Every successful website or online store has to eventually answer this question: how in the world do I organize all my content? Irene Wolansky from Fawn Lily Botanica makes site organization look easy with elegant menu drop-downs generated by subpage creation in the Pages tab.
This week’s edition of How’d They Do That walks through Irene’s subpage implementation step-by-step so you can make the most out of this advanced organization tool.
In addition to her insight into subpage strategy, we were lucky enough to get a chance to learn more about Irene’s background and experience building Fawn Lily Botanica into a successful eCommerce website.
Irene grew up on a farm as the daughter to a naturopathic doctor and has embraced the use of natural products all her life, including developing her own formulas for the past 18 years. Although she loves her full time job, she began missing this creative outlet and decided to take the leap by building Fawn Lily Botanica on the side. The result? A beautifully designed shop filled with delightful body care items. Irene took the time to discuss some key learnings during her journey with Fawn Lily Botanica.
Congrats on starting your something! What’s been the best part so far?
I think that everyone wonders "what if"...about some aspect of their lives. I had been making natural body care products for myself, friends, and family for over 16 years before beginning Fawn Lily Botanica. I wondered if I could create a business that would succeed, if others would enjoy my products as much as my friends and family did, and if my unique formulas would be able to benefit others with their skincare needs. For me, starting my business was the fulfillment of my dreams and an answer to these questions.
Your products have found their way on to a number of retail shelves--Could you share how you were able to foster those relationships?
All of the stores carrying my products have reached out to me directly. I have not contacted one store myself yet! My production is very limited since I handcraft everything myself in small batches, and I have actually been turning away new store accounts recently until I have the capacity to increase my production. To me, making a quality product is the most important aspect of my business. I created my business in order to share my formulas with others, and the majority of my orders are from repeat customers, or from folks referred to me by a friend, family member, or co-worker. I receive the most incredible reviews almost every day. It feels amazing to know that people enjoy my formulas so much, and to hear about the awesome changes that they noticed after using my products.
That level of positive word-of-mouth is a huge nod to the quality of products you make. What has been your favorite to develop?
Oooh, that's a difficult one! Every new product that I develop seems to become my new favorite. But, if I had to pick one, it would be my seasonal Botanical Delight CSH Share.
What’s Community Supported Herbalism, and how has it helped you develop your product line?
Community Supported Herbalism (CSH) is a similar concept as purchasing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share from a local farm. The Herbal CSA model allows you to purchase a share in advance, and then receive a package full of goodies right to your doorstep. This concept allows the maker/harvester/herbalist the freedom to create small-run, limited-edition, and seasonal products, create innovative recipes, and to share their favorite products and recipes with you. It also allows the maker to plan ahead, by knowing how much to plant, harvest, and make….The shares really push me to create fun, innovative, seasonal recipes, and it's a wonderful excuse for me to formulate new products (and, formulating is my favorite thing to do).
You’re quite the mixologist when it comes to body care products. But what is your formula for happiness?
My formula for happiness is doing the things that I enjoy and surrounding myself with what makes me happy. I love working with botanicals and other natural ingredients, creating new formulas, and crafting body care and medicinal products. Every time that I make a fresh batch of soap, lip balm, or serum, I listen to music, think about the person who will use it and I have fun. I believe that these positive intentions and energy are reflected in my products.
What would you say to someone considering taking a leap?
Go for it! Don't worry about not being ready and don't wait for the perfect time because you'll never be ready and it'll never be a perfect time. Beginning my own company was a dream of mine for years, but I'm such a perfectionist that I could have easily worked on my recipes and labels for a lifetime before taking the leap. One of my mentors was discussing his own (very successful) business and told me that his motto was to just "go for it and figure out the details later". This is what finally gave me the motivation to take the leap, and I'm so glad that I did!
Lightning Round with Irene!
I'd like to travel the world! But, I've been dreaming of a trip to Ecuador and Peru for the past several years, so that's where I would go first.
Don't stress, and enjoy yourself. It sounds cheesy, but I truly believe that you can do anything if you approach challenges with a good attitude.
If you were a Weebly element, which would you be?
Definitely the image element. I love photography and graphic design, and wholeheartedly believe that a picture is worth a 1,000 words.