Jessica Swift, of fabulous rain boot fame, hired me a little over a year ago to build her eCommerce website. Jessica is a client that I have stayed in almost constant contact with, doing maintenance and edits, upgrading her features, and constantly growing her site to fit her rapidly growing business.
I knew I wanted to sit down with Jessica for a case study because her business is such an inspiration to so many, and so much of her growth can be contributed to her excellent online presence. She is one of those wonderful clients who understands the importance of a consistent online presence, investing in things (like a designer, a killer platform, and a functional website) that will help her business grow, and that being an awesome person will get you a long way.
Because this chick is awesome. Introducing Jessica:
Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I’m an artist, pattern designer, graphic designer, and writer. (Whew!)
I create tons of art, which I sell on my website and in boutiques as well as licensing it to incredible companies and manufacturers, who use my work to make iPhone covers, fabric, stationery, and more. I also blog about my adventures as a paint-covered business lady, and create colorful worksheets + e-books for my readers to play with, and I have a book coming out in 2013 called The Declaration of You (with my friend Michelle Ward).
I’ve been a full-time artist for nearly 10 years, and I’m on a quest to inspire everyone on the planet to pursue their wild + colorful dreams … and never give up.
When you came to me for a website design, it was actually more of a move and expansion, as you already had a website in place. Tell me about that site.
I needed my website to have an e-commerce component, which my old site did not. That was the essential reason for rebuilding and relaunching my website. I’d built my old site by myself based on a template, and I liked how it looked, but I was limited in my abilities to create the type of site I needed, so it was time to finally hire a web designer!
Why did you get the old one in the first place?
I knew a website was a great place to showcase all of my artwork and to build an audience for my work, so I started my first (horrible!) website back in 2005. It mostly served as a portfolio site, and no one ever visited it. It was pretty ugly!
When I started my blog in 2006, I knew that I eventually wanted my website and blog to be in the same place, which prompted me to make the switch to Squarespace a couple years later. I knew having my blog and website together would help me build my audience, and having one central digital space was important to me, because my digital presence was kind-of scattered all over the place before that.
I didn’t give much thought to the fact that I’d want an online shop eventually (I was selling my work on etsy) when I first built my site, but I quickly realized that I WOULD want an online shop and that I had no idea how to make one myself!
What prompted you to embark on a relaunch?
In 2011, I raised almost $25,000 on Kickstarter to start a line of rain boots, and once the project was successful and I was obligated to make the boots, I realized I didn’t really have anywhere online to sell them! I needed to fix that asap and get my own e-commerce site up and running, so that was a huge impetus to relaunch my site.
What was your favorite part of relaunching your website presence?
My favorite part was honestly not doing everything myself! It was amazing to collaborate with a capable web designer to bring my ideas to life without my having to google anything! But seriously, it was just really fun to get exactly what I wanted in a website this time around rather than just piecing things together myself bit by bit.
What is your favorite thing about your new website?
I love the limitless potential that it holds! I can sell physical products as well as downloadable e-products, so the sky’s really the limit on what I can offer to my audience. And I think my shopping cart and checkout page are just too adorable for words!
Finally, what changes have you seen in your business since the relaunch of your website?
My sales have increased dramatically, for sure! That’s the main change I’ve seen in my business, which is great, because that’s exactly the change that I was hoping would happen by launching my own e-commerce site. So it’s a success so far!
Talk about a rockstar! Working with Jessica is always such a pleasure. This girl's got her stuff together, and has a rocking business to prove it. Talk about a dream client.
You can check out Jessica's inspiring blog and fun products on her website at jessicaswift.com.
If you're interested in rocking your own business and want to make getting a killer website a priority, then hit me up. I'd like to guide you through your own transformation, too.
Case Study: Evy Jacob
Evy Jacob, the creative entrepreneur and designer behind the self-named website and stationery line Evy Jacob, hired me in November 2011 to redesign and develop a new online shop for her goods. It was a great project that ended up with a great result.
I recently had a little sit-down with Evy to chat with her about her business since the launch of her new website. Join me, and we'll see how she's been doing.
Warning: I apologize for the minor connection issues towards the end. They're minor and clear up soon.
Thank you so much, Evy, for chatting with me!
Chatting with clients like Evy after we've worked together and they've seen such positive growth in their business is what I love most about my job. I love helping creative entrepreneurs launch their business online by helping give them a place to sell their goods.
Getting your products online is the end result of a lot of hard work, and it's clients like Evy, who have had past experience with website (and therefore had a lot of knowledge about how an online shop works), that fair best during the design and launch of an online shop.
I'm beginning to plan my next workshop, and would love the input of you creative entrepreneurs out there who are ready to start the process of getting their shops online!
My workshops cater especially to the newbies. Those who have no clue about domains and hosting, payment processors and shipping tables. It's also for the intermediates, who need direction on photography, content, and how to hire a designer.
I would love it if you'd fill out the form below, letting me know of where you are. I'm beginning to plan out 2013 workshops, and want to hit your city!
There are almost 2.5 years of really great blog posts archived away in the depths of Indie Shopography.