In the spring of 2016, Scott came to town with the purpose of converting our present business to an online one. His main goal was to help us improve our product pictures. He was trying to really get through to us that having great quality pictures and multiple views of each product was essential to our success of selling on line. We had ordered all the equipment needed after he gave us a list of what to buy. The camera Argie presently owned was perfect for the job. Scott taught us how it worked and with the thinking that we would use it and should use it. I felt much pressure trying to learn how the camera worked and how it’s different functions would effect the look of our products. Camera, lights, color, angles, props…..what? Learn this in one week?
We took lots of notes and had learned much of what we didn’t like regarding background of products, angles of views of products, but had no new pictures yet. Needless to say, by the end of the week we all felt some level of frustration. We all hoped that in time, everything will seem easier and it will all fall into place.
It was a little terrifying for Scott to leave us when we did not feel comfortable using the equipment and had no new pictures. But we were on a mission. We found a background we were satisfied with and began taking pictures of each product at different positions and angles until we were happy with the look. Just when we figured that out, we found out that we had to consider the website theme layout and position our products accordingly. Little bumps in the road we went around until we figured it out. For the most part I took pictures, Argie edited them and saved them on our Google drive and we both entered them on the website and Etsy.
The process of converting our website to a selling one was overwhelming and without Scott’s support we could not have done it!! He was heaven sent. While we were working on making our products look good, Scott was working on the technical aspect of making the website an online shopping one. He found all the information needed on advancing ‘dahlia’ to a business selling website and set it up. Writing a couple sentences to explain this just doesn’t do justice to the process it involves. Argie and I were finding out more and more what’s involved in owning a business. We are sooooo thankful to our families for all their help through this and really hope that all of Scott’s efforts will help him in his future endeavors. Dahlia was ready for the internet. Question was: "Can Argie and I run it?"
The answer to that is “yes”!!! Argie and I are the picture takers, the website administrators, product creators and designers, shipping department operatives and everything else involved in between. This is the perfect time to mention Argie’s famous or what has become famous between us, saying: “I just wanted to make candles”.
It is exciting to own a business and doing something you love. Those initial feelings give you the courage to go on this adventure. There are definitely plus and minuses though. The hours you could spend on it are unlimited and all the little sayings you hear like, “you spend more time on the business part of the job than making product”, are true. The constant learning and keeping up of new advances in computer technology, marketing and consumer shopping strategies is unending. How can two busy moms handle all this? Our thoughts from the beginning were to work part time and work around what life brought on the way without compromising the reputation of the business. We still believe in us and our product. We don't want this to be just a hobby. I don’t regret learning any part of this but the time we have been investing into it has not payed off yet. Remember the people that did this out of their basements? How successful were they?
By fall, we had a new looking website!!!! It was so good to hear Scott say that our pictures looked good. But most importantly we had an ONLINE STORE!!!!!! The temporary shop we had set up in my home office was emptied out and all products were brought to Argie’s basement. It seemed very logical to create our products there, store and ship them out, all from one place. Very seldom we had a customer physically come to the store so it made sense.
Do we just wait for more customers now?
There has to be something that we need to work on next…….