Get Inspired: 4 Great Small Business Stories from Shopify

What does it feels like to be an entrepreneur? This is a pretty harsh question.

What we know for sure is that the 500,000 (and more) retailer who adopted Shopify to run their businesses, “entrepreneur” takes many shapes.

When you put these excellent entrepreneurs and business owners together, it’s palpable.

We met thousands of Shopify businesses owner during our Workroom event in both Los Angeles and New York this month. Everyone we met had a fascinating story to tell.

Entrepreneurs all around the United States shared their striking and peerless journeys with us. They were all different, but despite where they live or what they sell, they all had one thing in common: enthusiasm for what they do.

We asked the most successful business owners about their motivation to start their businesses, about the “cha-ching” moment when they made their first sale, and what they took from Workroom that will improve their businesses.

Get inspired by their stories:

1 The MoMeMans

Monica started her business by chance. She doodled little characters during a boring meeting which later became really important. After Monica gave birth to her first daughter, what was once distraction now became the base for a new and fascinating business idea.

She expanded on her world of characters, writing backstories and also songs for each one of them,and she also tested the designs on real products. She executed her idea on Shopify and used Printful and Printify to print and deliver “The MoMeMans” products, adding mugs, leggings, and decorations for kids.

Despite her past life gave her a good knowledge in marketing, her experience was only limited to large stable brands. She found out quickly that launching a small business from nothing implied a different skill set.

“I asked a friend of mine for SEO-help to make sure I was correctly labeling everything because if someone was tagging something, for example, on Pinterest I wanted it to be sure that it would come back to me. He said: ‘I really have to help you with this because your stuff is good but no-one is going to see it. This is the ardest part.

This is the hardest part: getting noticed. And I’m still trying to figure it out!

2 Putchipuu

In 2014 in Colombia, Giovanni and Todd find out the Wayuu tribe and became captivated with their beautiful handcrafts and with their style of life. They learned, though, that they were a tribe at risk of extinction.

So they launched Putchipuu, that means protector and messenger of the word, to help the Wayuu tribe through marketing their products. Thanks to their earnings and activism, Putchipuu helped protect their tribe and improved their daily life style.

The two guys now sell handcrafted Wayuu bags and accessories in their Shopify e-commerce. Every single product page reminds the client of their important mission with this message “A purchase of this item provides 30 people water for one week.”

The first sale: teh sound of the Shopify App “cha-ching” made it feel that everything was possible. We had now started our first business.

What was the best lesson learned at Shopify Workroom?

We learned that content creation was the key. We started posting every week blog posts, videos and more content.

3 On This Rock Jewelry

After 22 years of working in the book publishing sector, Janet Talbert began working on her true dream. Janet launched her brand “On This Rock Jewelry” in 2009 and has been making inspirational jewelry for Christians ever since. Her first big success came when the well known Kathie Griffin chose her silver cuff as one of her “Favorite Things” in 2010.

“A lot of orders needed to be fulfilled so my teacher Chris helped me. It was similar to one of those Chrismas films when everyone helps each other. It was ama amazing moment and the support of Chris and my community was crucial.

Thanks to a friend, Janet secured some TV love for her jewelry once again, so she was able to make it wear to Susan Kelechi Watson on the NBC hit series “This Is Us”.

“Leave an advice for everyone who wants to start their first business”

“Don’t let fear block you. Keep moving towards your goal. Keep going for it. Never quit”

Any BFCM plans?

“Debut a limited edition suite of jewelry, tag all items so they are Instagram-ready, and follow the instructions in the marvelous BFCM Toolbox. I will also be doing a pop-up at West Elm Lincoln Center on Saturday, the 25th and I’m excited to use the Shopify Card Reader!”

Don’t let fear block you. Keep moving towards your goal. Keep going for it. Never quit

4 Kirrin Finch

Named for two literary tomboys, Kirrin Finch is the business brainchild of Laura Moffat and her wife Kelly. The couple knew that they were fed up with clothing lines for women. Even if they found options they liked in menswear, they didn’t fit their bodies. With zero knowledge in fashion (Laura was in sales and Kelly was a teacher) they quit their jobs and started their business.

Kirrin Finch, a brand selling only online manufactured in New York, mate menswear style with women’s fits. With the help of the Brooklyn Fashion Design Accelerator, the women learned the ropes, hired a pattern-designer, and built a community on their brand.

What was the best thing you learned at Workroom?

“The things I like about Shopify are all the apps that give you so many opportunities as an e-commerce company to keep improving your site and growing your business. There are so many to choose from, you can really level up your site. I spoke with one of the gurus about what apps she thought were the best for a growing e-commerce company and I got awesome bits of advice. I also felt supported in our approach and I am thinking to add a referral program in a month based on her feedback.”

Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.
​Steve Jobs