When you’ve been working in business administration for 20 years, the last thing on your mind is creating an ecommerce business from scratch. Founder of Beads and Dangles, Marji Bitterman thought otherwise. Read on to learn how this now Florida-native found her passion and is now living her dream by running an ecommerce jewelry store.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell at Beads and Dangles.
When my 20-year career as a business administrator was ending in 1997, I couldn’t have been more excited to be moving to Florida with my husband, Stewie. That move signaled the end of my hectic life running three veterinary hospitals in the NYC suburban area. Over the next 10 years both we were involved in golf, tennis, sailing and lots of volunteering. With my skills as a business administrator, I ran armies of volunteers for several charity events each year. I tried various hobbies, but something was missing and it wasn’t until 2008 that I figured it out… I simply longed to run a business! Since fashion jewelry and charms had always been a love of mine, I simply dove right in and Beads and Dangles was born.I simply longed to run a business! Click To Tweet
When did you get started selling online? Why?
Why? I love personal challenges and realized one day that I was never going to be on the Ladies PGA (senior, of course) golf circuit, nor did I aspire to be the next Martha Stewart. I just wanted to keep learning new things and growing in more directions than volunteerism and baking could provide. I loved doing things on the computer and began to see the real possibility of an online business.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running Beads and Dangles?
Finding fabulous fashionable and well priced jewelry to sell is a piece of cake compared to learning how to market it! Coming from a purely administrative background with lots of Virgo energy to keep me organized and on track, I found going into the creative marketing area as my greatest challenge. As a small company, I struggle with product photography and my perfectionist drive to make each photo as great as it can be.
Another challenge is going “app shopping” in the Shopify store because I want them all and have to budget accordingly. I love to spend hours pouring over the offerings and then comparing and contrasting them to determine the best “bang for the buck”.
How do you attract new customers?
Social media is the obvious answer but learning the soft approach of “know me, trust me, like me” before you ask them to shop on your site has been an interesting lesson. Once I started to master this, I turned to stock photography and found some great and affordable websites to go with this approach.
I use Privy as the pop-up app to get newsletter signups and that has been very effective, especially when Bizzy was so easy to connect to it. Receiptful (now Conversio) has been very effective in getting a beautiful receipt sent immediately with the premium feature of upsell included in it.
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running Beads and Dangles?
I would recommend PicMonkey to any business owner for the simplest way to enhance any photograph, especially when creating images, banners, text and overlays for email blasts. Go for the “Royale” and pay it annually for a grand total of $33.00. I have Photoshop Elements and rarely go to it anymore!
Finally, love your products, love what you do, and be grateful for every moment that the journey provides, no matter the struggle or obstacles.Love your products, love what you do, and be grateful for every moment. Click To Tweet
Looking for locally, handmade jewelry from an business administrator turned ecommerce entrepreneur, check out Beads and Dangles.