So now you know my big secret. I have been planning this store for a couple months now, and the one thing I have learned is that it is a LOT of work opening a store! I thought it would be, just buy some stuff, throw it online, call it a store …. but there is so much more to it. I was thinking it might be kind of fun to share with you bits and pieces of my process for opening the store. I love reading when bloggers share a “behind” the scenes, so maybe you will too.
The first hard decision I had to make was what to name the store. Did I want to go with the obvious and put the word quilter or quilt in the title? This has its benefits as people would be able to know what kind of stuff I sell straight from the get go. But it also has its own set of limitations as what if I want to sell embroidery stuff? Yes I could do it, but people might not think a store called Quilter’s Playhouse (or whatever) would sell anything except stuff for quilters. This is a constant naming battle, should your product name describe what it is? I have found that more often than not, a store or product name does not describe itself. Yes you have the Taco Bells of the world, but you also have names like Sears, Wal-Mart, Victoria’s Secret. We know what these stores sell because we have been there. But if you had never ever heard of Sears before, you may not know if it was a restaurant, a clothing store, a stationary store, or even a gun store! But once you go there and the name becomes popular, you know what they sell so it doesn’t matter what the name of the store is.
Because of this reasoning, I knew from the get go that I wanted my name to be free of the word quilt or quilter. I know of a lot of stores that use these words, and I love going to them, but for me I didn’t want to limit myself that way. So I had to meander along and find a a name that I liked. My first choice was obvious. The domain that this blog is on is mine. I bought Scrapendipity Designs some time ago and haven’t always used it, but I have been using it as a quilting blog for a while now and there are a good number of people that visit my blog and know the name. I could easily add a store right here and call it a day. However, as much as I like this name, I also had another domain under my belt that had never seen the light of day.
I bought the domain for Dewberry Lane about 2 years ago when I was more into digital scrapbooking. A friend and I were going to start a scrapbooking business, and I came up with the name Dewberry Lane and since the domain wasn’t taken yet, and I didn’t want to lose it, I went ahead and bought it. Well the business fizzled out after only a month or two of planning, but I was able to keep the name and the domain since it was my idea. I held on to the domain, renewing it every year, even though I wasn’t using it, because I thought the name was really catchy.
So when it came time to name my new business, I really felt that Dewberry Lane was the right name for my store. The name evokes thoughts of a peaceful, back country road for me. A tree lined street where you could take a walk in the afternoon and say hello to all your neighbors. Where houses have front porches with rocking chairs on them, ready for two people to sit, sip lemonade, and chat the day away.
Something like that. This was too beautiful an idea for me to just give up on, so I finally made the decision and named my store Dewberry Lane. While it has basically no name recognition like my blog already has, it is a catchy name that I thought people would easily remember. The best part was, I didn’t have to worry about anyone already owning the domain for it, as it was already mine! So I dusted off the old domain and started the process of figuring out how to turn it into a store.
After settling on my name, it was time to focus on building a site, creating a logo, and deciding what product I wanted to sell. These three items alone were the most nerve wracking of the whole process. There were many times while I was working on these three things, that I told my husband that it couldn’t be done and I wasn’t going to do it. Luckily he kindly reminded me that these things really weren’t that hard and I shouldn’t let them defeat me. So with his encouragement, I plugged along.
I don’t want to make this post too long, so I will share how I muddled through those steps in other posts. If you actually made it to the end of this post though, then I think you deserve a giveaway! One of the items I will have in my store is a good number of Schnibbles patterns and I would like to give one away today.
This pattern is called X-rated. It finishes at 31″ x 31″ and you could easily make it with 2 charm square packs and a yard of background fabric.
So how do you enter my mini giveaway? Well all you have to do is leave me a comment. I would love to hear what you like in an online store, but you can also just say hello. If you are a follower (either through the widget over to the right or through any blog reader like Google or even if you have my site saved in your favorites and you check back often for new posts), leave me a second comment with how you are a follower and you can have a second entry. Be sure to give me a valid email address so I can contact you if you win!
The winner will be announced on Saturday, January 22, 2011.
I do plan on having more (and bigger) giveaways as I get closer to opening, so be sure to check back often!