Hi, I’m Clarisa and I hate shopping. In March, I opened my first online clothing store.
If you’re thinking “that’s weird”, you’re right! I’m the kind of person that NEVER buys anything unless I have to. Nothing fits me because I’m short and have a big butt. I can’t stand browsing, or window shopping. I have had adult tantrums when out shopping. I’ll go into one shop, stand in the doorway and declare that I don’t like anything in there, okay, can we go get cake now? Trying on the clothes? Forget it, I’d rather go to the dentist for a root canal (I do have the best dentist though).
Despite this, I do like clothes! Especially dresses, because they’re forgiving of big butts and shortness. My New Year Resolution for 2018 was to only buy clothes with pockets (yes, really!), because who doesn’t love (and need!) pockets in their clothes? It quickly drove me mad. I truly couldn’t understand why clothes with pockets were so hard to find. Women love pockets! There’s an Instagram hashtag for it!
I turned to the internet because I thought for sure there’d be a store that just sold clothes with pockets…but I couldn’t find one. I also found that it was hard to search online for clothes with pockets – I’d get clothes with fake pockets coming up, which, ew, no! So I started one myself and called it Thanks, It Has Pockets! It launched in March 2019.
I am no fashionista. I’m middle-aged. I have no experience selling clothes. In fact, I’m already the owner of another business, as a quality management consultant for the human services sector. But I’m a woman that likes functional and practical clothing too. I need pockets (real ones, not coin pockets) for so many things when I’m working or out and about – phone, lip gloss, keys, credit card…it’s a long list!
I’m still finding my feet in how to run an online store. Building and maintaining a website is hard work and I had to do a lot of reading, searching through support pages, and asking a lot of questions before I got my website looking how I wanted it to. Sourcing clothes is also really hard, and time-consuming. It’s not that much of a surprise, but clothing manufacturers don’t love pockets as much as we do!
I do everything for the store myself. The social media side of things has been a big surprise – I barely knew what an influencer was before this year! Now I’m always online looking at bloggers and influencers – not my favourite way to spend time, if I’m honest. There is no much fake stuff on social media, so it’s important to me that I like and comment on everything authentically. The only thing I’ve automated is posting products in my store onto Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. I put through every order and respond to each message personally. I hope that people see that when they buy something from my store, that they’re supporting a real human being.
I still work very hard on my other business, The Quality Nerd. Having two businesses just means that it’s hard to shut off from the world. I bring my laptop with me everywhere, and now my most important criteria when travelling is “is there decent wifi?” I usually start each day at 7am, and work for an hour on the store. Then it’s Quality Nerd work until the end of the day, and then I’ll do more Pockets work from 5-6pm. If an order comes through I’ll process it straight away though. I try to only do Pockets work on the weekends, but it just depends on workload. I’ll usually be on my phone just before bed sourcing more clothes or on Instagram – I know many leaders think this is a bad idea, but needs must and I push myself because I believe in both businesses and I want them to equally to succeed. That being said, my measure of success is being able to choose what I do with my time, and I pretty much get to do that now – even though I’m working hard, to me, having two businesses is success!