Bunny Paige officially got its start on a sunny day in 2012 in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio but has existed in my daydreams for as long as I can remember.
I've always been coined as a "crafty" person who was always in the middle of some kind of creative project or idea. I found early on that what I truly loved was hand making my own jewelry and accessories in an effort to create pieces that truly reflected my own individual style. However, by 2009 I had found myself in an apathetic state of routine with no time or energy to express any of the creativity that I had once found so fulfilling.
One magical day I was presented with the opportunity to visit a friend on the other side of the world so I took a crazy leap of faith, quit my cube farm job, and decided to travel until I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life.
I found an incredible amount of inspiration in the street style landscape of Japan and South Korea. Everything was so bright, thriving, and beautifully brazen and unabashed. There was a real sense that you could be anyone or anything you wanted to be. I came back to the States feeling refreshed, excited, and determined in a way I hadn't felt in years. That is when the idea of Bunny Paige was born.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
My very first sales were on Etsy and at local art shows. I still remember each one of those transactions like it was yesterday! My Etsy shop is still open and I find that most of my loyal customers go through that familiar channel when shopping at Bunny Paige.
Recently I opened a shop here on Shopify and I couldn't be happier with the results. While Etsy has a great marketplace atmosphere it's really easy to get lost in the crowd. Having my own web presence has helped to solidify my brand and and allowed me to grow my business by offering things like wholesale opportunities.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
Bunny Paige is a total one woman show. I do everything on my own from creating each piece of jewelry by hand to photography, marketing, social media, shipping, and fulfillment all by myself. This means I need as many apps and tools as possible to make my job(s) easier.
I'm a huge fan of Shopify's Order Printer and Facebook Store apps. The Order Printer app makes printing invoices and packing slips super easy and the Facebook Store app allows me to easily connect my web store to my Facebook page without having to think about it. I also love The ShippingEasy app for processing all of my shipments on Shopify. I can print shipping labels, complete customs forms for international shipping, and even handle returns and exchanges all from one app.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
First and foremost, don't give up. It might take some time for you to find your niche and not everything will come easily overnight. In the beginning there will be moments of frustration and 16 hour days and weeks where you might not even make one sale. Don't let that stop you. Let it motivate it and push you even harder. Starting and running a successful business will be one of the hardest things you will ever do but the rewards that can come out of it will be worth every bit of effort that you put in.
Remember that your customers are more than just a sale. Try and connect to everyone that you meet even if it's online. Be more than just another website and remind the world that a real person is responsible for the products that you put out in the world.
Lastly, if you're even thinking about opening an online store, DO IT! Throw your ideas out in the world and see what sticks! You might be surprised at how successful you can be if you let go of all the what-ifs and just try.