Photo by Jamie Hagan on Unsplash

The Redesign of

What a massive undertaking! Okay, while it's not a full redesign, I'm still using the same theme, Dawn, it was a lot of work on the backend. I wanted to post this to the blog as a reminder to myself, advice to other shop owners as well a consent for you to take the time to make the updates you need to in order for your business to run a little smoother. It's about taking the time to work "on your business" as much as you work "in your business". 

The Bare Bones

The site itself would have continued to work as it sat, I didn't need to do all that I did. The bare bones of what Shopify offers in their platform and themes is amazing. I worked as a web designer for nearly 20 years, from building sites from scratch to coding WordPress themes, I've seen many, many versions of the web. Shopify has a very firm grasp of not only the basics of running an online business but they also pay attention to the needs of small business owners. 

They make running a business online as clean and simple as it can be, but also allow for some under the hood tinkering for those of us that like to tweak things a little. 

The sleaves storefront had products, a functioning cart and would have done the job. In this update though I've focused on ensuring I have all of my products available for purchase. My thinking behind this is that you should get the same experience shopping with sleaves online as you would visiting us at a local market, with a couple of small caveats I'll explain next. 

The main difference is that you don't get to touch and smell the leather, but if Shopify should ever figure out how to implement this into an AR experience I'll be the first to jump on it! The other is that there will be the added expense of shipping, more on this further down. 

I Am Not The Big A...

You know the one I'm talking about here, the big A with the smile. Part of this update was making this realization. While I would love to someday implement a free shipping offering again, for the time being this had to be removed. The cost of living being what it is, combined with the goods needed to create my products and everything else in the world getting more expensive it just isn't feasible any longer to provide free shipping.

For now there will be calculated shipping at the checkout until such time as I can offer either a flat rate shipping option or free shipping again - most of this will depend on scale and the number of orders I'm getting. 

More Is Less

The main reason for the update was to help with not having to do more work after market days. All products in the shop now have bar codes. While this doesn't affect anyone shopping on the site, it will have a two fold effect at and after markets:

  • Checkout will be quicker. I now only have to search by the barcode using the camera on my phone when you're checking out with me at a market. 
  • The products will be pulled from inventory right then so I do not have to spend hours sorting through products on the shop's admin to pull the products that sold out of my online inventory. 

This will also allow for me to track what products sell well at markets and then have more of them in stock for future markets and online sales. 

The Big Picture

One of the other reasons for the pull down and redesign was to work on my product photos. While I'm happy with how they ended up, I'm also going to be working on new photo ideas and implementing as I can to see what works and what doesn't. I think it's one of the great things about owning a small business - creativity. 

The images I've added on this update have a clear focus on the product without having the stark white backgrounds, I'm really just not a fan. While this may be a detriment to my sales - I'm willing to take the risk at this point and adjust as needed. 

The End... So Far (IYKYK)

That's it for now but this won't be the end of updates and changes coming. This won't be the last change you see on the shop and they may even come fast and furious as things evolve around here. 

I'm working on creating new designs so that one day 100% of my products are designs of my own. I don't have an issue selling products based on templates I've purchased but would be amazing to sell 100% unique products. 

There are updates coming to my social media channels as well as my YouTube channel. 

I appreciate you all taking the time to read this, even if you don't really get why this is important now I'm hoping that in the coming months you will see how the differences made here have affected sleaves. 

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