We launched a new site

floral_blanket.jpgWe launched charlieandgrace.com around 5:00 on December 3. Charlie & Grace LLC is the creation of Ray Thompson and Alicia Breen and sells handmade blankets and burp cloth sets as well as hand-crafted fabric belts--very cool belts--that they design. Up until now, they've been selling their stuff mainly via the craft and trunk show circuit and doing quite well, and decided to expand via the web. It's an amazingly fast leap for them considering they founded charlie & grace (named for their first-born kids) just last May.

The baby blankets and burp cloth sets are different--interesting fabric patterns beyond the usual stuff; well made with good fabric, sophisticated. My favorite pattern is called "Vintage Floral," which is the blanket pictured here. I like all of the belts, one of which is pictured below.

It was fun working on this site--the products are great and we really like Ray w_belt_greenpattern_small.jpgand Alicia. It was nice that they had a pretty clear idea about what they wanted, and integrating their chosen ecommerce gateway/shopping cart software was pretty much a breeze once the initial learning curve was over. We implemented RTWare's RTCart.

Though the site looks fairly simple, there were a LOT of details to track and build in. We wanted to keep the structure fairly simple so that the owners could change things quickly if they had to, such as putting an "out of stock" notice if they run out of inventory on something and we aren't around to do it for them (which only means that it will ship in two weeks instead of two business days.) We also wanted to make the structure such that it will be easy to add or change inventory items -- I think we managed that. There are a few tweaks that remain -- mainly just reshooting a couple of the images that are bugging me and adding some visitor tracking code -- and maybe some more wording changes, or implementing suggestions that people looking at the site might have (we hope).

We still have a few other things to figure out as well, such as the best way to advertise the site (do we try out Google Adwords, or Overture, or both? Which keywords should be used if we do?) Is it worth it to fork over $300 to Yahoo in the hope of getting listed there? Where can we advertise that will give charlieandgrace.com the biggest bang for their scarce bucks? What about an eBay store?

At any rate, check it out. Think about how cool a unique belt or a baby blanket/burp set would be to give someone for Christmas.
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