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E-commerce Success Story: How Bertie’s Closet turned a Hobby into a Goldmine

I see hundreds of PrestaShop stores launch every day but when I came across Bertie’s Closet their beautiful site and unique products left me in awe. Selling original handmade laptop, tablet and kindle cases, Bertie’s Closet illustrates how two imaginative individuals sewing from their quaint California home managed to turn their creative gift into an e-commerce goldmine.

I had the pleasure of speaking with co-owners Bertie and Jeff, two Los Angeles creatives, who start every morning with a fresh cup of coffee then spend their days crafting customized cases, nurturing their customer relationships and personalizing shipments with a handwritten thank you. Join me as I share more about the inspiring e-commerce success story of Bertie’s Closet.

Co-owners Bertie and Jeff launched Bertie’s Closet in May of 2009 after making a laptop sleeve for a close friend who inspired them to sell their charming pieces on Etsy. Since then, Bertie’s Closet sold over 25,000 made to order items, has been featured in Business Insider and recently launched an already profitable online shop.

How and why did you choose PrestaShop?

We previously had a very simple website on Weebly, but when we were ready to invest in a more robust e-commerce platform, we found PrestaShop. I had also briefly used Drupal in the past, but PrestaShop seemed to be more specialized towards e-commerce.

Which PrestaShop features do you use that you would recommend to other PrestaShop merchants?

PrestaShop has so many built in and easy to use modules that it is difficult to name all of them, but we found the social media modules and product customization features particularly useful. The built in customization features were easy to set up and allows our users to specify custom sizes and select different colors.

Discover PrestaShop’s built-in features here. Using PrestaShop and want more advanced features? Browse these social media and product customization in PrestaShop’s Official Marketplace.
 

What do you do for SEO? Do you think PrestaShop is SEO Friendly?

We did a bit of Google Keyword research and tried to incorporate those as much as possible. We are working on building our back links and hope to pick up a blog module in the future. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well PrestaShop incorporates SEO practices, and with little effort we are already picking up hits from search engines.

Any practices or advice you’d like to share with e-merchants?

Stay motivated! It’s tough to stay motivated and focused on your shop, online presence, customer service, fashion trends, the economy, etc, but there is too much competition to rely on a good reputation. Staying motivated and current helps a lot!

What marketing strategies do you use to drive traffic?

We don’t have a newsletter, but we use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. We’re introverts and social media can be a bit overwhelming for us, but I think customers like to be able to interact personally with shops and we like to get to know our customers. It can be weird thinking “should I tweet this giveaway offer again?” But the support and feedback we get from our followers makes the awkwardness worth it.

How do you keep customers coming back?

We try to add new designs to keep our products new and fresh. Sometimes we will offer specials or discounts to returning customers and we hope they will keep us in mind for future needs or gifts.

Enjoy 10% off all orders now through July 31st when you use coupon code PRESTA10

Bertie’s Closet is a great example of an e-shop that began on a marketplace then turned to a dynamic online shop to build a beautiful site, increase their brand awareness and grow their customer base. Hundreds of e-merchants open their FREE PrestaShop store every day and benefit from its 310 built-in features! Want to take your marketplace store to the next level? Take a tour of the PrestaShop Demo and Download PrestaShop today!

  1. Author: closeupman

    Date: July 3, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Nice story. I really like the layout of their shop.

    I wonder what critique Bertie and Jeff could give me (a fellow Los Angeles creative) on the shop I designed at sitinuriatistudio.com

  2. Great site like the functionality. Will be downloading the latest version of Prestashop urgently. Thanks for a great platform!!

    http://hugzbabystore.com

  3. It’s great to see people online successes. It makes you realise you don’t need anything to set up an online business other than some talent, a bit of imagination and drive/persistence. Well done Bertie’s Closet.

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