Spotlight on Lime Lace
This is an interesting Spotlight for me because I have known Lime Lace from before I even thought of starting on Instagram or writing a blog.
I live in Yorkshire and a rare treat involves a bit of shopping and browsing in Harrogate and I kept coming back to this intriguing and unusual small interiors shop, where I often bought a few items for my home there, because I love a bit of quirky.
And then one day, having not been for a few months, I went over for a look and the shop had gone. Naturally, I assumed, like many small businesses, it had simply closed down and I went away feeling a little sad, because back then it was so hard to find something unusual and fun.
But Lime lace hasn’t closed down, it has simply moved online, like many businesses, that find it is easier to reach customers that way, rather than have the overheads of a shop.
Moreover, it has managed to grow and while it took me a while to track them down again (largely because I didn’t realise they were the same business), I’m very glad I have.
Read on to find out more about the journey.
What made you decide to start the business?
My background is in property developing and interior design, and I’ve worked for some great companies and employees over the years but I always knew one day I would create my own business when the time was right. I set up Lime Lace in August 2012 as I realised there was a gap in the market for a retailer who specialised in eclectic and unusual home interiors and gifts. My website is a one stop market place for designer and unusual furniture, wallpaper, lighting, gifts, jewellery & art.
We now sell our products to retail customers, commercial and residential interior designers all around the world.
What has been the biggest challenge you've faced?
Our biggest challenge has been to stand out from the crowd and set ourselves apart from the competition. We wanted our website to represent our brands ethos and style of being eclectic and unusual. We analysed 100s of websites to pin point our exact style requirement and now we have a unique and successfully site which is easy to navigate and user friendly.
We also use a wide range of social media campaigns to keep in contact with our customers and attract new ones. We use these mediums to give our business a persona as it is easy in this digital world to forget that we’re dealing with people. We engage in conversations and allow our customers to see the people behind our brand.
What do you do differently for your customers?
We are personable and approachable! Our customers can ask us questions any time of the day and we will respond efficiently. They also have confidence in us to provide an eclectic and well thought through product portfolio which is competitively priced.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to start an ecommerce startup?
Originality is key! Do not copy and paste product titles and descriptions from your supplier’s website/catalogue as you will be penalised by the search engines for using duplicate content so will not appear high up in the search results. It is time consuming but for every product we list we ensure each description is unique, this also helps in connecting with our customers too as they read a real and in depth description thus giving them purchasing confidence.
Know your customers inside out and ensure you use appropriate marketing tools to attract them to your site. We use Pinterest and Polyvore regularly to create mood boards and collections which we know our customers love to browse in their spare time and it inspires them to purchase products for their own home or share with their friends and followers.
Nicola says “marketing is key to any business selling product and understanding your likely customers, a key part of the work that you must do. But it doesn’t stop there because just understanding your likely customers does not convert them into actual paying customers, you have to get your message out there and persuade them to part with hard earned cash. Lime lace give some good advice on how they do that, making themselves stand out in a crowded market place and there is some great SEO advice thrown in too”
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The Girl with The Green Sofa