SOCIAL MEDIA

24 Sep 2015

Happy Birthday Bookworm Boutique!

It is officially one year since I opened Bookworm Boutique and I cannot believe what has happened in this year. I honestly didn't expect such a positive response from readers, but I'm so happy it worked out this way. If you're interested in continuing to read this incredibly mushy post, please do, but if not I won't be offended.

Before I ran Bookworm Boutique I actually had a fandom store called "Lauren's Pillows" (super original name, I know) I had just seen the Disney film Frozen and really wanted a Let it Go pillow but couldn't find one that matched what I had in mind, so I mocked one up and put it on Society6. People went mad for the pillow which I have to say I was incredibly shocked by. It was just something that I personally wanted on my bed. After that, I decided to try and design some fandom based things and try selling them. They sold incredibly well, but slowly I just started to feel like just another Fandom store available to buy from and wanted to try something new.

I've always been a big reader and found there wasn't much merchandise out there for bookworms/fangirls that wasn't just references to popular books. Of course there were occasionally a few adorable items in bookstores, but never anything that I would purchase myself. I had a look around on Society6, Redbubble, Cafepress, etc, trying to see if anyone had a dedicated store just to bookworms but couldn't find anything. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and open Bookworm Boutique. The name for the store was suggested by my followers on Tumblr at the time, and it just had such a lovely ring to it, that I couldn't not use that name. I found that 'boutique' was a pretty uncommon one and thought that it'd definitely stand out.

The first item I ever sold was my 'Eat, Sleep, Read" design on a black shirt, I started off with maybe 5 designs in store and now there's over 200 designs/design variations available and many more to come. The thing about my designs, something that many people have pointed out to me, is that they're simple, and maybe too simple for some people. But that's the point, that's the style I'm going for. I wanted to design things that would easily compliment books that were being read, and lets face it, black and white designs match everything. But I also didn't want to go too decorative, I wanted things that would suit a wide range of styles and interests. Of course I offer many colour designs, but I will always offer them in black and white and inverted black and white to suit a more simple style.

I just want to say a few wonderful things about social media. First off, it did all start on Tumblr. Because of the amazing friends that I'd made on there, who reblogged, liked, and reposted items from my store, I managed to make my first sales on the day my store opened, which was freaking amazing. I went from 20,000 followers to 60,000+ in the last year on Tumblr and people are still reblogging customer photos and sharing their own photos of my items. It's a lovely community.

Instagram... I never thought that Instagram would become my favourite online community. Honestly, I didn't really know that much about it and it worked a lot differently than the other social media that I'd worked with before, but now I don't know what I'd do without it (ew, more mushy stuff), I have made some amazing friends and have incredible reps who help me with advertising every day. My tag is filled with thousands of amazing customer photos that I use to help advertise as well. I have made so many wonderful friends on Instagram, I think this would be an incredibly long post if I mentioned them all, but you know who you are! In January of this year I was sitting at 3,000 followers, all lovely people who always commented and tagged friends on my posts, I estimated that at the end of this year that I would have around 10,000 lovelies to share photos with, but you guys proved me wrong! This past weekend I hit an incredible 40,000 followers and I don't even know what to say about that except thank you.

Recently I started this blog and on the first day I had over 1000 hits which I definitely did not expect. It's been something that I always wanted to do, but never really thought that I would be good enough to do it. I've only had this blog for 3 weeks and so far it's been great. New Merch Mondays have helped me focus enough to bring new designs to my store each week, Synopsis Saturdays have encouraged me to get my reading done (instead of wasting my days away on Netflix, but let's be real, we all do that sometimes), and Feature Friday gives me the chance to share with you a great bookish business that I've recently come across. I've had Tumblr since 2010 but it's a very different style of blogging because you can reblog other peoples photos and reviews and it becomes more of a Pinterest board/scrapbook/things you like? So to be able to share my own thoughts and opinions has been very fun and to start an Instagram that is dedicated to my own photos has been something that I've wanted to do for a while and that I hope continues. Thanks to the current subscribers who deal with emails every day telling them I've posted here, and who stick around anyway!

Because of you guys and your ongoing support I'm 20 years old and am self-employed. I don't have to go out and get another job, this is my only one. I get to post things on social media, read books, review products and more for a living and that's something I would have never even thought possible.I have just started an enormous amount of projects with various businesses that I am so excited about and can't wait to share with you! Seriously, some of them I am so excited about that I actually squealed when I opened emails.

One last note before I bore you all to death. I get asked this question all the time on Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram and my answer is always the same, so I thought that I would share it with you all as a kind of place to send people when it's asked. "Why do you help/advertise other bookish businesses when you could be taking away profit for yourself?" I must have been asked this question a million times on social media, and the answer is really simple. It's about community, and making friends. I don't know what I did right to have the follower count that I do (that I'm incredibly lucky to have), but many people in the past have advertised my store just because, or they've bought something and told all their friends about. People wear my shirts to signings and tell me about the amazing comments, so why not pay it forward? I would much rather be a part of an amazing and supportive community than make maybe $5 extra a month. I think the best part about making Bookworm Boutique has seriously been all the friends I've made and all the businesses that I've had a chance to collaborate with. It's been fantastic! I honestly don't think that I'm taking away any business for myself, and that's not really the point anyway. I don't think anyone is sitting there saying "Oh, she advertised this business and now I'm never going to buy anything from her again. I'll only buy from this one store." It just doesn't work that way. There are so many amazing bookish businesses out there, ones that I would love to own everything from, so to share them with you all is pretty fabulous in my opinion.

Sorry if I have bored you, but I just want to say thank you again for everything! All the comments, shares, reblogs, likes, comments, reviews, features on blogs, features on BookTube, photographs, follows, promotions, sponsorships, partnerships, collaborations, friendships, and everything else that I can't think of right now. It has been an amazing year and I hope that there are many more years of Bookworm Boutique!







2 comments :

  1. It's so cool being there from the start and seeing your store and community grow, you're amazing gurl Xx

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    1. Aw, Milly! Thank you so much, you were totally the inspiration for me starting a Society6, so honestly, thank you! <3

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