We look forward to seeing you on the "flipside"!
We knew it was pushing it to open on 11/11/11 (a date we couldn’t forget) but it never seemed too daunting. After all, we had a container of goodies that was happily sailing across the ocean, a fabulous staff ready to roll up their sleeves, a brand new and very expensive POS system that we were sure would solve the world’s problems, and some lovely, loyal gallery clients who promised to visit when we opened. So what more did we need?
On November 10th we looked at each other and blearily blurted, after a month of hard labor and just a smattering of sleep, “Darn – we really should have a website.” It’s not that we hadn’t thought of it earlier, it’s just that we thought we could get by without it … at least for a while.
So a day or two after we caught our breath and opened our doors, we embarked on another project that was every bit as daunting as opening the store. If you’ve read our previous blog about the birthing of this baby, you’ll know that some of us approached the whole project kicking and screaming. It wasn’t that we loved our old website or didn’t think it needed to be changed. It was the fear of giving up control. Because this time, it was designed by a real professional (unlike us), who may be the most talented designer in the world (we think she is), but who lives miles away and actually isn’t at our beck and call every minute (unlike us!).
Sure enough, there was a scare sometime in early January when we happened to be on a buying trip and received an email from a client who was looking at something on our website that we knew didn’t exist. What website is she viewing, we wondered? And then a rush of panic. OMG, the website is live!! It turns out someone had accidentally pulled the trigger before we were anywhere near ready, and we spent a frightening 24 hours trying to restore our old website and get everything back to normal. These things happen, but for one of us at least, it was cause for the inevitable “I told you we shouldn’t give up control of this!”
Our website team has been working fast and furiously to get everything up to speed. We realized, much to our disappointment, that the pictures we wanted to use, like this:
looked pretty terrible when we uploaded them onto the site – and so we needed to reshoot most of our product shots.
Or products that we cropped from other photos, like this:
were really unacceptable and needed to be reshot, like this.
We also realized that our blog format, one that we’ve become very familiar with and attached to, wouldn’t work with the new site. So that meant hours of learning, training and eye straining work to get that up to speed.
And then we learned that just about every picture on the site had to be resized and recropped to fit the new format, which was a whole other eye straining exercise. Or that vertical photos, like this:
… had to be reshot to be square, like this.
It’s not perfect yet – there are dozens more pictures that need to be shot and equally as many that need a little editing. But our website is close enough for publishing and once again, we are jumping up and down – and wondering, what took us so long?
But enough about us! Let’s talk about you, and what you think of us!! Do you like our new site? Can you find everything OK? Is it easy to navigate? And does it provide what you’re looking for?
We know there’s still a lot that needs to be done but we try to remind ourselves that “Home” wasn’t built in a day – and neither was the website. So as we continue to grow and improve it, we hope you’ll come visit us often – and give us your feedback and suggestions.
Because after all the time and effort it’s taken to build, right now we’re just happy to be ‘live'!
PS A huge thank you to our incredibly talented website designer, Mara Lubell, and her amazing team of Kristi and Paul at WorksProgress Design.