To say that the last year has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. Starting the global resource for all things mini & marvelous is no small feat (pun intended). The first time the Smallisimo idea was shared in a meaningful way was at the CIMTA show in Las Vegas on January 28, 2013–exactly 1 year and 5 days ago. And the question that echoes inside my head 370 days after we started is, “What are we doing?!?!?” (Hear the echo?) It’s a question that can be answered so many ways.
First, it rings in my head because many of you asked that question this past year…and may still be asking…the simple answer is in our mission statement. Smallismo’s core intent is to be a resource. Period. We’re not here to replace anyone. Our aim is not to put anyone out of business.
- We don’t want to eliminate the need for miniature trade shows…we want to expand their reach and expose them to more people by partnering with show producers and dealers around the world through our Virtual Show program.
- We are not trying to make print publications obsolete…we want to partner with them to get them more subscriptions and share content (because there is still nothing like holding a magazine in your hand).
- We are not here to get you to stop using the websites that you are already using to promote your miniature business or shop from your favorite artisans…we simply wish to create miniature-specific products that will improve your experience.
Smallisimo is here to strengthen and revitalize the industry and to promote the love of scale miniatures. When you search…and search…and search…you will find miniatures online, but you have to do a LOT of searching. Smallisimo is here to ultimately simplify the search and hopefully get you connected with other mini fans and help you find what you’re looking for faster.
The second answer is that we are doing exactly what we set out to do. It’s mind-boggling when I look back at original planning documents to see statements like:
Positioning Statement: Smallisimo is a culture: a gathering place of knowledge, inspiration, exchange and community for those who admire, create, collect, share and preserve the things they dare to dream in scale.
Service Strategy: Create How-To Guides to empower Creators & Retailers.
Promotion Strategy: Launch a social media campaign to gather miniature enthusiasts that may not be affiliated with an association or retailer to create a grass roots movement.
Sales Strategy: Utilize a dot com model for community development that creates revenue from low-cost products.
Wow! That’s exactly what we’re doing…and so much more!
Lastly, sometimes I want to grab my head and scream, “WHAT ARE WE DOING?!?!?” because it can get overwhelming. We started out armed with decades of practical, hands-on, effective marketing experience. We could brand anything, sell anything, and share any story, but we knew almost NOTHING about web development. So, after 370 days of sometimes 30-hour work binges, Googling tutorials, badgering our more web savvy developer friends, finding resources literally in every corner of the globe, and fighting tooth and nail to get the most basic functionality launched (and working), it’s getting clearer. If you have experienced technical problems, know that we are working around the clock to solve every issue and deliver a better and better experience for every mini fan in our small world. Count on it. One of the things that we’re definitely doing is getting smarter.
Since our Demo Launch on June 1, 2013, we have had 118,073 page views, 25,977 visits, 12,108 unique visitors, and 4.55 pages per visit. After some early problems with site registration, we doubled our Community registrations in just six weeks with our first I Heart Minis Laptop Giveaway. We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish with no up-front money and no financial backers beyond our amazing sponsors: Kathleen Savage Browning Miniatures Collection, IGMA, and IGMA Guild School and our Featured Artisans and Featured Retailers.
There are some exciting developments on the not-too-distant horizon–cleaner design, simplified navigation, an improved Community experience, better search capabilities, more integrated shopping, functionality upgrades in almost every section, a new Pinpoint Directory to help you find the makers and sellers of minis worldwide, and a Calendar that you can list your events on from the front for free for starters.
So, what are we doing? We’re getting better to serve you. Here’s to love & minis!
NOTE: We’re not becoming the global resource for all things mini & marvelous by ourselves. Join our team if you want to help!