Those of you who follow me either on here or on Instagram will know that I spent some time last year building and refreshing this website. Originally it was a ‘landing page’, a place to bring you in and then send you off to other sites, such as my Etsy page. But I’d always dreamt of having my own proper website, a place for customers to come and shop, and to hang out for a while.
I’d imagined beautiful photographs and curated collections of my products, seasonal selections, news and information, sharing insights in to me and my business. It would be sleek and simple, easy to navigate around, and above all a fun place to hang out.
Over the summer I set to, working away each day making the changes and adaptations, refreshing and updating my policies, learning how to list products and make them available to purchase. I was making good progress and was well on track for my planned September relaunch.
And then, out of the blue, I was accepted to stock my products at The Leith Collective.
That was an amazing opportunity and not one to be turned down. The Leith Collective were opening a new store at Fort Kinnaird. It was going to be huge! And stocked with hundreds of amazing creatives and makers. It was very exciting and I set to, to make a small collection of items to take to my shelf for opening day. My website would just have to wait, just a little while, but that would be ok.
The Leith Collective took off. In a BIG way. Much better than I could ever have hoped. Sales are good. Great, even, and I was struggling to keep up with demand. And that was before the main rush of Christmas had started. So, I spent most of the autumn and early winter making and stocking The Leith Collective and trying to keep up with things.
The website went on the back seat. I decided to park the changes and updates, put on hold the big relaunch, and just focus on making and stocking the store instead. Whilst it was amazing to be selling and realising that people loved my items and wanted to purchase them, it did leave me feeling frustrated that I wasn’t able to get my website in order. Having a great website is something that I’ve wanted to achieve really since the very beginning of The Wise Old Owl. Not only is it important to have a secondary sales outlet, one that I can be in control of, but it was going to give me a huge sense of achievement, learning new skills and creating something special. I spent some time over Christmas thinking about what I wanted to do, how could I remedy the situation and turn things around.
I still wanted, indeed needed, a website, something that I could swing in to action when required and not have all of my sales eggs in one basket.
So, the other evening, I began to plot out what I want from the website. What is its purpose and what does it need to offer for my business? It needs to be able to inform, to provide information about me and my products, it needs to be able to build confidence in potential customers, and it needs to be a fun place to hang out and find out more about The Wise Old Owl. Next, I drew up a monthly action list, what I plan to achieve each month to develop and improve the site, remembering to keep it simple and not overwhelm myself with too much to do.
First up is to write a regular monthly blog post. Starting with this one. Next, I’ll add an extract to the front page so that you can more easily find my posts when you visit the site.
After that, I’ll start to add more products to the catalogue so that you can make purchases more easily online. Bit by bit, month by month, I’ll update and add more features and articles and create something to be really proud of. It will become a lovely project to dip in to each month and by the end of this year I hope that it will be looking and performing just how I want it to.