Thursday, May 19, 2011

Where Can You Find M Design Boutique? Lots of Places!

M Design Boutique started out as a full-blown e-commerce website, selling the work of lots of designers in 2008. That turned out to be a very expensive way to start out, and after a year MDB closed its virtual doors and took a year to re-evaluate.

Enter Etsy. In February of 2010, M Design Boutique re-opened as an Etsy shop. Etsy is an online marketplace for all things handmade. Dramatically cutting the expense of hosting my own e-commerce website, M Design Boutique quickly became a promising venture. As the year progressed, the shop filled up with more and more of my handmade creations including Jewelry, Candles, Scarves, Ribbon-wrapped Flip Flops, and even some of the old inventory from 2008, which you can still find now and then in the Clearance Section.
These flip flops made the Front Page of Etsy in April of 2010, bringing me a new level of traffic!
As the 2010 passed, I (Melissa) discovered lots of other places online to set up shops including Artfire and a few others. By the time the holiday season came, it became very clear that I had found my way and growing my business (through all manner of trial and error) would be a rewarding career.
The holiday season was a mad growth period for MDB. The best part about it: Every month since then has been even more successful. All of the blind faith during the slow early growth is finally paying off.

I have read blogs and books. I've listened to podcasts. I've blogged and written articles about my work and shop. I've researched products and vendors and cost analysis and taxes and everything else related to learning how to keep those customers coming and make a profit doing what I love. I've even had a hand-ful of bloggers review my products and profile me as a small business owner! It has been an exciting time.
A little idea turned into a whole new shop. MDB Weddings and Events is my spin-off shop where my most popular sellers are now easy to browse favors, gifts and decor just for those planning events.

One of the revelations I have had is that I need to have open doors in every place I can open them on the internet. Artfire has its own customers. Etsy has its own customers. Bravo Bride has its own customers. Shop Handmade has its own customers. You get the picture. All of those places allow me to reach people looking for my products whether it is because I make handmade gifts or custom wedding favors.

Practice table for Brooklyn's Artists & Fleas Market where I sold Valentine's Day themed Soy Travel Candles alongside Big Bridge Studios, my friend Kendra's Shop! Special thanks to those of you who attended this awesome weekend market!
Where ever you like to shop, you can now find all of those options in one place: M Design Boutique. You can shop my Etsy shops directly from there, or you can click on "stockists" and find my individual shops and even some brick and mortar salons that carry my candles and flip flops.
I am currently expanding my Wedding and Event inventory to include lots of new custom-labeled packaging, thanks to the feedback of my facebook fans.

Every day I learn something new about what works and what does not. My best feedback comes from you, my customers, readers and friends. You are experts, shoppers, web-surfers, bloggers, twitter-ers (!), facebookers and so on. I welcome your feedback, ideas, expertise and even your constructive criticism!
I asked my readers what they would want in a Wedding Day Survival kit if they could have had one on their big day. The results were so helpful! Shown above, the Bridal Kit. The fabric money holders were even made by one of my readers! I have the best fans and customers ever!

Follow me on twitter @melissafouch and @mdbeventfavors

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Share your links in the comments section (appropriate content please). I want to meet you all! Who is out there?

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