Just in time for the wedding season! Check out Shannon’s interview and stores: http://www.vaniteezbride.com?pid=4370506 and http://www.vaniteez.com?pid=4370506
1. What drew you to opening an online store? Were you in a related field?
It's funny, but I saw the Wall Street Journal's front-page article on CafePress in spring 2005. I liked the CafePress business model of offering a totally outsourced solution for its shopkeepers. I work in the financial services industry, so I thought this would be a fun opportunity to apply some of the marketing skills I learned in business school but don't get to use in my day job.
2. When did you open your store?
I opened my vaniteez store in summer 2005. I'd included a bachelorette party design at the suggestion of a friend, and it became my best seller. That success inspired me to launch vaniteez bride in the fall of 2005.
3. What is harder about doing this than you thought it would be?
I wouldn't say marketing is any harder than I expected, but it certainly requires the most thought and energy.
4. What do you like best about being an online shopkeeper?
I love the flexibility CafePress offers. It's easy to change the layout of the shop, add new designs, and mix things up.
5. During the very first month, what do you wish you had known then
that you do now?
Don't pay for Google AdWords!
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 had good results with my PR strategy- especially with submitting press releases to PRWeb. I've also learned that targeting particular niches (such as weddings and bachelorette parties) is much more effective than going after a broad demographic group. And the CafePress affiliate program has been a great source of traffic for me.
Nancy’s comments – If you are too late for the next wedding you are involved in, think ahead! The wedding items would make great engagement gifts and as one of the designs says – you can always start the “year of the party.”