Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Looking forward

I just broke up with Adwords. 

And all of the other online advertising we have tried and paid for over the last few years.  Here's the bottom line.  I hated spending my time researching keywords and designing tiny little ¼ inch web buttons for someone to display on the very skinny side bar of their blog along with 400 other ¼ inch buttons. I hated loosing days on end…entire weekends!…trying to understand Adwords campaigns, SEO, retargeting and all that they encompass.  It really blows.  It's not why I started Moop.  Oh, I know what I'll do - I'll start this incredibly dynamic canvas bag company, laboriously make everything by hand, grow that business one sale at a time into my favorite thing in the world, working with people I love and admire so I can spend hours determining if I should go with "handmade bag" "Hand Made Bag" "Bags made by hand" "Made Hand Job" or all of them…yes. That's exactly what I want to do.

No. It's not.  I know it can be difficult to convey sarcasm via the internets, but that was it, folks.  I did not start Moop to master the art of SEO.  Someone else can take that on as their life's passion.  For me, I'll take everything listed prior to that.  The truth is, somewhere along the line, I lost sight of the most important things that make me love the business I have built.  At the very core, I am interested in relationships.  I value more than anything the relationships I have with everyone around me.  I love so much that through Moop, I have been able to establish relationships with people I don't know how I would have met otherwise.  There is a woman in Malaysia who carries Moop bags and she sends me the most awesome emails.  She is a single parent, raising her son in a beautiful place.  Will I find myself in Malaysia? Probably not.  Reality says, I'll never have enough expendable income for such a trip.  But, I can completely relate to raising a child on my own (I did it for 7 years).  I relate entirely to those moments when you have to do something for yourself because it can be incredibly lonesome with a toddler who you love and you know loves you, relies on you, in fact needs you to survive.  But, sometimes you need something just for you.. that helps you through each day…that makes things slightly easier because there is a pocket in the right spot that minimizes the amount of time you spend searching for your phone when you're in the middle of a busy store, with a crying child, broccoli in one hand and a cantaloupe in the other, trying to answer a ringing phone from that very person you've been expecting to call, who of course because this is how life works, would call when you were in the most inopportune place to take that call.  But, you do it anyway because your phone was easy to find.  That relationship is something I did not realize would develop when I started Moop.  I interact with each and every person who emails us.  That's me behind the info@moopshop.com address.  It's not an answering service or customer service agency.  It's me. And, I love it.  I love to hear about who is interested in Moop and why and what you would like to see in your next Moop bag.  It pretty much always makes my day.  Removing the things I do not enjoy from Moop means I have more time to focus on things that matter.  And, I don't think Adwords is what drives our business.  It's each of you.  You have supported us so much over the years and I am forever grateful for all of the friends and family you have sent our way.  It means the world to me. 


  1. What a great post!

    I myself was a single mother for almost 7 years and realized then that I wanted to do my own work. It was really hard sometimes but I had some awesome help from my family at the time. Now I find myself with a husband, 2 more kids, a growing business, and living very far away from home and so overwhelmed with all the information, advertising and connections out there that I don't even know where to start!

    I appreciate you opening up about your journey and love that you are all about the personal. That is the way I want to be as well.

    I wish you all the very best with you business. I absolutely love my moop bag. (but you already know that ;)

  2. You nailed it on the head. Using Adwords is like dancing in quicksand while wearing scuba gear. You'll be frustrated and hot by the time you get out.

    I love what you are doing, why you do it and how you've done it. Saving some pennies to get my first Moop bag :) In the meantime, I'm proud to be in your affiliate program.

  3. Lovely post, Wendy! I'm super proud to be the owner of multiple Moop bags (and I just placed an order for some others yesterday!). Often I try other brands for bags but none work as well as your's do. I always come back to Moop. I love it when people ask me about your bags because not only am I proud of their functionality but also the customer service you provide behind the scenes! You already know this, but when a company provides great personalized customer service, it makes a WORLD of difference to the customer! Best wishes to you and the rest of the Moop crew!

  4. Well said. I think it's so easy for folks to think that a professionally run business with a beautiful website and quality products means that it's this big operation where they can expect to interact with your business like it's this corporate-run big box store. And, that you should be able to -- and want to be able to -- focus on those minute details like SEOs for ad banners when you do absolutely everything else to keep your business running from creative direction to production to sweeping floors.

    Thanks for writing about how small business really operate and for highlighting how they're run by people. Real humans with a passion. Kudos to re-prioritizing!

  5. Thanks a lot Wendy.
    I'm also a small business person/maker who feels daunted by the diversity of hats that have to be worn by just me. Your bags are beautiful and I get to love your market bag everyday. Your post has made me relax slightly about my list of things to do today. Especially the things that don't include making the stuff that I love to make.
    all the best to you.

  6. I love what you do and I love my Moop bag. I can't wait to get another. Keep it up, the people that find you will be the ones meant to find you...like destiny. Word of Mouth will pay those bills!!! there are no coincidences ;) Blessings to you and your guts!

  7. I've been shopping Moop on and off for the past 3 years and I absolutely love your bags. Looking forward to more!

    Aloysius (Singapore)

  8. Moop you are STILL our inspiration after all these years! We dropped by Moopshop tonite to see what all is up with Moop... and because I was thinking of writing you to ask you your advice on what you have been doing w/ your online advertising. We too have been trying to become experts on SEO - I might be going insane trying to keep up with it all. Your post just made me cry, not because there is no hope- but you made me cry to know that we are not alone in this crazy online world. You just summed up my inner turmoil for the past few days ... and we are coming to the same conclusion... Focus on our fantastic customer base and our fab communication... our customers to date are what got us to where we are today, nurture and keep them! I think you hit the nail on the head, thank you for your wonderful post!

    Moop has always been a huge inspiration for us, and will continue to be, especially after reading this ... from you... to me (feels like!) ... thank you, we are right there with you!

    XO Troy (and Stephano!) from Necklush:)

  9. You said it Wendy. No one starts (or should start) a business with the intent on having to rephrase words for months on end just to get a view or a sale. It should be about making a wonderful product for wonderful people; sharing what you love with people you know and and many more that you don't. I've been right there fussing and grimacing and there is so much more behind my business (any many other handmade businesses) than that. Great post Wendy!

  10. You said it Wendy. No one starts (or should start) a business with the intent on having to rephrase words for months on end just to get a view or a sale. It should be about making a wonderful product for wonderful people; sharing what you love with people you know and and many more that you don't. I've been right there fussing and grimacing and there is so much more behind my business (any many other handmade businesses) than that. Great post Wendy!

  11. Very useful information, thanks for your generosity. More power to you!

  12. Hello there. So it's funny how things go. I saw one of your bags on a blog I follow (diary of a yummy mummy in case you're interested) and then came here and started looking around and then stumbled on this post about SEO. I too have started a small business and what you have written has resonated so much with me. So refreshing to see this! I can't tell you how much I am in agreement that if it's gonna grow - it will grow organically and cos it's meant to - not because you picked the right combo of words on an ad. Bravo you. Now I just need to get some gumption to order a Moop bag and have it shipped all the way to little old united kingdom!! Happy days. Lou x


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