Asked and Answered, Volume VJuly 27, 2015
Ready for this week's nail biter?
Let's begin, shall we....
Asked: So, what exactly do you do at/for Willow Crowns?
Answered: I'm not sure where to begin with this one!
Maria always says to start at the very beginning, so let's start there and see where we end up.
(if you didn't get that Sound of Music reference, I'm not even sure what to say)
Way back when, Megan would send me snaps of a new idea or ask me how I felt about certain pieces for her Etsy shop. I would always react and answer with 100% honesty - which probably made her rethink her decision to ask me in the first place. She pretended to appreciate my candor and would say, "one day, when the shop gets big, I'm going to pay you to tell me what you think".
I honestly never thought that would happen.
To be fair, I didn't mind giving away my opinions for free. I had just welcomed a tiny, screaming tyrant into the world and talking to Meg about the shop kept my mind engaged and focused on something other than formula and spit up for a second or two, so I didn't want or need to be a true employee, I was just grateful for the distraction. But, as it turns out, Meg has an honest passion for her business and was ready to actually hire me just a few months later.
My first task was to take over the website.
We moved platforms from Etsy to Big Cartel just as I came on board and it was my role to get our visual merchandising in order. I streamlined our pricing, product descriptions and our collections. The laces were named after important women and girls in our lives and the product descriptions became lengthy run on sentences that I love and use far too often. The website is still my role and I take it very seriously - if Meg moves the products around without talking to me first I threaten her life. I'm the one behind the scenes making sure we are filling stock in appropriate sizes, keeping Meg updated on what is selling and making sure that we don't have a major issue on a launch day.
Meg is most certainly the creative one so she often comes to me with an idea and I think of ways that we can incorporate it into the business in a logical, clean and cost effective manner. If you've ever received one of WC's gold mailers, you've held one of my little bursts of genius (if I do say so myself!) in hand. We wanted to update our packaging and loved the idea of our customers finding such a beautiful package in their mail box. In order to keep our costs, and thus our prices, low, I suggested that we make them a special occasion - for every 5 orders we send a gold mailer that contains a coupon code. Our customers love the treat, we have a gorgeous mailer and we didn't have to raise our prices to create an amazing experience with our brand.
When it comes to creating a collection, Meg and I work hand in hand in brainstorming what the pieces will look like. She makes every single piece by hand, sources materials and photographs each piece and I rock her world by telling her that I either love or hate something. Honestly, when it comes down to it, we work really well together in creating a collection, even if it takes us a hot second to get on the same page. Our Fall Collection is in the final stages of prep and we went a few rounds trying to get it just perfect. We add pieces, scrap pieces, brainstorm new ideas, pull new materials and start over again. One of us usually has an idea that is the base for the collection (Megan was all over Fall, I picked the fabrics that were the launching point for Spring) and then we work together to build a cohesive set of pieces that covers all ages, price points and styles.
Ultimately, my number one role is to think of our customer.
While Meg handles almost every single aspect of customer service (sometimes you get me!), I spend most of my time and energy ensuring that our customer experience is the best that it can be. Something as small as how we lay out the listings is done with our customers in mind - our options for each product are carefully chosen to ensure that a mama can find the perfect piece for her babe, no matter how much hair she has. We want the shopping process to be fun, beautiful and easy for our customers and it's my job to make that happen.
Meg and I work constantly but that's because we talk constantly (sorry, family data plan). We meet over FaceTime and text images, ideas, concerns and to do lists all day long. It's a unique set up, but it works for us, mostly because we are used to cramming in a meeting during nap time and don't think it's weird that we've coordinated our Mother's Day Out schedules.
So, there you have it!
what do you want to know?