Meet Kate, the director or Resin8, originally founded in 2006 by Clare John and officially known as CJ Resins. Kate joined the Resin8 team in 2011, helping to run the business online, manage the site, market, manage inventory and bookkeeping.
She also helped to grow the team over the years, which now has 9 employees in the Cotswold workshop. Orders are placed, packaged and shipped there – there are even some classes run by team member Lou.
Imagine yourself and your company, what was your motivation for founding and what are you selling?
Resin8 is a small e-commerce company in the heart of the Cotswolds. In recent years, we have become a respected and sought-after online supplier of crystal clear epoxy resin, color pigments, mica powders, silicone molds, tools and the like developed accessories. In other words, we sell everything you want and need to make jewelery, artwork and unique pieces of resin!
The company has been in business since 2006. It was originally the brainchild of Clare John, a longtime, skilled silversmith who ran small workshops for those interested in learning how to make simple trinkets out of resin. Clare began selling small amounts of resin and pigments to the workshop participants, and the business grew – slowly – from there. I came to Resin8 in 2011 and was initially responsible for bookkeeping, but the business slowly got under my skin and I gradually took over the operational side more and more. Expanding the resin range, updating the website, hiring more staff to meet the growing demand, and creating our presence in the social media.
Did you have experience in online sales before starting your business?
When I joined Resin8 a couple of years ago, I did not really have any experience in online sales, but that was not my main focus since I was there primarily as a part-time accountant. As I became more involved in operations, I faced e-commerce and figured out what would work best for the company. Around the same time, I also worked as a freelance marketing consultant and was fortunate enough to gain a lot of experience from other small businesses. I was even an EKM reseller (but for a very short period of time before I focused on Resin8 so I did not have time for other clients!).
How do you distribute your work?
Well, that's a tough question! As a director in the industry, the money stops and I'm known to eat, sleep and breathe resin. (The sofa in our staff area is actually a sleeper sofa – no kidding – just wait until the Black Friday weekend!). We've seen tremendous growth in recent years, and having recruited more staff has inevitably made work a priority for me. I try to have a full day off the week when the computer shuts down and I'm completely offline without a phone or social media. My husband could think differently!
What was the biggest challenge you faced since the founding of your company?
The biggest challenges I faced were mainly to continue to provide our customers with excellent service, as well as the ever-increasing workforce, growth in our inventory, and the pressure to find the right packaging for an increasingly environmentally conscious audience To manage, not to forget to keep track of the countless technological changes that mean our website must be quick and easy to use anytime.
Having the right people on board means we could adapt and harness these market changes with strength and resilience. I was fortunate enough to find the perfect team of 12 ladies (and a brave man!) With a broad background of experience, all dedicated to the wonderful and sometimes crazy world of the resin trade.
What do you like most about running your own business?
No day is the same! It can be exhausting, sometimes stressful and hours long, but knowing that a new day brings something different every time keeps me and the rest of the Resin8 team running. We are a sparkling group of people who are friendly and outgoing, and we are also a bit crazy about Harz and what you can do with it. If you follow us in the social media (@ resin8uk), you will notice that we regularly publish instructions, tips and tricks for dealing with resin. We would also like to share what our customers are doing. but it's out there. That's what I love about the business.
What advice would you give to new shopkeepers who are just beginning?
Do not think that you can do it all at once. The world of online sales is really, very hard and you have to find your own little niche somewhere in the huge internet ether. While it's great to see how other similar companies have developed, you need to figure out what your unique selling proposition is and what sets your products or services apart from the crowd.
It was not an overnight success story, we hid for a few years just to stay afloat. It was when we used the power of the social media that really got the business going. We know that people come back to us because we have one-stop shopping and outstanding customer service (by far the most important thing!), But they would not have found us first if we were not there on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube and shows them whimsical, entertaining ways how to handle resin.
What are your plans for the future?
My team and I want customer satisfaction to be the focus of our business. So our plans for the future are based on making sure we deliver what they want to buy. This means we need to keep track of what the ecommerce world is providing us with technology, we need to make sure we stay environmentally conscious in terms of sales and shipping, and we need to keep our products and our content up to date in social media Stand up and have fun.
What are your favorite things about EKM?
There are two things I love about EKM.
First, the ease of use. For someone with little programming experience, it's great to be able to drag and drop things, change the look and feel of my site, and add products in a snap. All additional features (such as discount management, advanced inventory manager, and so on) add to the clarity of the system, and EKM can add new features at any time that are not yet available.
Second, my e-commerce expert Dominic. Now I realize that not everyone will have a dedicated EKM expert, and I'm sure Dominic has a lot of stores to look after, but he's always available to answer my call (without having to listen to the on-hold music), He calls regularly with suggestions for improvement (although he always says we are at the top of our game!) and he listens to our questions and always offers a quick and easy solution. Dominic is patient, skilled in what he does and makes me feel that he has the best interest in my business when it comes to what he does. What could I want more?
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