Jane Rose created and runs Brave Store, an online shop available through Storenvy that sells clothing, jewelry, bags, hair accessories, stockings, and mobile device cases with a fresh, quirky, trendy feel.
Below, Jane reveals details that contributed to her store's speedy success, why she chose Storenvy, how she prices, promotes, and sources her products, and the lesser-known tasks associated with running an online store.
What is it that you think makes Brave Store stand out? What factors have contributed to its success relative to other, less profitable shops on Storenvy?
Before opening my store I had quite a large following on social networking sites, specifically Tumblr. This allowed me to effectively promote my store to my followers, and ensured I always had a platform to advertise on. I see many stores on Storenvy who fail to properly advertise to their target demographic, despite having original and good quality products. In addition, being active on social networking websites allows me to keep my finger on the pulse, and to see what's in fashion and the type of products people are interested in purchasing.
What prompted you to choose Storenvy as a platform? Did you sell through any channels before opening Brave Store?
I was introduced to Storenvy by a friend, and as a medium sized business, Storenvy is the best platform for me at the moment due to the fact that they do not charge any fees. Eventually I hope to host my own store, which will give me more freedom than some of the limitations Storenvy imposes. However for beginning websites, Storenvy is definitely the best website to use. I've dabbled in various other store hosts, and although Storenvy isn't perfect, I respect that they are 100% free with no hidden charges.
Is maintaining Brave Store your full time job, or do you have other work on the side?
I was maintaining both Brave Store and a part time job during the first six months of creation, but quit my job as I was fortunate enough that Brave Store had provided me with enough of an income to do so.
What methods do you use to determine the prices of the clothing and accessories you sell?
The demand for a particular item as well as the price I purchased the original item for.
Brave Store features the coolest products- what tips would you give to those who also have great taste and interest in opening an online store, but don't know the first thing about sourcing products?
Thank you! Browsing fashion related websites such as Tumblr, Pinterest, Svpply, etc. definitely help with sourcing products. There are also many wholesaling websites open to the general public to take advantage of.
Do you do anything special to promote your store? How do most people find it?
I've answered this briefly in the first question, but having a strong SNS presence is definitely a plus in getting people to find your store. I'm also a big believer in sending out free products to well known blogs for exposure. The most difficult thing in owning a store is getting people to know it exists, especially in light of the overwhelming amount of online stores that are appearing.
What day-to-day tasks go into maintaining Brave Store that might not occur to outsiders?
There's nothing that would come as a huge surprise, but constantly sourcing new products is something that I spend a lot of time on. I think people are also unaware of the amount of time that goes into running a store, answering emails, completing orders, etc. It's important to manage your time well and to take into account other responsibilities or work you may have.