Ship it: "Mama Bear Marks" Store

Ship it: "Mama Bear Marks" Store

There's a saying in software development: Ship it! It means let's get this done and out of the door.

The approach that is in vogue right now is "always be shipping" small, discrete changes at a high frequency. This has many benefits but the one that can be overlooked since it's hard to quantify is: the "fun" factor.

It's cool to see something take shape, get some legs, earn some stripes, etc. You get real feedback and can make real changes since the application is doing real work.

This approach is helpful in other areas of life as well. Today I want to share how my wife, Brittany, and I shipped MamaBearMarks.com in less than an hour.

See, Brittany is a phenomenal hand-letter-er (?)  / calligrapher and is always writing beautiful notes and leaving them all around our apartment. But there was an outlet missing to share these with those outside of close friends and family. MamaBearMarks.com is that gap.

60 min timer - Go!

We setup this eCommerce site in less than 60 minutes. It was fun to just tackle it and get it shipped!

Here's how we did it.


1) Purchase Domain - Namecheap.com

Namecheap.com (@Namecheap) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Namecheap.com (@Namecheap). Powering Internet freedom through domains, hosting, security, and more — everything you need to make more online, for less. USA

I use Namecheap.com for all my domain purchases as they have good customer service, fair prices, and free WHOIS protection when buying a domain.  

We also setup email for the new domain using Namecheap. It was a two month free trial and then $12 / year.  In all $20 / year for a domain and email - not bad.

2) Purchase Telephone Number - Twilio

Twilio Voice API: Contact Center, Call Tracking, CRM Dialer, and More
Twilio’s Voice API extends your app’s communications to add flexible call center features, soft phones, call tracking, interactive voice response (IVR) menus and more. Record and transcribe calls, use NLU speech recognition, and get detailed insights on calls. Use our API or SDKs for common web lang…

We wanted to have a number people can call and put on site / app  registrations and avoid using one of our numbers.

To accomplish this we purchased a phone number from Twilio for $1 / month and then used a TwilioBin to setup call forwarding from the purchased number to Brittany's cell phone. Done.

3) Accept Payments -  Stripe

Online payment processing for internet businesses - Stripe
Online payment processing for internet businesses. Stripe is a suite of payment APIs that powers commerce for online businesses of all sizes, including fraud prevention, and subscription management. Use Stripe’s payment platform to accept and process payments online for easy-to-use commerce solution…

We needed a way to accept money on the site (and locally) so we used the industry leader: Stripe.com

4) Setup Shop - BigCartel

Big Cartel - Easy Online Stores for Artists and Makers
Build a unique online store, sell your work, and run a creative business. Perfect for clothing designers, bands, jewelry makers, crafters, and other artists.

Lastly, we needed a place to sell the goods which in this case are greeting cards (to start).  We chose BigCartel.com because they offer a free tier if you have less than 5 products. Perfect.  

We took some photos, tweaked the theme a little, and then launched. Very straightforward.

5) Profit!?

Well, not yet but in less than an hour and for around $35/year we have a working eCommerce site.

Most importantly, we shipped it and orders have been placed! This allows us to get feedback and  make the needed improvements as we go.

This was the easy part because the hard part is making the cards which I'm no good at. I guess this is where it pays to be a team and work with your strengths.

If you need greeting cards, please check out MamaBearMarks.com - Brittany can hook you up!

But, if you need help with launching a website or eCommerce store, you can reach out to me - josh at jbaustin dot com (I type that way so bots do not know it's an email address. Sneaky....)  

Talk soon

Josh


Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

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