Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Witt.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Amy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My story begins like many others, seeking a way out of Corporate America. For nearly 20 years, I was the CFO of a California restaurant chain formerly owned and operated by a Celebrity Chef. Although it was my life and became a huge part of my identity, it became more of a drain on my soul. It was a high stress position with a tremendous amount of responsibility and not an overly attractive future or upside.
In late February 2017, after countless sleepless nights surfing FB I came across a local FB boutique. The idea immediately resonated with me. I have always been complimented on my style and knack for putting outfits together. So I ordered. Picked up my order from their porch and immediately started thinking how I could do the same, but differently.
It took me 12 days to come up with a name, design a logo, develop a business plan, source product, complete all of the legal paperwork to develop my business, build my own website, and launch my business. 12 long, short days. Meanwhile, I was still working my 50-60 hour week position for the restaurant company. The business aspect was very easy and second nature. Sourcing product and building a website, not so much. I will pause for one moment to let you in on a few secrets, I do not accept NO, when I have an idea I want it done now (hence my 12 day stent from 0-business) and I truly believe in “Oh, yes you can!” Those traits were essential in wadding through the tasks at hand.
I took to Pinterest and YouTube to learn how to build my website. It was a daunting task filled with frustration. But I did it. By pure luck, I stumbled on a wholesale site with a plethora of designers to choose from. I created the necessary social media pages and boom, I was in business.
I soon realized, while it was cool that I built my own website and was a feat that brought a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, my business needed a more professional platform. If I was solely an online proprietor my site needed a professional look and feel. It needed to be trusted. Feel safe and secure for my customers. And not look like a “girl that built her own website”. So I sourced web designers and had my site professional redesigned to what it is today.
Has it been a smooth road?
I am not sure any business was ever built on a smooth road. A huge part of owning and/or operating a business is problem solving. Above all tasks, immediately identifying a problem and solving it is critical.
Operating predominately online, it is critical that your website functions 100% of the time on all devices. Well, it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t you have to either know how to solve it (my recommendation) or know someone who can ASAP. Bear in mind, nobody, and I mean nobody is going to have the same sense of urgency to repair your website as you. So if you do not know how to troubleshoot and solve an issue you could be waiting hours or even days for repair.
Suppliers don’t come through with items or they ship and the items are not the quality you expected or saw at the show.
You put out 200% effort in promoting, social media, advertising and 2% or 5% or no people respond to your ads.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the A Velvet Window story. Tell us more about the business.
We are known for providing affordable, quality women’s clothing and accessories. I know I could charge more than I do; however, I don’t need or want to. I want to provide nice things at great prices all of the time. Not just during an annual or semi-annual sale. I have people tell me all the time they see the same brands at Nordstrom for a lot more. Operating online only offers a huge benefit of low overhead and the ability to bring great value to the consumer.
Our packages are shipped wrapped like a gift with personalized handwritten thank you cards and occasional free gifts. I really value my customers and appreciate their trust and support in me and my business.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The fashion industry is always changing. Social media has created a huge shift not only in the fashion trends, but the speed at which trends are exposed and shift. Businesses in this industry have to stay seasons ahead and current at the same time.
- Items on our site are under $75
- Free shipping with orders over $100
- Website: www.avelvetwindow.com
- Phone: 707.292.5907
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: velvet.window
- Facebook: @avelvetwindow
- Twitter: @velvetwindow
She’s My Sky Photography