Sunshine Coast based Kim Wallace is owner and founder of Udessi, an online Australian art store that sells a range of hand-picked Australian art including ceramics, jewellery, prints and art for the little ones.
A graphic designer by trade, Udessi was launched in 2008 by Kim to fuel her love of handmade art and ceramics.
“If you are passionate about what you do, others will notice and this will help to boost your profile. My advice is to tell everyone you know about what you do. Spending time on a media release is one of the best ways to get free exposure. I was lucky to get noticed by Home Beautiful magazine soon after I started. Once the feature was published my business took off with other magazine features soon following.”
“I built the site up to showcase about 25 different Australian artists and then put everything on hold to spend time with my mum, who was terminally ill with breast cancer. I also had my beautiful little daughter so family became my priority.”
A year after putting the business on hold, Kim was ready to rekindle her passion and has started the process of building her collection of Australian artwork up again. The break allowed her to take time to re-develop her branding and refresh her collection.
“We virtually started from scratch with our branding and also setup a new website and blog. Our last website was a self-hosted shopping cart but this time we decided to go with a hosted solution so we can focus on running our business and not having to worry about our shopping cart security or updates. We pay a relatively small monthly fee and in return we get a product that is hosted, secure and continually getting better. One thing we are keen to try out soon is selling on Facebook. We were fortunate enough to have saved our email database and used this to help spread the word when we relaunched. Email is one of the most cost-effective ways we keep in regular contact with our customers.”
Unlike most artists wanting to sell online, Kim was lucky that her husband, who works as a digital marketing consultant, was able to help her with her store setup and online marketing which saved her the expense of having to get this done by outside professional.
“There are many options to set things up yourself online, but getting expert advice will save you money in the long term.”
Quality not quantity with Social Media
Using social media has been the most effective way to get the word out for Udessi and grow the business organically.
“It’s not all about how many followers you have on Twitter or fans on Facebook but more about who they are. A small number of followers who love your products and understand your passion will do much more for you than a large number of followers who don’t interact. I think Facebook is one of the best ways of building a loyal fan base and I use it often to interact with my customers. It makes the online experience more personal for my customers. Take time to grow your followers by interacting with them and sharing your experiences – don’t bombard them with sales pitches all the time because they will quickly lose interest in your brand.”