I moved into an apartment in Brooklyn, NY that didn't have a single light socket. I didn't have a huge budget and I didn't like what I could afford at Target and other inexpensive home goods stores so I went to some custom lighting and hardware stores for some off-the-shelf products that I could use to make my own lighting.
After friends saw what I had made they wanted some for their own apartments and recommended that I sell them online. After my first sale I was instantly addicted.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
My first storefront was on Etsy.com and I quickly gained exposure and was contacted by companies like Fab.com who were interested in featuring my products. After a crash-course in wholesaling 101 I understood that I had to design a web presence that would communicate that my business was legitimate, design-oriented, and worthy of "retail" pricing -- and thats when I first subscribed to Shopify and my official storefront has been here ever since.
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?
I am a one-man operation. I hand-fabricate all of the orders I receive from my workshop here in Philadelphia - and this is where I design and photograph my products, and manage my Shopify store from. I use lots of apps from Instagram to services like Shipstation
to help me to fulfill orders from our workshop.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Just do it. The biggest step is just starting - and no one says you have to be big at first but you'll never grow if you don't sprout and start somewhere. And remember that if you love what you're doing then you'll never work a day in your life.