Have a creative side business, they say - it'll be fun, they say!
I'm getting close to having this website up and running, and I was pondering over the process, how much I learned and what a hefty workload getting a little hustle off the ground actually is.
Sourcing, designing and making the jewellery was super fun. I love that part - it feels like a hobby. The initial parts of making the website were exciting. Seeing my vision come to life was really rewarding, but then you have to actually make a functioning website, which is quite the process! I'm going to word-vom what went into it below if anyone is interested:
Creating pages and a navigation flow, making collections, uploading over 60 designs, tagging all the products so they show up in the right places, writing detailed descriptions for each design, writing about the business and all of the information your customers are going to want to know while thinking about the tone and voice you want your business to have, trying to think about SEO and your keywords at each step of the process, using keywords without sounding like a salesy drone, connecting a shipping company, choosing and connecting an ecommerce provider (I used the Shopify option), authenticating your domain name and business email address with the domain host because Shopify doesn't like .co.nz, editing all of the automated email templates to have the same tone as the website, choosing and integrating EDM software, creating social media accounts, getting them connected, making a Facebook pixel, connecting the pixel to the website, creating a Google my business account, getting that verified, connecting that to Shopify, doing test orders, having to make a bunch of changes because it didn't work, getting COVID, Googling everything on the fly and watching a million Youtube videos to figure things out, sending the site to friends asking them to try break it (that was a very handy part of the process). This was all after I'd found and made relationships with my metal and findings manufacturers, designed the jewellery, learned some new wire beading techniques, made the jewellery, designed a logo, branding, packaging, registered a company, learnt to use Xero, found an accountant, priced the pieces, developed a sales and marketing plan and photographed every piece.
And after all of that, here I am, nearly ready to launch and mostly just really stoked about the products. I'm so happy with the designs and the quality and durability of them. I'm so glad I put the extra effort into the packaging and that every customer will get a branded cotton pouch and a cleaning cloth. I love the idea that my customers will enjoy their jewellery for a very long time and give gifts that will hold meaning into the future.
If you got this far, well done to you, and I'm guessing you've got an interest in small business or website design. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I'm still learning, but if I have the answer, I'll be more than happy to share.