When first starting her entrepreneurial journey, Christina Zipperlen, founder of Ananda Soul, was simply a yoga teacher and an artist. Her business quickly grew to something much bigger, from a small shop in Bali, to an ecommerce store. Read on to find out how Ananda Soul got started and where it is now.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell at Ananda Soul.
We are Ananda Soul – a conscious jewelry and yogawear brand. We focus on sustainable production, uplifting messages and giving back to the local community here in Bali. We sell inspirational jewelry made from recycled silver, gold vermeil and natural semiprecious gemstones as well as yoga apparel made from certified organic cotton.
When did you start selling online? Why?
We opened our first store in Ubud, Bali five years ago and then started selling online one year thereafter. Our customers who visited our stores in Bali started emailing us, wanting to order more of our creations, which was the reason why we created our website.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running Ananda Soul?
When you run a brick and mortar store, people fall in love with the products you have displayed in the store and buy what’s available on display. When selling online, you need to make sure you have every single piece displayed on the site in stock ready to be shipped out immediately. Since we sell high end jewelry made from precious materials it was a bit tricky at first to keep such high inventory levels. We solved this by starting off with a smaller selection online and adding to it as we grew our inventory.
The second challenge we’re facing is creating traffic to our site and giving customers the same sensation and experience that they have when walking into our store – feeling the healing powers and blessings of our creations. Over the years, we have learned to create this experience through imagery and social media – though this is certainly an ongoing learning curve to create traffic and convert sales.
How do you attract new customers?
We run giveaways and competitions, write articles and blog posts, and sell at trade shows and conferences. We sometimes push our Facebook and Instagram posts but mostly stay away from paid advertising. The most powerful advertising definitely has been word of mouth – when people see our jewelry on others and feel magnetically drawn to it. We love how the word spreads naturally by people genuinely feeling the message and energy of our creations.
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running Ananda Soul?
One of the biggest lessons for me personally has been to stay in integrity with my value and dreams – continuously reminding myself why I started Ananda Soul. I started this company as an artist and a yoga teacher – not as an entrepreneur or business woman. Those second roles I have grown into – and it has been a wonderful journey to stay true to my core values when being faced with day-to-day decisions entrepreneurs have to make. Looking at margins, production times and price comparisons to other brands we could have compromised so many times – and I choose to never compromise our core values and our intention behind what we do. That certainly has been the biggest lesson through it all – and is the reason I continue on this journey.I started this company as an artist & a yoga teacher – not as an entrepreneur. Click To Tweet
Are you looking for high end jewelry made from recycled metals and natural semiprecious gemstones? Check out Ananda Soul!