I started Facets by Marcia in 1998. I built my website in the days when a 56.6k baud modem was state of the art and "cable" internet was unheard of. My Sony Mavica camera took high resolution photos at .3 megapixels on its 3.5" floppy disk. Since photos took ages to load over dial-up modems, I made a lot of my website text based.
Shortly after I started, I heard of a new company called "PayPal" which multiplied my business by allowing me to accept instant payments instead of getting checks and money orders in the mail. I joined PayPal as soon as I heard about it. In the beginning, PayPal gave you $5 for every person that you got to sign up... I made over $2000 just from that! PayPal has more than recouped that from me over the years.
I started playing with getting a new website with a shopping cart and inventory, but with hundreds of products, most with many variations, it was a daunting task to find one that worked for me and to start listing all of my products on it. I had to do a lot of new photography as well.
There are things I will miss from my old website. One of my customers compared my website to an estate sale where you never knew what really cool thing you would find around the next corner/link. It was a compliment (I think), but pointed out how difficult it was to keep my website categorized. It always surprised me when I would get an order for some odd item that I know a customer had to dig deep on my site to find. However, it also surprised me when a customer who was buying shoes had no idea that I offered wigs, jewelry, etc. Facets Boutique is easier to navigate and I hope it will make all of my products more accessible to my customers. However, as my husband has often said, I seem to like clutter and a bit of a mess around me. So, I will miss those hidden corners of my old site :)
The thing I will miss most is the personal touch of taking orders by email. Some of my customers were strictly business, but many shared their dolls or family news with me. Orders made on Facets Boutique will be through a shopping cart, which doesn't give me a chance to chat. Of course, I hope that people will continue to email me with their questions, ideas, and photos. At some point, I hope to add a photo gallery to Facets Boutique so people can share their photos here.
The things I will not miss about my old site:
- Several emails every week asking if I was still in business and how to place an order with me
- Hidden corners of my website with products that were long gone that I totally forgot about
- People saying "You still use AOL? No one uses AOL anymore!"
This has been a long process. I started with my web mistress Maria (a customer whom I chatted with by email) over 2 years ago trying to find a suitable system. We decided on this format about a year ago and have been inventorying, photographing and adding products since then. And it's still not done. I have been adding products as I inventory them, so you will not see all of the items from my old site here. I will continue to add things, but if you remember something from my old site and are wondering if I still have it, feel free to email me. It's possible that it is sold out or it's possible that I just haven't gotten around to inventorying it yet.
Welcome to "Facets Boutique"... a site that I hope will be a great place for my customers to shop or just browse.