Could you tell us a bit about yourself, what you sell at Once Upon a Boutique and how you got started?
My name is Shonda and I am the owner of Once Upon a Boutique, Inc. and a mother of 6 beautiful kids. I got started in December of 2015 and haven’t looked back since. I sell children’s clothing that I design and have manufactured overseas.
What did it take to get your first products in stock? Has that changed since you started?
RESEARCH!! Finding good suppliers was a big key to my success. I researched the suppliers, purchased samples and then stocked my first item. Back when I started, quality was very important to me. That is something that remains true for us today. Quality is still very important to me.
How did you get your first sale?
I got to know my target market and basically became “family” before I ever tried to sell them anything. After that relationship was established I held a preorder. My first release I sold around 20 pieces. I was ecstatic!!!
What obstacles and challenges have you overcome along the way?
I have had to overcome many obstacles. Growing pains, the need to hire additional help, and capital to purchase more inventory.
What influenced your decision to use Shopify?
I researched different platforms and Shopify seemed to be the most user-friendly.
What was the process like to get started? Is there anything you wish you had known then that you know now?
The process was tedious and the nights long. Because I work full time at a 9 to 5, being exhausted was a real issue once I scaled. I wish I knew then that you should start off with the right systems in place.
What Shopify apps do you currently use? Which apps are most important to your business?
Right now, I am just using the CommentSold app in addition to Shopify. It has been a lifesaver for me.
What strategies have you used to attract more leads and grow Once Upon a Boutique?
Just being myself, sharing my story and taking care of my customers. I believe if you treat a customer the way you would like to be treated, communicate with them and let them know that you appreciate them, they in turn will be loyal and tell everyone they know about you.
What are some of the most effective ways that you interact with your customers?
I email them, use Facebook messenger, I also have a VIP FB group where I am able to set the tone and share my life with them.
Are there any metrics you can share in terms of order volume, monthly sales, increased revenue, growth %, etc.?
In 2016, I ended the year at $80,000 and at the end of 2017, I tripled that number. I am a proud owner of a six figure business. I did it all while working full time and being a mother to six kids from ages two to 12 years old! If I can do it , anyone can!!!
QUOTE: You can do HARD things. Wake up, kick butt, and repeat!
Awesome! Where can we learn more?
~ Shonda Daniel, Owner of Once Upon a Boutique