Honest #Startup Diaries: One year review (originally posted in 2015)

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Disclaimer: The original post was published on Medium in 2015. Today, I came across my Medium post and wanted to share this on my personal blog too!

There are so many things that need your attention everyday when you are running a startup. It is hard to detach yourself from what you have been doing and evaluate them.

A couple of weeks ago, while I was on a business trip, I realized that DearMissJ’s one-year anniversary had passed and I didn’t get a chance to celebrate it. Instead of buying a cake and making wishes, I found myself looking at old photos on instagram that reminded me of early days of DearMissJ.

First, I found this gem I took 77 weeks ago. As you can see, I started DearMissJ in my living room. Whenever I got new inventory, I laid them on the living room floor and inspected each jewelry piece to make sure there were no scratches. I do not remember the details during this time period, but I remember two things: my place was messy and I was sleep deprived.

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What do you do after having all the inventory sitting in your living room? Take photos.

I didn’t have either a nice camera or money to hire a professional photographer, so I asked my friend for help. Below is my good friend, Ning, a talented photographer. We set up a lightbox on my dining table at night and took photos for 3–4 hours straight. I took this job very seriously, and ordered multiple light boxes and equipment until I found one I liked.

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DearMissJ got its own customized box! I picked purple because I thought purple would be the perfect color to represent DearMissJ’s classy style. However, I received mixed feedback from customers and decided to change the color. After some heated discussions, my team created a totally new design: black & white. It was a success and we are still using this design.

Before:

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After:

My personal favorite moment at DearMissJ is Launching our app on the Apple app store.

Unlike other e-commerce companies, we placed emphasis on mobile shopping from the beginning because we believed that it will help drive traffic. Also, when customers shop via mobile, they can utilize our ‘Free Home Try-On Service’ more conveniently. Imagine ordering via an app and getting the items delivered to your doorstep within 2 days for FREE.

Now, 20–30% of our traffic comes from our mobile app! If you haven’t already, you can download our free iOS app here. (A nice review on the app store will be appreciated!!)

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This summer, we went to the biggest jewelry trade show in the U.S. (JCK Show) in Vegas. It was our official debut as a jewelry brand. We had tons of things to do before the show: printing out marketing materials, decorating the booth and scheduling in-person meetings with buyers. The show was huge and overwhelming (it reminded me of the CES show in Vegas) My team literally passed out from exhaustion after this event.

This show was meaningful to us because it was our first time being acknowledged as a legit jewelry brand and we got amazing feedback from buyers!

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Last but not least, my one-year was a blessing because of my co-workers. I never doubted that DearMissJ will be successful because I knew how hard we worked together. I don’t know where this journey will take us, but i know i will love it as long as I am with them.

Curious what we’re up to on #Instagram? Follow us @shopdearmissj

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Team offsite to lake berryessa

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