Starting a new business can be all consuming - especially when you work from home. I am constantly thinking about ways to improve, expand, and better market our kits. I also always seem to be dreaming up new kits - while running, cleaning, walking the dog etc. Designing kits is my favorite thing about Wehgo, but there is so much more that goes into any creative business. In order to to grow we need to hit our sales goals - yes, we have sales goals. Craft shows and festivals have been a great way to sell our kits. Brian and I both enjoy meeting costumers and getting to show off our kits in person. Unfortunately, craft shows are seasonal - Spring and Fall (and a few holiday shows in Dec).
The break between shows is a great opportunity to focus on improving our website and our online product listings - you may have noticed our new difficulty meter. We've also been spending a lot of time working on driving traffic to our website. We are slowly becoming Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) savvy. The Internet is awesome and its hard to imagine having a small business before e-comerce. At the same time, it can be so frustrating. There are SO. MANY. STORES. Although we have a unique product, we don't have the budget to buy our way up the search engine results ladder. Enter Etsy.
Etsy is the largest online market place for handmade sellers. There are currently ~1.6 million active sellers on Etsy. Although Etsy is HUGE, its been a great tool for us to reach new customers. We sell all of our kits on Etsy for the same price as our website. If you are an Etsy shopper, please consider liking our shop, www.etsy.com/shop/wehgo.
We continue to be grateful for all of our costumers and the opportunities we've had so far. This post is not meant to sound whiney. One of my goals for this blog is to tell our business story. Thanks for sharing this journey with us!
November and December were busy! Yes, December isn't over yet, but we had our last two shows last weekend and yesterday was pretty much the last day to ship online orders in time for Christmas and Hanukkah.
Its hard to beleive that this business was an idea I had while on vacation in March. Its come so far in such a short time. We've surpasssed 500 kits sold and we have big plans for 2017. We've defintely learned a lot since we started selling kits in August. We've also continued to evolve making changes based on what we've learned. We changed our paint by number kit logo and branding, we've chaged our company logo, we've expanded beyond travel themed kits, we launched paint parties, we made lots of changes to our booth, and we've tweaked our making and packaging process.
This has bascially become a full-time job for me and I could not be happier. I am so thankful to have a supportive business partner (and husband) and such wonderful customers! Yesterday one of our first customers sent me a picture of her completed kits. She painted them to give to her grandchildren for Christmas. I love this idea and I know these little paintings will be something her grandchildren will treasure.
November has been busy! We've had shows every nearly weekend and we are booked through December 18th! Since my last post we were in Annapolis for the First Sunday Art Festival and Raleigh, NC for the Handmade Market. We were supposed to do a show at the Bethesda Farmers Market last weekend but we had to cancel due to 30 MPH winds.
We continue to meet amazing makers at every show. In Annapolis we were blown away by the recycled creations of Yesteryear Crafts. We love seeing things that are new an unique. I especially liked the key chains and Maryland crabs.
The following weekend we were in Raleigh, North Carolina for the Handmade Market. We were in great company at this market. Although it only had 20 or so vendors - they were all amazing! There was really something for everyone at this show. We loved so many of the vendors, but had to pick one booth buddy. Brian and I both really liked Tiny Badger Ceramics. They make beautiful ceramic dishes home decor items. They also sell at Quirk Gallery in Richmond!
We have a THREE DAY show this weekend in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We've come prepared with nearly two hundred paint by number kits - including our new design for Virginia Beach.
In addition to Holiday shows - we're scheduled to participate in three pop up markets and we are determined to launch our paint party service before the end of the year. Its good to be busy and we are so grateful for the success this little business has seen so far!