Tell us a little bit about yourself and the inspiration behind the birth of Stockade.
My parents got into the craft industry by making and selling wooden toys at craft fairs back in the late 70s. As the company grew they began selling toys to wholesale markets and even exported them overseas. The company expanded further when they began selling the individual wood parts to people making their own toys. From this a craft supply company was created which eventually became Stockade Wood and Craft Supply. In 1988 Stockade moved from Salmon Arm, British Columbia to a more central Canadian location in Guelph, Ontario.
Understandably, opening up a business comes with trails and tribulations. What were your toughest obstacles and how did you overcome them?
After relocating to Ontario the toughest obstacle we found was keeping up with demand. The 90s were a crazy time for do-it-yourselfers. The economy was down and people were finding creative ways to make and save money. People were selling or making wooden toys for their own use and to sell at craft shows. Craft shows were huge at the time and we found another niche of selling craft & decorative painting supplies to complement our selection of wood parts. Soon our customer base had expanded to include woodworkers, crafters and decorative painters. It was a crazy and exciting time!
The general conception or misconception with having an online store is as follows “build the store,
the money will pile in as you relax poolside sipping your pina colada” do you attest or refute this notion?
Hah! Unfortunately, that’s not the truth. In the beginning there are long hours, a shortage of money and issues with staffing. There can even be a problem with rapid growth, which some people wouldn’t see as a problem but it can be very challenging. My parents have always said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get!”.
Why did you choose Shift4Shop for your online store?
Although we’d already had an ecommerce presence for over a decade, we wanted a more powerful site that would give our customers and Stockade a better shopping experience. We worked with a marketing company to help design our website and they recommended Shift4Shop. They were correct with their recommendation as Shift4Shop has all the features we can’t do without (ie: the promotion manager and discount quantity pricing) at no additional monthly charges.
Explain your site design and how it represents the branding of your company.
When working with the marketing company we were asked a number of questions which allowed us to take a good look at what we wanted our website to portray. It led us to form a mission statement;”lt is Stockade’s goal to provide enthusiastic, cheerful service in a friendly, informative and trustworthy way”. This statement, plus our logo influenced the look of our site. The colours are enthusiastic and cheerful; the navigation is clean and straightforward; we have ample space to add product and company information, and it is all backed by Shift4Shop’s powerful and secure site.
How does Shift4Shop help with the operations of your online store?
I am so glad we chose to use Shift4Shop for our ecommerce site. Although I don’t spend my days sipping pina coladas poolside, I no longer spend them worrying about the dayto-day operation and maintenance of our website. Together with PayPal and Shift4Shop, our site looks professional and is easy to use; both for our customers and our staff. We wish it had been around in the 70s!