We can’t believe we’re saying it, but this month, Ecwid celebrates its 10th birthday! It all started with a tiny
To celebrate the big day together, we decided to share some of your stories — successes, challenges, and where your amazing ideas began — starting, of course, with those merchants who’ve been with us from the very beginning. If you’d like to join the celebration by sharing your journey, shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!
This week, we introduce you to Marie Beckley, owner of homemade soy candle shop Beckley’s Best Blends. Find out how Marie and her husband Joe have been using Ecwid for the last 10 years to run their family business remotely while living life on the road.
Marie Beckley, Beckley’s Best Blends:
Our business was born entirely on accident. It was 1999. My husband, Joe and I have six kids between the two of us. Extra money wasn’t easy to come by
Though I never knew there was a word for it, I’ve always practiced the Danish way of life, hygge, which includes lots of candlelight. Since candles weren’t in our weekly budget, Joe suggested that perhaps they could be if I learned to make my own. And so I did.
At first, it was only for ourselves, but as I gained confidence and got better at the process, I began to make gifts for friends and family. I was working a factory job at the time, so there were plenty of potential customers, all around me. And like that word spread, I began taking orders, and Beckley’s Best Blends (though it would be a couple of years before we took our show on the road.)
Our business has grown with time, but it’s still just the two of us. Joe and I are truly a team. He is the
Every business has its landmarks, and so does ours. For us, the three major milestones were:
full-time.Joe was already a self-employedcontractor. Since his work was mostly seasonal it was an easy switch for him. And I never looked back once I left my corporate job. Leaving the security of a full-timeposition with benefits was scary, but I have never regretted that decision. It was getting up the nerve to make the jump from employee to self-employed,that caused my anxiety. Joe, who has never had to punch a time-clock,kept reminding me that everything would be fine, and he was right!
- Starting a website. Our first website went live in 2004
–that opened new doors and allowed our customers the ability to reorder, which was a tremendous step for our growth.
- Hiring bookkeepers. This could be the single best thing we ever did — for my sanity. :)
Another important point was going on Ecwid. When we went through our third redesign of the website, one of the shopping carts recommended was Ecwid. When I looked at it, it seemed to be something a
Ecwid has allowed us to manage our store from the road, and because we travel a lot, that is huge for us! Using Ecwid is also an intuitive experience; I don’t have to overthink what I’m doing. We can easily manage everything from the mobile app, including contacting our customers, if needed. There is also the option of live chat — which I LOVE — very efficient.
Customer communication is at the core of our business. Because candles are loved by many, our customer range is broad, but they all love to have fun! We travel around the midwest to art & craft shows, vintage markets, and street fairs. Our motto is Lighten up! and our tagline is Get Lit! We want our customers to have a unique experience when they walk into our booth. We hope to serve as a reminder to not take life so seriously. We know we have succeeded when we hear the laughter erupt! Our mason jar style is so versatile it fits with any decor: farmhouse, vintage, primitive, contemporary, modern, shabby chic.
Because candles are a sensory experience, and I’m a super extrovert, we prefer to be
Our monthly discount for loyal customers is fundamental for reorders. With Ecwid, it’s easy to create the discount coupons and make them specific to our needs. Also, Joe loves the mobile app because he can keep up with orders while we’re traveling and he’s able to work directly from the app in the candle shop — where there is no computer.
Though we love our way of life, running a business may be demanding. One of the biggest challenges we’ve had has been letting go of what’s not working. I’m a creative at heart and am always coming up with new ideas. Thank God Joe is the complete opposite. We balance each other out.
We’re often asked how we manage to work and live together. That has never been an issue for us; we are rarely apart. We practice what we preach: we look for opportunities to laugh more and lighten up. We’ve learned to listen to each other and have let go of the hustle mentality. Joe is an avid fisherman, and I’m a photographer. We both love the outdoors, and that gets put on the schedule — ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE — when planning our year. PERIOD. Making sure we have time for our hobbies and each other — away from the candle shop — is our top priority. Putting the big rocks in the bucket first is the key to [our] success.
Subscribe to the Ecwid blog to read more stories like this one and get free