Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
bluboho was born from our deep love for jewelry, our passion for travel, human connection and life. We believe jewelry is deeply meaningful and an emotional part of our lives. We created bluboho to help our guests mark celebrations, perseverance, commitments, and everything in between because we felt it was missing from the marketplace.
We have two successful offline stores: our flagship store in Oakville (est. 2010), and our newest store in Toronto (est. 2013), and we've also created pop-up stores across Canada. We love connecting with our guests, so the next step in our business was to open an online store. With our online store, we are able to connect with our guests - old and new - any time and anywhere in the world. We curate a mix of handcrafted fine jewelry from small studio makers around the world. Our jewelry is an eclectic mix of precious metals and stones, and the pieces reflect a mix of old world and new world jewelry making techniques.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Our very first online sale was word of mouth. The wife of a dear friend of ours found out our site was live, and jumped right in. Having that first online sale was such a great moment. We wouldn't be where we are without the love and support of our community. The majority of our traffic is generated from social media. We have an online strategy that includes daily content published on Instagram and Facebook. We also see a lot of traffic coming through our weekly lifestyle and fashion blog.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
We use Google Analytics daily so we can measure and track our efforts. We also use the Launch app to schedule Instagram posts when we know we have busy days ahead. Our shipping and handling is carried out through one of our offline stores. We take care to make our shipping packaging just as beautiful as our in-store packaging. We love sending out new packages - definitely the best part of our day!
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Be brave and take the plunge. Leverage your resources (Shopify is a great example of an invaluable tool for start ups). Read lots and ask lots of questions. Try things out - fail often, and as inexpensively as possible. And most importantly enjoy the ride! I've learned that anything you want to create is possible if you focus and work diligently to achieve it. Also, people want to help you and are keen to lend their advice and know-how. Don't be afraid to ask for help and leverage your network! It takes a village to raise a business.