ecommerce

Fresh Website Design: Emerald Sky

Owned and operated by three sisters in Texas, Emerald Sky creates adorable t-shirts and apparel, but was being operated on a third-party retail site. As the business grew, the sisters realized they really needed an easier-to-use platform for keeping track of inventory, and a more automated ordering system for their customers, complete with a seamless and secure payment system. We also thought they should have their own logo showing prominently and most importantly, the site should be hosted at their own domain for branding purposes (how can you build a customer base if your customers aren’t really dealing with your brand, but with your storefront on a big e-commerce platform instead)?

The solution: First, we secured Emerald Sky’s domain, www.shopemeraldsky.com and then we designed a custom e-commerce site, hosted by Squarespace. The shop is organized by category (womens, kids, or mens apparel, or non-apparel accessories), and within each product design, there are various colors and sizes and various quantities available of each size/color at any given time. This way, the owners can enter in a product color and size set when they do a printing run of a design, and the shop will stay automatically updated as products continue to sell. Another great tool they’re enjoying is setting up their order reply emails so the site automatically sends order confirmations to customers and then they just have to check in and click a button once the order is fulfilled and the customer is notified their order is on the way. The Emerald Sky owners can even create discount codes in a matter of seconds to run a promotion.

As another of our web design clients recently said, "You can limp along on your own or get a first-class product that will take you to the next level with Green Apple Lane." See the full review here

We know the ladies at Emerald Sky are loving their new website and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out!

Why we recommend Squarespace:

There are very few small businesses that truly require a site built from the ground up, which can cost up to and even more than $10,000. For everyone else, a designer is usually hired to build a site using a platform like Wordpress or Squarespace and customizes the features from a template. These are the two platforms we use the most because they enable the small business owner to handle their own site updates, photos, and blogs easily (which is a constant process for a small business), unless the owners would like to delegate those tasks to us as well, in which case we’re happy to make updates. For an e-commerce site, it doesn’t get more simple than Squarespace, which uses Stripe as its payment processor – seamless for you, and for your customers. Green Apple Lane is a recognized Squarespace Circle Member and developer, meaning we’ve built tons of sites on this interface and we know the ins and outs as well as anyone. Sure, it’s a user-friendly interface, but A) if you don’t know all that it’s capable of doing, you might not know what to look for, and B) what might take you 20+ hours of time to figure out, might take us a fraction of that time, and as a fellow small business owner, I know you're all about delegation!

Whether you are just starting out with a new business or you're a maker who's ready to skip the big commerce platforms and truly call the shots in your own online shop, we would love to build your new website – reach out here and let us know how we can be of service!

Client Spotlight: Marcoot Jersey Creamery

When we were approached to design a new website for Marcoot Jersey Creamery, we jumped at the opportunity. What could be more fresh than a family-owned dairy farm in Illinois, America's Heartland? Amazingly, we had the opportunity to try nearly every product Marcoot offers in their online store and their quality, craftsmanship, and pride in what they do is evident in every crumble of deliciousness they produce. The relationship turned out to be a great fit for all of us!

Their previous site was pretty basic. It was... "fine." It had a lot of text confined to just a handful of pages, which scrolled on for quite a while. It served a purpose - a home for the farm on the web, and provided lots of info. But the seventh generation of the Marcoot family was ready to take their family farm to the next level design-wise AND wanted to be able to sell their farmstead cheeses online (e-commerce was something beyond the scope of what their original site could handle, to say the least). And finally, they really wanted a site that was user-friendly enough that they could take over themselves and make updates of new products, events, blog posts, etc. and not feel they had to continue paying someone to make those updates forever (I got the feeling they had been burned in the past). Enter Green Apple Lane!

Luckily, they had some really gorgeous photos of their farm and their products, mostly taken by Izehi Photography, so we wanted to make those stunning images the focal point of the product line. The Marcoot sisters (Amy & Beth) also wanted the site to give off a chalkboard look and feel, much like the full wall chalkboard featured in the farm's country store. The last, and perhaps most important, feature was the organization of the vast 30+ page site. Everything needed to function seamlessly, of course – we kept the navigation and the page layouts simple and clean, and let the cheese do the talking.

In addition to the website design, we were able to assist the Marcoots with transferring old and securing new domain names and hosting, simplifying their previous situation dramatically; assist with setting up new email accounts associated with the new domains using Google apps; we provided hand-chalkboard-lettering on the homepage images to fit with the overall theme of the website; and finally, we designed a fresh and clean brochure to coordinate with their new look.

In the 13 months their new website has been live, they have shipped online orders to 25 states including one Canadian province as well - talk about expanding your customer base! We couldn't be more proud of our work with Marcoot Jersey Creamery and hope to continue to count them as clients (and now, friends) for years to come.

Open, for Business

We are beyond thrilled to announce the launch of Green Apple Lane, a new graphic design firm rooted in fresh logo design, hand-lettering, creative print collateral, and web design. For a complete list of the MANY products and services we offer, please see our Services page. 

We would love to serve your business' design and printing needs, whether you're a "solopreneur" just starting out in your own venture, or a seasoned pro ready to freshen up your company's look. We bring our designer’s eye and over 10 years of marketing expertise and education to the table on every project so you can keep doing what it is you do best, and let us help take your business to the next level. Let us know how we can best be of service!