Seller Spotlight: Salt Marketplace
It’s not often that one of our Jane Sellers is featured on the TODAY show! Salt Marketplace made their grand debut on the TODAY show last month so we figured we’d give them a little shout out and give you the chance to learn just a little more about their awesome company!
What is the story behind Salt Marketplace?
Salt Marketplace started four years ago as a marketplace/boutique held in downtown Salt Lake City at the Salt Lake Hardware building. Witnessing the trend of artisans flooding to the online marketplace namely Etsy, I wanted to see what it was all about and what the online space had to offer. My husband (Bray) and I had spent several years consulting and marketing for small businesses as a part time venture. We decided to pursue selling our Salt Marketplace products online. We created (along with my sister Cari) some miniature bread board designs that were personalized using laser engraving technology. We put a few photos of the product on Etsy not knowing what to expect. One of our first corporate customer was Microsoft’s search division, Bing. Bing was hosting a dinner event in New York and personalized our mini bread boards and favors for each guest. Bing immediately followed up with an additional order for another dinner event held in Los Angeles.
Following this experience we added more board designs, found a local manufacturer and invested in our own industrial laser engraving equipment.
Since then we have been featured in HGTV Magazine and have worked with companies such as Wells Fargo, The Waldorf Hotels, Betenbough Homes, Smuckers, as well as many small businesses across the world. We have been featured in many bridal magazines working with wedding coordinators nationally and internationally. We also specialize in corporate events and business marketing and promotional gifts.
Our product has been featured on the Today Show during their popular segment, “Today Food”. It has been so fun to see how our business has grown and how pleased our customers are. All designs are created by us and we love creating and innovating new products!
How did you come up with the business name?
Our name, Salt Marketplace, was chosen for many reasons. Salt is a basic ingredient that enhances the flavor of food. We believe we create products that enhance life and experience just as salt does when cooking food. Our family spent five years living in the Seattle, Washington area. We fell in love with Pike’s Place downtown Seattle (if you haven’t been there you must go!). Pike’s Place is an iconic fish market down by the pier. In additional to selling fish there are many artisans selling their products as well as the amazing flower vendors!!! We wanted to build a marketplace that offered a similar experience that makes life fun and exciting. Salt Marketplace, Flavoring life.
How long have you been running Salt Marketplace?
We designed our first product concept four years ago and have had our own online store for two years. Bray and I have owned other businesses prior to Salt Marketplace that have added so much value and knowledge in growing our current venture.
How long have you been selling on Jane.com?
We have been selling with Jane.com for two years!
What was your first deal on Jane.com?
Our first promotional event with Jane.com was our Mini Artisan Bread and Cheese Board Gift Sets.
The promotion included a personalized classic mini bread and cheese board, birch wooden knife and a recipe for pumpkin bread for the holidays!
How has selling on Jane.com affected Salt Marketplace?
Selling on Jane has been a very powerful tool in helping us expand our customer base and reach. We are also able to gain insights into which areas of the United States our products trend well. This insight helps with our marketing efforts and knowing where to spend our marketing dollars. It has also been valuable to test our new products and see what shoppers like and dislike in our new products and designs. We want to create products that our customer base loves and Jane helps us do just that!
On average, how many deals do you run on Jane.com in a given week?
We are currently averaging one to two deals per week.
What do you love most about being a seller on Jane.com?
I have really appreciated how easy Jane has made it for their vendors to sell through their site. Their online vendor portal is very easy to use for businesses like ours. Jane easily allows vendors to provide its customers many options for personalized products. It also provides small businesses with free tutorials to help trouble shoot the adventures of owning your own business. We are HUGE advocates for small business and Jane.com provides a great environment for small businesses to learn, grow and be successful.
What has been the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge of owning your own business is learning things you don’t know. There are so many things we have never experienced with this business and didn’t know anything about. I think having the courage to try things you have never done before is vital and not getting discouraged when it doesn’t work out as planned. Even your failures teach you many business lessons. I remember in the beginning learning to use my new thermal printer. It started spitting out labels at an incredibly fast rate. Before I knew it I was sitting on the floor of my office surrounded by mounds of printing labels. It looked like it had snowed in my office. I spent a good hour taking the label machine apart and putting it back together while on the phone with customer service. I learned a lot about my printer from that experience and haven’t had a problem printing labels since.
The best way to overcome this challenge is reaching out for help and advice from those who have walked the same path….. business experts. We have found many willing to share helpful business tips and have used paid services when needed. It’s OK to admit you don’t know everything and that seeking help is vital!
What has been your biggest success as a business owner?
My biggest success was growing our business to the point where our kitchen table was too small for our business needs. We moved it from the kitchen table to a bedroom then to the basement. We are currently looking for warehouse space. Each move signifies our growth and to us that is success!
If you could give new sellers 3-5 tips of advice what would they be?
My advice to new sellers is:
- Learn from your mistakes. There is nothing wasted in failure but time. The more you learn from your mistakes the better you can use your time to promote your business and get more out of it.
- When starting out use as many free services as possible to limit your financial risk and then transition into paid services as you grow. Organic growth allows you to enjoy the journey without the stress of excessive financial investment. This strategy has worked well for us and minimizes our risk and increases our enjoyment with the business.
- Enjoy each season! Every business goes through stages. Enjoy each one. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in where you’re heading and forget all the good things and people around you.
- Remember and thank all those that helped you along the way, give back by helping others that are starting out.