Denes Place interview
Take a few minutes and check out Denes Place
1. What drew you to opening an online store? Were you in a related field?
I always wanted a business of my own but never had the money to start one and couldn't talk myself into giving up a steady paycheck. No guts, I guess. CafePress gave me the chance to give it a try in my spare time without sticking a lot of money into it. No, I was not in a related field. I managed a department in a factory.
2. When did you open your store?
I opened my store in 2003. But only spent a minimum of time at it for the first year.
3. What is harder about doing this then you thought it would be?
It was actually much easier than I had thought that it would be. It's more fun than work, and (not knowing html) CafePress’s templates really make it easy.
4. What do you like best about being an online shopkeeper?
I think that what I like best is that my CafePress shop gives me a chance to express myself in my designs, and I get a chance to make money doing something that I enjoy. Never really got a chance to find my "dream job" while trying to make a living.
5. During the very first month, what do you wish you had known then that you do now?
That my tastes are not necessarily the same as everyone else’s, and that your designs improve with practice. I really thought that some of my first designs were great. Looking back, I think that I was the only one who thought so. Some of my original designs may have done more to hurt my shop then help.
Someone just starting their shop should get a few opinions on their designs before jumping in feet first. Family and friends opinions don't count! They always seem to love what you do. At least, that's what they say!
6. Could you share some of the marketing you've tried so far (on or off line) and what has worked and what hasn't?
I've tried short ads in local papers. (Most people ignore them.) Links from my Pet Heaven site. (Quite a
few sales come through Pet Heaven.) My signature on different forums. (Some forums forbid this.) Started an affiliate blog. (Have had some sales this way.) Still haven't found a real great way to spread the word on my shop, but think business has picked up since CafePress started the affiliate program. I think that some of the better selling shops are doing big ads in magazines or paid ads on popular sites, but this can get pretty expensive.
7. What other sites, blogs, etc. do you have if any?
Nancy’s comment: This site has a little of everything. From items for the socially conscience to maternity t-shirts you are sure to find something that you love.