Kigurumi.ca has been selling fun, colorful onesies online since 2011. I spoke to owner Maria Pham-Beaupré to find out how a fun hobby became a successful store, and how she uses Back in Stock to increase store sales.
How did you get started selling online?
I didn’t set out for us to be a company, it was really just a hobby that I wanted to start. We found these really cool onesie pyjamas that were from Japan, and at the time they were just really hard to get in North America. We wanted them for ourselves and our friends, and to get them, I had to get in contact with the makers in Japan. At the same time, I was bored with school and great at procrastinating. I had an interest in ecommerce and what it was like to run an online store, so it just happened at the same time. It was like “Oh, what a great way to not do schoolwork, to just start this website.”
So that’s what I did.
We ordered a bunch extra. I was like “Let’s see if anybody else on the Internet is looking for these, we’ll make it a little easier for them.”
How easy was it to launch your store?
We had heard about Shopify, and there was a free trial, so there was very low cost of starting it up. It was just a hobby, a side project.
I started the website on Shopify maybe in about a day, and just played around with it. A week later, we got our first sale.
I still meant for it just to be a hobby or side project, but after the first Halloween hit it really blew up. I got really busy and it became my full time job. Now it’s myself and we have a team of about four people. We recently switched over to using their point of sale system, too, so we’re pretty heavy Shopify users. And the team at Shopify have a bunch of our onesies, too!
How are you using Back in Stock today?
Back in Stock has made life a lot easier, and became a crucial part of that process of getting styles back in. People ask all the time, if we’re out of something, when they’re going to be back in stock. It’s nice to just say, “Just join the wait list on the website, and you’ll receive an email as soon as it comes back in stock.” I can’t imagine having to manage a list like that ourselves, and having to send out that email every time ourselves. I think I might have done a bit of that before I found the app, and it wasn’t fun.
I feel like it’s an unsung hero of the website. People get that email and they’re like, “Oh, great, I’ve been waiting for this”. They get on right away and make the purchase. Having that happen once or twice already pays for the app on its own.
“I started the website on Shopify maybe in about a day… A week later, we got our first sale.”
– MARIA PHAM-BEAUPRÉ
“People get that email and… they get on right away and make the purchase.”
– MARIA PHAM-BEAUPRÉ
Your product images are really great, and show off the fun side of your store. How do you go about taking great photos?
All those people are just my friends! “Do you want to be in a photo shoot?” “Yeah, let’s do it.” I’m lucky to have very talented friends who are photographers and designers. I like not hiring professional models, because sometimes I don’t like that model look. They look too serious; I want you to look like you’re having fun. Anybody can do that.
You’ve been using Back in Stock for nearly three years. What originally drove you to install Back in Stock on your store?
When we first started the store an issue we had was inventory management – especially when we came to that first Halloween. We were seeing half of our styles be out of stock for a long time and we had to learn how to manage that.
Having a tool like Back in Stock is great. It’s great to be able to notify our customers right away whenever we got new stock in. It’s crucial to be able to make those sales.