Blog > Site of the Month: Simply Solids
Posted By Create
simplysolids.co.uk is an online shop that sells a huge range of solid and plain fabrics plus pre-cuts of fresh modern designer prints. Their stunning website was built with Create's Web Designer's Kit allowing them to have a custom template that they can manage from their Create account.
Simply Solids prides itself on excellent customer service and are really fuelled by a passion for what they do which is clear from their strong online presence in the sewing community.
We catch up with Simply Solid's owner Justine Henshaw to chat about how she got started selling fabrics online and the evolution of her business.
How did Simply Solids start?
I bought Simply Solids back in 2012 as a business that I intended to run along my part time nursing position. The previous owner had had a long period of ill health and the business was going to be closed. I ended up quitting my nursing job just 6 months later as business was booming and I could no longer manage the two as well as be a good mum to my 3 children! In February of this year I took on a partner (Lisa) as once again we were ready to expand! We’ve just signed the contracts on a bricks and mortar shop giving us much more space to fill with fabric as well as the opportunity to offer sewing lessons!
Why did you choose Create?
I’d seen a few websites that I liked the aesthetics of and noticed they were powered by Create so after talking the options through with our graphic designer we decided to go for it!
How did you choose the look for your website?
Our website will be ever evolving I think! You’ll notice we’ve changed the appearance of the homepage just this week as we wanted a cleaner, simpler look. Fabric buyers want good images of the fabric they’re buying and want the whole process to be as smooth as possible. If your website is easy to use clients will keep coming back!
How has your online presence helped the business?
Our business was built online and it’s really important to us to have a good online presence as we didn’t have the trade from a bricks and mortar shop to support what we were doing. There is a huge sewing community online (I’m sure we’re only tapping into a small part of it!) It’s a very friendly community and Lisa and I need to be seen as active members within it so our customers feel connected with us on a personal level, making them more likely to shop with us.
|Justine (pictured left) and Lisa (pictured right) of Simply Solids.|
What do you feel sets you apart as a great online seller?
I think the customer service aspect of what we do is a real asset to our business. We reply quickly to all enquiries whether by email, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and we genuinely love what we’re doing which comes across I’m sure. We also make sure we send out orders quickly, fabric lovers want their purchases like yesterday trust me!
How does running a business affect your personal life?
Work life balance can be a struggle sometimes but running Simply Solids and quitting my nursing job is so much more flexible for my children, they love having me around more even if I am glued to my phone a lot of the time! Leaving a well paid employed position to run a busy growing business has had its financial implications too, leaving a salary behind was a tough thing to do!
Which social media outlet is best for your business?
We love social media and it’s a great way to get you and your business out there! We constantly IG and Tweet all the new stock we get, run competitions and showcase the things we make using our stock. It’s organic advertising at its best! If we’re active on social media it has a positive impact on our sales.
What advice would you give to a new online seller?
The best advice we would give to new online sellers would be to make sure your website is simple to use with a clean and not too crowded layout so that buyers are attracted to it. Your product photography needs to be brilliant! You also need to get out there on social media and make links with lots of people in your area of business so that you can build a strong online presence.
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