I am working with different sellers daily, one of those sellers is Sylvain Willenz. Sylvain shares some awesome encouragement below. If you are selling on Big Cartel or anywhere online for that matter please take a moment to read his thoughts.
Tell us about SWS. How did you get started selling online? What do you sell? How many people in your business?
I am an industrial designer. I run an office for design in Brussels, called SYLVAIN WILLENZ DESIGN OFFICE – SWDO. We are a team of 4-5 people. We design furniture, lighting, textiles, accessories amongst others. We design for companies around the world which produce the products, market and distribute them. A couple of years ago, when the phone started ringing non-stop with customers calling us directly wanting to buy the products we design, I decided I should have an shop. My clients and I agreed that it was a good idea that I would become part of their retailer list, just as a normal shop. The perfect name for the shop was SYLVAIN WILLENZ SHOP – SWS. So basically, I have become a retailer of my own designs, produced by various international companies. We also have a few additional items, like bags and mirrors which we produce ourselves and which are exclusively available from SWS.
How are you attracting customers to your blog and Big Cartel hosted store?
Mainly with Newsletters, Facebook and the press, which luckily follows my work with enthusiasm and regularly publishes it through printed and online features. We have individuals purchasing our products, either for themselves or as gifts. But what is interesting is that we noticed that many architects started to be interested in our retailing services as we deliver worldwide. End of 2013 we provided products, mainly lighting for some architectural projects in Turkey, the US, various places in Europe and also in Australia. The shop has literally brought us a whole new audience.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned selling online?
First of all, that you need to be patient in the beginning. In my case I was getting a little discouraged the first year as the sales were random and low but my partner Johanna (who also has an online shop for textile accessories, www.shop.claudineetcompagnie.com) told me to persevere at least for 1 year and see what would happen. I did that, whilst I carried on with some basic promo through social media, and I can say it was worth the efforts and patience. SWS now represents more than 50% of our office turnover after it’s second year of existence. The online shop is not only good in terms of business, it has brought up many other opportunities, we’ve made new connections and relationships with people that are now happy to buy our products so easily. It’s also informed the way we work and think about products. And overall, it is great fun and very rewarding to run our shop.
Thank you to Sylvain for sharing. If you want to connect with other sellers consider signing up to be notified of our seller’s community starting out soon.