Last night I participated in a CRAVE Chat, with the theme of Online Money Makers. (CRAVE is a club of sorts for women entrepreneurs – they have chapters in cities around the world, host regular events for entrepreneurs, and publish the CRAVE guide).
The event was held at RentFrockRepeat, and I was asked to speak along with Lisa Delorme of RentFrockRepeat, and Melanie Minor of Mildred and Doris. (sidenote: RentFrockRepeat is amazing – you can rent designer dresses for special occasions for a fraction of the cost of buying. I have a few weddings to attend this fall, and I am SO getting my outfits from RentFrockRepeat.)
Lisa and Melanie shared their experiences as online vendors, and I talked a bit about my career as a web designer, and how e-commerce has changed over the last 5 years or so. I told the group all about my philosophy with websites (whether they be e-commerce or not) – don’t be a slave to technology. The tech is the easy part. When you’re thinking of running an online shop, you have so much to consider (how will you display your products? track inventory? take orders? how will you ship the products? do your reporting and accounting? etc etc). I encourage entrepreneurs to figure out all of those steps, and how they want it to work, and then go out and find the technology that works best for them. Instead of the other way around – where you feel confined and trapped using some tech solution that doesn’t really fit your needs.
I compiled a list to share with the group of handy resources that entrepreneurs should consider when starting out online. You can view it here.
Other highlights of the evening were catching up with home decor and accessory designer/maker Avril Loretti. I ran into Avril a couple months ago at the One of a Kind Spring show, where I remembered that we actually went to the same high school (small world, huh?). Avril was literally the poster girl for the One of a Kind show, and her pieces are gorgeous.
I was happy to meet Jen Bulthuis from Fidoodle – Clara received this set of Fidoodle blocks for her first birthday, and we love them. It was cool to meet the artist behind those great illustrations. And now I totally want one of her flip dolls.
And when Kessa Laxton from Patouche introduced herself, I couldn’t help exclaiming “OMG! Patouche! My daughter has one of your bonnet hats and I love it!” (another One of a Kind Spring show score).
I had such a good time last night – thanks CRAVE and RentFrockRepeat for hosting such a great event.