This week’s featured ShopTab customer is Layla Grayce decided upon by a few big fans of ShopTab.
Layla Grayce was created just shy of 6 years ago and is a home furnishings, accessories and gift boutique offering products for home, women and children. Layla Grayce encourages its customers to create a haven that is reflective of who they are that represents their own lifestyle philosophy. Layla Grayce spends time with its customers on the phone and through email communication who have the desire to create their own space but without a full-time designer. Customers still require some guidance throughout the selection process.
In 2004, children’s and home furnishings were somewhat limited online outside of the traditional large-scale retailers who were also making an online presence more dominant. Layla Grayce knew there was a niche to be filled for well-designed products focused on home and children’s decor. The owners of Layla Grayce are shoppers too and with business and design backgrounds, the ultimate store they wanted to shop didn’t exist so they got to work! Their concept was questioned by those close to them but it has worked and they feel blessed with the best customers and incredible manufacturers whom they get to work with daily.
Below are a few questions the ShopTab team asked one of the founders, Wendy Estes of Layla Grayce that we wanted to share with ShopTab fans:
Q: Can you share a little background on yourself and Tiffany?
Sure. I’m a mother to four children, a busy working mom. My efforts are focused on balancing a career and a family life. I spent years in commercial real estate leasing and negotiation on behalf of national retailers and developers.
I’ve always had a passion for textiles and compelling design. I work remotely from home in Atlanta, GA and my focus with Layla Grayce is marketing, social media, purchasing and managing our web development and marketing team.
Tiffany has a background in interior design, is a certified color consultant and a current ASID member (American Society of Interior Designers).
With her love and knowledge of all types of design and decor, Tiffany is often found assisting customers with decorating suggestions and purchases, as well as training the exceptional Layla Grayce staff in the essentials of great design. Tiffany is based in our Pasadena, CA office and manages the employees there as well.
Q: What is Layla Grayce most popular product and best known for?
Wow, what a simple question but perhaps the toughest we’ve been asked! We carry over 5,000 products many of which are offered in various colors or sizes which generate thousands of skus. We are most known for our home décor and bedding selections and the most popular product is the Barefoot Dreams Throw Blanket (shown below). I own one, Tiffany owns one and if you own one you understand why it’s our most popular product.
An antique finish, nubby texture or a product that tells a story is what will initially draw us in, but our number one rule is that it must blend with the products we currently offer. With so many products on the market, we don’t allow ourselves to get caught up in something ultra trendy.
Our customers look to us to provide timeless items that in some cases will become heirlooms and it is no secret that many of the products we offer are not inexpensive. We look for products made in the US or Europe and they cost more to us and hence the customer, but we feel better about selling them and we think our customers feel better about buying them too.
Also, because we’re an online store, good vendor imagery is at the top of the list and a necessity.
Q: How has Social Media helped expand your business?
Social media efforts can be rather tricky to measure with a direct outcome. However, we do realize that buyers these days are less trusting of traditional media and are increasingly relying on peer recommendations for their purchases. Online buyers are highly educated and have access to so much information regarding a product that can assist them in making a purchase. Social media has extended our reach to customers that may have not found us through traditional searching or media. Our Facebook fans and Twitter followers know they’ll hear about the latest product offerings, updates on pricing or special offers.
Q: As an entrepreneur and mother of 4 children, what advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs on how to create and grow their online business?
A good nanny? Other than that, it’s a dive right in and learn process unless you have someone mentoring you along the way. Neither Tiffany and I really had that, but we trusted our instincts and didn’t let the word “no” get in the way of our plans.
We know more about programming, photography, accounting and marketing then we expected to. In the beginning, there were manufacturers that wouldn’t allow us to sell their products and we just thought eventually, if we proved ourselves with strong site design, solid marketing and decent business practices that eventually we’d have the opportunities. I suppose the advice goes something like never give up and stay true to who you are and to your business plan and most importantly to your ethics.
Q: How do you feel ShopTab could benefit other businesses and entrepreneurs?
We’ve always understood that you want the customer to stay on your site and experience as few clicks as possible to get to where they want to be and then checkout. Our take is that it includes social media too. Providing interesting content for fans and now with the ability to showcase our products right on our Facebook fan page with ShopTab is remarkable. The fan or prospective customer can click right from the fan page in to a sampling of our products, add to cart and checkout.
Q: As a new ShopTab business user, what has your experience been, so far, with ShopTab?
Customer support has been highly responsive and open to suggestions on altering the program based on the needs of its users. Programs can be intimidating at times. ShopTab was a quick and easy process once our feed was prepared.
Q: What features do you like best about ShopTab? Why does it work well for Layla Grayce?
We just learned about the custom header option (as shown below) which allows you to carry over a sense of your branding to the page. It works well for us because it allows us to showcase a sampling of our products and direct customers right in to our store for quick purchasing.
If you have any questions or comments for Wendy or Tiffany of Layla Grayce please submit a comment below. You can also contact ShopTab on our contact us form.