Editor’s note: Last year Sarah of Sarah’s Silks entered our New Biz New Year giveaway to help grow the business that has been supporting her family for almost 2o years! I invited Sarah to come share what has been happening for her business since January and get your thoughts on how she can continue to grow Sarah’s Silks (+ some giveaway fun for you!).
Sarah’s Silks just finished its first year in retail! We have been around for a while but selling retail is a new experience for us. For the past 18 years our wholesale business has been growing and shrinking with the economy. We have been designing products, manufacturing them, and distributing to Waldorf schools and shops all over the world. This has been supporting our family for many years, unfortunately as the price of silk has been rising, our wholesale prices also have been going up.
We realized that the market could not absorb more price increases in these difficult economic times so we decided to add a retail arm of our business to help us stay afloat as our profit margin is higher with retail sales. It was tricky to start because we did not want to discourage customers from shopping at their local brick and mortar shops for Sarah’s Silks; or to anger and upset our wholesale customers.
We decided to be very honest and send out a letter explaining how we are keeping our wholesale prices down by supplementing with some retail sales. We also explained our belief that having our own web site and blog helps with branding for us and for other shops. One of the things that our web site has done is to have a Go Local page where we list retail shops who carry our things. We also enforce MAP pricing and follow it ourselves. We have not had any negative feedback from our customers!
We created our online web shop last July. With the help of my sister who is a graphic designer, Suzy Spence and a local Drupal web developer got our site going. I also began to blog at A Silk and Wood Childhood and share ideas for imaginative play and DIY crafts. Tracey from www.traceyselingo.com helped by getting me on track blogging! We found that giveaways on the blog and on Facebook are a nice way to interact with customers, get feedback, and grow our “tribe”.
Placing ads on Waldorf mom blogs such as Soulemama has been very helpful driving traffic to our website. Google analytics helps us to weed out the ads that weren’t working so well from those that are. Writing the blog and getting customer’s feedback has been valuable in many ways. I get new product ideas, size/fit feedback, positive comments about play and more.
Thanks Jessika for this opportunity to share our business progress! I would like to offer Oh My! readers a coupon code Ohmy! good for 10% off of your next order with us.
Please leave a comment here on what you think would help Sarah’s Silks grow and how we can improve our brand, website, and blog in the comments. I will choose one comment for a $50 gift certificate to our shop on September 20th with the winner announced at the bottom of this post on the 21st. All feedback welcome!
This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to April Heather Davulcu with comment #3!