Monday, April 24, 2006

Arielles Gifts interview

I now have 34 shopkeepers waiting in line to share their thoughts. So I have made another command decision. I will post an interview four or five days a week for as long as I have interesting people (and interested people!)

The first questions I got back came from Arielle:

1.What drew you to opening an online store? Were you in a related field?
I've always been an artist of sorts, but I first created t-shirts my senior year of high school. We used screen-printing. It was a lot harder than CafePress because I had to isolate each color and then line up the screens so the t-shirts were printed correctly. I've redone some of the designs I originally used in high school for my CafePress store.

2 When did you open your store?
I played around with the free stores since August, but I opened my premium shop after I made my first sale last month.

3.What is harder about doing this then you thought it would be?
Promoting the site takes up more time than actually designing all of the t-shirts!

4 What do you like best about being an online shopkeeper?
I'm my own boss and I make my own hours.

5.During the very first month, what do you wish you had known then that you do now?
I wish I'd known about By giving my customers the means to use a discount (which comes off of the base price), I am encouraging them to shop in my store.
Also, someone hacked my account and deleted my premium store a few weeks ago. I wish I'd known to back everything up. It wasn't so bad because a lot of the stuff in my premium store was also in free stores (so all I had to do was import the products into the store again), but it was a pain and the neck and very time consuming to rebuild. I still don't have all of the html right.

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?
Marketing through My Space works. I also gave my best friends some cute t-shirts with the URL to my store printed on the back.

7. What other sites, blogs, etc. do you have if any? - I just started that one because I want to keep my CafePress notes on My Space separate from my personal notes. <- A My Space group used to Promote CafePress stores and trendy designs <- My personal My Space account <- My Xanga Blog

Note from Nancy: Arielle is a college student, but you would never guess that looking at her sharp shop. She’s got lots of selections to appeal to everyone. I wish I had started at her age!

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