Haha, gotcha – I am already anticipating the text messages from this postcard’s headline. It is about my new baby – Pelagona. I do not know what you guys were thinking? 😀
As I launched the store at the beginning of this year, I wanted to give some behind-the-scenes on what is going on and to give you some real-time insights into starting a business. For all those who have not seen it as yet – Pelagona is my most recent project. It is an ecommerce store delivering unique items from all over the world to your doorstep. I really wanted to share the beautiful things I pick up during my travels with you.
So, how did it all start?
Let’s start with the obvious – sourcing the products. As you may know, I handpick all the products myself. And actually, I only choose things I wear or use myself. Therefore, it started very simply – I bought things for myself or as gifts whenever I travelled. And when the feedback was even better than I had anticipated, I went back to all the shops and suppliers and started to plan out partnerships.
Apart from finding high-quality suppliers, I also worked on a jewellery line myself with a trusted partner. The customised letter necklaces and bracelets have been online for two weeks. Working with jewellers was a totally new experience for me and I have already learned a lot about the materials and work processes.
Furthermore, I am currently partnering up with NGOs and small initiatives supporting artisans and empowering women. There will be some great additions to the Pelagona collection very soon. My aim is to offer high-quality luxury items where you support artisans and know who made your product. Many crafts are the single source of income for local communities. However, they are about to die out because the artisans struggle to market the products, as they are often limited regionally. Furthermore, young people do not see a future in them anymore and moved on to other careers. Together with the initiatives, I am currently tweaking the products and want offer them a new sales channel. Stay tuned for the exclusive collections coming online soon!
In addition to the sourcing, the second step was building the website. When I founded Imperial Glamour Club, I started to teach myself web development which now allows me not only flexibility to build things myself but also save a substantial amount of capital.
Apart from website development, I also trained my graphic design eye. I was fortunate to learn from one of the best – Nassi Taheri, my co-founder at Imperial Glamour Club. I taught myself how to use the Adobe Creative Suite – tools for graphic design, illustration, photo and video editing. Honestly, five years ago, I would have never thought that one day I would be able to make illustrations myself, let alone edit videos. During Imperial Glamour Club, I had to teach myself quickly. On the one hand, I needed to understand all the creatives with whom I started to work. On the other, as you can imagine, the budget in start-ups is limited and it helps if you do not need to outsource every single photo or video.
I also set up a mini-studio to shoot product pictures – with some nice backgrounds, professional photo lights and props. I usually save one whole day for a shoot and then edit the pictures right after. And yes, a lot of you have been asking, I take the pictures myself as well. Usually I write the product texts the same day when I source the products. As you may have seen, I try to make them as personal as possible and tell you why I added the product to the Pelagona collection, what is so special about it and where it comes from.
Apart from the sourcing and website, a big chunk of work is dedicated to marketing. Apart from spreading the word offline, I have recently started an Instagram account. (By the way, it would be great if you could give me a follow there too 😉 ). I am currently assessing how and if I will use Facebook (I do not really see much value in it anymore to be honest) and am also looking into further channels.
I know self-praise is a no-go or “Eigenlob stinkt” as we say in German. Nevertheless, I do have to say that I am quite proud of the whole aesthetics of Pelagona and really love that project. I set very high standards to my own work and hope you can see all the effort I put into every single detail. Let me know what you think about it – I am always happy to get feedback!