Home Office Women | Work at Home Mom | Earn Money From Home | Work from Home | Home Office Business | H.O.W. feature – mohop
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Home Office Women | Work at Home Mom | Earn Money From Home | Work from Home | Home Office Business


H.O.W. feature – mohop

Posted on July 10, 2007 by dc

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How many of you ladies like a new pair of shoes… everyday? Yes, I mean EVERYDAY. Well, you don’t have to be Imelda Marcos to see this desire come true, neither do you need to be extravagant like her. This lady can make your wish come true. Her name is Annie Mohaupt and I am so honoured to invite her to share with us her online business story. Well, still keen on having a new pair of shoes to wear.. everyday? Find out how!

Please write about your biz and also give your opinion about starting an online in general.

My business is called Mohop, and I make wooden sandals. I launched my website in January 2006, and within a couple of weeks, my shoes were being blogged about literally around the world. I was shocked! I immediately added international sizing conversions and international shipping options to my site. If I remember correctly, I think my first web sale was from the UK. My business went from being local to global nearly as soon as I launched my site. So, I highly recommend an internet presence for any sort of business!

How did this online business begin? Why?

I initially started the online business to supplement the sales I made from craft fairs. I really didn’t know how successfully handmade shoes would sell online, especially since my company was new, but thought I’d give it a try. Plus, most of the craftspeople I admired had their own sites, so I figured it would be an important part of the image of my company, whether or not I made many sales on my site.
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Where did you draw your inspiration?

My initial inspiration was a skateboard – I wanted to make shoes that also featured curved, bent plywood and screen printed graphics. It took me over a year of experimenting by trial-and-error to get the comfortable, durable shoes I have today. I’m inspired somewhat by fashion and trends, by more so by pretty much anything around me – art, nature, objects, etc… sometimes I just like to look around me, wherever I am, and imagine the shapes, colors, and/or materials of my surroundings incorporated into shoes.

What is the day-to-day activities like for running an online biz?

Incredibly busy. I spend about 8 hours a day simply making and shipping shoes along with my assistants. The other 4 to 8 hours of my work day are spent emailing, coming up with new designs, researching, organizing, paperwork, marketing, graphic design, attending meetings/classes/seminars, running errands, photographing stock, updating the site… I could go on. Before I started my own business, I thought that I’d be spending most of my working hours making shoes. Now I realize that the physical part of making shoes is only a small part of my business. I always have a (long) to-do list to help keep me organized.
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Would you share the experience during the time where you work from home? Why did you decide to make that shift later on?

When I was working in an office full time as an architect, I envisioned working from home with my own business as this wonderful utopian life where I’d have time to garden, cook, renovate my house, catch up with friends, and raise a family in the future. I thought I’d make shoes during the week, and sell them at craft fairs some weekends. However, I’ve found that I’ve become way too busy to do craft fairs, and there’s always so much to juggle with a business that I rarely have any spare time at all. I do try to take Saturday evening and Sunday morning off, for a bit of a mental break. I’m only in the second year of my business, so hopefully the crazy hours will change someday, but right now, I have to make a lot of sacrifices with my time. I really love what I’m doing, and honestly feel like I have my dream career, so I can’t complain.

I made the shift out of my home because my business got too big to stay in my basement. Because I’m literally making my products, I have to have a large space to work, and now, employees to help me. I did have an assistant while I was working from home, but I didn’t feel like that was the ideal situation for me. While working from home is a great option for a lot of people, I don’t feel ideally suited for it. I personally enjoy getting out of the house and seeing other people during the day… and I still have the option to work from home when I’d like!
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What is your advice for anyone wanting to start an online biz.

Network, network, network. You can build an amazing site, but it doesn’t matter unless people visit it. Participate in business communities such as Startup Nation http://www.startupnation.com, or The Switchboards http://www.theswitchboards.com/forum/. Send an email to blogs that would be a good fit to feature your product or service.

If you don’t have a background in graphic arts, I recommend having help designing your site… just like good design is an important factor in the success of a brick-and-mortar business, you site must look professional, well-designed and easily navigable, while reflecting the aesthetic of your product or service. Also, participate as much as possible in ‘real world’ promotion of your site. Participate in fairs or tradeshows, sell wholesale to B&M stores, send press kits to appropriate magazines and newspapers, always carry a business card. There are tons of books out there on creating businesses and marketing them – read some, and follow through with the advice!

Finally, develop a really unique product or service that people would really want and/or need. Try really hard to ‘think outside the box’ as far as what you could do or make that would be really NEW to the world – it will be so much easier to market and sell yourself when editors and the public haven’t seen your ‘thing’ a hundred times before. Don’t EVER tell yourself ‘I can’t’!


1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. July 10, 2007 14:50

    the story of mohop at homeofficewomen.com · Welcome to DorisGoShopping.com :

1 Comments

  1. zune

    Those are really cool, my wife would like some I bet.


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