This long weekend we are celebrating ourselves here at Vandera Stuff! It’s our one year anniversary and we wanted to share some cake and take a look at how we have grown in the past year!
We are Aj and Tasha, and we are the creative minds behind Vandera Stuff.
We have come a long way since the beginning of our journey, with some downs, but mostly a whole lot of ups! Making jewelry and home decor art has broadened our world and community, opening the door to meet so many amazing and inspired artisans and business women. We really believe that it takes a community to bring success, and sharing it with other online artists as well as some beautiful Vancouver locals has definitely helped us to grow into the women we are, one year later.
Since last year, we have both become much more confident in our skills as artists and entrepeneurs, as well as in who we are. This year we both turn 25, and we feel that we are learning more and more every day about the power within us as strong and motivated women. It’s progressed from learning who we are and what we want, to how can we utilize that to change our worlds and live our dreams! Through this past year we have seen that you can create success any way you want as long as you go for it, work at it, and always see the positive in every experience.
We have put so much thought into every step we have taken to help us grow as a business. From what our brand should be, to where to spend our money, we have thought of a few helpful tips that might help your business like it did ours.
1.It begins with a brand, creating a world of our minds. The two of us have been friends for over 13 years, and being that our friendship stems from adolescence this was not hard. We had already created our worlds view through each other so placing that to images and design was not particularly a hard task. They key is to always stay true to who we are and never force ourselves into anything that doesn’t feel right. We chose to be our own models as it showcases the true beauty in the everyday modern woman, which is who we make our jewelry for. We chose to paint our own logos and banners by hand as that is what we grew up doing together, and this way everything we do as Vandera Stuff is unique to us!
2. Think hard before you spend! Spending money within Vandera Stuff is sometimes a struggle being that we live in a very expensive city. So we think about things before we do them for quite a while. For us the biggest thing was to ensure the best quality of everything. This meant buying a great camera to create better quality images for selling products. It also included some great business cards made by one of the many amazing artists on etsy. We recommend you go with a cool shaped card, or something textured as it really stands out in a potential customer’s hands. In the past we have made our own packaging and gotten some amazing responses from customers who love a one of a kind experience. Lately though we have been longing for a more clean and consistent look so this is something we are looking towards soon as well, using one of the many amazing etsy artists. These are all things to think about when spending money within your business. What are you looking to achieve and how will your money be best spent? Shop around and consider the best options for your shop!
3. Creating an online community goes so far into expanding traffic in your store. For us, so much of that came with expanding our blogs. Throughout the past year we have branched out to incorporate pretty much every social media platform you can think of, generating a reach of around 5000 people across them all. Instagram for us at this time is the most popular and tending site to be using, but we are finding a quick gain from Pinterest and Facebook. They key we think is being social and personable with not only potential customers but other shops and artists too. Within our blogs we have found that promoting other shops and artists helps you as their fans find interest in you, as well as any passers-by take that into consideration of your brand and personality. In our own lives we have found the best way to help yourself is by helping others, drawing other friendly people towards your energy.
4. Take it easy and don’t get down when things are slow. We have been very mindful of the economy as well as the times of year with our business. Some times sales are slow, and people do not feel they have the extra money to be spending on beautiful art pieces. Other times such as Christmas things will be fast and we must prepare for an influx of sales and products. No matter what time of year it is or how your sales are looking, create goals that can keep you motivated yet laid back and stress free. In slow times we work on product, building back what we sold in the last booms. We work on creating renewable products that could be sold in bulk, and building up stock. We also work at promotion and making connections with online shoppers and artists. We’ve designed some blog promotions that are unique to us, and help to prompt posts and sales each month. This keeps us active online as well as in the customers minds. We also do freebies and giveaways for our past customers and have been finding this helps as they also want to purchase some items along with their winnings. In busy times we focus on customer experience. This time can be stressful so we try to take a step back from creative production and take our time with shipping and checking in with orders. We always want to make sure things meet our shoppers standards, and love to throw in little unexpected gifts. When you take your time with customers and their shopping experience it gives people outstanding memories that bring in the returning customers during slow times. Goals and priorities will help to keep you stress free and successful.
5. Friendship before partnership! Sometimes being that we are so goal oriented and motivated, it can be hard to set it all down sometimes to just be friends. But this is key to our relationship, and if we do not nurture our friendship our business partnership our wilt and die. We try to pay respect to the fact that if we were not friends first we would not have the will or opportunity to create Vandera Stuff! We take the time for fun, planing shows and concerts, meals and baking together, as well as many other outing and events around Vancouver. It is important to explore the world that helped to create our brand, working on art for ourselves, and laughing together at jokes only we understand. We created our dream world as children and we must continue to create it as adults in order to continue with our success!
For all that we have been through, and all that we plan for our future as Vandera Stuff, together we will change the world. We have our goals for the year ahead, and we are beginning the steps for the new year. We hope that you will continue to follow us, and that you keep in touch with your two bohemian besties in Vancouver. We want to thank everyone who has helped to support our business, and to all our customers around the world showing off our amazing art. We can only imagine all the compliments received by all the beautiful people our there making our art look that much more stunning! It is you who inspires us to continue and create!
If you feel like checking out our shop please head on over to Vandera Stuff on etsy. All day today and tomorrow August 6th and 7th until midnight, take 50% off anything in store with a purchase of $20 or more! Just use promo code ONEYEAR at the time of check out.
Thank you all!
Tasha and Aj- Vandera Stuff ❤