In this week’s Shop Spotlight, we asked Sica Schmitz from Bead & Reel to share her Shopify experience and best tips for selling online with us. Keep reading for some great insights and check out her fabulous shop here!
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell at Bead & Reel.
Bead & Reel is a one-stop shop for women’s ethical fashion. We sell clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and really cute things for babies, all from eco-friendly, animal-free, sweatshop-free designers. I basically created the store that I wanted to shop at, which is somewhere that I don’t feel as though I am compromising my values or my love of fashion.
When did you get started selling online? Why?
We opened Bead & Reel in 2014 and have been online from the beginning. We are in a very niche market, and I didn’t want to restrict access to these kinds of products based on location. I wanted to make sure that thoughtful women all across the US (and world) would be able to find fashion that fit with their values no matter where they lived. In the time we’ve been opened we’ve experimented with pop-up shops, but online always remains my preferred method of reaching customers.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running your shop?
I think the biggest challenge we had early on was clearly communicating the message of who we were, how we were different, and why customers should shop with us. It’s all very obvious to me as the founder, but it wasn’t seamlessly translating to customers in the beginning, and I had to learn a lot through trial and error and then with branding experts. The big challenge I am working on right now is reducing abandoned carts and turning our window shoppers into customers, which I think everyone in our industry is working on, too!
How do you attract new customers?
Most of our new customers come from either social media (especially Pinterest) or referrals from organizations we are accredited with (including PETA and Green America).
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running Bead & Reel?
I feel like I learn something new in the process of running Bead & Reel every day! However, my two biggest tips for any aspiring or current entrepreneur is to build a network of other entrepreneur friends and mentors that you can bounce ideas off of, get tips from, and share frustrations with.
Always listen to your intuition. I feel like the biggest mistakes I’ve made were always when I didn’t trust my gut, and the best decisions I’ve made were based on when I did (even when other people disagreed at the time).