Hey guys! I always get so many questions about Shop Stevie and being a business owner and how we started so I thought I’d share some thoughts in a blog post. I know some of my followers don’t even know I own a business so we’re just going to start from the beginning And sorry if this is a longer post.. Read it on a Saturday morning or night when you can’t sleep ha.
SUMMARY OF SHOP STEVIE
So basically shopstevie.com has been going for a little over a year now. We launched mid April of 2015. We started it as an addition to my blog and it has taken off almost faster then we can keep up.
OUR LIVES JUST BEFORE SHOP STEVIE
Trev and I had been married for a year, no kids yet and we weren’t trying to have kids. I worked at a retail store and Trev worked from home for his Aunt while he was attending BYU and playing for the men’s soccer team there. I started a fashion blog a few months before in January of last year and have always loved fashion. I knew that working for this retail store wasn’t the end all be all and I knew I didn’t want to be working there when Trev and I decided to have kids. As for Trev, he was making good money helping his Aunt and doing some music things on the side. (Trev is an amazing musician by the way, he started the band desert noises and has a few piano albums) We didn’t know exactly what Trev would do long term, we thought maybe he’d make it big with music but we had it in our heads whatever he did he would make good money and be able to work from home. (we’re that annoying couple that have to be together all the time and the idea of him working a 9-5 job just wouldn’t work for us)
I basically got to a breaking point of where I was working and had to do something else. I was a buyer for this boutique and loved it but didn’t love every part of working there and it was time for a change. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I knew I needed to quit my job. Trev and I got this crazy idea to add a online clothing store to my blog. It would make it so that I was still picking out clothes and keep doing the things I love. After staying up all night talking about our ideas and with the help of our friends from Thread Wallets that pushed us and motivated us to do our own thing, we decided to go for it.
I quite my job and things started moving very quickly. We started with my web developer (who designed my blog) we had her create an online store attached to my blog. While that was getting started I was working crazy hard to gain my instagram following so more eyes would be on our store. Trev and I obviously needed some money so we sold our new car that we had just bought and loved! And cut back wherever we could. We were all in. We worked with designers and kept all of our inventory in an extra closet in our little basement apartment. I think from start to launching it was two weeks.. crazy! We were all geared up for our launch date and when our store went live Trev and I were freaking out. We had no idea if this would work but we had little to loose. The night we launched it I think we thought we would just get a ton of orders.. haha that didn’t happen and for the first few hours with no orders coming in Trev and I were looking at each other with nervous faces. We couldn’t hold still. Finally we got a few orders and somehow they just kept coming. We had a goal to have a certain amount of orders a day by the end of the summer to be making what I was making at my old job. We hit that goal our first month and have been growing every month since. We quickly got employees to help do the shipping and customer service and it was the funnest thing. We thought we’d have at least two years before we got to that point. We feel so blessed to have the success that we’ve had and know that doesn’t happen with every start up business. We have been blessed with amazing customers and an amazing following and support group.
OWNING A BUSINESS AS A MARRIED COUPLE
First of all I have the best business partner (my husband Trev) He is so easy going and such a motivated person. At first we thought Trev could go to school and work with his Aunt but a few weeks in we learned we both needed to do it full time. I’m so blessed to have a husband that just jumped all in with me and helped me live my dream.
I think having your spouse as a business partner might be detrimental for a company or might be a huge asset depending on the personality. Trev and I are able to work really well together so for us it’s a great fit. We’re both equally as motivated and know what we want. Again our friends from Thread Wallets were a huge example of working together as a young married couple. We’ve watched the way they work together and the huge success that they’ve had owning and growing a business and we look up to them so much.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Be true to who I am-
One hard part when creating our brand was that I was the face of it. It started basically as an extension of my closet and a glimpse into my style. My whole life I have tried to dress a certain way that is respectable to me as a girl and women and have held myself to a standard of modesty. I think a lot of styles of clothing are cute and I wouldn’t necessarily wear it but as a business owner that wants to make money I knew those things were in style and would sell. Trev and I had long talks about this and it was an obvious decision. Because the Shop Stevie brand is based off of me and my style we decided we’d only sell things that reflected me as a person and my standards. It’s a lot harder to find items that fit that but we felt like it was really important when it comes to the buying and picking styles. I hope my store is a place where people can come to find cute, affordable pieces that are modest and they feel good in!
What kind of business owners Trev and I want to be-
I love that we have an opportunity to make a random person’s day and give back in a way. We love sending random gift cards to people and random goodies in our packages. We have been given so much and we too must give! That doesn’t apply to just our customers. Trev and I said from the begining that no matter how small or big this gets that we will stay grounded and remember that there are so many people around us that can use some help or something to make them smile.
We’ve also learned so much as business owners from other business owners in our same space. I think this is the most fascinating part of this whole process for Trev and I. We have loved owning our own clothing store and think it’s so great that there are more stores out there like us. We had a lot of fun meeting other business owners and sharing what has helped with our success and what hasn’t. As a business owner so much of success is about networking, who you know, and relationships. We always want to help as many people as we can and in the business space and also just in our community.
Success doesn’t always come easy-
Trev and I worked our cans off at the beginning of this thing!! Haha if you are following along with our lives now, just know we didn’t always have as much free time as we do now. There were days in the beginning that we worked from sun up until midnight. There were times where it felt like too much, we were too busy and there wasn’t a good balance. We’ve been able to pass a lot of our day to day tasks off but we still may have busier days!! We also enjoy working hard and working together so the busier days are fun for us too but just not when they are back to back for an extended period of time
RIGHT NOW IN THE DAY TO DAY OF SHOP STEVIE
Trev does all of the photography and social media. He does the backend website things that I would have no idea how to do! As far as me, I pick out all the clothes and where them of course:) Trev helps me with the buying process as well.
BEING A MOM WHILE OWNING A BUSINESS
Holy cow this is a big one! I don’t even know where to begin.. The first day home from the hospital Trev and I were shooting swimsuits for the website so you can throw the maternity leave out the window.. It’s not easy and it’s not always perfect and we have busy days sometimes but it is the greatest thing. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom to Aniston and there is nothing better in this life than to be a mom. I’ve had to hand a ton of my roles in the business off as well as Trev. We are starting this whole other part of Shop Stevie that involves reps so it has been a crazy ride and sometimes overwhelming as we are trying to figure out how to be good parents and adding this huge other part to our business but we’ve survived so far.. ha.
We’ve had to learn how to let go of the day to day rolls of our business. It’s one of those bitter sweet things. Way more sweet than bitter haha. We’ve hired a lot of things out so that we can spend more time with Aniston.
We have loved starting Shop Stevie and selling clothes. We’ve loved meeting new people and working together and have loved what we do. We feel so blessed with everything we’ve been given and know that it comes from a Higher Being. We LOVE our customers!! Really they are the greatest! Our customer service girls always say how nice people are in their emails and it’s so fun to hear. We have a loyal following and we love you all so much.