Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Da Silva.
Wendy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I first came to the U.S from Venezuela when I was 17 years old with the purpose of learning to speak English. I fell in love with this country and decided to stay and attend college here. I wasn’t sure about what to study but I always had a particular interest in fashion so I decided to pursue a career in fashion merchandising.
After graduating I got a job at an online retailer. It wasn’t my dream job, but it gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about e-commerce, online shopping, website maintenance, etc. After a couple of months into that job, I got the idea of opening an online boutique, and along with a friend we got Balderdash Apparel started.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Getting Balderdash Apparel up and running wasn’t easy. I was working full time so I barely had time to work on this project. In addition, I didn’t know anything about programming or website development so I had to teach myself, watch a lot of youtube tutorials, and spend long hours just trying to figure out simple procedures.
Money was also a challenge. I was making just enough money to support myself and we needed some capital to be able to invest in our first merchandise, but despite all of these obstacles and thanks to the support of our friends and family, we were able to open our store after five long months of preparation. And then we finally got to see our efforts pay off.
Please tell us about Balderdash Apparel.
Balderdash Apparel believes that clothing is a form of expression, so we want to help our clients express themselves through their outfits and style. We offer clothes specially designed for the stylish and unique women who are ready to take on the world.
We are known for our quality and unique items, affordable prices, and expedited shipping services making items available one to three business days after a purchase. We are aware that each one of our customers is unique, so we strive to provide a personalized shopping experience to each one based on their personal needs. This is also why we add customized hand-written notes to every purchase to thank them for their business.
What sets Balderdash Apparel apart is that we try our best to deliver a personalized and outstanding shopping experience. From the moment an item is bought to the moment it gets to the customer we take care of every single detail to ensure the items arrive in perfect conditions and that all customers’ expectations are met and surpassed.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
We made some mistakes that cost us a lot of money and time at the beginning. For example, we didn’t pay enough attention to small differences in shipping times and costs at first; but these differences can add up and become problematic as you move large amounts of merchandise. If I could go back, I’d be careful to choose more efficient shipping options.
If I had to start over, I’d also be more selective with our investments in advertising campaigns. We spent some time and money in ad campaigns that were mostly ineffective when it came to actually reaching our target market. I think it takes some trial and error to figure out which methods work best, given your particular niche.
Even though these mistakes were lessons we learned the hard way, they helped us shape our company and understand which practices and strategies worked for us and which didn’t.
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