Q&A with a WE member from Sydney Krissy Crawford from Uncommon Ground
Krissy Crawford is the founder of Uncommon Ground an online shoe store dedicated to offering young women with larger size shoes the opportunity to purchase stylish, on-trend footwear.
1. Hi Krissy, can you please introduce your business, Uncommon Ground? What is it? When did you start and where are you at?
Hi Orsi! Uncommon Ground is an online shoe store for women’s larger size shoes. We specialise in directional designs and feature upcoming Australian and New Zealand designers. As a size 11 shoe myself I was constantly frustrated by the lack of fashionable styles available in larger size shoes, as were a lot of my girlfriends, so I decided to do something about it. We launched in December 2011 so it’s actually creeping up to our 1st birthday very soon.
2. What was the most challenging when you started out, and how did you overcome it?
I constantly struggled with time management. It’s very easy to get lost in a world of social media and answering emails when you’re constantly working online. Along the way I’ve managed to pick up plenty of incredibly useful tips, such as setting alarms on e.ggtimer.com so certain tasks (such as answering these questions!) have a pretty tight time restriction. I also couldn’t survive without having my iPhone reminders synced with my calendar on my computer. Having that visual list of what needs to be done and by when, means a lot less wasted time.
3. What is your top 3 advice to women who want to build an epic online store/business?
1. Write a business plan! This obviously isn’t just for online stores, but as you’re going through to process of trying to get everything set up it’s such a valuable tool to have at your disposal. If it’s executed well it almost operates as a step by step guide, plus it keeps you motivated because don’t get as lost along the way.
2. Unless you can pay a digital agency a huge chunk of money to construct your first site (I don’t know many start-ups that can!) make sure you do a LOT of research. Study sites that you love using and work out what features are the most valuable to you as a consumer, also study sites that you dislike and make a list of every thing that bothers you about them. It means that when you find a web designer/developer to work with you’ll be able to give them a very detailed brief of what you want (and don’t want) making the whole process cheaper, quicker and far less frustrating for everyone!
3. If it’s a seasonal retail store, similar to Uncommon Ground, don’t buy the stock until your site is ready to launch! It’s far better to have a completed website waiting to launch when this seasons range arrives than it is to have this seasons range sitting in your store room and no way to sell it. Because no matter how long you think the website is going to take to build, or how long you’ve been told, it’s going to take longer! Trust me, we know this one from experience.