How Covid-19 Helped a Dropshipper to Get Out of Her Comfort Zone and Start Her Own Dropshipping Business
BrandsGateway’s success stories are about inspiring and motivating people who are thinking about starting their own dropshipping business. This is the reason why we continuously share our customers’ stories, not only of those who are deep in the dropshipping game and are earning big profits but also of those who are newbies.
One of our beginner dropshippers who has an inspiring story to share with BrandsGateway’s audience is Herdis Jenssen who is the founder and CEO of the dropshipping store named Fash Dash.
Her journey with BrandsGateway started a few months ago when she decided to establish her own online clothing boutique. Even though Herdis still hasn’t brought her dropshipping business to its fullest potential, she has so much to share about her life story – what inspired her to get into the dropshipping business and connect with BrandsGateway as a dropshipping supplier, as well as what were her beginner’s mistakes from which she learned quite a lot.
“I started dropshipping with BrandsGateway in March 2021 and had my first sale a month later, in April. I must emphasize that I haven’t worked hard to get sales and my profit so far has been average, so I know that I need to step it up. It’s necessary to put in the time and the effort, and when you do that, then you will get sales, undoubtedly, I know that. When I work I get sales, but at the moment I’m managing two websites because, aside from having a store, I’m also a pole dance instructor so I have a website where I hold online classes which take some of my time as well. I’m in the progress, and I will work more for Fash Dash I’m certain. I plan on fully focusing on my fashion store because I want it to be my main source of income so I have to turn it around and put my other business in the second place. I need to switch them around because I want dropshipping to be my primary business”, says Herdis.
Before starting her dropshipping store, Herdis worked full-time as an office coworker at a Taxi central close to the airport, and then because of the Covid-19 pandemic, she lost her job which, as she explains, was the kick that she needed to start something of her own.
“I have spent 22 years in that business which was too long and I promised myself I wouldn’t dedicate so much time of my life to that business. Speaking sincerely, I wanted to drop out of that job many years earlier but I didn’t dare to do that. I’ve always had this dream about owning an online fashion store but I guess I needed this kick. The thing I needed was to not have a job anymore. I wanted this for several years, and I even bought my domain name 3 years ago, and I’m just starting out now”, she adds.
Herdis says that her inspiration has always been working for herself. At the moment she is managing two businesses. However, going forward, she is planning on putting the dropshipping business in the main focus as she has always been passionate about selling fashion products.
“I’m a person who likes to work on my own. I do cooperate well with other people but I’m really enjoying working for myself and for my family. I wanted to see if I can make it on my own – so that is where I’m now – I have to make it on my own. I have a website for online classes for pole dancing, and my online dropshipping store named Fash Dash. When it comes to the store, it was my wish to have something nice to offer. I wanted to offer quality products and I’ve always wanted to sell luxury dresses and bags because that is a very typical girly thing so that is mainly why I got into this business and why I chose BrandsGateway as my supplier”, says Herdis.
To the question of whether she had previous knowledge of dropshipping and how she came across BrandsGateway, she says that she knew how the business model worked beforehand because she did a lot of research and sent a lot of emails to lots of places.
“I found BrandsGateway when I googled about dropshipping clothing and I think you were the first one that popped up in the results. I have been looking around and there are more suppliers, of course, but BrandsGateway is the one that I fell for. The first reason for this is because you make the dropshipping process very easy. For example, my store is based on Shopify and I find the experience very simple and easy because everything is perfectly synced with your plugin. Your stock is very easily transferred to my Shopify store and it is updated in real-time which means I won’t sell anything that is out of stock”, highlights Herdis.
Additionally, she says that she finds BrandsGateway’s customer support fantastic which is crucial in dropshipping.
“When you are dropshipping, you need to get answers kind of quickly because you need to answer to your own customers. As we are going through all of it step by step, we need great customer support from our supplier. Before partnering up with you I read about BrandsGateway, I read customers’ reviews and they were all great, which made it easier for me to choose you. Lastly, you have quality clothing and accessories which I love. One thing I would wish for is for you to have a bigger availability of some items because there are some things that are just one piece or just one size in stock”, she concludes.
With Fash Dash, Herdis doesn’t put an accent on only one category or product niche but she is marketing the whole catalog that BrandsGateway brings, including women’s and men’s clothing, bags, sunglasses, and watches.
“I have all of BrandsGateway’s stock imported in my Fash Dash store, so I’m marketing all of the women’s and men’s products and categories. Until now, the best selling products are from Just Cavalli and Michael Kors. Going forward I’m hoping to sell Dolce & Gabbana because you have a lot of Dolce & Gabbana collections in your inventory and the pieces that you offer are very exclusive and that is really what I want to sell. Of course, any sale is a good sale so I will be happy to sell any of the luxury brands that you have in your catalog, but Dolce & Gabbana is something that I consider premium”, Herdis adds.
At the moment, Herdis focuses on selling in her home country – Norway, but she has been targeting the USA and India as well. When it comes to other European countries, she is a bit hesitant because of the dense competition. However, her plan and strategy going forward are to target a worldwide audience interested in buying luxury products from renowned brands.
“My plan is to reach for the world – that is my dream. Until now, my sales have been mostly in Norway, however, I’m experimenting with other countries and I’m targeting the USA and India as well. These are the two regions where I have been advertising the products that I sell, and I must admit that I get a better response from India. Therefore, I think that I will focus on India in the future as well because I get the feeling that this audience is very interested in branded products. For now, I’m promoting my website and building my email list and I’ve noticed that I get quite a lot of responses from India”, she says.
Herdis also mentions that she hasn’t been fully dedicated to the advertising of her store because of the lack of time she spends on her other business, so, of the few marketing efforts that she has done, she has gotten a good response from India and that is the reason why she thinks that this audience has the potential to be part of her marketing strategy in the future as well.
“I also plan on continuing targeting the USA, however, until now I’ve gotten a lower response rate and I think that this is due to the fact that many other dropshippers are targeting the USA so I will be one in a million there and I don’t want that. Moreover, I want to target other European countries besides Norway, however, I know that there are as well a lot of other websites targeting Europe and at the moment I wouldn’t want to compete with them. It would be easier for my dropshipping store to stand out if, for now, I target countries without a very dense competition”, she adds.
Speaking of channels for marketing and advertising, Herdis points out that she is using Facebook for advertising, but she also plans on using Google, Instagram, and Twitter advertising as well.
“I want to try a lot of different sales channels, but for now, I have used only Facebook Ads. In reality, I haven’t put much effort and I believe that when I step it up I will have better results. I have made up my mind, that I’m going to succeed, and I think that this is crucial – you have to really decide to succeed and to dedicate yourself. If you don’t do that you will just fall back and it won’t turn out to anything. So you need to dedicate yourself and set up a plan, get a good daily routine because if you don’t, everything will be a mess and you won’t be able to keep track of anything. So I’m really learning every day and I have attended webinars and meetings and I have read a lot and I think I have learned a lot. However, I still have a lot to learn because the world is changing all the time, all the marketing strategies are changing every day and you have to keep up in order to be successful and to reach your preferred target audience”, she concludes.
In addition to all of the above-mentioned knowledge sources that Herdis uses, she is also reading articles published on BrandsGateway’s blog, and as she points out “you have covered a lot of different topics and I plan on following your articles going forward”.
Even though the Covid-19 pandemic is influencing everyone’s lives, and countless people have lost their jobs, for Herdis, the crisis turned out to be exactly what she needed for a long time. She considers Covid-19 the deciding factor for kickstarting her dropshipping business. Although she lost her full-time job, she got the chance to start something of her own which makes her truly happy.
“Because of the Covid-19, as you already know, we had to move everything online so I started giving online coaching classes for pole dancing. The pandemic turned out well for me, honestly, because even though I lost my full-time job I got the time to start focusing on other things that I’ve always dreamed of doing. It really kicked me out of my comfort zone which is exactly what I needed. When I lost my job, it was overwhelming, and it might sound crazy to you but I was actually relieved because I wanted to leave for quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, I had a really great time and a good income there, but I’ve always wanted to have something on my own and now I’m standing right in the middle of it and it is really fun for me. It is so fun, even though it is hard, you learn a lot about how to manage everything by yourself. You need to have self-discipline and to learn how to set up your own strategy”, she says joyfully.
Talking about what challenges she is encountering while managing her online store, Herdis says that at the moment her biggest challenge is the lack of time because she is devoted to two businesses that require a substantial commitment. Another aspect that generally influences one business’ success is the amount of money that one has aside because, as she adds, “if you don’t have at least a little money aside it’s difficult to market your business and the products that you sell”.
Selling BrandsGateway’s catalog is a seamless process for Herdis as until now she hasn’t gotten any inquiries for product returns because so far everyone has been satisfied with what they receive. Additionally, she highlights that in terms of customer inquiries and requirements, she receives zero questions and complaints, especially when it comes to the bags that she sells.
“I mostly get questions about clothing, specifically about sizing and when a certain product will be in stock again. When it comes to the accessories, mainly for the bags I get zero questions – they are just being sold and I’m just getting money which is great”, she finishes.
Finally, when asked about what is her advice to people who want to start dropshipping and if she has some lessons learned to share with the readers, Herdis emphasizes that as a beginner she made numerous mistakes but that shouldn’t be discouraging for anyone thinking about getting into this industry
“One of the many things that I did wrong was finding the right platform. So, first of all, to anyone who is a newbie in dropshipping, I would say find your ideal platform. If you want to have your own website, find a good platform that is cooperative, such as Shopify. Next, find a dropshipping supplier like BrandsGateway – with a big and wide-ranging catalog, and that offers a plugin to make everything run smoothly. For example, my website is loading very fast even though I have thousands of products which is exactly what every dropshipper needs. Shopify has a lot of website themes, some free and some paid, so my mistake there was that I went with a paid theme because I thought it would look nice and I shouldn’t have done that. I should have looked more for free themes and should have tried them out. I ended up using a free theme that looks better than the one I paid for. Therefore, when starting, it’s important to do some research and to don’t expect it to be very easy. Of course, if you put in the time and work, it will be easy and you will make money. But it is not like you can just sit around all day and expect that people will come to you and you will make big profits without any effort”, she sums up.
Finally, she concludes – “put the effort in, do research and follow people that know what they are doing and learn from them. Struggling on your own without asking questions will get you nowhere”.
About the Author
Kristina, Head of Content at BrandsGateway. Eternal inspiration: The Doors music and lyrics, Bernardo Bertolucci's timeless “Stealing Beauty”, and the dynamic and meditative Ashtanga Yoga.