4 Lessons Learned While Building a Shopify Store

4 Lessons Learned While Building a Shopify Store

4 Lessons Learned While Building a Shopify Store

This is a Guest Post by Shopify Store Owner Amy Jolly

Last year, through the magic of Shopify, my twin sister Emily and I put our dreams into reality and started our little online apparel company: Sunday’s Best. The idea came about when we were looking for new tees for the Super Bowl and couldn’t find anything we wanted. Apparently most people think women’s football apparel has to be short, boxy, and full of pink glitter. We knew we could do better, and decided to start a company that sold Green Bay football apparel that fits really well and was well-designed. 

I would never claim to be a small business pro, but wanted to share some decisions that I’m glad I made and advice I wish I could go back and tell myself:

1. Stick With Your Gut Instinct

One of the first printers we met with urged us to use a cheap standard shirt brand because “most people in Wisconsin won’t fit into American Apparel.” Some people said they didn’t think our pullover would sell. Others suggested that we stick with women’s apparel since we’re, you know, women. It can be discouraging to encounter these situations when you’re about to launch your brand but we followed our instincts. We found a different printer that aligned with our vision and used the designs we believed in. And we’re really happy we did. The pullover is currently our best-seller!

2. Take a Step Back

This is something I still have to remind myself all the time. In the beginning, my partner Emily and I had numerous conversations in which we took turns talking each other off the ledge. Most of them occurred when we hadn’t gotten an order for a couple days (we’re being honest here). They went a little something like this: 

“I just don’t understand why [name of acquaintance / Twitter follower / Pinterest pinner, etc...] didn’t buy anything. She said she LOVED the shirt. Is our shipping fee too high? Is our URL too difficult to remember? Was it something I said? Did he feel like he couldn’t relate to our male model?”

When you’re so proud of your product it’s often difficult to take a step back and realize that people can love your product and just not want to buy it. And that’s okay!

3. Don't Let Social Media Discourage You

We also let social media become a source of discouragement because we were determining our success by the number of followers or “likes” we had. I can assure you that’s a quick way to feel like a failure.  The company that begs for celebrity retweets all day has 492 followers and we have 31? They don’t even know how to use apostrophes correctly!  It’s quality over quantity. You know it, I know it. It’s just hard to be patient when it’s your brand.

4. Wait for the Moment 

But then, something miraculous happens. Out of nowhere, you’re tearing up at your computer screen because a perfect stranger tweeted a picture wearing your shirt. You get this feeling that somebody actually understands you, your brand, and your vision. It’s one of the happiest moments you’ll have as an entrepreneur.

I think it all comes down to believing in yourself enough to trust the decisions you’re making. It won’t be perfect and it might get frustrating, but hell, you wanted to start a company and you did. And that’s pretty amazing.

This is a guest post by Amy and  Emily Jolly. They sell fashionable Green Bay Packers Apparel on their Shopify store Sunday's Best. Check them out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


  • Derek
    March 26 2012, 06:53PM

    Exactly, Amy. If there’s a time you have to talk your sister off the ledge, tell her what Winston Churchill once said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

    I too have gone through what Seth Godin calls The Dip. Having a mini-one right now, actually. (C’mon, Easter sales!) And when you do, get some altitude. See the forest instead of the trees, plan for the next football season, the what-ifs and the holiday season.

    And keep going.

  • mirko
    March 26 2012, 07:48PM

    Le t shirt di questo negozio sono bellissime!

  • Sarah
    March 27 2012, 04:55PM

    Love this post! We just opened a Shopify store, http://mamalode.myshopify.com/, and I appreciate your advice!

  • Paarami Businesss Solutions
    Paarami Businesss Solutions
    March 27 2012, 08:06PM

    Hey Amy anad Mark, Thanks for sharing this post. It really encourages to stick to your values while doing your business with e-commerce store.

  • Boutique de la Mer
    Boutique de la Mer
    March 27 2012, 09:56PM

    Thanks for your tips! It’s nice to know that we’re not alone in our thoughts about social media/number of orders. Great concept and love your store.

  • Julie Phillips
    Julie Phillips
    March 28 2012, 06:41PM

    Amy I am truly impressed. Power to the female entrepreneurs. I always said if you can spell entrepreneur it is meant to be. Just being funny nothing to do with your blog. No, really you guys have a gift your confidence….that is all it takes believe in yourself and go for it..

  • Ryan Weiland
    Ryan Weiland
    March 29 2012, 06:08PM

    And…when can we expect the rest of Wisconsin’s teams to be represented by your line? Badgers (yeah, like you, I went to the U of M…whatever, I root “Red”).

    Well done Jolly girls!


  • Rogerio
    April 05 2012, 12:44AM

    I would comment on the matter, but my god this brunette who put in the post is very tasty! that beautiful!

  • Mariam
    April 27 2012, 04:58PM

    Thanks Girls. Just what i needed to read:)

  • Josue
    May 21 2012, 04:31AM

    Awesome article and I can also relate. I’m in the building process, being patient. I know it will all fall into place eventually. I just have to work diligently, keep learning, and most of all be patient.

  • Mark
    January 21 2013, 10:10AM

    Great article. I would add that you might also take a look at ways to be able to allow you to spend more time on marketing efforts, such as minimizing your time spent on functions that can be outsourced, such as Fulfillment Services.

  • Lynda D'Souza
    Lynda D'Souza
    July 27 2014, 10:53PM

    Great article ! Just what I wanted to read from my ledge….

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