Head down…plow on…head up…smile

smile

The past few weeks have seen big highs and some disappointments. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the hard parts of business (or life) but I prefer to persevere, put my head down, and solve my problems rather than dwell on them. It’s a part of life, nothing worth doing comes easily. In this instance, unfortunately I didn’t listen to my ‘finance gut’ and am struggling with a supplier. I won’t name and shame them, I’m exceptionally disappointed that they think it’s o.k. to take payment up front and then refuse to supply stock or return the money, but I do still think that what they sell is a beautiful product.  You can either choose to let things get you down or look at the bright side of things…I think I’ll choose the bright side. I actually found it very hard to sit and write a blog post the past few days, simply because I didn’t want to post something negative. It’s so against where I try and keep my head at, holidays are happy, life is a blessing, and it just didn’t seem right!

I do believe that everything happens for a reason and in the fight to get my money back and trying to decide what I should do with the gap left by taking that stock out of my shop, I’ve found two wonderful suppliers, with beautiful products, more fitting for the boutique feel I want! One is Jane Foster, from the UK, who uses beautiful Dutch, Scandinavian and Swedish retro inspired fabrics that she does the screen printing of herself. The other is Harper + Hudson who make wonderfully colourful and stylish teething necklaces which are perfect for Mother’s Day or any new mum, I wish I had some!

Since I really struggled to write a post and just coast until inspiration hit me, I thought I would focus my efforts elsewhere and had a good look at my little shop and what didn’t feel right about it. The one thing that really bothered me was deciding on what I should charge for shipping, I took forever to make that decision and it still didn’t feel right.  So, instead of charging a tiered shipping rate as I originally had, I decided to just go for free shipping. I know that once I’ve found something I love, that shipping fee can make it or break it, especially when it’s a gift. I generally have an amount in my head that I want to spend and hate to feel like I have to spend less on their present depending on what the shipping fees are.  Well decision made and, free shipping at The Holiday Shoppe it is!

So, now back to trying to work out which Ad Words and SEO to focus on…I sure do wish that Google Analytics would tell me what my organic search terms are that people are using to find me. That would make life just a little easier. I’m trying to push my little shop as much as I can and, I must admit, that the advertising side and ‘getting it out there’ seem to be the toughest bit. I’m thinking of doing some markets and alternate types of advertising. I’ve started Twitter and Instagram and already have Facebook and my blog…my big question is…how on earth do you all find the time to populate all of the social media sites?! Is there a better way than having them populate each other or is that what you do? That all seems a bit redundant.

Any way, as I love to say…Come join me on my journey, give me advice if you have it or just give me some encouragement. I look forward to posting as I go…

Mx

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Happy Day…

Happy Day...

I have had to send out my website to potential suppliers the past few days to show them my concept and I have stressed each time. This website is really just a skeleton, I still have to load my products!

I’ve now heard back from them all…to be told that they love it, they love the look and the idea. A website customized by me with just the concept of which products I’ll stock…it’s funny how much the feedback from total strangers has meant…it really is going to be o.k….

And we’re “officially” on the go!

I was so excited last week when I finally received confirmation from an overseas supplier but this week was so much better! I actually became a registered company, it doesn’t get any more real than that.

I’ve been working on my website, for what seems like forever, and I still need to source the perfect stock. I don’t just want anything and that’s probably what’s holding me up.  There’s plenty out there, it’s just not quite what I’m after. I was writing my “About” page earlier and, after I lost my momentary writers block, summed up my needs as…

…”When hosting the family Christmas I relished thinking of, and decorating, my tables to a theme but struggled to find what I was looking for! I wanted to stick to a colour theme, I wanted items that had significance to our families and I wanted it to look elegant. I love handcrafted items and those traditional holiday items that won’t date…but without having to wait for them to come from overseas, I just couldn’t find what I was looking for.”…

So, my business is now registered, I’ve contacted suppliers and am wading through the products, my website is live – with no products! – but at least it’s ‘live’. I just have to load the ones I’ve decided on and go from there.

I can’t believe I’ve gotten to this point. It seemed so daunting with school drop offs, pick ups, the three year old and the twins but I made up my mind and I just.kept.chugging.along. Now I need to build momentum and start selling!

You can now check out my website (I’ve added it to my profile as Online Shop) and give me some feedback on what you see so far (if you have nothing better to do) and make sure to keep checking with us as we will have stock soon! If there is anything you wish you could find in Australia, but can’t, let me know and I’ll try and source it!

So…again…Come join me on my journey, give me advice if you have it or just give me some encouragement. I look forward to posting as I go…