Hey Sally! So how did Your Best Friend’s House come about?
Prior to starting YBFH, I was a content marketing manager. And I left that job in 2020 to go traveling with my partner… But unfortunately, COVID ruined all of that.
So it was very much a moment of sitting at home trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. I’m quite a creative person and I enjoy things like pottery and sewing. I make my own clothes and enjoy these sorts of crafts. So initially I tried to monetize these passions, but quickly fell out of love with the work.
And that’s when the idea for YBFH came about. I wanted to help other small businesses sell their creations and leverage my experience in marketing to promote them. We launched in March 2021, and we currently have 30 vendors on the website!
Curious to hear a bit more on where you stand vs. an Etsy. Could you expand on that?
Our current site does feel like it has an Etsy element to it, but I wanted to keep it focused on genuinely small makers that are just starting out on their ventures.
Etsy caters to more established makers, and that’s why they may be able to take on the monthly fees and high commissions from Etsy. I totally understand the business need for Etsy to do that, but it does have an impact on the types of indie-makers on the platform. On Etsy, it’s also quite common to find drop-shippers, selling goods from overseas at triple the price. I do feel like Etsy’s missing the ball here which creates an opportunity for me and YBFH.
And how have you been able to get merchants to know about you?
It’s been mostly via Instagram. When I first launched my Instagram and Facebook pages, I made sure they were very much focused towards small businesses. Almost treating them as a B2B communication tool, rather than B2C. And in my approach, I always use the umbrella term of “small business community”. My goal is to connect small businesses together, because from experience - I know how isolating it can be to be working alone on your craft.
Let’s get into the technicals: How did you build your site? And how did Storetasker help?
When I came up with the idea for YBFH, I started drawing up my own branding, and defining my aesthetic. But if I’m being honest with myself… It looked like a pile of dog crap. So I reached out to a designer who a friend of mine used to work with: Vicky Perry. She’s an absolute angel, and she’s the reason why Your Best Friend's House looks so beautiful today.
And when it came to actually like building the website, I went on Shopify and chucked all my branding elements into a theme which I purchased through Out of the Sandbox. And where I really needed extra help was with the homepage. I had looked at Etsy, Not on the high street and other competitors and drew up my version of a homepage in Canva.
I then submitted a job in Storetasker, asking for someone to implement my design in Shopify. And that’s how I got connected with Ebony. And low and behold, she did it all and it looks great!!!
Fantastic to hear Sally! Before we go, could you share some learnings for the eCommerce operators that will come after you?
Be prepared to fail. I can’t even count the amount of times I have changed up everything in the business. But in the end, if there’s a will there’s a way and you will find a solution to your problems. And don't be scared to ask for advice. I've got many different quirks, I'm quite impatient, and I just want everything to be done immediately - so I understand that for people like myself it’s not always so easy to ask for help. But do it, because you can’t do it all alone.
Thanks Sally - Wishing you all the best of luck with Your Best Friend’s House.