From being an attorney to running her own business and then opening several stores, Carrissa knows what it’s like to build a business from the ground up.
- Where They Sell
“ShipStation has SAVED OUR LIVES.”Carrissa Barbee Owner
How did you get into creating your own line of jewelry?
I practiced as an attorney for several years before I realized that I wanted to start a family and I didn’t really love the practice of law. I was already selling finished jewelry on the side starting in 2002 at trade shows and conventions and then saw a mom at my preschool wearing a hand stamped necklace and I thought I could probably teach myself how to do it. I stopped practicing law and sold all of my remaining finished jewelry on eBay to teach myself how to sell online. I started learning how to do hand stamping in 2009 and it allowed me to stay at home with my children and also have a business. I worked for years in my garage. In the winter, it was freezing cold with space heaters to warm me and in the summer, it was hot as blazes in the garage. I had to work in fear that a spider would come and land on me too! In the winter of 2011, I hired my first staff person to help work with me as it was growing too big to do it all myself. Finally in 2012, my family and I moved across country to Ohio and my business was then located in the lower level of my house. It really just grew and grew until we opened a retail location in October, 2013. Now we have a really fun, new concept which is a hand stamping jewelry studio – it’s jewelry as entertainment. You can come into our shop and make your own hand stamped piece from scratch for yourself or to give as gifts. We have experts always on hand to teach how to do it and we also run classes, events and parties.
What advice can you give for other businesses looking to expand into multiple brands and stores?
Bend over backwards to accommodate your customers. Even if you’re right and you will be 99% of the time, if you make your customer happy, you will have a customer for life which is way better than someone purchasing just once. It’s not true that once your customer is upset they will never shop with you again. It’s the prime time to show them your awesome customer service so they know they can trust you for future purchases and tell all their friends! Also, you will work harder for yourself than you will anyone else ever. With online sales, you can work 24/7 as the computer is always right there in your home. Learn to set business hours for yourself and breaks so you have a life as well.
How has ShipStation helped you with your business?
We have 3 Etsy stores, 2 websites, an eBay store and a retail location. ShipStation has SAVED OUR LIVES. On Etsy we had to manually print each order one by one by one which during busy times like Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can take literally an entire half day or full day just to print the orders. With ShipStation we simply mark the ones we want to ship and hit one button to ship. It is saving my business hours in labor costs. Printing labels is so much faster as well on ShipStation and the orders are printing in the order we select them so we don’t have to worry about alphabetizing our orders anymore for shipping. Return labels can be automatically emailed to the buyer as well which saves us so much time as we used to have to buy the label, scan it into a PDF and then email the buyer.
What’s your favorite ShipStation feature?
Printing orders so quickly is our favorite feature!