🌴 I CLOSED THE ONLINE STORE 👀 + FEELING SHAME ABOUT THAT 😒

Welcome back Tiger!!

I hate going back on shop announcements, but I will if it means me having an easier, stress-free, life….with more opportunity to concentrate on doing the things that feed my soul. So…..I’ve closed the online store. A week or so after announcing its opening.

This obviously means the new Xmas/ Kwanzaa shop is also closed too. Let me tell you…as soon as I hit ‘close’ on the store, ……my head felt clear and my body felt like its relaxed self again.

It wasn’t a quick decision. I’ve been ummmming and arrhhhhhhing over closing the whether or not to keep the store side of the website for more than a year. So why did I do it?

#REAL TALK

I got no monnies to keep the entire website up + running. 💰 It’s 50% cheaper to deactivate the shopping cart, putting the website in ‘viewing mode’….and just run the website as an information hot spot for The Urban Tiger. ‘Viewing Mode’ means, you can still visit the store, browse the items, check out the options and prices, you just can’t purchase anything at the mo.

I’ve kept a close eye on my analytics and honestly….nobody is visiting the website…ok maybe nobody besides me, a few people in Italy and USA from time to time. It’s not cost-effective to have products actively for sale if nobody is heading over from the social media platforms I use to promote 🌴TUT. Or if I can’t raise the funds to bring more attention to the store through advertising online and offline.

I felt a lot of shame about making this decision.  So mush SHAME. Troubled by what closing the store + the gift shop would look like. I have an online business with no store, how would people I tell about my brand react or perceive my company? Would there be any point sending out a  newsletter with earrings, accessories/gifts?

However, the absence of monnies was so real. I’d cringed internally on the many occasions when I put the website URL in the search engine, expecting the shop to pop up, only to be horrified that for the last week Shopify had deactivated the whole website because there weren’t enough funds in my account to pay that months bill . Oooooo so embarrassed that my email subscribers had seen that.

Okay, so that kinda thinking and feeling prolonged the closing for months…and months…and months. However, there is no getting away from not having the finances to keep ”looking on the outside like a professional business”.  The additional costs of selling online add up not only in money but in stress.

Costs like outer packaging for items: wrapping paper, gift boxes, jewellery bags, ribbon….coz I wanna receiving an item from 🌴TUT to be a special… and then branding….I want all the packaging to have my logo. Printing costs are astronomical. If I print myself…screenprint, that saves me quite a bit of money….but then I need inks, printer ink……huhhhhhhhh.

Also, these costs were dipping significantly into releasing new earrings /new products as well as attending craft shows. I want TUT items to be enjoyed offline. No matter how a did the numbers…..doing events are impossible. Breath….. yep closing the store…that reduction in spending each month felt like the right choice. With no Patrons yet… things remain tough and tight up in this bitch. I wrote this post about why I created my Patreon page.

I can tell you a week or so on from closing….I’m happier, I can see a clear path ahead of me, I’ve bought new materials for new products, products that I’ve had to sit on for months….finally I can jump on these. I’m planning on doing a craft show next year fingers crossed. Things are looking up in the studio 😊 The burden of not having to have everything figured out right now…because items aren’t actively on sale,  to have time to slowly put the ‘retail’ elements of my biz together, that burden has been lifted significantly.

This is a temporary store closing. It will re-open in November (date to be confirmed) through to the end of Kwanzaa, then will close again. During that time  I can concentrate on finding other retail stores to carry 🌴TUT, so you can have other places to shop for my jewellery. Leading up to the re-opening – I’m adding new items to the store. I’m currently working on some digital gift ideas. To be notified of these new goodies, gifts and when the store will be re-opens….JOIN THE MAILING LIST HERE.

Shantell.x

P.S…

If you would like to become my Patron you can do that here. You can pledge as little as £1 a month, which really helps. Learn more about becoming a Patron here

Or to see how your money would be used, head here for more info.

 

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🌴The Urban Tiger blog.  Serving up statement West Indian fashion  + meaningful personal styling strategies to thirsty Caribbean sylistas’  

 

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