Saturday, May 06, 2006

Detour Design interview

Juna answers our questions about his businesses today:

1. What drew you to opening an online store? Were you in a related field?

My business partner and I are owners of Detour Design, a graphic design studio in Salt Lake City, UT. We came across an article on the internet early last year, about how other businesses are making extra money selling t-shirts. We were intrigued. After looking at a couple of different t-shirt sites, we decided to go with CafePress because they looked the most professional. We jumped right in and Detour Designables was born.

2. When did you open your store?

May 5, 2005.

3. What is harder about doing this then you thought it would be?

I am actually surprised that this is even working. I was really skeptical at first. Now that we have had some success at it I think marketing the shirts is the hardest part. We love designing. We have tons of ideas. Getting the word out, that's the secret.

4. What do you like best about being an online shopkeeper?

I like that we don't have an actual inventory and we don't have to deal with customers. We don't have to stock 5,000 shirts in our basement. If somebody wants a shirt we have designed they can get one. If a design isn't selling, we didn't lose any money on it. We don't have to listen to someone complaining about the wrong size or color. Being an online shopkeeper is a lot less stressful than owning an actual store. Less stress is what I am all about.

5. During the very first month, what do you wish you had known then that you do now?

I wish I knew how to customize our shop in the first month. It took a little while before we got our look down. We still make changes here and there, but I think it really helps to have a nice homepage for people to come to.

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'm really not sure if there is one specific thing that has worked for us. We just try and get as much exposure as possible. We have a MySpace account. Our blog has been up for a while. We regularly post on forums. We are constantly trading links with other sites. The Affiliate program is in place. There are also shirt ranking sites and banner exchanging sites. All of those things combined help spread the word.

7. What other sites, blogs, etc. do you have if any? - our blog - our graphic design studio

site - Juna’s MySpace site

Nancy’s comment – This is the first time I’ve seen this. Detourdesign has a section designed by kids where the actual child that created the design gets the money. Great way to teach them early business skills and promote their creativity!

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