SDH 014: Launching an Online Store with Katelyn Kosinski
Katelyn started her blog the summer before she graduated from college. Not too long after, she developed the idea to open an online store. Katelyn challenged the status quo and chased after her dream right out of college. Now, the founder of the online store, Woodbury Lane and blogger at KatelynNow.com, she’s killin it! And we’re so excited to have her on the #podcast!
“If I’m going to be running a business, it should be my own business, something that I’m passionate about where there is more personal growth.”
Katelyn started her own business fresh out of college after realizing her passion for clothes and retail.
“I could not stop thinking about it. I needed to act on it.”
Woodbury Lane – The Well-Dressed Girl Next Door
Preparation for an online store launch:
Set up LLC
Build up Social Media
Photoshoot (with a model)
Promoting the launch
Bloggers in her network
Building excitement over the website for months
Social Media accounts set up 6-8 months before
Built email list far in advance to send launch news straight to subscribers’ inboxes
Managing Inventory: Attends a buyers’ wholesale market every 3 months. Usually your buying months before you put them up.
“I get to curate what my store is going to look like and hand-pick every item, which I love”
Most things come pre-packed (2 smalls, 2 mediums, 2 larges). Start off by playing it safe and buying one pack to see how it will sell on the website.
Reorders are generally easy and can gauge the popularity of an item via social media.
*Not to mention her personalized packaging!*
Most Surprising Aspect after Launch: The number of people that were sharing the website without even being asked and getting contacted by a local news station to come on the morning show the day of the launch.
*She shipped to 5 different states on launch day!*
Favorite Part: Meeting new people
“You wouldn’t think that opening an online shop would make you meet new people, but I have met so many people through this!”
3 Things for a Successful Online Store:
Have a clean website that is easy to navigate
Reaching out to people to promote your site before you launch
Make sure you have enough inventory
Katelyn started her business with her own money that she has saved up to purchase inventory.
“Buying inventory is definitely scary, but it’s really cool once you actually see how your profit works.”
Katelyn went into buying knowing exactly what she wanted :: Timeless pieces with quality material
Learning Lesson: When people promote and feature you, make sure it is in line with how you personally promote your website.
“If anyone ever reaches out to me about promoting my website, I need to make sure they’re doing it the way I want them to.”
Check out her Essentials Collection!
Branding: Katelyn looked at brands that she loves :: Think Gap, J.Crew and Anthropologie :: And asked herself ‘what is the draw?’, “What is their catch?”
“If a company’s social media is visually appealing to you, you’re going to be obsessed with it!”
“I take the psychology of why I like certain brands, and I try to apply that to my own.”
Looking Forward To: Working with local or creative people who have their own Etsy shops.
*Woodbury Lane currently has things in the shop that are handmade local and some exclusively made for WL*
“The power that one has as a retailer is insane – I’m going to buy your product and sell it to the masses because I think it’s awesome!”
Inspiration: To work as hard as she possibly can right now to get into her online store full-time and make it her only source of income and make it a career.
Advice: “Do what you love. Don’t waste time in a job that you hate because life is so short and so precious. You only have so much time here!”
“If you’re doing something that you hate, you should find something else because there has got to be something out there for everyone that makes them want to get out of bed in the morning, that they’re passionate about and that they’re excited about.”
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie (← A repeat that we love!)
“Don’t be afraid to ask! - I’m not afraid because I realize, the worst that can happen is someone is going to say ‘no’. I can handle a ‘no’!”