Linking your offline and online activity for greater sales with Lost and Forged’s Doug Heifetz (episode 395)

Doug Heifetz is the artist, owner & metal smith at Lost & Forged, an upcycled jewellery business selling on Shopify, Etsy, and at in-person shows. Founded in 2016 they now do six figures a year.

eCMP395 Landscape

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Getting Started in eCommerce

It was in the summer of 2016 when Doug first tried his hand at bending things, mostly silverware.

When he started posting these, his friends became interested and asked where they could buy them. And because he was already spending money on equipment and materials, he decided to sell his creations and by the following spring, he opened his Shopify website.

Doing In-person Shows

Doug started out doing a few, small local events. He then applied to a number of juried shows and mostly didn’t get in. But one local show accepted him as an emerging artist in the jewelry category. Doug says his display was horrible, but people dropped by his area and their positive response made a big impact on him.

He also mentions that while in-person events and interacting with customers fuel his enthusiasm and inspiration, he doesn’t want to be doing it every weekend.

Tips for Selling at In-person Events

  • Start small and do something with low commitment.
  • Try to make your booth into a place you really like going to.
  • Work to deliberately connect your booth and what you do at a show to your online presence.
  • Think carefully about handing out business cards. Doug says there’s a time and place for business cards but for his business, he asks people to sign up for his email list. He adds that people with your business card can follow up with you, but if you have their emails, you can follow up with them.

About Lost and Forged

  • Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  • Sells globally
  • Does in-person events but also sells on Shopify and Etsy 

Doug manages the whole business by himself, but he also has a marketing assistant who is based in Hawaii. She does the brand’s online marketing, including social media and drafting blog posts.

Last year, Doug also trained someone to make a Christmas ornament for his holiday market. He hopes to bring him back this year in preparation for the holiday season.

The Products

Doug uses reclaimed silverware to produce beautiful and unique metal creations. He started out with spoon rings, but his product range has already expanded. It is still mostly jewelry, but he also sells sculptures, home decor, and other personal accessories.

When it comes to inventory, Doug says there’s an advantage and a disadvantage to creating unique pieces. Customers who order online do so based on the photos they see, and customization usually happens. There are different requests for sizing, engravings, and the like, and because of this, Doug doesn’t stock up on products. He considers this an advantage.

A disadvantage is receiving orders for items he hasn’t made in quite a while. He still makes them even if he’s out of practice, and offers a 45-day money-back guarantee for these online orders.

Upcycling and Sustainability

Doug’s goals are to show surprising transformations out of the materials he uses and make upcycling irresistible.

He says both aspects have been there since he started, and are very meaningful to his customers.

Combining Online and Offline Efforts

Doug says the best thing about the business right now is the connection between in-person events and online activities.

When people who see him in shows find him online, they recognize him and the brand now. They already see consistency and for Doug, it’s one of the strengths of what he does.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Blogging has been the main reason for Lost and Forged’s traffic.

Tool Top Tip

  • Privy app for collecting email addresses using pop-ups

Growth Top Tip

  • Email your customer list often.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • 344: Side hustle to 150% profitable growth with a team of 3, how did Eliska from Sparkle Moments do it?
  • 355: Growing a Jewelry business from craft fairs to $2m+ a year with Larissa Loden
  • 385: Building a sustainable loungewear brand with PR and Community – it’s Krisha Kotak from Tula+Tye

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