How to succeed with retail and online store with Matt Beaudoin - Shopify Store owner -mysticknotwork.com
Veronica Jeans (00
We are here with Matt Beaudoin and I'm going to be talking about his company called Mystic Knotwork. Matt, tell me what you do and what you sell and where you are.
Matt Beaudoin (00:16):
The Mystic Knotwork is the advancement of my grandfather's old business - Beaudoin Rope Blocker. Handmade knots. We make nautical knots for weddings, bracelets. Have you ever seen the sale of bracelet. The beach in new England. That's us
Veronica Jeans (00:34):
Fabulous. So do you have two retail stores?
Matt Beaudoin (00:41):
We have two retail stores just 600 feet apart. We have one on the corner by the Drawbridge and the other one is down the street here. This is the workshop. The reason we made the two so close together is that this is a historic building and has 9 steps to get into and there's no handicapped-accessibility. It's a very nice rustic old building and is over 200 years old. And the other shop has floor access and modern amenities - handicapped-accessible and all that. It also gives us the ability to have a much cleaner space We have to work on weight work so we have to work on getting on the floor and getting dirty.
Veronica Jeans (01:29):
That's very important. So I know you've got the e-commerce store. We moved you from 3D Car to Shopify. That was the beginning. But you have moved forward. You've expanded since then online, because you went from a normal template to turbo and also point of sale system with Shopify. So tell me more about your experiences with that and why you moved up. Why have you expanded?
Matt Beaudoin (02:00):
Well, to start with, we went from 3DCart to Shopify, primarily because I could work on, or you could work on the new theme under sandbox mode and not be live. 3DCart made you work live constantly. If you made a mistake, everybody in the world got to see your mistake if they were looking. So it is really nice - you can tweak Shopify and make it look right. Then you kick it over the line. It's a seamless move. And if there's a bug you just flip it right back. And that's worked out really well. So we moved the point of sales over to Shopify during the COVID shutdowns, because one thing with my previous, had the same problem I could only make choices and changes live and that affected everything. So while we were shut down for two months, we did the cut-over and the point of sale is unreal.
Matt Beaudoin (02:52):
I can take a customer, check them out if they wander off or they're running late for a boat ride or something. I can email them their invoice. They can pay for it and do an in-store pickup or a ship, and they can finish their transaction after they gone out the shop. We've had people do that. They've rushed out for a dinner reservation and come back after dinner and their package is sitting there, paid for and ready to go. We've also them back to their house, but all the weights and measures - everything is inside a Shopify. From the employee experience - they don't have to even think about it.
Veronica Jeans (03:25):
And so what I've found out as well about the shipping part is I was at the UPS store, shipping a product for a client and UPS quoted me $140. And Shopify was like $43, same package. We measured it, we weighed it. She was blown away. She just couldn't believe it. So you've been very successful during the COVID - you've expanded online.
Matt Beaudoin (04:01):
Expanded, not so much. Our sales have gone up. So this year was a rough year because our business is built on four foundational points. It's built on in-store retail, online retail (Shopify, Amazon, a couple of other carriers), weddings and wholesale. Our weddings were down like everybody else is about 95% this year. And wholesale - the other gift shops around the country, weren't buying from us as much as I would have hoped, but every state was a patchwork of rules. Mystic - we were especially blessed that we are the outdoorsy spot in Connecticut. People like to get to the shoreline outdoors and spread out - that's us. We were the only town who prospered during the shutdown because there's 700 ways to get on the water at any given day. So you can spread right out. We had people waiting outside for us to come in because we could only have seven people in the shop at a time.
Veronica Jeans (05:04):
They had to stand in line, right. The first time I had to do that, I went - what, I've got to do my shopping standing in line?. What would you say contributes to your success online this year? And we talked about that before
Veronica Jeans (05:27):
The integration with Facebook?
Matt Beaudoin (05:29):
Well, the integration Facebook has only been last four days. We only finish that this weekend. That's why I'm so excited about it. But, you know, the answer to that question is that there is this new app that integrates Shopify and Instagram and Facebook all together into one dashboard, which makes the new Facebook panel actually tolerable. You can go into Shopify quick links and it brings you to the spot you need to go to that you no longer find inside of Facebook. But since I put that app live, I have not logged on to my admin panel and not seen at least three or four visitors on it anytime day or night. So it's really increased our traffic.
Veronica Jeans (06:13):
Oh, that's amazing. I love that integration as well. It is a bit of a pain to actually set it up and everything but once it's up and running, it's amazing. Have you done any ads through Shopify onto Facebook?
Matt Beaudoin (06:28):
I haven't yet. I do have some native ads I run inside of Facebook. You know, I own a brick and mortar store I'm in a tourist destination. I will drop a pin on users or events. So I'll find an event that's happening within 10 miles of us. I'll put a pin on it, do a 10 kilometer radius around the event and advertise the hell out of my shop. So I'm basically taking their traffic and introducing myself to them.
Veronica Jeans (06:56):
Fabulous. So I'm dying to try it out, just do some testing, to see how it works with Shopify, especially with the new Facebook, Instagram and Shopify integration. I haven't yet. It's so new right now, so that's going to be very exciting. So tell me, what would you suggest to do right now with trying to get more people into your online store? I know you guys do a story every single day.
Matt Beaudoin (07:33):
The word "right now" is what we pivot away from. There's nothing you can do "right now" to work beyond just giving up money that will get something from your store right now. What you want to do right now is start habits of daily posts on Instagram, Facebook, Google Places. Google Places is big - 44,000 views on it this month. Pinterest feeds back into your Shopify. We have 400 000 views a month on Pinterest.
Veronica Jeans (08:04):
Wow. So you post every day on Pinterest.
Matt Beaudoin (08:10):
We don't post anything on Pinterest to speak of. What we do is we create blogs. We create a blog, we then go in and pin a couple of pictures a day from our blog into Pinterest. And we tag it appropriately and supposedly we edit the text of it to make sure it's SEO compatible to bring people to that. So they see our shop. Then while we're in there, we kind of serve the the atmosphere of Pinterest and find other people's pins comment on a couple of pins, save a couple of pins. It's part of their community as well. Because that is the big thing people, who try to sell online, forget - it is social media. There's two sides to that. There's you and I craving everybody else's attention and really want them to notice us.
Matt Beaudoin (08:57):
But there's also the other person hoping they're noticed too, and really crave that attention. So if you give them the attention that they are craving and genuinely appreciate their picture, genuinely notice something they are doing, show interest in them as both a person and as an artist a visual artist, that favour will return itself. At least if not through attention to yours - it shouldn't / should ???????be the ultimate goal - at least goodwill and it is your name later down the road somewhere. It is very, very retail marketing. Maybe five years away, that they finally think of buying something from you, but you've created some goodwill into the social media aspects.
Veronica Jeans (09:33):
Yes. Remember Donna - the Missing Piece Puzzle? She did, I think four years ago, three years ago, she was very active on Pinterest and since then - nothing. She still gets sales from Pinterest. It's a long game, but it was so rewarding. So how many posts would you do on, say for instance, Instagram and Facebook,
Matt Beaudoin (10:01):
Facebook I've gotten of, honestly but Instagram - we post about three times a day. Once is something to do with the workshop, our product, something like that. And we're only now starting to pack products into it again The other one is local interests - something going on in town, something attractive that creates dimension to product. And the third one is something we found somewhere else - could be a repost, somebody else's content. They packed us in it. It could be something in town that really caught a ride or something. It is a zero politics space.
Veronica Jeans (10:38):
That's fabulous. I know you guys, I see so much engagement on your posts and everything. In my workshops, I show what you guys are doing.
Matt Beaudoin (10:51):
Another trick is if you have somebody - Jill has taken over the actual day-to-day posting on social media. I'm not doing that anymore. I watch the social media. I let her know if she's getting focused because she tends to chase the shiny. She likes this a lot more than this some days, and she'll go dive, dive, dive into that full backpack. And the other thing I'll do is I'll spend a lot of time commenting on other people's stuff. Like I said, showing love and sharing and showing them that what they're giving to the platforms is being respected.
Veronica Jeans (11:23):
That's all about social media is socializing, right? We need to socialize and people tend to forget when they have a business that you need to socialize. You need to be online, chatting to people and not just boom products, boom products. And so, do you put anything on your personal Facebook?
Matt Beaudoin (11:49):
Well, my personal Facebook page is a closed subject. It is a crazy nightmare of storm of garbage. I will not add a friend. I will not.
Veronica Jeans (12:01):
So you just use your Facebook page, Business Instagram and Pinterest. Very, very interesting. So now I want to know is what would you do if you ever had to start again? Because I know, we both talked about this before, you've been through businesses, we've failed, we succeeded, we failed again. And so you guys are really succeeding extraordinary this time. You've taken your grandfather's business and you've just blown it up. And I know that you do a lot of community stuff, you with the chamber. If there's a camera, you like me, if there's a camera you're in front of it. You are very present ? And that's one of my things is you've got to be visible. You've got to be around people and talking to them. So here's the question. What would you do if you had to start again?
Matt Beaudoin (13:06):
I hate being on camera
You are very present ? And that's one of my things is you've got to be visible. You've got to be around people and talking to them. So here's the question. What would you do if you had to start again?
Well, Deepak Chopra talks about living your life backwards. Know where you want to end up and then work towards that end. The big things to do again was LLC yourself. Get your documents in order first because they're not expensive. I had a really, really, really painful year when I got to send the IRS 120% of my take-home pay in taxes. Only to get it all back in April because I was double taxing myself because I waited way too long. So both my personal entity and my LLC, or my S CORP, were paying tax at the same time. So taking that step when it's small, and it's not much to do, you get those in order. Work on supply chains and find multiple streams of supply chain.
Matt Beaudoin (13:54):
So if something goes wrong, you've got it. Communicate relationships. But the big thing is, have the paperwork in order. Start to know the accountant, start to understand what they want. If you're not ready to hire one yet, you know what you're looking for when the time is right? And earlier is better than later. And realizing that you're not paying your accountant per hour, you're paying him per hour you get back. If it takes me 10 hours to do something, it takes him one. His hour is worth 10 times more than mine. So I take my 10 hours back.
Veronica Jeans (14:26):
Exactly. Have you trademarked?
Matt Beaudoin (14:37):
Did you trademark in the beginning or halfway through, or would you have started earlier?
You should start your trademark now. If you're having a trademark, you need to do it now. Caveat - mine wouldn't have passed if I did it. My trademark is a grandfather trademark. Because I went long enough from using it, exposed with no challenges. It's considered committed to mind. And to do that, if I were to pull that stunt again, you've got to go at least five years using a naming with nobody challenging it. And it has to be exposed for a year, but nobody challenging it before ??????????the issue. Yes. And that's a high risk.
Veronica Jeans (15:16):
Wow. That is a high risk. Because yeah. People do complain. Any last words, any last tips,
Matt Beaudoin (15:27):
Just be consistent, you know, be in it and be ready to change, listen to what's going on around you. And you know, one of my secrets is I try to help other people solve their problems because the problems that are going on with them might become my problem later. And I already have some ideas to solve my own when it comes up. We've been on enough calls. You know I jump in to every problem to try and figure it out. benefits.
Veronica Jeans (15:48):
Exactly. I'm so happy you came on and chatted to us because you've got so much information and wealth of experience. And so if I'm going to be popping in your contact and your website is also on my website. If people obviously want to buy from you. So thanks everybody for listening. We will go to our next speaker and thanks, Matt. I love you. And I will see you soon. Bye.
Matt Beaudoin (Shopify Owner)
The Beaudoin family, also known as Mystic Knotwork has been the source for nautical knots throughout New England for over 50 yearsThe artistry continues to evolve through Matt, Jill and Christa. The combination of traditional technique along with a respectful combination of colors speaks to the modern nautical design sense. We are part of the local community here in Mystic with our retail and international ecommerce store.