Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I noticed that other preppy brands had dropped the quality of their goods and at the same time, raised their prices. So I wanted to make the best possible quality ties I could with a price point in between the normal prep brands and the luxurious European designers. There wasn't anybody doing ties and bow ties in the middle so I decided I would.
I knew I didn't want to make the ties and other goods in China like the other brands so it took a while and many false starts but they're now made in Como, Italy – same mill that does Brunello Cuccinelli and Ralph Lauren Purple Label. They've taken me under their wing and I feel so lucky to be working with them.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
The first sale was through Facebook when I announced that our Shopify store had just launched. From there, used different social media platforms to promote the brand. Twitter and Facebook generate the most traffic thus far.
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?
Shopify makes it really easy to do everything I might need. I love the new analytics where it tells me what's been added the most to customer's carts or what they've been looking at. I just launched the Facebook app through Shopify this week and am going to do the Pinterest button. I'm always looking to try new apps as I continue expanding. I handle shipping and fulfillment internally. I love to personally package each tie or bow tie and include a little note before it goes to its new home!
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
My top recommendations would be to have patience and to not give up even if it seems like you're at a dead end. It always turns around and if you're persistent, you'd be surprised at the opportunities that come your way. Also, always do the best you can do in terms of customer service and quality. I started out making the ties in the US and my mom commented that they were in NO way comparable to my dad's Hermès ties. My reply was, "that's not the intention." My mom then turned around and said, "why not?" I love interacting with customers and love knowing they love what they bought.