A father & son duo made the most out of cold winters in Wisconsin thanks to hunting, drinking, and the Green Bay Packers and created their own unique drinking glasses, BenShot.
WHERE THEY SELLwww.BenShot.com
I can honestly say I’ve never seen a product quite like your unique drinking glasses! How did BenShot come to be?
We are from a small, rural farming community in Wisconsin. Hunting, alcohol, and the Green Bay Packers help us get through the cold winters. I moved to Philadelphia for work. On a trip home for the holidays, my father and I talked about ways we could work on a project together. He had been selling artwork at arts and crafts shows across the US for about 10 years, but he was getting tired of driving the long distances to art shows . So, we decided to setup an online store, I was tasked with managing the online marketing and he would make and ship the glasses. We started selling online Jan of 2016.
Having started a little over a year ago, what was the biggest challenge in getting orders?
The biggest challenge we have had is scaling up our production to meet demand. We sell on a few different marketplaces. With my Dad and I being in different states, there were additional logistic challenges. ShipStation consolidated all of our orders into a single point. We started using ShipStation early in 2017. We use it constantly! I always have a ShipStation tab open on my laptop.
What are some of your own best practices that could help another growing e-commerce?
Establish a core mission for your business. That mission will help you make the tough decisions as they come. As you start to scale some, of the core mission points will get tested. We are a father and son team making “Bulletproof” glasses. A good example of a decision we had to make was to keep manufacturing in the USA. We could train glassmakers in Wisconsin or we could outsource manufacturing. We come from a small community- the jobs we create here are important. Making the glasses at our workshop adds a little complexity, but it’s vital to our core mission. Surround yourself with a strong group of people, it makes everything better.
What are you doing to grow your business in different and unique ways?
We love teaming up with brands and individuals on Facebook. Cross promotion is great and its helps build trust with our customers. Trust is a difficult thing to build online, teaming up with real people helps us establish a foundation. Also, finding like-minded retail shops can be a good way to reach offline customers.
How has ShipStation changed the way you operate your business?
ShipStation is an amazing tool. We just started our online business in Jan of 2016. We scaled from 0 packages in 2015 to nearly 13,000 in 2016. We only have one person in our shipping department! In addition to the general shipping help that ShipStation provides, there is in depth analytic tools which are as valuable as the shipping features. We tell every small business we meet to use ShipStation. There is not even a question in our mind.
What ShipStation feature has improved your workflow the most?
Batch printing labels is amazing for shipping. Automatic integration with Amazon and Squarespace is essential.
Analytic tools for end of year analysis and quick overview of total shipments and orders is incredibly valuable and I didn’t even consider it when we started using ShipStation. We are excited for 2017 with ShipStation.
Analytic tools for end of year analysis and quick overview of total shipments and orders is incredibly valuable and I didn't even consider it when we started using ShipStation. We are excited for 2017 with ShipStation.
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