SDH 205: How to Grow Your Dream Business with Cordova Pleasants
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How are you expanding your brand’s experience? How are you introducing your followers to exciting new worlds and adventures?
Well, Resolute Boutique and Lifestyle gives you all of that along with unique, stylish, and cozy clothing! If you’ve been a She Did It Her Way listener for a while, that name may ring a bell. That’s because Resolute was the passion project of Cordova Pleasants, the star of our six-episode series earlier this year! The series gave us a behind-the-scenes look at her road to opening her first e-commerce boutique, which features apparel and jewelry from tradeshows and vendors across the country. However, the grand goal for Resolute is to able to send loyal customers, aka Resolute Babes, on group trips around her home-state of Alaska. During these girl’s trips, she wants her customers to be able to be pampered while being engulfed in the beauty that Alaska has to offer and give back to communities and the environment as well.
So far, Cordova has taken her Resolute Babes out only for a one-week long trip, which was to Cape Decision Lighthouse; the last lighthouse built in Alaska since the 1920s. Their goal was to restore the lighthouse, which was beaten up by the harsh weather of Alaska. There are no lighthouse keepers so most of the lighthouses in Alaska are adopted by nonprofit organizations, like the United States Lighthouse Society. So she and five other travelers from across America boarded a beaver float plane to a cabin in Port Alexander, where they cooked dinner and got to know each other better. From there they chartered a boat to the lighthouse where they spent the next four days painting the inside of the hallways, tearing down old lumber from the 90’s, and building platforms within the lighthouse.
On the last day, they had a full-on glamour photoshoot, with pieces from a vendor in Florida, and were dolled up head-to-toe. She was also able to get sponsored by Amalga Distillery, and they were able to enjoy free gin and tonics the entire trip. In Cordova’s words, the trip was magical and set the bar high for Resolute trips in the future. For the next one, she is planning on renting a house in Palm Springs between late February and early March. Currently, she’s deciding between working with an animal shelter there, the Joshua Tree National Park, or working to improve the Salton Sea’s air pollution and biodiversity.
She has also been exploring new marketing and advertising techniques with Resolute via social media. She took an online course called Instagram Intention through Dean Street Society, which was about doubling your followers. Following the course, she was able to do just that and brought her 500 followers for Resolute to close to 1,000! For Facebook, she follows an 80/20 Rule where 80% of her posts are about travel, style, and food. The remaining 20% is about Resolute product. This tactic yields her highest conversion, and even though she only has 600 followers, she is able to turn the most profit by nurturing that platform.
One channel she’s seen the most progress in is Pinterest, where she has grown Resolute’s page to over 100,000 impressions a month! In addition, she has landed in the top 12% of the most visited stores on Shopify, out of the stores that launched the same week she did in December of 2016.
Another way she has continued to promote Resolute is with pop-up shops and trunk shows in her hometown of Juneau, Alaska. Her last one proved to be the biggest success because it took place during tourist season, and she held it in a location where it would attract the attention of close to a million cruise ship passengers. With this prime location and timing, she beat her previous trunk show’s sales by 30%! But what made it the most memorable was her interaction with a tourist from Florida. When the customer entered, she recognized Cordova and said she had shopped on Resolute before. To Cordova, this showed the power of having an e-commerce site, and the reach of social media marketing. This encounter also pushed her to want to put Resolute out there more, and continue to build the brand’s future. Resolute’s customer base also spans seven other states in the US, and a few in Canada, with her furthest Resolute Babe in Bangkok, Thailand.
In Resolute’s future, she sees herself possibly opening a seasonal shop, after seeing how well her pop-ups went during the summer. While the financial burden would be around $50,000 due to a full year’s lease, not to mention the cost of staff, she said the payoff would be worth it. She could continue to get invaluable face-to-face time with clientele, and she said with her pop-up she made $3,000 in one day so the monetary gain could be significant.
Hear more about Cordova’s progress in the last nine months since we spoke, and how she continues to build her brand and the adventures she hopes to offer her Resolute Babes!
In this episode you will…
Learn how to benefit from different social media platforms
Figure out how to grow your brand and expand the customer experience
Be able to improve and create new avenues for business
Find out the best schedule for your social media postings
See how to create quality content for blogs and social media
Learn how to push and tailor your product online
“My goal is the bigger picture…find people [who] you want to be in your tribe that you don’t know, because that’s the most exciting part for me, and that’s why I also love travel because…you get to build these relationships across the globe.”- Cordova Pleasants
“Spend the time to research the hell out of whatever you are going to do… I took almost a full year to research social media marketing and I really spent the time creating a business plan…create a solid plan of what you really want to be doing in 10 years, 5 years… then set goals to accomplish what is on that timeline.” –Cordova Pleasants
“If you’re going to enter the online world, just dive in head first and see who is out there, who the players are, and see what kind of audience they’re attracting, and how you can get in on it…”-Cordova Pleasants
“If you love what you do just do it, and like at this point…you will have to fight me to the death before I give up the Resolute. I am so deep into it and so in love with it, and all these different challenges and the freedom that it brings. I don’t mind hard work, and I love it, and it’s no way you cannot make me do [this] anymore.” –Cordova Pleasants
“For me, my sights are so much on the long-term, [and] I’ve finally found my groove, and I’m gonna stick with it. To give it up after a full year, I feel like you’re shooting yourself in the foot and you’re giving up too early…you have to be patient, and that’s the hard part. You have to find a way to stick it out.” –Cordova Pleasants