How this savvy entrepreneur turned a personal need into a thriving ecommerce business

Could you tell us a bit about yourself, what you sell at Pimp My Diabetes and how you got started?

Pimp My Diabetes sells accessories for diabetics such as decorative stickers for diabetes devices, jewelry and bags for diabetes supplies. I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic at the age of 33 and it was a big lifestyle change, as for anyone who is diagnosed with a chronic illness.

When I started using an insulin pump I started looking for decorative stickers and didn’t find many choices in Canada. Diabetics also need to carry a lot of supplies such as insulin, glucose meter, test strips, alcohol swabs, insulin pump supplies etc. I did not find any choices in Canada for stylish bags at the time and saw there was an opportunity for this kind of a store for the Canadian market, so I took action and started one.

What did it take to get your first products in stock? Has that changed since you started?

I started buying inventory from a company in Europe and soon expanded the product range by adding more suppliers. Since then, my product range has been growing and I’m currently carrying products from many different suppliers.

I also design and make some of the jewelry myself and recently started designing some of the stickers.

How did you get your first sale?

I started an Instagram account a little bit before I opened the store to start introducing the company to the market. I got my first sale through Instagram on day one.

What obstacles and challenges have you overcome along the way?

Learning everything there is to know about running a business from A to Z, from accounting to shipping, inventory management and customer service.

Any advice on that for someone else just starting out?

Do some market research before you start, find your competitors and see what you can learn from them and what you can do better.

What influenced your decision to use Shopify?

I have a background in ecommerce and had heard a lot of good things about Shopify and can say with confidence that it’s the best ecommerce platform I’ve used and am very happy with my choice.

What was the process like to get started? Is there anything you wish you had known then that you know now?

I started by contacting a few suppliers in Europe who were selling these kind of products and got great responses for selling their products in Canada.

Looking back, is there anything you’d have done differently?

I am happy with how my business started and has grown, I don’t think I would do anything differently.

What Shopify apps do you currently use? Which apps are most important to your business and why?

Bulk Product Edit by Hextom (saves a lot of time), Mega Menu and Privy for email popups. I set up Privy on day one so when people sign up for the email list they get a 10% off coupon code. This has helped me a lot to grow my email list.

What theme did you choose for your site and why?

The Debut theme, since it was free and easily customizable. I like the clean look of it. I have a background in web development so it was easy for me to customize it like I wanted. I didn’t need a big complicated theme as the product images are already very colorful.

What strategies have you used to attract more leads and grow Pimp My Diabetes?

I use Instagram and Facebook a lot. There is a big community of diabetics on Instagram and I post as often as I can on social media to raise awareness and get new leads. I also have many customers who post pictures of what they buy.

What are some of the most effective ways that you interact with your customers?

Through Instagram and Facebook. I also make an effort to answer emails and questions from customers fast.

Are there any metrics you can share in terms of order volume, monthly sales, increased revenue, growth %, etc.?

For the last 6 months there’s been an increase of 159% in sales compared to the prior 6 months.

That’s amazing! To what do you attribute those positive metrics?

The growing amount of people learning about the brand through search or social media. I also have a lot of repeat customers.

What are you working towards now?

Continuing to grow my product range and working on new designs for the next season.

Are there any blogs or other resources that have been helpful for you?

Shopify Entrepreneurs group on Facebook and the articles that Shopify provides.

Based on your own success, what advice would you share with others who might be just starting out with Shopify (or with eCommerce in general)?

Prepare to spend a lot of time building your brand, use social media to your advantage and build your email list from day one.

Where can we learn more?

The website is www.pimpmydiabetes.com. Also, as mentioned, we are active on Instagram and Facebook.

 

~ Edda - Founder of Pimp My Diabetes

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