Toronto’s Young Shepherd Clothing takes custom designs online

4 min read
Steve Gold

When Toronto artist Joseph Nadolny started designing men’s T-shirts and streetwear for friends and family in 2014, he did it as just another way to express himself. But when his efforts turned into a fledgling business, he chose to pursue the opportunity and needed a way to reach new customers.

He needed a place where fashion-forward men seeking high-quality clothing could find his various contemporary offerings, and realized that selling online would help his small business grow naturally without the overhead costs and limitations of a bricks-and-mortar store. While he’s comfortable with technology, Joseph wanted to put his energy into new designs and building the business — so he sought a solution that would allow him to get online quickly and easily, be simple to manage, and give his customers an unrivaled online experience.

Joseph turned to GoDaddy to register his domain name, promote his brand, build his website and create an online store,

Young Shepherd Home Page

Through GoDaddy’s Website Builder and Online Store offerings, Joseph created a home for his products, adding photos and product descriptions easily. He explains:

“GoDaddy made it simple to set up my store. My website came together quickly, and made me a credible business with an online storefront with just a few steps.”

The online model also means he is better able to manage his inventory, as he is able to manufacture orders as they come in — something he couldn’t do if he was selling in a physical store.

Small but mighty

Joseph works with a range of people to assist with accounting, marketing and social media. As grows and his website becomes more sophisticated, Joseph says he will continue to turn to GoDaddy for support to tackle the more technical issues. “Setting up the inventory on the Online Store was a challenge, but GoDaddy’s Customer Care had me set up in half an hour. As a small business, it’s really great to know I’m never alone and that I have GoDaddy on my team.”

Young Shepherd Clothing Streetwear

Experimenting with coupons

Young Shepherd’s customers are athletic and inspired men looking for quality clothing at the click of a button. Joseph sends Young Shepherd stickers to many potential customers to thank them for their interest. His promotion efforts don’t stop there. He’s recently experimented with coupons through his ecommerce site, with eye-opening results.

A 30-percent off promotion prompted a jump in orders, and offering customers a week of free shipping resulted in a significant increase in orders.

“The coupons were a great experience and — together with the free shipping and an easy clothing return policy — showed me what my customers value,” Josephy notes. “I’m considering providing free shipping all the time.”

Socially acceptable

While Joseph is looking ahead to a greater social media presence, Instagram has so far “worked wonders” for the company. It was how he first promoted his clothes to friends. Now Young Shepherd’s following has grown from 100 acquaintances to more than 4,000 fans. The company promoted a sale on Instagram and received more than 100 likes and a rush of purchases.

“The beauty of it is that the people following us are interested in our company and its offerings and are looking to stay up-to-date with what we’re doing — and when they see something they like, they can immediately place their orders from our user-friendly website.”

Young Shepherd Clothing Instagram

Young Shepherd’s following is international, and that means Joseph isn’t at the mercy of regional weather. When local customers have stopped buying shorts for the season, for example, people in warm weather climates are still placing orders.

Looking ahead

Now that he’s proven that his designs sell and his customers love his products, Joseph has plans to grow his business, including adding a detailed sizing chart to the website and promoting his easy return policy to give new customers even more confidence in buying his clothes online. He is also preparing a stronger marketing push next season.

Joseph remembers seeing two strangers walking down the street in Young Shepherd designs and the extreme pride it brought him. “The feeling of seeing our products being loved by our customers first-hand is something I never could have imagined,” he says. “Being able to reach so many existing and potential customers through our website is the reason Young Shepherd Clothing has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. Our business has matured and gained traction, and now we know that this is where we fit. GoDaddy has helped us take our idea and turn it into a company with customers around the world.”