Storenvy...like going home again
When the handmade marketplace 1000 Markets closed in September, to say I was distraught would be quite accurate. 1000 Markets was my home. It was the ideal venue for me in terms of comfort level and sales. I sold my skin care line there after leaving Etsy at the end of 2008. When I decided to launch Loubird Handmade in January 2010, I knew 1000 Markets would be my home once again.
As you may remember, this company was bought out my Bonanzle and became known as "Bonanza" with the deal. Bonanza didn't have the look or feel I was going for, so I forwarded my domain name and headed to Big Cartel. I've been content there. Not thrilled, but content. A big sticking point for me has been the fee. I was paying $19.99 per month for 100 items, but if I wanted to add just one more, I would be paying $29.99 per month. That is less than my typical Etsy seller fees would be and I didn't have to play Etsy's endless listing/relisting merry go round. Big Cartel, though, never felt like home.
Earlier this week, I opened a message from my friend Tanvi, She lives here in Rochester and I met her on 1000 Markets. She is the talented force behind Excessary. We share many common interests and she told me about a marketplace I hadn't yet heard of called Storenvy. She just opened her own shop and thought I might be interested in checking it out. She was right!
I decided to check it out and within about 10 minutes of doing so, knew I'd be taking a major leap of faith once again. I'd be putting all of my eggs in one online basket once more.
#1, it is free for sellers, as was 1000 Markets. There are also a few artisan markets one can join. I like this. I put my heart and soul into starting the New York Festival market from scratch at 1000 Markets and the market aspect is actually what drew me in to 1km in the first place. Right now, I am a member of Storenvy's market called Handcrafted. I am slowly dipping my toes in and need to meet new people once again--something that can be hard for me since I am actually quite shy.
I had to do the same thing at 1000 Markets and once I did, I made several new friends--many of whom I speak to on a daily basis still.
Storenvy feels comfortable to me. This is crucial when you are selling online. Think of moving your furniture and favorite things into a new city with all new people and never feeling like it'll be home. It just won't work. That is how some online marketplaces are. Some are like giant metro areas with too many shops and too many people. It never feels like home. Others (like Big Cartel was for me) are like living way out in the country because you didn't get to see any neighbors. It was a bit isolating in terms of interacting with other sellers.
You know, it's kind of like Goldilocks trying to find that perfect bowl or porridge or that just-right chair. As a seller, it is crucial to be selling in the right for you place. Just as finding the right boutiques to house your wares is crucial, finding that right environment online is even more crucial. It's where you'll invest the bulk of your time, so it might as well feel like home.
I officially went live yesterday afternoon. It's still the same www.loubirdhandmade.com, but it really is a whole new place for me. In many ways, this new venue feels like I'm going home again. I am not saying it is the same as 1000 Markets. It is not. There are many good similarities, though. The differences for me just going in--Storenvy has a slightly younger, more easy going vibe. I liked that 1000 Markets was juried. In other words, one had to be approved to open a store to keep quality high. What I really like about Storenvy, though, is the social marketplace aspect. People can buy right from my Facebook page. It is a very social media savvy venue.
They have their finger on the pulse of what e-commerce has become with that emphasis on the two biggies that are not going away: Twitter and Facebook.
Do check Storenvy out today. You might stumble upon some great finds. In addition to the typical handmade wares, you can find original music. There are many singers and songwriters selling their CDs. In fact, I have a talented, musically gifted friend. She's going to be appearing locally in Tommy this spring and has toyed with the idea of putting out a Christmas album. I know she'll be reading this and Storenvy would be a great place for her to sell that CD when she makes it!
By the way, C & G readers can save an additional 20% off by using code CHICANDGREEN at checkout in my shop.