Maison Rustic’s Georgina Hustler how and why she’s taken her physical stores into eCommerce – it’s all brand (episode 130)

Georgina Hustler is the founder of Antique Rose and Maison Rustic. A pair of brick retail businesses in Wokingham. They sell a mix of gift, jewellery, home accessories and furniture, and Georgina is right in the middle of turning her Bricks into Clicks! Everything started in 2008 and now combined turnover is just under half a million pounds.

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About the business

  • eCommerce Business Structure – Boutique Bricks and Clicks
  • Product Range Scale – wide
  • On a Bespoke platform
  • Based in the UK and selling to the UK

Listen to learn the pros and cons of the platform.

Antique Rose will follow with its own launch, and will be similar in look, feel, and structure, but  different in product. While Maison Rustic focuses on furniture, Antique Rose is very focused on gifts.

Listen to find out how splitting the products between the two stores helps with ease of navigation.

The Team

Georgina outsources SEO to the company that built the websites. Everything else is done in-house. Some of her IT-savvy employees are doing her descriptions. The orders come straight to the tills, and the employees pick and pack them, then send them off with Dynamic Parcel Distribution. The in-house content management system allows them to update the imagery and homepages, and Georgina herself does the rest.

Most Awesome Thing Right Now

The new website going live is the most awesome thing right now. It was a ‘glass of champagne’ moment. It was something Georgina had been waiting for and wanting to do for a long time. The most awesome thing for Maison Rustic is the brand. The store has over 18,000 Facebook followers, and it’s all about the exciting and on-trend brand. They’ve been building it for years, and now they have a platform to show it off. Georgina is very excited for what that means for the business and how they can carry it forward.

For Antique Rose, this time of year is all about Christmas. They are well-known in the area for their Christmas decorations, which are now arriving daily. They do a massive Christmas launch each year, with Christmas music including a live singer, and Christmas takes over an entire floor of the shop. They immerse their customers in Christmas. Georgina is hoping they can transition Antique Rose onto the website to go live at the same time as the annual Christmas launch, broadcasting it out to a much wider audience.

Biggest Challenge So Far

The biggest challenge has been transferring her vision to a physical website. Trying to communicate something entirely in her head to a team of technical people is hard. Even when people do their own websites themselves, trying to translate something from their mind to the webpage is very difficult and takes a lot of backwards and forwards to eke out.

Listen to learn how the first impression translates the brand to the website.

Marketing

Georgina plans to go national first with her marketing, and the local marketing will follow inside of that. She can go more physical locally, with handing out brochures and similar methods. On social media, the national and local advertising are interlinked because her following is a bit of both. She’ll give the same advertising to both local and national customers first, see how that goes, and then focus it down later.

Top Tips for Bricks Going to Clicks

  • Understand your brand. Know who you are and what you sell. Build your offering around your brand, and use the brand to build your social media presence before pushing the website.
  • Know what you want before you talk to your developers. Write it all down with a clear idea, but accept that you will change your mind and warn your IT team that you will change your mind.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

Do Less, Get More: How to Work Smart and Live Life Your Way by Shaa Wasmund

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Facebook
  • Email Lists

You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…

Tool Top Tip

  • Word Swag

Start Up Top Tip

Find a niche. Show that you’re an expert. Start by building your social media presence before you even have your website. Start your brand, then stick to your brand and keep building that brand.

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