Two years ago, Arianna O’Dell left New York City and started working on her dream of owning a business. In those last two years, much has changed.
When we spoke with Arianna she was in the middle of travelling from Brazil to Tokyo and playing catch up on emails.
“Hope you get the chance some day to work remotely,” she said. “It’s been fun but after 2 years of travel I’m ready to settle down and have a home for a while.”
Arianna runs a successful online gift store, has had her products featured in Forbes, and writes often about her dropshipping experiences for Fast Company.
In her shop, new items are added weekly, everything from glittery unicorn Yoga Mats to cute plushy pineapple Pillows.
One thing became clear as we discussed her business and her travels. She is LIVING THE DREAM.
From Dream to Reality
Originally from Seattle, Arianna lives (at the moment) in Seoul as a self-described “digital nomad” using print on-demand as means to support her traveling lifestyle.
She started her marketing journey in Seattle working on projects for global brands developing and implementing digital strategies.
After taking a weekend trip to New York she fell in love with the city, making the move to the Big Apple and working alongside world-class teams for companies ranging from early stage startups to Fortune 500 brands all around the world.
Arianna, however, had a passion burning that went all the way back to childhood.
“I always loved making gifts for friends. When I was a kid, I loved making things. I loved arts and crafts and begged my parents for a sewing machine. I started to make pillows and bags for fun. I’ve always wanted to own my own company and I finally took the plunge. While working in NYC for great companies was fun, it’s been really rewarding to work on something I built myself.”
Arianna began exploring how to make a huge leap for both her life and career, but it didn’t take long for negative thoughts to creep in. Many people she talked to told her she was crazy to give up the job she had in the city.
“Looking back I feel empowered and happy that I didn’t spend the limited hours I have on this planet doing something that wasn’t right for me.”
But from the onset, it wasn’t so easy.
She began with a limited budget and not enough funds to build a full-fledged website. To create a storefront at a low cost, she initially listed her products on Etsy before committing to building out a full website. She then spent a few months testing different ideas on Etsy, which let her prove market traction. Once she saw sales increase and hold steady, she used the profits from her first sales to invest in a Shopify site.
“When I started my store, I had only a handful of sales (thanks, Mom!), but through trial and error on the marketing front, testing new products, and optimizing them for SEO, I slowly started to grow. One sale became two. Two became four. And now I’m seeing a steady influx of sales each day. Don’t get me wrong: This took seven months of sticking with it and growing incrementally.”
Unlike past business ideas she tested, this wasn’t one where quitting in the early days felt like the smartest move to cut her losses. Since she was dropshipping using Print On-Demand and not having to hold or manage inventory, an unsold shower curtain wasn’t the end of the world, but as she began to sell one—and then another, and another— she recognized a world of opportunities opening up.
After receiving a recommendation from a friend, Arianna decided to try out Gooten’s dropshipping platform.
“I’ve had a lot of fun making products. I really love Gooten. My yoga mats have gotten some GREAT PRESS which I’m now using Gooten for.”
”Gooten has a really great offering of products and has allowed me to mail products from anywhere in the world. From Dog Beds to Pouches, there are so many things I can make. Just scrolling the catalog always gets my wheels spinning for new things to create.”
Despite not having a background in product design, Arianna has been able to create and sell over 300 hundred designs from anywhere she can find a wi-fi connection. The response she’s received from her customers is her validation that she made the right decision to follow her passion and dreams.
“I love getting mail from customers that they love the products I’m making. Knowing that my products are creating happiness for others feels very rewarding and makes me proud of what I built.”
Arianna often invites her audience to take a look through her store catalog, mugs, t-shirts, phone cases, tote-bags, notebooks, yoga mats, and make suggestions on ideas for products they’d like to see. It’s another perk to the magic of having products made as you wish and on-demand.
As Arianna has shown, there is no correct age for you to pursue a dream that makes you happier in life and business.
“I knew very little about e-commerce before getting started. Each day, I’m learning more and more about how to increase sales, find partners, and grow my business. I’d love to continue to grow a brand that makes people happy.”
If you would like to begin using Gooten to power your online business dreams, simply check out our catalog of 100+ quality-made trendy products and get started today!
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