Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I have been working with my father for 8 years now. We have developed many highly technical and critical parts for pumping systems. We always knew our skills could be incredibly useful in many industries. Just over a year ago the inspiration for Apache Pine came to life, after I couldn’t find a wood watch with my unique outdoor style. I used my knowledge a in 3D design and my father's vast experience with mechanical engineering to design, develop, and test wood watches. Apache Pine is the name of a unique tree found near our home in Idaho. We chose this name because it reflects the passion we have for our natural world. With this so firmly rooted in the soul of our company it was imperative we find manufacturers that reflected those same values. We were able to source wonderful suppliers that match our passion and enthusiasm for the environment. All of our products are designed and tested in the Rocky Mountains.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Social media has been huge for us, namely Instagram. It has allowed us to have laser focus on our niche market. Instagram was instrumental in our first few months and is still a huge part of our advertising scheme. Also our enthusiastic customers have played a large role in getting our brand off the ground. We still see a large amounts of traffic from our instagram, primarily generated by user-submitted images and contests. We now run 3 targeted Instagram pages that help us connect with each distinct group @apachepine 49K, @apachedownhill 17K, @apoffroad 13K.
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?
We use a few great apps to show some social proof on the site, InstaPhotos puts user-uploaded content onto our home page, and the Product Reviews app is great on the product pages. All of our orders are hand-packaged and fulfilled twice a day in Pocatello ID by us. We use Shippo for our shipping needs.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
- Love your brand, if you don’t absolutely love your brand your followers won't either.
- Follow the money, scale things that work, and stop wasting time on things that don’t.
- Incredible customers service. Once you acquire a new customer treat them like gold. Make being part of the club a sweet deal! We call our club APNation.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things and test your market.