The Creative Smart Shop is Live!
But first, I just want to make it abundantly clear that launching the shop last Wednesday was not nearly as seamless as the photos may look. It's been a long journey to get here, and an even longer one is ahead to get these sales together.
But, as my amazing Creative Director Narsha Njoya reminded me. There is no pressure. Launches are about learning how to properly market your product. Okay, Narsha. I receive that word. There are actually at least 3 phases of this launch. Last week, you saw phase one.
Anyway, back to the journey.
I launched my first online shop in 2014. Having an online store has always been a dream for me. It's that dream that led me to take a job in retail and eventually land my position as an operations manager in a warehouse for a 55 million dollar online store. It's also the reason I ended up with a blog and eventually Creative Smart Girl. Although I didn't know what content marketing was, it looked like people with online stores also had really great blogs.
To put it mildly, the 2014 shop did not result in many sales because I had no idea what I was doing and I had no idea what I didn't know. The site was built on WIX, I had little to no online presence, no email list, and no inventory. Major fail. The pictures and designs were nice though, but not nearly enough to convert into sales. The outcome wasn’t what I had hoped for and worked for but it was rich in lessons to learn.
Failure is not a deserted destination we arrive to without any directions to get back where we actually want to go.
It’s actually the complete opposite.
Failure is the spot on our journey, where we find all the gems. All the treasures are buried there. We just have to dig a little to find them.
That’s exactly what I have done in between the years since I launched my first shop and what you may have seen last week. Failing first is simply an opportunity to start over better equipped than you started before.
So, why now?
I am extremely patient and thoughtful about every move I make with Creative Smart Girl. It is my baby and I want to do everything I can to make sure it grows in a strong, healthy and functional business.
I’ve gotten the question over and over again, ‘how are you making money from Creative Smart Girl!? The answer is I’m don't. Not yet, anyway. Since Creative Smart Girl has launched I have been investing money from my full time job and operating at a loss to provide the community with the quality I believe it deserves.
I would do it all over again, because I believe in my purpose, this community and myself but it’s not a sustainable business model. It’s time for Creative Smart Girl to move into the next phase of it’s life. It’s time for me us to stop crawling and stand up on our own two feet.
I’ve been talking about opening the Creative Smart Shop for quite some time but I just haven’t. To be quite honest I was a bit afraid that things might go the same way, the first shop went. Plus when you create something that people are even remotely interested it, it can be scary creating something new. Will the response be the same? Will the community love the Creative Smart Shop as much as they love the #CreativeSmartGirl chat?
Those questions were enough to stop me in my tracks but I have amazing people around me that help push me to where I want to go.
This past Christmas my boyfriend showed up to dinner with a huge bag with my gift. When I opened it, I found Creative Smart Girl: t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tote bags. Of course, the gift was a really sweet and thoughtful but it was also a kick in my butt to get moving on this shop.
I wanted to jump right in and get things kicked off, but instead I dedicated the first half of the year to strengthening the team, and establishing business structures for growth. You have to crawl before you can walk.
I’m beyond excited to launch the shop. It was truly a labor of love and I worked with a really talented group of people to bring it to life. We truly appreciate all of the love and the support you continually show. Every like, every comment, every tweet, every retweet, and every purchase... none of which goes unnoticed. Come along with us in this next phase of the journey. Help us get our feet solidly planted for walking by supporting the shop!