This article was originally published on February, 17, 2020 and updated on April 6, 2022.
It used to be that when someone didn’t like their job, they had one option — find a new one. But increasingly, they’re realizing that their next boss could be right in the mirror. They’re taking a deep breath, embracing their passions and striking out on their own.
Such was the case for Tempe, Arizona resident Sarah Small.
“I recently left the corporate world because I wasn’t putting myself first,” she recalls. “I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur — I just needed to tap into my power and step boldly into it without hesitation.”
Taking the first step
As a collector of wicker furniture, Sarah and her husband, Joey, had purchased a variety of pieces for their wedding and restored them. After the wedding Sarah started selling the pieces on her Instagram.
This was her tentative first step to starting a business, but she wasn’t sure how to move forward.
Making Wicker Goddess a reality
Sarah imbues an effervescent, positive, can-do vibe in everything she does.
When GoDaddy Guide Jillian visited Sarah’s Instagram account, she was immediately taken with her energy and wicker treasures. Seeing Sarah’s potential, Jillian invited her to a San Francisco event for entrepreneurs, who spent time talking with Sarah and sharing their diverse experiences.
“We were just in such good company with folks that were working towards something bigger and greater for themselves.”
Jazzed, she took the plunge to make her dream a reality and officially named her nascent business Wicker Goddess, a nickname that her husband started calling her when they would go thrifting for furniture.
Creating a mobile-first website
Creating a website was the first step to bringing Wicker Goddess into the world.
Sarah fashioned a mobile-first site that beautifully showcases her restored wicker items.
She almost threw in the towel waiting for her first online sale — and she never forgets it. “Every time I get an order I screenshot it and tell Joey and do a dance,” she laughs. “I don’t know if that excitement will ever go away.”
Along with her curated collection of wicker furniture, customers can also shop for hand-lettered greeting cards.
“We wanted to sell something that’s accessible to everyone and brings warmth into their day," Sarah says. "I’ve always made greetings cards for friends and family, so I thought, ‘I should just try and sell them!’”
Sharing Wicker Goddess with the world
To keep up the momentum, Sarah used marketing tools included with her Websites + Marketing Online Store to reach new customers and engage in meaningful ways with existing ones.
First, she optimized her site for SEO so she’d rank higher in Google search results.
Then, she deepened her social media presence, using Instagram Stories to share the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of entrepreneurial life.
Finally, she launched an email campaign to communicate with customers in a personal, engaging way.
After finding success online, Sarah brought her business to the real world and opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Phoenix. Housed in a building with other local, small shops, customers will find a selection of artwork, vintage furniture, clothing, home goods and more.
Sarah can run both sides of her business seamlessly with the addition of GoDaddy Smart Terminal, allowing her to tap into the power of the omnichannel experience, while still offering a personal experience for her customers.
“I feel like the overall experience has been incredible. It was a very seamless transition over to it. But my very favorite thing is just that everything exists within one place now.”
Her Smart Terminal even has a Wicker Goddess logo on it, giving her a professional, polished look.
Staying positive, focused and sane
While this growth thrilled Sarah, she was sometimes overwhelmed.
“I am my own team, so I need to stay positive for myself,” she says, on a day taking some much-needed time to herself. “I’ve started time-blocking my day. Two hours are for thrifting, then two hours are for packing up orders, on and on with breaks built in. It helps me be at my most present and stay focused.”
The dashboard on Websites + Marketing helps her keep all her ecommerce ducks in a row so Sarah can quickly manage all the aspects of her site — including maintenance, orders and analytics.
This gives her time back for thrifting, designing new cards, and interacting with customers and stores.
Plus, her Insight score lays out important metrics for site performance, social engagement and SEO, along with suggestions for improvement.
The GoDaddy Smart Terminal dashboard has allowed her to keep track of what is selling in the store, even when she isn’t present. Having the option to view online and in-person sales in one place saves her time — the No. 1 selling point for a busy entrepreneur like Sarah.
“...I’m using my GoDaddy Smart Terminal dashboard to see my in-person sales every single day. Especially since we’ve hired our first employee,” Sarah says. “I’m not always in the shop, but I still get to check-in. See what’s selling, see what customers are loving, and staying really relevant with the store.”
The flexibility of the Smart Terminal allows her to offer a personalized shopping experience to her customers — she can help them wherever they are in the store and check inventory in real-time, then ring them up then and there. She doesn’t have to break the shopping experience by checking in the back or going to a register for checkout.
“I also love that I have a receipt option, which I’ve never had in the past as an option. I can actually print a physical receipt because some people do ask for that,” Sarah says.
Toasting the growth of Wicker Goddess
When Wicker Goddess’ one-year anniversary hit, Sarah and Joey celebrated with family and friends, sharing a toast with glasses they thrifted for their wedding.
Reflecting on the choice she made in early 2019, Sarah’s learned that the ups-and-downs of entrepreneurial life are standard — and manageable.
“When you’re building a business, you’re also building up yourself, and as your business changes and defines itself, so does your understanding of who you are within it.”