This week we sat down with Zoey customer, Sarah Schiear. Sarah is the founder of Salt House Market, a food and home-focused lifestyle brand based in New York City. We discussed the evolution of the Salt House brand, how using Zoey helped them create a beautiful online store without a developer on staff, future plans for Salt House Market and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Tell us a little bit about Salt House — How did you get started and what led you to Zoey?
I started Salt House in 2014 with a line of modern, fashion-forward aprons for the home cook. We launched our original website and online store using Squarespace. It made the most sense for a young brand with a relatively small catalog of products. That has since expanded into Salt House Market, a curated online shop for kitchen and home goods, which is what led me to Zoey.
How did Salt House evolve into Salt House Market?
We grew Salt House primarily through in-person marketing, like dinner parties and other influencer events. Social media marketing was also essential to our growth. The idea for Salt House Market really developed after I decorated my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We were hosting these influencer dinner parties and photoshoots for Salt House and guests would ask me where they could buy the accent pieces, kitchenwares, art and other items I had in my apartment.
I realized that I had invested a great deal of time researching these products and digging around for them, but each product came from a different store. There was no one-stop shop where you get curated kitchenware, decorations and other home goods that had this aesthetic, so I decided to create one.
After you decided to create Salt House Market, what eCommerce platforms were you looking at?
We had our original website and online store for the aprons on Squarespace. It was great for that "getting started" phase. But with our expanded e-commerce presence, we have hundreds of different products from dozens of distributors and Squarespace just isn’t built to handle that kind of complexity.
We were looking at Shopify as our next platform, but because we would need to hire a developer to customize one of their templates, it felt like it would cost thousands of dollars to get the look and feel that we wanted. I work with a very talented designer, but she’s doesn’t write code. She makes great designs but she’s not a developer. That’s when we found Zoey.
My designer spent some time using your drag-and-drop design tools and knew that Zoey was the right choice for our situation.
What’s your favorite feature or aspect of using Zoey?
Definitely the drag-and-drop design tools! They helped us overcome our biggestchallenge in designing a website on a bootstrapped budget. We’re also using them in aninteresting way for content marketing. These design tools give us the ability to create custom pages that showcase editorial content featuring our products.. An example might be a recipe or an article about planning a dinner party. We then embed the products we feature in the piece of content so people can shop right from the article.
What are some of the apps you’ve integrated with Zoey to help run your business?
Right now we’re using a few helpful apps. MailChimp for email marketing and TaxJar to simplify sales taxes. We also use ShipperHQ to manage dropshipping and working with a large number of different distributors.
What are your future plans for Salt House Market and how do you see Zoey helping you achieve them?
I’m currently building a solid board of advisors and preparing for our first financing round. My goal is to grow the e-commerce presence and build a following that will enable us to expand into experiential retail. We plan to open a brick-and-mortar store within the next five years. Zoey’s ability to integrate with a point of sale solution and sync inventory between our physical store and online store is definitely a plus. With Zoey, we feel like we have a solid framework in place to build on.
What type of business would you recommend use Zoey?
Anyone that needs a robust, capable ecommerce platform and doesn’t want to hire a developer to get them the look and feel they want for their store.
Any advice you would like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs and online store owners?
Focus. As an entrepreneur, it's so easy to feel inspired and get carried away with too many ideas at once. Just because it's a good idea doesn't mean it needs to happen right now. Reserve those great ideas for later, and focus on one thing at a time.