When Jennifer Gault-Varner’s husband was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, she began living each day to its fullest. Describing this time in her life, and that of her family’s, as one of the hardest she’s ever been through, it was also these circumstances that motivated her to pursue her dream of launching an online maternity store. She worked late in the evenings from her kitchen table, and suddenly her business took off. The experience and success she gained through operating her web-based business led her to realize that she could help other women to do the same.
Today, not only is her husband cancer-free, but Jennifer has built a thriving company that specializes in helping first-time entrepreneurs create successful online companies using Pure eCommerce’s "businesses in a box" solutions. The experts at Pure eCommerce have already concepted the business idea, secured the domain name, created the website and logos, and researched and secured all inventory. In addition, each business comes with 40 hours of one-on-one consulting services, so burgeoning entrepreneurs can be sure they have guidance as they launch and grow their new company.
If one of the current sites that they have for sale doesn’t interest you they also offer custom turnkey packages. This is where you come to them with your own idea or concept and they will build a business for you based on your idea or concept. You simply choose the services.
Starting an online business can be overwhelming. The goal of Pure-Ecommerce is to simplify the process while teaching you how to create, run and then grow your business.
Market Mommy:: How did you become a MomPreneur?
Jennifer:: My husband was diagnosed with cancer three weeks after returning from our honeymoon. He was given very low odds of surviving and we were told we would never have children. Despite what the doctors told us, we became pregnant three weeks after his surgery. While pregnant, I was so overwhelmed with the joy of being pregnant that my idea of starting an online maternity clothing store was born. Jeff’s cancer was one of the hardest experiences we have been through, but it has also been the most rewarding. So many blessings came out of our experience with cancer. People don’t go out on a limb when everything is going well. It usually takes something drastic to make us really evaluate our life and go after our dreams.
Market Mommy:: Your first online store was a maternity clothing store. What components of your business plan made it such a profitable business?
Jennifer:: We had very good margins on our inventory and a great selection within a defined target market. We really understood our customers and what they looked for in clothing. I ran the company for 3 years. I eventually moved it from my home and into a studio. Suddenly it was no longer a work from home opportunity but a large company so I decided I needed to sell the company.
Market Mommy:: Was it hard to sell the business.? Were you attached to it emotionally?
Jennifer:: No, I was thankful it sold and despite the mistakes I made, it was a tremendous learning opportunity. What I learned through my mistakes set the stage for becoming an ecommerce consultant and the creation of my new company, http://www.pure-ecommerce.com/.
Market Mommy:: What made you decide to start Pure-Ecommerce.com?
Jennifer:: After I sold my first company, I started out consulting with others interested in improving their online business. I also started a pajama website. After running the pajama site for two weeks, I knew I wanted to sell it – my heart was no longer in online retail. I sold the site and included 40 hours of consultation as the owner had never run a business before. She found the consulting tremendously helpful, and my idea was born.
For most people, the barrier of entry into the online world is easy but the actual ins and outs of running an online business are difficult. I was seeing others make the same mistakes I made. To prevent them from financial disaster, I designed a step by step consulting process that goes over every aspect of setting up, running, and then growing their business. We do this through weekly phone consultations and email support.
Market Mommy:: I love the fact that your sites come with 40 hours of consultation. Do you think this is a big part of why your website business is so successful, because women can get the direct training they need from an entrepreneur to move forward with their online business?
Jennifer:: Yes, the consultation piece is critical. Not only is the client getting a complete, ready to go business but they have someone personally mentoring them through the process. Suddenly their dream of owning their own business is not so scary and overwhelming. It provides a safety net – knowing they will have someone holding their hand and teach them each important point of running an ecommerce business. Also, instead of just handing them 40 hours that most people wouldn’t know what to do with, we actually have this step by step process for them to follow that touches on every area of running a successful, profitable ecommerce business.
Market Mommy:: Do you think the current state of our economy affects the ability to create a successful online business.
Jennifer:: I think it is a perfect time to start an online business. Starting a business at the PEAK of the economy is not smart move. Competition has been going out of business and advertising costs are going down. Also, many brick and mortar boutiques are closing, forcing more and more shoppers to turn to online to find what they need. All of these facts make it the perfect time to start an online business. You have nowhere to go but up!
A good example is http://www.nursingpjs.com/, which we developed to sell products needed by lactating moms, such as nursing bras, nursing pajamas and nursing pillows. Melinda Felton bought the site last December and says sales are strong because she provides these specialty items that news moms need, but are getting harder to find as more and more traditional stores go out of business. The advantage with our online businesses is that you don’t need to carry inventory, as most items are drop-shipped directly from the manufacturer. It’s a modest upfront investment that can pay off in big ways.
Market Mommy:: You have so many great ecommerce businesses for sale on your site; how does one go about choosing the perfect business to start?
Jennifer:: There is no easy answer to that question. I always suggest analyzing your lifestyle. Choose an industry that will fit your time constraints. Also, try to choose an area you will have a personal connection to which will help you drive that business harder. When I started my maternity site I had a degree in teaching not business but I was passionate about maternity clothes. That passion helped my business grow to one of the largest online maternity clothing companies.
Market Mommy:: Why do you think an online business is perfect for a woman trying to balance a family and being an entrepreneur?
Jennifer:: Owning an online business allows you to work from home on your own time. You can even bring your computer on vacation and not miss a beat. An ecommerce business allows you to work the best of both worlds – being a mom and a business owner. It really is a dream come true, but also a truly obtainable goal. In addition, learning how to run an ecommerce business is a tremendous boost to both your resume and your self-esteem.
For more information about Pure eCommerce and their "businesses in a box" and consulting services, visit http://www.pureecommerce.com.