Ep. 1 Welcome to the very first episode of Elevate with eCommerce!


Hello and welcome to episode one. I’m so excited to be here with you in your ears today, whatever you might be doing, you might be walking your dog, working in the car, whatever you’re doing. I’m so, so excited to be here with you. I’ve wanted to do a podcast for, oh my gosh, 18 months now. And every idea that I’ve had about things that I wanted to talk about just was sort of super varied or super personal, and I didn’t want to overshare.

So I’m here to talk to you today about my journey with Shopify and hopefully bring you lots and lots of value, especially if you’re a freelancer who is looking to perhaps offer Shopify as a service, but you’re really not too sure where to begin, or you’re already offering Shopify as a service. And hopefully any of my insights that I’ve learned along the way, especially with things that I’ve had to learn the hard way, hopefully that you can gain some value from that as well. So to give you a little bit of an idea on my background back in 2015-16, I can’t even remember when it was, I think 15, I was working lots of different jobs.

I’ve worked in retail, selling cars, taking people to Thailand for plastic surgery, for a company on the gold coast. There’s been so many things I’ve done, just all the things. And the one thing that has been a constant along that I guess, journey of working nine to five is I hate working nine to five. It sucks. I hate being dictated to by business owners and managers. I don’t really like the feeling of having my income capped . I didn’t enjoy working my off 40 hours a week and still getting a trashed wage of $700 a week. It’s just for me, I felt like I was destined for so much more. And I know that a lot of you listening, especially if you’re a designer, that’s where you’re at you. You’ve probably done that whole process of working in a nine to five before going out on your own and learning all of the skills to be a freelancer. And that is so awesome. Like, honestly, give yourself a pat on the back because it takes a lot of courage to make the decision to do that. So kudos to you

now, back in 2015, I decided to start my diploma of graphic design because at the time, and I still am obsessed, obsessed with Pinterest. And it was kind of like my go-to platform that I would spend a lot of time on. And the common theme along like with everything that I was painting was branding and packaging. I just, I was obsessed. I loved it. It was just something about looking at something. And you would feel a particular way when you looked at different things and that essentially is branding. But at the time, I didn’t know really the concept of branding. I just loved how it looked aesthetically. So I decided to kind of work on that and figure out a way of how I can turn that into a business. And graphic design had always kind of appealed to me, but I probably was blocked by my thoughts of learning coding for web design, having to learn a lot of the programs, et cetera, et cetera. So at the time it was also a learning Photoshop. I was photo editing for my partner at the time he was a photographer. So I kind of knew Photoshop and I knew Adobe a little bit, but I was happy to sort of work on those skills.

So I did my diploma and around the same time, I , I think it was, yeah, it was around Christmas time. I wanted to make some cute little gifts for friends and family for Chrissy. So again, I jumped on Pinterest and I found these really cool little recipes, I suppose you could say, but they were like formulations for a body scrub and a face mask. I wanted to keep them all natural. Obviously I had no idea about formulating anything out, you know , with chemicals or anything like that. So anyway, I put these products together. They were really lovely and I thought, why not put a logo on these and see if I could sell them at the markets? So that’s what I did and surprise, surprise. I didn’t let me join markets Ava, because getting up at five 30 on a weekend just was awful. So I scrapped that idea and that led me to look for an e-commerce platform because I thought, well, if I can sell them at markets, I don’t like doing that. Why don’t I look to sell them in London?

And I think I was also limited in my perception that selling things online was expensive or it was deeply cold , or it was just felt too hard, but I didn’t really, I had no budget at the time I was , uh , at this stage I’m studying and also still working part time . So I didn’t really have a budget to look for a web designer. And I think that’s kind of in my nature anyway, I would rather learn how to do something myself than pay someone to do it. And I know that I’m going to run into issues with that mindset down the track. When I, you know, it’s already getting to a point where I need to hire a VA for the podcasting stuff and I , yeah, I’m , I’m having issue with it, but it’s a me issue. Not anyone else’s issue, but if you resonate, let me know, send me. Anyway, I digress. So back to my story , um, skincare. Yes. So I that’s when my journey with Shopify, my absolutely one true love Shopify, but guns . So I had tried Wix , it was trash. Didn’t lack it as a platform. It was just , uh , you only have to look at a Wix site and you can see that it’s a wix site. It’s just, I’m not a fan.

So I decided to look at Shopify and at the time I think I disregarded it and went back to wakes because it was, it seemed quite expensive. So the $29 a month you at like the U S subscription, it just felt expensive. And I’m, I’m terrible at committing at the best of times, but committing to that seemed expensive anyway. So I tried wix, learnt the hard way – it was just trash. So I decided to get back to Shopify and I am just so glad I did. It is just being the most amazing journey from, from back then to now and beyond that, just love it. Anyway, I’m going to you’ll figure out why. I love it so much down the track. You probably already have figured it out if, if you offer Shopify as a, you know, as a design service. Anyway. So from here, the journey with my skincare label begun in or UVA two years, I built it up to be a six figure business. And I say six figure is in revenue. I was not making six figures and I’ll make that super clear because I don’t, I don’t want to sound like that. Typical I and six figures. That’s not my jam. I’m very, very open and transparent about that sort of stuff. So when I say six figures, it was making six figures in revenue. I wasn’t anyway, I think the success of that is definitely, I can, I can definitely thank Shopify for that because it is an awesome platform and it really allowed me to grow that business fairly quickly. And, and the growth of it happens from influencer marketing and also Facebook marketing.

So I sort of had no prior experience to that and I just had to figure it out the, you know, the hard way like I do with everything that is kind of the story of my life. And you’ll probably learn that over time, as you listened along to these podcasts in the episodes that a lot of things that I’ve learned along the way is because I’ve done it the hard way to the point where I’ve had to figure it out and , and learn the right way to do things. I’m the sort of person that there’s probably a condition or like an explanation for the type of personality that I have, but I struggle to follow instructions. I’m , I’m a terrible cook because I can’t follow a recipe and trying to learn YouTube tutorials from start to finish. I am not very good at, I just struggle with it. I don’t know why.

So a lot of times I end up figuring out things, like I said, the hard way anyway. So Shopify, the skincare label really was building it from , from the ground up. So in 2017, after I’ve had this running for two years, it was awesome. I was really enjoying it, but I felt more of a pull towards the design. So are you at the time that I had the skincare label, I was designing out a few things here and there. So I was doing a little bit of branding, but I didn’t feel like it was my strength. And I was doing, I started to offer Shopify websites, but really quite limited because my confidence wasn’t at a point where I really could, I guess, showcase and attract lots of different ecom brands. I just felt like I wanted little small businesses that were just starting out just like me on that same, I guess, experience level .

So that’s what I did anyway. Sorry to go back to 2017. So as I’m designing at , um, you know, with my studio, I decided to sell the business. It was a good time to sell. It was sort of the real start of the influencer marketing phenomenon that it kind of had it started in 2016 and was really kicking off in 2017. So I decided now is a good time to really hand this thing over to someone and I can concentrate on my design business. So that’s what I did. The reason why I mentioned it is because it’s a , it’s a very good way of , uh , it’s a really, it’s a really good perspective to have being both the graphic designer on one side, and then also having the experience of being the business owner on the other side. So even though I did a lot of my own designs anyway, in the beginning, it’s super handy to know how it feels to be on that other end and to know what the client expects, what, what the process is, what the best way to do things is. And I’m really glad that I’ve had both sides of the coin, I guess.

So me now, I live in the glass house mountains in Queensland, and I really have niched down in probably the last six to 12 months, really focusing on attracting e-com brands. And there’s a reason for that one because I absolutely love working with product based businesses. I love it because there’s a different element as its other dimension that gets brought in when you’re dealing with product based businesses, the branding takes on a whole new level because you have products that are another touch point or you know , this other extension of the brand. So that’s what I love. I love taking product based businesses, booting out their websites on Shopify and then supporting them through the process of, I guess, building up and growing. So that’s why I love Shopify as a platform as well, because it allows that to happen. It is geared towards growth.

I’m going to wrap it up now because I’ve been talking too much already. In the next episode, I’m going to go through so many different things. Lots of things that I’ve learned along the way in terms of onboarding your clients, avoiding red flags, lots of little insights into how you can make your studio more successful with offering Shopify as a service.

Plus, I’m also going to touch on a few little things in terms of owning your own business, the good and the bad. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. It’s been awesome to be with you. And I look forward to talking to you in more episodes. If you’ve enjoyed the episode, be sure to hit subscribe and give me a five star rating. That would be amazing. And we’ll put a big smile on my dial. If you want to follow along on Instagram, the handle is by April code until next time. Happy designing. Bye.

Please note: this recap is transcribed via AI technology & may include some errors.