First of all I want to take a second to thank You for Your support. Seriously. The happy words some of you have sent my way have meant a lot and helped me gain more confidence to open doors. Sharing my website, liking my fb page, following @banditsofhawaii, all of these have helped.
Here are a few thoughts so far in no particular order other than how they come up to my mind :
-Launching a website is a bit scary, mostly exciting. Especially when you've made it all yourself. You're just SO happy to be done with it for a second!
-Getting traffic to your website isn't as easy as you'd think it might be. I had read a bunch about it so I was quite prepared (there are nearly 1 billion websites out there. . . ! )
-Transforming traffic into actual sales is..hard!
-I am Thankful for family & friends who have supported my little biz so far.
-Tattoos have been sent to : Hawaii / the Mainland / France and.... Cambodia! No joke.
-Love your product/concept and chances are people will love it too. I could see this happen when I started going into stores here on Maui to introduce the Happy Bandits of Hawaii. Being a rep doesn't run into my veins and I will admit that at first I was slightly petrified. A cafe up in Makawao (a little town here) already wanted to carry the tattoos which helped me with the knocking on more doors process.
-Surprise : every door I have knocked on so far has said : YES! We want to carry your cool tatts!
-Better : So far I have only knocked on doors of boutiques I personally love. And I love that they love the @banditsofhawaii tattoos too! It truly makes me happy.
-Tricky : they ALL want to be exclusive. Which is a concept I understand but it also puts me in somewhat of a tricky situation as I can't really afford to give exclusivity to one store in one town (we live on a small island!). Because hey! Let's face it, the tattoos are a pretty inexpensive awesome product and if I want to make it worth it for me and my gang of Artists, I need to be selling quite a lot of those!
-Learning : I am learning how to negotiate in order to make everyone happy. I am so thankful for every single store to jump into the adventure with me and I really really want them to be happy and feel the respect I have for them. So far so good.
-A key : SMILE! BE ENTHUSIASTIC! HAVE FUN! BE YOUR NICEST SELF! And loving what you do makes this so much easier and natural.
-Numbers : 6 retailers. Over 450 tattoos sold. Tons of smiles. Over 50 stamps stamped (note to myself : get a sponge already!).
-Sending text-reports to the Artists has made me happy and kept me motivated. I do have a mission.
-Learning to keep the focus on focus. Meaning there is so much that needs to be done in order to get my products out there but being a solo mom entrepreneur, I can't do it all at once and I need to prioritize. The important is to keep on taking small steps towards small goals that will eventually lead me to reaching bigger goals and taking bigger steps. Keep moving but no need to try and be everywhere at once. Focus on efficiency.
-Everyone tells you how social medias platforms are some of the best inexpensive marketing tools out there. Right. Agreed. But dude it's hard to make everything look sexy for the audience!
-Doubting about everything you're doing may happen and instead of freaking out I am learning to step back and remember why I started it in the first place. Doubts can come in many different colors and shapes and are often unpredictable (at least for me). Doubts can lead to abandons, doubts are a great reason to give up on an idea (or an ideal), doubts are good to listen to and good to sleep on.
-I am thankful for my husband to listen to my doubts.
-And last but not least : BREATH! I have to remember to breath, to take a break, to walk away from my computer if I don't feel inspired to work. It happens and it's okay. Nothing good can come out of me if I'm not feeling happy with what I am doing. It can take a walk, a drink, a dancing session, whatever it is I try to remember to take that moment to get the good focus back on if I ever feel like I'm losing it.
Looking back at that first month, I can say happiness is dominant because I am slightly proud of myself to have taken an idea to a reality and the numbers are fairly good which is welcomed as a good bonus. Exhaustion probably comes in second and stress in third :) !
And you out there are still a precious help to me.
Don't be shy to share the website and become friends on Instagram & Facebook! (But don't worry, I won't start begging!).
Oh and get your tattoos! Please? Begging, am I ?