Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home decor but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with James Paquette, Owner of WindowCandles LLC., located in Maryland, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
WindowCandles is patented and is the world’s first and only built-in, low-voltage window candle decorating system. There is no other product that incorporates the same convenience, safety features, and installation or design flexibility. The problem with plug-in 110v outlet window candles was all of the ugly cords hanging from the window candles to the outlets, and a lot of times, the outlet needed an extension cord to reach the candles.
It created a safety problem as well as marring the appearance of expensive room decors. Hence, the creation of the WindowCandles system. Our customers are mainly located in the upper east coast region, such as Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Delaware, and New Jersey.
Tell us about yourself
In the beginning, we had wanted to install window candles in our own home, but the problem was that the only product available was the corded, 110v high voltage option. We had even installed outlets under every window of the house, preparing for the mess, hassle, and ugly look of conventional window candles. Then we decided to create our own product, a safer product, and with the help of some friends and family, WindowCandles as a brand was born.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest accomplishment was finally getting our online cart system working for our customers. Originally, customers had to browse our old site, which can still be partially viewed at www.windowcandles.biz, and then call our offices to order something as simple as a pack of bulbs.
Now, with the help of Shopify, we have been able to fully automate our retail ordering process and mainly take phone orders only for dealers and distributors.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest aspect of this business is keeping every customer happy. We use Judge.me for our review system, so every review is verified by the service, and customers can really leave us any feedback they want. Most of the time, if not 95% of the time, that feedback is good. However, sometimes you may encounter customers who have had a bad day, are irritable in general, or expect our shipping speeds to be as fast as Amazon.
In our opinion, the best way to go about this is to directly call the customer after they've left a negative review, try and resolve the issue and, if it is resolved, we ask that they take a look at the review they've given us and maybe give it another glance if the review is positive, AMAZING!
We always thank our customers for reviewing us and sometimes offer discounts if they leave a review in general, no matter the rating.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Always please the customer no matter the situation, have an elegant website design, and do not make things hard for the customer.
The last one is crucial. Take eBay, for example, and it is almost impossible to get ahold of them or get past their automated robot. In contrast, WindowCandles always has a human ready to answer the phone or someone to call a customer back if they're directed to voicemail.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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