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The first year of an online store

by Judith Joosten 22 Nov 2017

In the past year I have learned a lot of new things about entrepreneurship but also about myself. I can tell you that as an entrepreneur you really go through ups and downs. One moment you think: this is really awesome and the next you think: what the hell am I doing. This week I'll give you some insights into Splendith and I'll start with some hilarious ups and downs, WITH photos ;). Because blunders and fantastic moments alternate every day. For this I went to my phone's photo archive, because it marks all the special moments :).

The funny thing is that actually all ups go hand in hand with downs. Because actually with all the events that were super cool, I had to overcome some fears. So just so you know: I find tasks exciting every day. But that keeps it challenging every day :). For example, I can never keep my studio tidy and keeping stock is not my favorite activity as you can see^^.

Paper Passion 2016

The first fair and what a baptism of fire. I was very happy that I had a good incentive to get started with the shop. As a result, he was online a lot sooner than if I hadn't had that. A stick behind the door just works well for me ;). But building a stand yourself and all the materials that still had to come in was really exciting! A lot of things come together in three days at a trade fair, let alone at a new company. But I was so proud that I was just standing there with my cake.

By the way, it is very valuable for your company to be at a fair where your target group/audience comes! It definitely gave me and Splendith a boost.

Giving workshops at Flavorites Live

I was so excited when Monique from Happymakersblog.com asked me to give a workshop at Flavorites Live. If you are not yet familiar with Monique's blog, please take a look. It was quite last minute, so I cut all the templates and paper at the last minute. At the same time, it was the first workshop I gave, so I did not estimate the duration correctly. The participants therefore spent much longer than intended ;). Speaking of 'learning by doing', that was another learning moment. Fortunately, everyone really enjoyed doing it!

My first video on Youtube

Haha, yes this was my first video on Youtube. Super exciting and difficult to record a video. I would now approach it completely differently, but it's still something I did anyway! Secretly I've already made some new videos that I've never finished. This is also one of my goals for next year: to make more videos and ALSO put them online <3. So I'm going to stalk you a lot more with my head hahaha.

An office!

The webshop and the range continued to grow, but my storage space did not... We have three bedrooms, and two of them were full of my stock. I could no longer work in my office because it was completely full of stuff. I also found it very difficult to actually work from home: the laundry, shopping and cooking food all comes together very quickly. I was already looking at a workspace, but as a new business I didn't have the budget for that. Paul also noticed that I needed more space and one day said to me: what if we convert the train room into your office? This space is in the back of his parents' house and would be a perfect space if... I was amazed, so sweet! Paul has model trains as one of his hobbies: something that doesn't interest me at all ;). But that was his “zen room,” so I never imagined I could use it as an office.

A 'day' in Frankfurt

I had always had a trade fair in mind that I wanted to go to, but that was in Frankfurt. And with about 350 km and 350 kilometers back, that was quite far. But yes: Judith just went. I had already looked at the exhibition map to see which companies were there. Marked where I needed to be and what data I needed to have. I left early in the morning and returned late at night: with SO MUCH information. Can you imagine: all the companies I buy from are relatively small creative companies. They sell materials but are often ridiculously difficult to reach if you want to become a new customer. If you try to approach a company after ten contact attempts: calling, emailing and via social media and you keep hearing nothing, you become a bit desperate. At the fair, a 10-minute conversation was sufficient to obtain all the information and even see all the materials briefly. How perfect.

An investment!

In the meantime, the webshop continued to grow, but I was missing a lot of products to offer a more complete range. I noticed that there was a demand for this, but an investment was needed to set it up. Until now I only had my own money in it, but that also ran out. Fortunately, I was able to find the budget very easily and was soooo grateful!

This meant that my shop's range could expand rapidly. And now all that stock has been expanded considerably! :) There is no better advice than stock, haha.

The request for an advertisement

Hahahaha this was so hilarious: I got a message that looked like it came from a really cool magazine. She wanted to do an article with me about it. I was really excited. As I scrolled further I saw it was just a request for an ad... Bummer.

Creative Life

During my first fair, no one knew Splendith yet: at Creative Life, a lot of people already knew Splendith! I remember very well that I had a pizza delivered to the Metal Cathedral together with Leonie at 8 p.m., and then coincidentally a mouse walked by and I had to arrange things completely differently. We were both a bit fed up with it at the time ;). Then the first day of the fair: I thought I would do it alone, hahaha. Luckily I had help from Paul the next day. It was a really cool fair! What might be funny to mention: the plate I used as a table did not fit in the van I was with, just like the Ecoline. Paul sawed the table top in half while cleaning up so that we could still take it with us. Afterwards my father-in-law turned the plate into a beautiful store display :).

Put it in your diary for next year. This year I will be there again with Creative Life!

Working full time on Splendith

This was perhaps the biggest boost for Splendith. I finally got around to tasks that I didn't get around to. Until March I worked part-time in the marketing communications department of a large company. I also had photography and the shop, so it became very difficult to concentrate on one task. And because my heart really belonged to my company, it was a logical choice to work for Splendith full-time. With a little bit of savings, Paul's steady income and assignments planned, I dared to quit my job! No regrets ;). Except for my savings account^^.

You!

Without you I wouldn't have been able to grow Splendith like this. Thanks all <3, you really make me happy every day! The people at the post office probably think I'm crazy: I come there every day with excessive cheerfulness to deliver your packages. Because it really is true: if you shop at a small business: someone will do a dance :).

And I'll probably forget a lot of moments, because so much can happen in a year :). But I will keep you up to date more often, via blogs or videos.

Love,
Judith

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