February’s merchant success story features Connected, a store that sells beautiful fair trade products from around the world. From jewelry and home furnishings to handmade goods and more, Connected offers hand selected products that shoppers can feel good about purchasing. Read on to learn about the Connected team’s inspiration for their store and their valuable advice for other entrepreneurs.
How would you describe the Connected team?
We are active and engaged members of our San Francisco community, taking full advantage of all of the amazing outdoor activities, as well as the vibrant arts, politics, technology, and food cultures which so define the region. Thomas is a savvy business entrepreneur and Nicole is a passionate designer and product sourcing genius.
Why did you start Connected?
We started Connected in 2009 to combine our respective talents and passions with a mutual desire to contribute to the creation of a better world. We were all too aware of the limitations of the traditional international trading system on international development and decided to focus on Fair Trade, which ensures artisans and producers in developing regions are paid a fair wage, and that the production process is both ecologically sustainable and economically viable from a community development perspective.
Nicole’s travels to Africa and her work with local community development in the Uganda region contributed tremendously to her passion to see this through. Thomas’ experiences in Bali, Indonesia witnessing the beautiful and heartfelt craftsmanship throughout the region tied in with Nicole’s story and added to their shared understanding of global traditions.
What is one of your key strategies for building a successful business?
Patience. Persistence. Passion. If you don’t run into problems, then you aren’t trying or learning, and if you aren’t trying and learning, then you won’t grow. Running a small business is a constant challenge and the first key to success is embracing and welcoming the challenges as a positive component of your daily routine.
Why did you choose Cashie Commerce as your ecommerce provider?
Cashie was a PayPal preferred ecommerce referral.
What is the Cashie Commerce feature that helps you most?
The ability to integrate individual add to cart buttons to our custom web pages without having to use a template has been the most valuable feature to us. It has given us differentiation, and complete control of the look and feel of our site.
What is a feature you’d like to see added to Cashie Commerce?
It would be very beneficial to have the customer’s email address on the packing slip as we work off it and often need to contact them.