Launching my online store!

I’ve tried to write blog posts about 5 other subjects this week, but the only thing that’s on my mind is my online store launching this weekend! I can’t concentrate on anything else, so I thought I’d break down this new project as blog post for anyone interested in the backstory of this project, or who might want to do something similar going forwards.

My store is an online jewellery business, and I’ll be selling some of my favourite earring pieces and styles that I’ve loved over the years. Here is a break down of the steps I’ve taken so far:

  1. Research

I had A LOT to research; firstly, I needed to look into the world of jewellery and see what the competition was and if there was any space for my idea.

I had to research suppliers, packaging, inventory costs, shipping costs, marketing platforms and so much more. This alone took me over a month, which was also how long it took for me to order in samples for the jewellery and the packaging. I then ordered what I had decided on selling based on my samples, as well as anything which I need would take a long time to arrive (ie custom packaging from China).

2. Marketing

Throughout this entire time of waiting for samples and researching, I was also building up my social media so that I could have an audience that already knew of my business by the time I was ready to launch. These platforms included Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and Facebook.

When my earrings finally arrived, I threw myself into the photography and marketing side even more (as I obviously was very limited in this area until I had received all my inventory). I was still waiting on a lot of the custom packaging to arrive, so I had plenty of time to get my pictures sorted before I was even close to launching my site.

3. Final preparation

This period of time is when I built my website and ordered the very last things I needed, such as printer labels, tape and thank you cards. I’m at the final week before launching, and the nerves had started to settle in. I’m biting my fingernails constantly and sleeping restlessly, and wondering every two minutes if anyone is going to like my jewellery or buy from me.

This period is also a time where I’ve been questioning everything from my choice of packaging, to my choice in jewellery, to my choices in life! As you can probably tell, it’s been a pretty stressful week. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve been experiencing spells of very low motivation when it comes to writing anything or creating any marketing content, which is making me feel very guilty.

Just breathe!

Some tips from my experience so far:

  • Research is very important. I’ve managed to save so much money by triple checking every thing from the tape I’m buying down to the website I’m using to open my store. Had I spent less than a month researching this, I would have easily spent 3x the amount I did end up spending on this business. In the past, I skipped this step out of impatience and I can safely say it’s the reason my business ideas never worked out!
  • Invest in yourself. Through-out this journey, I’ve had to do nearly everything by myself; the photography, the modelling, the editing, the graphic design, the writing, the marketing etc … Thankfully, I have some experience in all these areas which I’ve been able to drawn from and to develop to reach the high standard I wanted. These past experiences and my ability to learn new skills quickly have saved me hundreds of pounds in hiring others to do it for me, and have taught me how to do all the above even better. Therefore, it’s always worth sitting down and learning how to learn to do something yourself as its a skill you’ll carry with you forever as you go forwards in your business and your life.
  • Be innovative. There have been endless small issues that have popped up that I’ve had to deal with whiles being on a small budget, and to solve them I’ve had to be pretty innovative! For example, I wanted a silk white background for my pictures for the website, and after a quick look on amazon, I found cheap silk pillowcases which I used as a background and which look great, instead of buying real silk fabric (the pillowcases were only £6.99!).

This photography set-up is very cheap and simple, but the pictures we’ve managed to get from it are amazing!

An example of the outcome, with editing
2nd example, with editing
3rd example, with editing

Pretty awesome, right?

As it stands, I’ve only reached this ‘before-launch’ stage, so I cannot write about the outcome yet. However, I’d love to write another post about my progress in a few weeks, let me know if this is something you’d like to read!

Please leave any thoughts below in the comments,

Thank you, see you next time!

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