Villager Jim

Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?

I actually only picked up a camera a few years ago, but soon after I had discovered a photo I had taken of my dog Dilly had gone viral. The photo came about after Dilly came returned from a walk and was nodding off in a chair at home. I had just bought a new lens and was resting it on my hands, so I took a photo and it changed my life.

From that day on my passion for photography has been steadily growing, and I decided to turn my whole life around and become a photographer full time. With a twist of never giving away my true identity, it's taken off in the UK and have become labelled "The Banksy of the Photography World" by the BBC. I have been amazed by people's comments and still can't believe its all happened so fast! 

How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?

We started the Shopify page and things just took off. Have to say the change from my previous shop site has been quite literally amazing. We ship all way round the world now including the USA and Australia! All of our business is from Facebook and other social media — we currently have 100,000 followers :) Facebook is far and away the largest source of traffic and sales for us.

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 put so much effort into this site, and using Shopify it's so easy to update and keep fresh as we are constantly updating new products. It's simply a joy to use and have told our business associates to grab themselves a trial and get going. Mailmunch is a great piece of kit and also Shopify product reviews. We have our own fulfilment centre and printing company as part of our business now.

What are your top recommendations for new store owners?

That hard graft pays off! Social media is the most important way of gaining traction; it's been incredible for us!

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