Tag Archives: Creative

Store of the Month: September

1 Sep

The freewebstore Store of the month for September (September already!?!) is the creative, Barcelona based store SonjaElisa¬†ūüŹÜ You know the score, we caught up with Sonja for a chat about her business and how things are going so far ūüôā

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1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your business, and where it all started

I’m a Finnish fashion designer living in Barcelona. I have¬†been making things¬†since I can remember, cutting, gluing and hand sewing before my mum let me use her sewing machine at the age of 8. After working for corporate for many years, I ventured into freelancing and started feeling the need to create again. I wanted to go back to making something handmade, where I could truly express myself, something I felt passionate about and that related to slow fashion. So I launched my own line, Sonja Elisa silk accessories, which I make in my Barcelona workshop.¬†

I make silk accessories for women, men, and kids. Products include scarves, shawls (silk paired with a warmer double layer), bow ties and pocket squares. They are all hand painted and hand sewn, each one unique in its kind, as no pattern turns out the same way. I love silk painting as it is flowing, organic and unpredictable, and each piece has its own magic!

2. What is the best thing about owning your own business/online store? 

The best thing is the freedom. I can manage the store easily on my own and in my own time, and it’s a great window into the global marketplace, through which I can connect with customers all over the world.

3. How do you market your product?

I mostly use social media (Instagram and Facebook), to showcase my work. I also attend occasional markets and makers fairs, and a few retail stores feature exclusive collections. My silk scarves and bowties are very unique in style so I try to find the best channels to reach customers that relate to the aesthetics and values of my brand.

 

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One of Sonja’s fantastic products: Men’s bow-tie

 

4. If you could have ANYONE to come and work for you, who would it be and why?

 Sophia Amoruso, she has passion, drive, and edge. I find her story very inspiring.

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Sonja finds Sophia Amoruso’s story inspiring

5. Do you have any advice for new store owners?

Don’t try to get it perfect on the first go, it is only natural to evolve your store. If you don’t start you won’t know what you want to improve! Ask for help from the guys at freewebstore if you get stuck, freewebstore have a great customer support team. Also, BELIEVE in your idea and don’t give up or get discouraged, try to learn from critique and improve your products and branding.

6. Is there a specific reason you chose to use freewebstore as your eCommerce platform? 

Freewebstore offers a great combination of functionality, design, technical support and price plans. It’s super easy, fast and simple to manage, and contains all the tools I need in an online store platform.

7. If you could choose one magic power, what would you go for?

Mind reading! And teleportation. And telekinesis. Oh wait, did you say only one??

8. Why is eCommerce important for your business?

I think eCommerce is essential for my business, it’s the best way to be able to reach my niche customers around the globe, and not be limited locally.

9. And finally, do you have any celebrity customers?

I do have a few celeb artsy bow tie customers. For example Matthew Waldman, American designer, and artist; Janne Kyttänen, 3D artist and designer and Jari Karttunen, Finnish dance artist.

 

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Matthew Waldman is a customer of Sonja’s

 

Sonja is using the crystal clear design for her store and we definitely think she’s done a great job. If you would like to be considered for the freewebstore store of the month series then get in touch with our success team at successteam@freewebstore.com¬†

Store of the Month: March

16 Mar

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Our store of the month for March is the delightful bellesheartsncrafts. Maxine, after learning from her father, has turned her passion and hobby into¬†her very own creative business! We caught up with Maxine for a chat…

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your business and where it all started

I’m originally from England and before I moved to the USA I lived in a small village in North Lincolnshire with my 3 older children, dogs, cats, goats and chickens.

I met my American hubby in quite a bizarre way – playing a game called ‘Clash of Clans’ on my mobile phone. We traveled back and forth for a while, decided to get married and I moved over to Pennsylvania to live 4 years ago!

I was an English Language and Literature teacher in England, specializing in students with social and emotional barriers to learning.  To make any kind of difference, I had to be creative with teaching and learning Рan anything goes kind of approach Рlearning through art, through building, making, drawing, painting Рanything that interested my students and helped them to learn.

After I had my little boy, who is now 3, I wanted to combine being a stay at home mum with something to stimulate my mind and soul – bellesheartsncrafts was born.

2. What made you get into this line of work?

My father was an amazing artist, carpenter and all round DIY man, I spent hours as a young girl learning skills from him.  I love working with wood; in fact, I was the first girl ever in the history of my high school to take wood work and metal work as subjects rather than the only girl option of Home Economics.

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I love working with my hands, with wood, painting, it soothes my soul; every single item I make at bellesheartsncrafts is made from my heart. I decided to have a ‘dabble’ with selling some things I had made – mainly photos transferred onto wood and wood burned Christmas ornaments, to begin with. ¬†It soon evolved into wedding ring boxes, hand painted signs, ornaments, leather products to name but a few – all made by hand by me.¬† I just LOVE being able to make something special for someone to treasure; ¬†to help people in times of grief with memorial ornaments; to capture precious moments and memories for people to hold on to; ¬†knowing it was specially made just for them with my love poured into it.

3. Do you have a physical store as well as an online store? How do you market your product?

I currently don’t have a physical store, it’s something I’d like to do in a few years maybe, but I’m enjoying working at home at crazy hours to fit around spending time with my family.

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I’m just really starting out with looking at marketing; I have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, my shop, word of mouth at the moment and am really excited to be expanding into building my own website as an additional place to show and sell my products.

4. If you could have ANYONE to come and work for you, who would it be and why?

Oooooo – this is a tough one! It would have to be my daughter who is 15 at the moment and is still living in England, she loves making things with me and we work really well together; but then I’d need my oldest son too who’s about to finish his Graphic Design degree – he’d be a great help! and my middle son too who has a great eye with aesthetics…what a team!

5. Do you have any advice for new store owners?

Never, never, never give up – if it’s your dream and you love it – just keep on going; be determined, ¬†open-minded, tolerant, accepting and willing to try and fail and try again.

6. Is there a specific reason you chose to use freewebstore as your eCommerce platform?

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Fantastic display on Maxine’s freewebstore homepage

Actually it was a place I follow on Instagram called Oakley Dokely – they’ve recently started a website with you and I thought I’d take a look – it looked great; easy to build, FAB customer support (and incredibly patient with me when I’ve asked a phenomenal amount of questions!) I can’t wait to get all my products listed, set up newsletters, blogs… – so exciting!

7. If you could choose one magic power, what would you go for?

Oh my! – Does being a unicorn, a faery or a dragon count as magic powers? If not, then I would choose the power of healing.

8. And finally, tell us your best joke!

According to my hubby, ¬†I don’t have a ‘best’ joke – but one of my favorites (and I apologise in advance…)

Why was the sand wet?
Because the sea-weed…..