Bar Stool Queen Elena Travis
Elena Travis is an online entrepreneur who runs her own eCommerce website selling bar stools and chairs to the UK market. In this interview she tells us how she came up with the idea of selling bar stools online and her plans for the future with her Internet business.
How did you get into importing and selling online?
My interested in selling online was peaked after some time spent out in Italy studying interior design. There were these amazing designers that I was working with, creating fantastic-looking pieces of furniture (including bar stools). I’d never seen stuff like this in the UK market before but knew it would sell…
So I got back to the UK and hooked up with a friend who is an online marketing and SEO specialist, explained how this stuff would be popular in the UK, and he helped me set up The Funky Chair website, primarily selling bar stools. Then all I had to do was come up with deals with the Italian designers and get some samples shipped over. I first started with bar stools, but am now starting to branch out into chairs and other items. Your readers can see the bar stools we sell on my website.
How profitable is the UK market for bar stools?
Well, I don’t want to give any trade secrets away to be honest, but there is definitely a market out there. Just take a look in the recent interior design magazines and you will see how many of the kitchen design examples are now using bar stools.
They are getting more popular too so hopefully that will mean more business for me and making sure our website performs better in the search engines and from a user experience perspective.
There are some very big competitors out there such as Amazon, Ikea, and Ebay – those are the guys I am up against when selling bar stools online so it’s going to be a hard slog but hopefully will be worth it!
Where would you like to see your business in 12 months?
I would love my website to be appearing in the top positions in the main keywords for my business on Google – but realise that’s going to take time and effort. If I can get some way to achieving that though it will help the business to grow.
I plan to source new bar stools and designs from other designers soon. I recently came back from South America and found some amazing chairs and bar stools over there which I would love to introduce to the UK market.
Where are you planning to grow your business next?
For me it’s about expanding the type of product we offer. Whilst we do specialize in bar stools, I really want the Funky Chair website to include hundreds of special chair designs and associated products. That’s the plan!
If you could leave our readers with one piece of business advice, what would it be?
Great question, and I have been thinking about this one over the last couple of weeks actually as someone else asked me something very similar. For me, the key to my business success has been sheer focus. Before I set up in my own business and found distractions to work were very easy to come by. Since setting up my own website and business though I’ve had to train myself to be more focused. With that focus has come more success.
Simple, but true.