The Sunflower Studio – An Online Fashion Boutique for Women’s Clothing and Jewelry

the sunflower studio logo

Author: Korey Paull, BSU student

Let’s start with are you from this local area?
I was born and raised in Brockton, MA and moved to Middleboro when I got married to start a family.
 
Tell me about your business. Why did you choose this line of business)?
I have an online fashion boutique selling woman’s clothing and jewelry. I selected this business as I wanted to have a side business that was fun and easy to manage in addition to my full-time job.

When did it start?  What Year?
Just launched in the fall of 2019.

What was it that made you want to start this business?
I selected this business as I wanted to combine my love of fashion with my love of technology.

What was the toughest thing you went through when opening? What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
The toughest thing was learning how to effectively drive traffic to my website. I was able to gain a great free advice from YouTube bloggers on how to leverage social media campaigns and Instagram Influencers to drive traffic. Once I mastered how to target the right consumer and drive website traffic, the second challenge is learning how to convert website traffic into sales. What inspired me to keep going was to have a short term and long-term business plan, to minimize risk with a goal of opening a brick and mortar location in my hometown.

If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
From day 1, I would have been more thoughtful on how I purchased inventory with a stronger eye for quality than price. My first shipment was so poor quality, I refused to sell it. I now sample all new vendors to ensure quality and fit.  

What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
Amazon. It is hard to complete with the convenience and price Amazon offers.  It is key to ensure your business has a differentiator. Mine is that my products are not found on Amazon.
 
If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try first?  What makes you stand out?
1.       Female Owned, Family Run
  Each piece is hand selected and quality checked
2.       $5.00 local 2-day shipping on all order, shipped from USA
3.       Responsive customer service

What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
Promotional incentives. All customers obtain 20% off the first order.

Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc.) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
Yes, I leverage an e-commerce cloud-based solution named Shopify to run my entire business, at a great price with ease! And many of my customers are found on Instagram and Facebook.

Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the right tools?
Yes, currently I do leverage the newest technology like bar code scanners, iPads, and artificial intelligence solutions on Facebook to communicate with my customers while I am at my day job. As technology evolves, it will allow small business owners like me an opportunity to do more with less, increasing efficiency, productivity and profitability. 

If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
In six months, I will have my first brick and mortar store launched and established.  This will allow me to host “pop up” boutique events to create a sense of urgency, excitement and increase small bursts of sales. The main goal is to create brand awareness to maintain and grow the online store.

Visit The Sunflower Studio online at:

Website: www.thesunflowerstudio.com
Facebook : @thesunflowerstudio.boutique
Instagram: @thesunflowerstudio.boutique

Contact them via email: info@thesunflowerstudio.com

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