Happy birthday May Twenty
Happy Birthday May Twenty, happy birthday to you
It’s May Twenty third anniversary, time flies (well it does and it doesn’t)! Yes, the brand is up and going, getting traction and orders online (dear clients, thank-you). But, so much more can and needs to be done.
In 2017 / 2018, we have extended our offering beyond watch straps and we now craft belts (Swiss made) with a unique buckle
(designed by me and fabricated in France by one of the most renowned artisan). I am proud of the design; it is simple, functional yet elegant. I hope clients will share my taste (customers are the ultimate check).
For the moment, due to cost constraints, we have still not added belts to our online offering. Spending wisely is key.
If it were a wedding anniversary, the material associated with it would be leather!
Leather represents 90% of our orders. We keep on adding new references but clients tend to default to more conservative choices. Instagram enables brands like ours to showcase less conventional colours and materials. For this summer, a few clients ordered flashy light green and pink lizard straps and they look stunning (find us on Instagram).
For the coming year, the focus will be on establishing the brand online and taking belts to the next level. A brand is a living organism, one needs to keep on feeding it. High resolution PC monitors and smartphones mean that special attention will need to be given to picture quality. We are proud of our product and we need to make sure it isn’t let down by our website. Life of an entrepreneur can be so challenging.
For those that don’t know me, I am a champagne lover. Like for the previous birthdays, this is the opportunity (although I don’t need any) to open a bottle of bubbles with my partner(s). My preference goes to Krug, Pol Roger and Ruinard. I never drink pink champagne and stick to “brut”. Champagne reminds me of Paris, hotel lobby’ and « un je ne sais quoi » of french chic.
Things that inspired me and things that didn’t in May
- May 68, a 50th anniversary, for me this should have been a big thing. In reality, it left me completely mute, no special idea or concept came to mind. Would I have been Eres (swimsuit brand), definitely I would have used “Sous les pavets, la plage” but for watch straps; nada. The heart of my clientele was probably born around May 68 (give or take a decade) but that’s about it.
- Kim Jong-un, he has reached maximum media coverage since early 2018, probably more than his father and grand father combined. He must be a fantastic chess player, I so much regret he doesn’t wear a flashy May Twenty watch strap. Fashion wise, he seems stuck in the black suit 50’…
- 2018 Met Gala. A lot of silver and gold, not everything was of my taste. Uninspired…especially by Rihanna in her Pope like dress…
- Eurovision song contest won by Israel (https://youtu.be/84LBjXaeKk4). The dress; reminiscent of JP Gaultier / Madonna years, the décor (hundreds of saluting Chinese cats) and Netta herself, all have made me happy and I’ve been wearing a flashy pink watch strap since.
- Tom Wolf died a couple of days ago. I didn’t read anything from him apart from the “bonfire or vanities”. He would often dress in white and make awkward colour associations, I liked his style and mixes. I’ll wear a white belt tomorrow!
- The Royal Wedding. The next one should will not happen before 20 odd years so this is the one to enjoy. Look-out for the dress of the Queen, she might provide a surprise.
Advices for e-commerce start-up
12 things to consider when setting-up an online webstore
May Twenty is celebrated its third anniversary on the 20th of May 2018. Each year, we completely changed our website. We changed the web design, the developer, the host… everything. We learnt from our mistakes and we’re still learning.
- Don’t trust deadlines, they are never (I mean never) respected. A developer will always be late (and have an excuse).
- Clients have the short concentration span so be straight to the point and make it simple… Hire an UI specialist or make sure your web developer has the necessary skills.
- No point having a website if nobody notices it… Hire an SEO specialist early (even before going live)
- Understand the basics as to web-development – employ web-developers using easy to operate tools (wordpress, wise, woocommerce, yoast…). You will have to get your hands dirty changing small things, updating images or posting content…
- Make sure your website is responsive (truly responsive). The experience on smartphones needs to be as good if not better than on a pc… Beware, pictures need to have higher resolution.
- If you have a website and no dedicated physical store, you need to make the difference online (seems obvious). Think as to how to convey the key characteristics of your product online. This is where May Twenty will dedicate most focus in the year to come.
- Create leads via social media. Think Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Luxury goods influencers have become, monetary wise, out of reach (too expensive). Furthermore, their focus is on attracting top brands, so chances are you’re not their main focus. So, hire a young, talented and friendly (super important) person that knows the social media ropes…
- Websites are live organisms… Keep on feeding them with content & images (think quality images). Make it worthwhile for visitors to visit you time and time again. You should be passionate about your product so communicate on it.
- Online webstores don’t sell all by themselves. You do the selling! Don’t hide behind your computer, make contact through your website. Don’t be shy talking about you (the founder). If you’re a poor traditional sales person, you’re going to be a poor online sales person too.
- Check your website weekly, on different mediums (smartphone, ipad, pc…). It needs to work, the smallest of glitches scares potential clients away.
- Check Google Analytics often, figure-out where people are going, dropping-out or stumbling.
- Fashion exist for web design. Depending on the market you’re catering to, you might have to redesign yours every 24 months (monitor awwwards.com for the latest trends).
Hope this helps.
Have fun and enjoy the entrepreneurs ride! Alix