Today, we interview Cherokee Mixon, the visionary entrepreneur behind a remarkable journey from a modest $1500 startup to dominating the fast fashion eCommerce scene with a 6 figure success story! In this candid conversation, Cherokee delves into the ins and outs of her strategy which revolves around leveraging the power of TikTok, the social media platform that played a pivotal role in catapulting her sales.
Cherokee: There are so many businesses and in the wholesale world it moves so fast because they have to keep up with the internet trends.
Michelle: Hey everyone, I'm Michelle. I'm the new host of the Salehoo eCommerce podcast where we interview entrepreneurs, marketers, and experts who are knee-deep in the daily grind of the eCommerce world. We want to uncover the latest eCommerce trends and get actionable insights so that you can incorporate them into your daily grind as you build your online business. Today, we're interviewing Cherokee Mixon, founder of Cher Couture Fashion, a fashion company that started in 2020 when she was just 21 years old and now makes six figures. So welcome to the show Cherokee, and it's great to have you.
Cherokee: Thank you for having me.
Michelle: So first off, can you tell me about your company and what was the motivation behind it?
Cherokee: Well, I started not only for my love of fashion but because I've always dressed a little more upscale for my age. And I wanted to show my peers and women around my age that we can too wear blazers and fun tweed fabrics that are covered up. And we can also wear long, flowy items with nice silhouettes without looking too aged. And in this day and age, there's a lot of cutouts and a lot of lace going on, which there's no problem with. I do sell a little bit of that, but I want to focus on being able to be modest and still be eye-catching. And also for my older clients, I want to show them that they can wear age-appropriate clothing for them while it's still fun and colorful. So that was the motivation behind my company, and that's what I try to focus on. So I was in college when I started. So my first jobs were like mall jobs and boutiques, and then beginning of college, I was just working the front desk at a medical spa. So I was always in the beauty and fashion industry, but working at the mall and the boutique really helped me get into the wholesale world and just kind of see how it worked. But nothing was better than just diving in and getting my own experience.
Michelle: How did you learn how to start a company? Did you just Google a lot? Did you take courses, or have a mentor? Like, what did you do to get started so you knew what to do?
Cherokee: It was mainly my experience from working and then just Google and YouTube searches. There are a lot of girls who started boutiques. They may not be doing it now, but they were giving out tips on YouTube and really just experienced diving in. If I had any questions about the paperwork, like the basics, I would just do a Google search, but it was really just some YouTube, some experience, and then actually doing it.
Michelle: So you mentioned that you started with $1,500. So can you give us a breakdown of what you use that money for?
Cherokee: So I got my paperwork. I just got the basics like the DBA, the Doing Business As, my seller's permit because I needed that to buy wholesale, and maybe a few other documents and then my website. So that was about 300 in documents that I had to put aside to be able to legally start. I took the rest of it to buy supplies. I just went on Amazon and bought just not even 50 poly millers. I wasn't buying big bolts because I didn't know how many sales I would have. So just enough supplies to be able to ship a few orders. And then I used the rest on inventory. I didn't go too crazy on the inventory. I probably picked like five styles and bought a pack of each just to see what I can do. So that's how I started and that's how I stretched that money.
Michelle: So how did you deal with sizes with your inventory?
Cherokee: So wholesale, probably 99% of them are, a pack is six, so there's two small, two medium, two large. You can't choose or you can't switch around the sizes, so that's what you get. I have maybe a basic item where I went two packs because I knew it could sell, it was just something really basic, but in the wholesale world, everything is mainly two, two, two, two small, two medium, two large.
Michelle: And how exactly did you find your suppliers? Did you go through a lot and filter down to a few that you want to work with? Like how did that process work?
Cherokee: So in the wholesale world, so we have the LA fashion districts and I'm very lucky to be able to live here and be able to drive there and talk to these suppliers. so it's like a whole, almost it's multiple blocks and it's all just wholesalers and you can only shop there if you have a seller's permit. so they have an online world too, where all of these wholesale vendors sell their items and you can just order off of there and get it shipped to you. So I would look online and the ones who were local to me, I would go in there because, you know, I didn't want to waste money. I wanted to see the quality. So I have the advantage of going to the LA Fashion District, where people fly in all the time from different states just to come see our fashion district. So to live 30 minutes away from it was just an advantage for me. On top of the fact that shipping costs when you're ordering in bulk can grow like $50 and up just to ship it to you. Also, Google searches overseas vendors and just making sure that they're a trustworthy company and reviews. And then I have a few vendors in Miami, but that's I really stay in the fashion district, Miami or overseas. And I found them just from Google searching and on foot walking around the fashion district.
Michelle: So that's really interesting. And that's why with like the SaleHoo Directory, we allow beginner entrepreneurs to easily contact and work with the most credible and trusted suppliers from around the world. And the key is that we filter out the suppliers so that you'll only need to choose from the most trustworthy ones so you don't have any chance of getting scammed. Plus, you can have the flexibility to choose from specific locations and regions, including local ones that, you know, can significantly impact shipping times and accessibility.
Cherokee: I think it's great because when people are starting out, they, people don't know where to start. Like some people really just start from zero. So to have a company who can help you with that and cut out all of that, you know, losing money and searching is just, you know, it's a middleman and it's quicker and more efficient for businesses.
Michelle: So now I want to jump over to the business model with your supplier. So you previously explained that you used to go to your supplier, pick out around one piece of clothing, style it, list it on your website, and then see if you get any pre-orders and then go from there to see if you want to purchase more, right? So can you give more in-depth of how that business model works?
Cherokee: Yeah, that's a great question. So it works like that when you have a relationship with your supplier. So not every vendor or supplier is gonna do that for you. It's mostly just you have to buy it. And if you don't like it, there's really no refunds in the wholesale world. You get credit at best. So it's really, you know, going in there and seeing the quality and making sure you can sell it. But with one of my favorite vendors, they allowed me to take a sample and just see if I could sell it and take photos in it. So it's really, to have a relationship with your vendors is very important because they'll do stuff like that for you, which saves you a lot of money. So that's also the agreement, I let them use my photos. So that's how I do that. But I've only so far found one vendor who will let me do that.
Michelle: So, okay, so what did you use those photos for? Like were they for their website and marketing purposes?
Cherokee: So most of the suppliers and vendors have their own website and then they have a larger website. I don't know if it would be called like a B2B site where they're all listed on there, but they also have their personal websites. So I allow them to use it on any website they want to use it on. I feel like it's a great exchange for what they're allowing me to do, because, you know, say my customers don't really like the item, I save myself so much money by not producing it. So that's, I hope, I wish they would all do it, but that's my favorite one and they allow me to do it.
Michelle: So do you have your own photographer? Do you have models? Do you have a whole production set? Or is it kind of like doing it yourself?
Cherokee: So I first started with my own camera and I did have a professional camera just from already liking fashion and taking photos. And then when I had the budget, I started working with photographers and now I found one that I work with all the time. His name is Qui, and his Instagram is at @kwalityphotos. When he has the time and I have the time, we do take them together. But if it's like, you know, I just need to hurry up and take them, I do have a camera as well. So it's a little bit of a mixture. So I have assistants who help me. I haven't got to the point where I can put it on a tripod and take it myself. I like to have someone there with me just for, you know, extra eye. I like to be out and give people like a lifestyle look. I like to go to public places and take them, so it's easier when you have a partner. And even if it's not an assistant, even one of my friends are always willing to come with me. So you don't have to have this huge budget for photographers if you don't have the budget.
Michelle: Okay, so is there kind of like a benchmark of how you would measure to see how successful this product would actually be?
Cherokee: Okay, so if it's a trending product, and I've seen it online a lot, because you know a lot of these boutiques we buy from some of the same vendors and maybe we get it at different times, but we all somehow sometimes have the same product. If I see it's trending, then I will pretty much know that, yeah, this is going to sell out. But that doesn't determine whether I buy it or not. I kind of like to be more unique. So when people don't have it, that's when I want to buy it. So if it's a piece that a lot of people aren't buying, then I'm going to purchase it and dress it up and try to sell it to my audience because I want my store to be known as pieces that you don't really see around.
Michelle: Okay, so there's no like specific number like, okay my pre-sales hit this number so we're going to buy more inventory. It's more about like your fashion sense and kind of your understanding of what sells and what won't.
Cherokee: Yes, it's a lot of filling it out. The only time that I do based on numbers and pre-sales is when I'm working with that one vendor, but besides that, I don't have the option to kind of pre-sell and I like to have things on hand because pre-selling can get very tricky with like maybe the supplier cancels because they weren't able to fulfill it and now you have everyone's money but you can't give them their item so you have to do all these refunds. So it's really rare that I do pre-orders but if I do it's stated on there but everything else is ready to ship and in my warehouse.
Michelle: So what happens when you have too much or you made a mistake on your inventory, whether you bought too much or you bought too little? Like what did you do to solve these situations?
Cherokee: That's happened both ways too little and too many. So when I have too many I'll just try to like retake the content dress it up a different way and sell it a different way So if maybe I delete the pictures and put it back on, maybe style it with a different shoe or with a different hairstyle and post it. And it sells like it just came out. And that happens a lot. Like I'll go through my website and I'm like, hey, let's do content in this because we still have so many of them. I don't know why it's from last season. So I'll redress it and post it and it sells out. So it's a matter of the quality of your content and just maybe your vision for that picture at first wasn't the best. And now that you redid it, it sells. And then when I have too little, it's just unfortunate because a lot of the times in wholesale, that's what you get and they don't restock, it's rare. So you kind of just have to gauge it. And if you just miss out, you just have to move on.
Michelle: And do you have like a warehouse now or how does the process work for you now when you want to buy more inventory with your suppliers?
Cherokee: So I have, I'm actually, my lease just ended on my warehouse and I'm in the middle of trying to find the perfect one. So right now I just have a really small place where I'm keeping all of my orders and being able to pack there, but I'm not necessarily sitting there all day like I used to and working there. So I buy from my vendors and luckily, like I said, I'm 30 minutes from the fashion district. So even if I place it online, I can do store pickup and that cuts my shipping costs, like hundreds of dollars I'm saving by being able to pick it up. And from there, I just take it to my warehouse, get it put out, make sure the inventory is correct, and then that's where I keep everything.
Michelle: Okay, so was this always the same fulfillment model, or are you looking into doing more of with that vendor where you buy a few pieces and you take photos for them, and then you start buying more if you see more sales? Like, what is the process now?
Cherokee: So I've pretty much always had the same fulfillment process. And then with my vendors, I'm pretty much just still working with that one. A lot of them, I don't even see it in the near future that they would offer that type of exchange, just because there are so many businesses and in the wholesale world, it moves so fast because they have to keep up with the internet trend. So once they sell out to all these companies, they're onto the next style and it's really no coming back a lot of the time. So it's just, it's a fast-paced world and that's why they call it fast fashion. So we're just always moving and they don't really, I don't think they have a lot of time to be able to let me do that.
Michelle: And how do you compete with these big brands in terms of inventory? Of course, these vendors, they must favor the big brands more. Like how do you compete with them on this aspect?
Cherokee: Yeah, I used to be intimidated because when you go to the fashion district, you see a lot of these owners on Instagram in that district walking around shopping, and it becomes intimidating. Like some of the biggest brands, you see them there shopping right next to you. So I just, feel like I get my confidence from just walking in there. Like, my company is making just as much as theirs and I'm just as valuable as them. So when I'm talking to my vendors, they're never under the impression that I'm such a small business with really just me and an assistant. They really treat me and look at me like I'm just as big as their others. So they are really, especially when you have a relationship with them, they're willing to hold some items for you if you need it or, you know, give you the last item if you come in. So that's where the relationship again comes in with having the upper hand in getting the inventory.
Michelle: So would you say it's kind of like having that mentality from the beginning? Like you, you know, everyone has to start from somewhere. It's not like you started with a huge backing, like some of these big brands. So you really need to go in there with a confident attitude and that like you can do this and that you can, you know, play at their level.
Cherokee: Yeah, I think it is the mentality because they're shocked when I actually let them into my business. And they know that I'm such a small business and how old I am, because a lot of these women who are coming in there have been in this game for like ten years plus, and I used to see them when I was younger in high school selling clothes. So to like be buying from the same people they're buying from and keeping up with them, it feels good. And I think it's just a matter of making sure I feel like you can look at these bigger brands that inspire you and not copy them, but get inspired and make sure that your content is how theirs looks. It just helps you know what's going on in the industry.
Michelle: let's talk about pricing right now. So how did you come up with the pricing for your products? Like, you can't price so high that you can't compete with these big brands, but you can't also price too low that, you know, your margins are very thin. So how did you come up with the pricing?
Cherokee: So I always start with the Google search was how I first started looking like how are people actually pricing their stuff. And I would see people are like they would multiply whatever they bought it for times like one and a half. And I'm kind of like, well, that's not a lot of profit. Like I don't, you know, so my starting point is it first started with times two. So whatever I would buy for wholesale I would multiply it times two to sell it. Then I started seeing like okay, I have the same product as this brand and they're selling it way more so I can be somewhere in the middle of that. So now my benchmark is two and a half. So whatever I buy it for I'm starting with two and a half. That half is just going to cover shipping costs because we don't charge our customers as much. Much as it costs to ship, it's actually really expensive to ship, and then little supply costs. So that's where the point five comes in. And then if I'm looking at my item and I'm like, it's super good quality, Like I feel like I can get more. It's unique. I'll go to three. So whatever I wholesale price times three. And I just thought, you can keep going until you feel like you got the value for your product. And that's the number one thing not to sell yourself short because I used to be scared to charge my prices, and when I started charging those people, it was still selling out. I was I sold my first like $220 dress. And I had I just didn't think it would sell. And they sell. Great. So you just can't be scared to charge because if you're always so cheap, everyone's, you know, they're going to be looking at your brand like they're going to be mad when you raise your price because it's kind of like, you know, they're used to you being so low. So if you want to be known for that, you can. But if you if you want to be, you know, just respected and getting your value, then sell it for what you think it's worth.
Michelle: Yeah. And on top of that you have to factor in, you know, all the marketing costs, your photographers, the influencers, ads, and everything. So it really eats into your margins. And do you also shoulder the shipping costs as well?
Cherokee: So that's why that I did that 2.5 because just times two was not I was profiting, but I wasn't happy with it. It was like recycling. So I'm like, okay, if I do point five, then I can lower everyone's shipping costs, which is a marketing tactic and then, you know, still have a profit. And I'm and it's still fair and people are still happy with the price and they're still buying. So I just feel like you need to charge what you're worth and what you think is worth, and then also what makes sense on paper.
Michelle: Okay. So let's talk about how you got your first customers. Were you a YouTuber and influencer like how did you get those first sales?
Cherokee: So I really didn't Have a big following. When I started, I probably had about maybe under 5000 followers, and a lot of them were strangers. Of course, it's social media and I was always known for my dressing, so I already had those like a small fan base, even though I didn't have a lot of followers. So when I first launched, like it was a lot of friends and family, of course, but seeing strangers purchase, I'm like, that's like a great feeling as a small business owner, seeing strangers purchase on your release date. so it was really just social media. And then I did try paid ads for a little bit, but then TikTok was just amazing and it's free marketing, so I just stopped them and just went fully organic with TikTok content. And that's how I've been making my sales. But I do plan to go back to running ads very soon, probably top of the year.
Michelle: So right now you're just doing TikTok organic and I guess a bit of Instagram as well. Or are you on any other platforms?
Cherokee: My main focus is Instagram and TikTok right now, so it's completely organic, free marketing for me right now.
Michelle: Okay, so like with TikTok, do you find that it's becoming really competitive or it's very difficult to have a video take off these days, or what's your view on TikTok right now?
Cherokee: So when I first transitioned to TikTok, it was, you know, everything was blowing up. But yes, it is really competitive now. And that's where personality and just brand and community come in. And you being personable with your audience. Like with TikTok, there's no more just posting like they want to know you. Your audience wants to know you. So now it's you just have to be more personable with everything. For social media these days,.
Michelle:, I'm also wondering, like, what kind of TikTok posts do you see that are actually converting to sales? Because I see that on your TikTok you talk about building a business, but then you also have posts with about your actual clothing, like which ones convert better. Is there anything surprising there?
Cherokee: I think it's a little bit of both. I think by me going on there and talking, which I'm just a very I'm very shy and I'm an introvert, so that was a lot for me. But by me going on there and talking, I start building a community and then these women trust me to buy from me and trust my opinion. So I follow this marketing strategy. I can't quote where it was from. I'm not remembering, but it educates, entertains, and inspires. So educate would be when I get on there and show them a day in my life at the fashion district, and then entertain is when we're just taking the content of the clothing and then inspires where I go on there and post like my beginning stages to my end, like to right now, just as motivation. So I think following that marketing strategy, I've gotten so many clients, whether it's girls who are trying to start their own boutique or just customers, they all tie into the community and they're helping grow my business.
Michelle: So do they actually purchase the clothing from you, do you think? Or…
Cherokee: I've seen, other business owners where and they'll tag me where my items are in their business launch. A lot of girls do like photo shoots for their business launch. So I'll see them wearing my items and they'll tag me. And I believe they came from seeing me talk about business and following me from that aspect. So I do get a lot of business owners wearing my items as well.
Michelle: Okay. And do you actually track which posts work and which don't? Is it easy to track through organic TikTok or
Cherokee: is pretty easy to track So the style of content we were doing is just to be in a really nice area because I feel like the background matters a lot, and especially the lighting. So when we're in a really nice area. With really good lighting. I feel like my videos do great and when my scenes are changing faster, it's catching their eye and I feel like those work better. So cutting up your clips and just a lot of movement in your clips are going to get you more views. And I've noticed that works and I've seen that as a tip on content creating. So I feel like that really works. It's the editing, it's the lighting, and it's the overall aesthetic of it.
Michelle: Okay. So do you have like a content calendar or do you just get inspired and shoot content for that day? Like how does your creative process work?
Cherokee: I would like to get to that point, but I'm more spontaneous with it right now. So maybe at the top of the week or end of the week is when I'm whatever I got inspired by. That week is saved in my phone. So at the end of the week, I'll write down like, okay, next week we're doing this, this and that, and then if anything else pops up in the midst of that, we're just spontaneously shooting it. So it kind of works like that. I want to be on a more strict schedule, but I also want to shoot what I want to shoot, and you don't know when you're going to get inspired. So if I see something I like better than that, then I have to change it up and I just have to pivot
Michelle: with your shoots, do you do them by yourself, or do you have assistants who help you with the shoot? Or it's whoever is around at that moment, like, how do your shoots work?
Cherokee: It's really whoever's around me helping me and willing to help me. So I model a lot of the clothing so I can't really shoot like that. But when I do have my models come in, I like to actually be the one getting them behind the scenes. And like I'm very hands-on, even when I'm the model, like I'm super hands-on, like I will do anything I need to do to be able to get the shot, even in my high heels, and having to be in public taking the photos. I'm super hands-on with it and I edit all of my own stuff.
Michelle: Okay, so you also hire models then, right?
Cherokee: When I have a big shoot coming up, like if I want to do a collection, something fun, then that's when it's more planned and I get my photographer involved and usually do a studio so my models are comfortable. But from like day to day, it's mainly me or maybe one model, whoever's free.
Michelle: And do you have a set budget for each shoot? Obviously, you have to pay the models and the photographer and everything. Like how do you budget for each shoot in relation to your profit and how much you expect to bring in?
Cherokee: So me and my photographer have a good relationship to where it's really just an exchange for him to get content for me and then for me to get the photos because I edit them. So we kind of have that good exchange to where I don't have to budget too much for him. Plus he has his own studio, so we don't have to rent that. For as far as my models, they do get paid, but some of them, if they're like a new model and they're just trying to get a portfolio, we'll do an exchange as well. So it's not too much of a budget. And then as far as how much I'll spend on a TikTok video during the shoot, me and whoever's helping me, my content manager, whoever, we're writing down all the ideas we want to get during the shoot. So whatever. While we're shooting, we're also getting our TikTok content and it just makes everything easier.
Michelle: Okay, well, that's really good that you get all these exchanges and that you don't really have to pay for the photographer and models and everything, because it really does eat into your budget and into your margins.
Cherokee: I was at that point too, but I really had to sit down. I think it was the beginning of this year and I'm like, we have to cut the cost here. Like at some point in your business, you have to sit down and look at what you're spending. Because I was like two, there's too much going out. Like we need to reevaluate all of this. And a lot of this can be done in-house and we don't need to pay for this. So that was my biggest lesson of this year is to cut the cost and just be more efficient.
Michelle: So you were at a point where you were spending a lot on all this stuff, and then you really had to cut back and think about how you could, you know, use these exchanges to make it fair for everyone, but also get what you want at the end. Right?
Cherokee: Right, Because I'm like, okay, I'm spending for ads to be efficient people. It's so competitive. People are spending 50 to $100 a day on ads. And plus these are bigger businesses that are in my industry. So it was that cost on top of I didn't find that photographer until a little later. So I was still experimenting with photographers paying hundreds of dollars every shoot. And then I finally was like, okay, I have the camera, I have the editing skills, I have the lighting. I don't need to do all of this. I don't need to do a studio every shoot because I started to like the outside lifestyle better anyway, so a lot of costs were cut..
Michelle: So was it You who was doing all of these exchanges and negotiations, or was it your assistants, like, how did this process go to get all of these things?
Cherokee: It was really networking. Like, I met my photographer at one of my friend's business launches and he was like, I like your style, I want to work. I'm kind of new to the industry. We both live in LA, like, let's work. So that's how that came about. Um, and it just happened organically. So I tag him in all of my articles if he takes my pictures. Like it was just very organic and everyone was genuine about it. As far as my models, sometimes they're my friends and they're not even really in the modeling industry, but they do a great job. So it's some of that. And then if it's a model who I'm paying, it's again, kind of a networking type of thing, but they're still getting paid. So a lot of it's networking. I have friends who are one of my friends, started a marketing agency, and she's focused on women owned businesses running ads. For them. So when I'm ready to run my ads again, that's another resource. And then another one of my friends is very into content. So that's another resource because she's able to post my content on her portfolio and then I get the help I need. So it's just a lot. It's just a blessing to have friends in the same industry, in the same, you know, not exactly in the fashion world, but, you know, in the same industry. So I have a lot of resources. I'm very, very lucky.
Michelle: Okay, So can you kind of give me like a rundown of your day? Like, are you just creating content all the time, or do you have time to do admin work? And what is your day-to-day running your business look like?
Cherokee: So I actually only create content. When we were working in office, we would pick I'm like talking to the girls. I'm like, let's just pick. I'm not strict on like, I want this day, so let's do it. I'm like, when's everybody available for a good day for content? And we'll pick like 2 to 3 days because we do bulk content. So we'll do multiple outfits and get multiple videos that way. It's not taking up all my time. So I really only have to shoot like two times a week if that 2 to 3 times a week, and then the rest of the week packing orders and doing admin things. So it's just if you refine it into 2 to 3 days and just bring your outfits and change, it makes it way easier. And then you have posts for the whole week.
Michelle: Okay. And how did you get to this six figure mark? Was it was there any one thing that really catapulted your business to six figures, or was it just kind of doing the same thing and just grinding it out, doing the same thing every day?
Cherokee: And I know it's like cliche and their like, everyone's like, you got to keep going to get what you want. But it's really just I was doing the same thing every day and I'm like, one day it has to work. And it wasn't just like a big day of sales, it was just consistency consistently every day making sales. And before I knew it, I looked up and it was the six-figure mark.
Michelle: So do you also sell on other platforms such as Amazon or other marketplaces, or is it just really TikTok and Instagram for you? Yeah, it's just.
Cherokee: TikTok and Instagram and you can only actually buy from the website. I don't have a TikTok shop set up yet because that's kind of a new thing, but it's only just buying from Instagram, TikTok, and the actual website.
Michelle: So do you have like Facebook groups or other engagement groups where you can really engage with your customers?
Cherokee: No, I think the most I engage with them is like in the comments for TikTok or on our story when we ask questions, that's like the most engagement I get with them.
Michelle: And do you do any types of email marketing? Like if they left something in their cart, do car abandonment emails, or do you do any kind of newsletters or other types of email marketing?
Cherokee: Yeah, okay that's great that's a very great point. I feel like that was really one of the turning points in my business was when I incorporated abandoned carts because I'm just like, why didn't I have this the whole time? And giving people just a little discount? Nothing too crazy, maybe 10%, 15% if you can afford it for an abandoned cart. I've seen my numbers just skyrocket, so having a cart recovery email is great, and I've always had my marketing email where I communicate and send them new items, and then SMS marketing.
Michelle: And which one do you find the most effective? SMS or is it really just the email marketing?
Cherokee: Yeah, because for SMS it's a lot of having to approve it. It's it's very it's more strict on on our, on their end with SMS. And a lot of people don't want to put their phone numbers and things. So email is probably the biggest one.
Michelle: And with your cart abandonment emails, did you you tested percentages like 10% off or 15% off, but did you test timing or when you should send the emails like, is it one hour after they left their cart or one day, did you do tests like that?
Cherokee: So the app. So when you have I use Shopify. So when you use Shopify there's apps for every little thing you want to do. So in the app that does the abandoned carts, it also sends another email. And it has all these parameters already selected the based on their market research. So I think there was one that's an hour after ten hours and then 48 hours. And then that's the last abandoned cart email you'll get. So they have all of that set up for you. They make it super easy.
Michelle: So when you've refined your customer persona, I mean, obviously you really sell to a specific kind of customer. Are you thinking of, you know, expanding that persona like maybe, maybe experiment age or maybe do a career woman or other types of customer profiles?
Cherokee: So when I first started, I kind of had a huge audience. It was like I was selling Sweatsuits and then super dressed-up items, and then I was like, let me refine this because you can't please everyone. If you're pleasing everyone, you're pleasing no one. So I cut out the sweatsuits and I went really luxury dressed up like, you know, you're going to go to my website when you're going somewhere like a special occasion. So that's when I kind of refined it. But in the future, I do want to have plus size. It's just really hard when you're doing wholesale because a lot of the vendors either don't sell plus size or if they do, it's just not the same styles. And it's like, you know, they want to wear the same styles we wear just in a bigger size. So it's kind of hard to do that. But I really, really do want to incorporate plus size when my budget grows.
Michelle: So in terms of your whole eCommerce journey, what is the biggest hardship that you think you've encountered? Like what's the biggest mistake or. Biggest thing that you really had to overcome?
Cherokee: I think the slow Seasons, because when I started, I feel like I came out so fast and hard and everything was just working out and sales were, you know, I wasn't really prepared for a slow season. So the slow season really taught me to adjust. Like I said, I sat down and I was like, we have too much going out. Like we we have to cut the cost. So I feel like that was my biggest lesson, and I'm glad I learned it early in my business instead of, you know, having hundreds of thousands to have to try to cut and refine and find out why we're not making any money at that point in that big in a business. So I'm glad I learned that really, really early on.
Michelle: So at that point, were you like in the negatives or you were just not profiting as much as you were before?
Cherokee: I wasn't profiting as much as I was before, and it was getting a little slow to where I'm like it was. It was starting to show and like when I was time to buy new inventory, I'm like, why? Why do I not have so much to buy the inventory? And that's when I started to sit down and I'm like, okay, we have to we have to, you know, figure this out. But it also was the economy at the time. And this was like pre-COVID, I mean, coming out of Covid. So it was kind of like, you know, a time where people they stopped all of the extra help they were giving for Covid. So a lot of businesses just took a and I feel like I seen a lot of businesses being like, vocal about it and transparent and posting about how it's slow. So I was like, okay, I'm not the only one like my other business. Friends were all like, yeah, it's like slow right now. And I'm like, okay, it's not just me, but still, we need to cut the cost and try to run the business like this. So when it does pick back up, we're profiting even more.
Michelle: Okay. Interesting. So in closing, what would be the biggest advice that you would give to eCommerce entrepreneurs for starting today?
Cherokee: It would be especially eCommerce content. Content content and being personable and building a community is going to get you the sales more than anything else. People buy from who they like, no matter what it is people are buying from who they like. So it's all about building a community and making sure your content is top quality, even if it has to be on an iPhone. Iphones can produce really good content, so just make sure your lighting is good. And if you ever need inspiration, look at a business that's, you know, bigger than you and your industry and just try to make your content not not replicate it, but make sure your content is looking just as good as theirs or close to it.
Michelle: Okay, well, that's the end of the interview. Thank you so much, Cherokee. It was really, really informative. And if you want to get more actionable insights on the eCommerce industry, be sure to subscribe to our Salehoo eCommerce podcast and also our YouTube channel so you never miss an episode! Thank you so much for listening.