In 2003, hopeless romantic and bride-to-be, Erica Tevis was planning her own destination wedding.
While planning her wedding, Erica was surprised by the cost of quality, unique wedding favors. She also found it difficult to find a large selection of quality low-priced wedding accessories and wedding favors in one place.
“Weddings cost enough, why should quality wedding favors and accessories be so difficult to afford?” said Erica. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs so it was only natural that I combined my two passions [wedding planning and business] and developed my own [company].”
Now she’s the Founder and CEO of a popular on-stop shop wedding website that offers a variety of wedding favors and accessories to suit every bride’s needs, LittleThingsFavors.com. The website has been operating since 2007 and she’s managed to carve out a competitive advantage by turning her online company’s office space into a New Jersey showroom that has been open since 2008.
Learn how Erica grew her business with minimal startup costs to profitability and over $2 million in annual revenue and why she believes you should never give up on your dream — if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!
|Company:||Little Things Favors|
|Location:||Sayreville, New Jersey|
How I Got Started:
In 2003, I started planning my first wedding browsing websites and shopping online for all the little things I needed but couldn’t find in local stores. But even online, everything I needed was scattered across numerous websites. It was so hard to find one company that carried everything I needed.
My business idea, Little Things Favors blossomed out of my wedding planning process. I wanted to create an online shop that a bride could go to and find all the items she needed to complete her wedding day. I started small with a brief 2-year stint on eBay, selling my wares and testing the market, but quickly realized that online auction sites and associated costs were eating into my profits.
I learned basic web design and programming language so I could dabble with my first wedding website, Two Hearts Favors. However, the e-commerce platform was basic and limiting. As my online business started to grow I knew I needed an e-commerce solution that would scale, thus Little Things Favors was launched online in 2007.
In three short months we reached the top of Google search engine results pages (SERP) coming in sixth. For a website that was so new I was surprised it ranked so well, so quickly. Orders began coming in quicker than I could handle and I hired my first employee.
I knew in order to keep my first page position it would require much more work and I began reading everything I could find on search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media optimization (SMO) and social media marketing (SMM).
Within a year, we had grown so quickly, I moved out of my basement office and into office space. I decided to distinguish myself from online competitors, by leasing an office space that could double as a showroom.