How To Run A Successful Online Business with KP, creator of Gitana Crystals.
Running a successful online business takes tenacity. - And coffee, really good internet, a home printer, and indifference to sleep. KP doesn't drink coffee, but her tenacity, passion for crystals - their origin, meaning and how they can impact your life is her daily kick-starter. Here's how KP, creator of Gitana Crystals, turned her etsy shop with one product into a go-to for ethically sourced crystals from around the world and a devoted social media following of over 45K.
For any of Gitana Wellness customers, Sunday night is a big deal. It's when KP updates Gitana with her newest gems sourced from around the world, or restocks customer favourites; like the engraved wooden crystal grids, Amethyst candle, or Gratitude Diary. KP is the owner of Gitana Crystals, a new-age focus online shop that has over 45 thousand followers on social media, outstanding customer reviews, and in just under a year is restocking her shop, Gitana, with 300-400 products fortnightly. So what is it that makes Gitana a success?
One Gratitude diary in an etsy shop - when it sold she thought, what else can i sell? So it went to incense, bush flower essence, things that KP could make and market herself.
"The crystals were the real drawcard, I was selling lots of crystals on etsy. New Age was still a bit misunderstood, a bit hippie, and a bit weird when I first started Gitana, but now people are more aware and into it, so I really see that in what people search for and I try to deliver what they're after."
KP is constantly on the search for new and beautiful gems for Gitana. Her business model might seem labor intensive, as most of the products on Gitana are one-offs - but this is what makes Gitana unlike other shops. Every piece is hand selected for it's unique properties that KP knows her customers will love.
This has been a journey of discovery from the start for you, what would you tell young entrepreneurs:
"Find your own style, don't try to copy because copying someone else doesn't work - you can find inspiration in other people, but people can see through if you're not being authentic. Find your own vibe."
In a social world it's hard to keep ideas original, and maintain your brand, what do you do about copycats?
If it's not brought to her attention by a customer, KP admits to not doing anything, she doesn't actively look for them - because she's too busy running her own business.
"If a customer tells me, I don't really mind, I just leave a polite comment asking for credit. All my designs are by me - engraving on pieces, logos, photography - everything you see on social media I have put together myself. I watermark all my images, but if I forget and that one gets picked up by someone i'll just ask for credit. At the end of the day it's just more marketing for Gitana - which is great for my business!"
KP's Favourite Apps for success
- NAB banking
What was a game changer for your business?
"My business started on etsy in 2014 - but they changed the algorithms and the way 'metaphysical' was listed, so there were a lot of companies that had to change their business strategy - it disadvantaging a lot of businesses. I noticed my views went from 600 per day to 30, so I began looking elsewhere. There weren't any marketplaces that were favourable to esoteric products, and that was all I was selling, so I made my own shop using shopify."
Since her transition to shopify July 2017, KP describes the past year as 'running'.
On operating an Online Shop:
"Afterpay makes everything more affordable for people - people have so many bills, and people love budgeting, so even if they're breaking up an $80 spend into four $20 payments, it means they can enjoy their hard work without having to stress about it."
On her daily marketing strategy:
"Facebook. I get more sales from Facebook than instagram, so I post more there. You need a lot of followers on IG for people to even look at your page, so if you're a new business it's hard to get going on instagram."
For new business, KP recommends focusing on Facebook to establish your local and domestic client base, while growing your instagram.
Gitana's Sunday shop updates used to be a monthly event, when stock was low and her shop needed a refresh, her devoted clients would countdown and come Monday morning KP would be packing orders, responding to product enquiries and checking which items were the best sellers.. Over the last year Gitan's sunday countdowns, have turned into a fortnightly event, with 300-400 new products added. "Some are new to the shop and others are restocking favourites, and every day we are packing products and shipping. I spend the rest of the time sourcing new and exciting products - and the best products available."
KP's business 101
"Customer contact is so important - they have to be able to easily access you. Referrals and word-of-mouth is so important for your brand - that's the real organic reach. Customer relationships are important to me, I would never go more than 8 hours without replying or acknowledging a customer email - because I get so frustrated when companies don't reply to me! So I try to take care of my customers. - They are your business, you wouldn't be here without them!"
A day in the life of Gitana
KP is awake at 6am every day, and the second she wakes up she is online checking emails, social media and her website to make sure all is running smoothly. Her US customer base has already been awake for hours so she's usually checking their orders and answering overnight product enquiries.
From 7am until 5pm KP is packing orders and marking inventory from her office, she has lunch delivered each day to save time, and rarely has a minute free. When she gets home, the day doesn't stop. KP sends tracking numbers to customers, checks emails she missed during the day, and tries to make time for a at-home spin class - preferably watching a movie but sometimes still reading emails or checking socials.
Sundays are usually family day when KP spends time with her husband, they're mountain people and spend the day driving through Gold Coast hinterland, or at home catching up on life admin - AKA, laundry.