secured a spot at a local craft fair, she set to work preparing her display. She knew presentation was key, so she created a visually appealing booth, using rustic wooden displays to reflect the natural elements in her jewelry. Julie also printed business cards with her contact information and website, so customers could easily get in touch or check her online portfolio.
She also prepared herself mentally to interact with the customers. As a single mom who was primarily engaged in crafting for a long time, this was going to be a significant shift. Julie practiced her sales pitch and created a warm and engaging environment at her pop-up shop.
The day of the craft fair arrived, and Julie’s nerves were tingling with excitement and anxiety. As the day progressed, she found herself chatting with customers, sharing the stories behind her creations, and even making a few sales!
Taking the Leap into E-Commerce
While Julie was thrilled with her success at music festivals, she realized that to create a sustainable business, she needed to establish an online presence. The task seemed daunting to Julie. She had limited knowledge of e-commerce platforms, and the idea of setting up an online store seemed overwhelming. She was also concerned about managing inventory, shipping, and customer service virtually.
Julie started by conducting extensive research on various e-commerce platforms. She read articles, watched tutorials, and reached out to other small business owners for advice. After comparing the features and costs of different platforms, she decided to use Shopify for its user-friendly interface and support for small businesses.
She then focused on setting up her online store. She took high-quality photos of her jewelry and wrote detailed product descriptions. Julie also decided to incorporate a blog section to share the stories behind her designs and connect with her audience on a deeper level.
To address inventory management, Julie used Shopify’s inventory tracking features. She also integrated a third-party shipping app that allowed her to print shipping labels and manage orders more efficiently.
To ensure exceptional customer service, Julie set up an email account dedicated to customer inquiries and feedback. She also created a set of frequently asked questions to address common concerns on her website.
Knowing the power of social media, she decided to leverage her Instagram account to drive traffic to her online store. She created engaging content, including posts showcasing her jewelry and stories featuring customer testimonials.
To launch her online store, Julie organized a virtual launch party via Instagram Live. She invited her followers to join her as she introduced her website, showed off her collection, and shared her journey. She also offered special discounts and free shipping for the first 24 hours to encourage immediate sales.
The journey doesn’t stop here! Julie has successfully transitioned from selling at local events to establishing an online presence. In the next part of this series, we will see how Julie handles her first sales and the challenges she faces while fulfilling orders and ensuring customer satisfaction. Stay tuned!