Glazed with Love: Women-Owned Online Businesses on SiteGround
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This March, we’re turning International Women’s day into a whole month and shining a light on incredible women creators who built their own small businesses from scratch. We highlight some of the amazing women who host and grow their online presence with SiteGround in our “Women-Owned” series.
We’re starting off with Raquel Acosta – the self-taught ceramic artist behind glazemepretty.com. Raquеl has mastered the craft of creating unique pottery pieces with glazes that tell the story of how minerals are formed. We followed her journey into pottery, including how she got started, what it’s like being an independent artist, and what advice she has for other creators looking to turn their passion into their business. Hint – your own website is the easiest way to start!
Finding a Creative Outlet Offline & Online
Originally studying Computer Science before eventually moving onto data analysis, Raquel’s initially chosen path led her down an uninspired road. Needing creativity, she experimented with different art forms until fate introduced her to clay. Starting out with evening pottery classes it became abundantly clear just how much potential there was.
Her initial intention was to have a side project to work on in her spare time, but what started out as a small hobby quickly grew into so much more. From the very first pottery class, Raquel envisioned herself having her own small business doing ceramics.
Turning Your Passion Into an Online Business
Starting your own website may seem daunting, especially if you don’t know where to begin, but it can open many opportunities to business owners. Your own online portfolio or e-commerce website enables you to reach a larger audience, make your creations easily accessible, and turn your passion into a self-sustaining business.
But before investing in your online store, you need to invest some time in planning a few essential elements, so you can set your online business up for success. From choosing a website builder and a hosting provider to design and functionalities, it can all help you smooth out the process of creating your first e-commerce site.
Of course, building and optimizing your website requires dedication. Raquel is a living example of that. She launched her online shop in 2018, but it wasn’t until 2020 that her online presence really took off. All thanks to her consistency to learn and be better in her craft and in showcasing it on her website and social media.
Translating Your Brand Identity Into Your Website
Brand identity is that aspect of a business that radiates your brand’s personality and values. It enables people to recognize you and even better – relate to your business. From your name, color palette, and visuals to tone of voice and copy, these are all aspects you need to think about, create and distribute uniformly on all online and offline channels.
Creating an effective branding strategy starts with answering important questions such as what do we want our potential customers to know about us, who is our target market, what do we stand for, what makes us different.
Evan though building her brand identity was a challenge at first, Raquel drew inspiration from her craft. Her brand name and color palette are inspired by the glazes that she develops herself. As for her web design, she followed the “less is more” approach, adding clean and simple backgrounds, just letting the pots be the stars of the show.
If you struggle with building your visual identity, you can always find useful resources on how to design a website that your customers will love.
The Challenges of a Maker Business
Raquel points out her biggest challenge when running a maker business – growing your organic audience when you’re competing with big companies. Not everyone starts with a huge upfront investment, but as long as you are willing to put in the work and your heart is in what you’re doing, you can start and grow your small business on a budget.
A key role in growing your online presences is exploring different smart techniques. One tactic is integrating a newsletter into your website. This is an excellent way to engage your audience with what you do. Raquel uses her monthly newsletter to offer exclusive sales, samples, and clearance items that can’t be found anywhere else. Putting that exclusivity touch can surely increase your audience’s interest.
Raquel also emphasizes the importance of building a dialogue with your audience rather than just one-way communication, that really helps to build engagement. For example, except for her daily social media posts, Raquel asks her audience for their feedback about the pieces she crafts – do they want to see a new item, which is their favorite glazing pattern, and simply involve the people in her work. Still, optimizing the selling and marketing aspects of any online business is an ongoing process and there is always room for growth.
Besides the online presence, another challenging aspect of running an e-commerce business is managing the online and offline inventory. Trying to predict product demand can be hard, but batching production together helps Raquel stay organized to manage her small business efficiently. On the other hand, e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce have internal stock management systems that offer all the configurations you need to manage your inventory.
Finding Purpose in What You Do
Glazemepretty.com is what Raquel looks forward to every day. Before, weekends were all she cared about. But now, her priorities have shifted from living for Fridays to looking forward to Mondays when all that matters is waking up knowing exactly what she’ll do today – craft one-of-a-kind ceramics that she can then share with the world through her own online brand.
Seeing how happy her clients are after purchasing something from her makes her recognize the importance of what she does and what Glaze Me Pretty represents. It’s amazing how far an idea can go from a self-taught passion to your own online business – if you put in the time and hard work to see it through – just like anything else in life. SiteGround is proud to be the hosting partner of choice to such incredible female creators and entrepreneurs like Raquel – the world is your oyster when you put your mind to it.
We know that there are lots of incredible women entrepreneurs out there, thinking of launching a project of their own, or building it right now. What’s your advice to people who want to make their idea online? Share it in the comments below, and stay tuned for more women-owned business stories coming soon!