Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let's Get to Know....

Let's Get to know the very talented and warm, Amy Shearer, designer and owner of
Journal Modiste!

How long has journal modiste been in business?
We started in August of 2005 so almost 4 years ago! Has it really been that long? Wow.

How did it begin? Can you tell us some history?
I had just started my sewing business on ebay, Peantbutter & Ellie and noticed a lot of questions on a forum about designers, sewing, etc. The same questions were asked over and over and I thought, 'what if we had a website that answered all those questions?'. I told my husband and within 1 week Journal Modiste was up. We featured a few auctions, had a designer list and 1 article that I wrote. It kept growing and growing! We're still here thanks to my brilliant and patient computer programmer husband who makes all my dreams and ideas for JM happen.

What has been the single most important thing you have learned about the boutique community since starting journal modiste?
Oh my, that's a tough one. Well, it's a tight knit group. Nothing is secret for long, :) The boutique community is very generous and loyal and I love to see us rally around designers & buyers who need help in some way. One more thing is buyers will reward creativity and uniqueness.

Can you tell us who your readership consists of?
Is it primarily designers? or buyers? or a mix? or others?
We do have a lot of designers reading but I've found that they are great customers. I know I buy from lots of designers even though I can make outfits myself, lol. I checked my stats and we have readers from all over the world, even some Iraq, Malaysia and Uzbekistan.

How much does it cost to join?
Membership is $24 a year which includes a profile page in our searchable Designer Directory with links to all the place the designer sells, a free Marketplace banner, ability to login to the Boutique Life to manage their account as well as read how to articles, find resources such as labels, fabric, supplies. We also give them a chance to have their blog featured on the front page of the site and soon to be Designer of the Week.

How much time do you put into the site each week?

My husband and I put in about 4 hours a week during the summer (the slow time) and up to 12 hours in the winter, spring and fall.

What types of things do you do to maintain the site?
It's a big job to make sure everything is running right so we update the software and find better ways of using our database. I'm always asking Brian to add this feature or that feature so he's got quite the list.

How do you promote or advertise journal modiste?
(I think I remember seeing that you do some national advertising in magazines a while back, is that right?)

We did do some print advertising in magazines but it didn't seem very effective. Word of mouth (or word of websites?) through links is our best promotion.

If you could give a new designer/seller one piece of advice about "custom boutique" businesses, what would it be?
First, don't expect to get loads of $$$ overnight. The designers who get that much have put in their time and have made a great name for themselves with quality, originality and creativity. Make sure that what you create isn't being done over and over. Put a new unique spin on it and you will get noticed.

Do you have any other sister/affiliated sites?

Umm, only a couple, lol. We have which is for the designers of JM. Then we created where you can store all of your child's measurements. So far over 2000 people have signed up and are using it. Also to keep track of all the group launches. As a designer, you could even enter in all the launches that you are participating in and the website will send you reminders to get creating! I think that's all....for now.

We'd like to thank Amy for allowing us to interview her, and get to know a little more about Journal Modiste! Best of luck to you, Amy! (and that very helpful dh too!) :)

It's custom BOUTIQUE....made by DesigningMINDS
NO fluff, NO interviews, NO ADS...JUST the Facts...the way it was intended............