This is a Guest Post by Shopify Store Owner Amy Jolly
Last year, through the magic of Shopify, my twin sister Emily and I put our dreams into reality and started our little online apparel company: Sunday’s Best. The idea came about when we were looking for new tees for the Super Bowl and couldn’t find anything we wanted. Apparently most people think women’s football apparel has to be short, boxy, and full of pink glitter. We knew we could do better, and decided to start a company that sold Green Bay football apparel that fits really well and was well-designed.
I would never claim to be a small business pro, but wanted to share some decisions that I’m glad I made and advice I wish I could go back and tell myself:
1. Stick With Your Gut InstinctOne of the first printers we met with urged us to use a cheap standard shirt brand because “most people in Wisconsin won’t fit into American Apparel.” Some people said they didn’t think our pullover would sell. Others suggested that we stick with women’s apparel since we’re, you know, women. It can be discouraging to encounter these situations when you’re about to launch your brand but we followed our instincts. We found a different printer that aligned with our vision and used the designs we believed in. And we’re really happy we did. The pullover is currently our best-seller!
2. Take a Step BackThis is something I still have to remind myself all the time. In the beginning, my partner Emily and I had numerous conversations in which we took turns talking each other off the ledge. Most of them occurred when we hadn’t gotten an order for a couple days (we’re being honest here). They went a little something like this:
When you’re so proud of your product it’s often difficult to take a step back and realize that people can love your product and just not want to buy it. And that’s okay!
3. Don't Let Social Media Discourage YouWe also let social media become a source of discouragement because we were determining our success by the number of followers or “likes” we had. I can assure you that’s a quick way to feel like a failure. The company that begs for celebrity retweets all day has 492 followers and we have 31? They don’t even know how to use apostrophes correctly! It’s quality over quantity. You know it, I know it. It’s just hard to be patient when it’s your brand.
4. Wait for the MomentBut then, something miraculous happens. Out of nowhere, you’re tearing up at your computer screen because a perfect stranger tweeted a picture wearing your shirt. You get this feeling that somebody actually understands you, your brand, and your vision. It’s one of the happiest moments you’ll have as an entrepreneur.
I think it all comes down to believing in yourself enough to trust the decisions you’re making. It won’t be perfect and it might get frustrating, but hell, you wanted to start a company and you did. And that’s pretty amazing.