I have heard many times that starting a business is like giving birth. Well, on June 1, 2013, Smallisimo.com was born after much hope, expectation, discomfort and pushing. Now, I have actually lived that metaphor in real life as a mother and in business. So, it is with great pride that I say, “Happy Birthday to us!” And I want to invite you to the party. (Make sure you register for daily prizes June 2-6th!)
Let’s go back to the beginning. In January of 2013, we started out looking for investors who would be interested in preserving and revitalizing the dollhouse miniatures industry. Logical, right?
Well, the challenge we encountered was that collectors who have spent tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of dollars on small things did not understand the Internet as a viable business model. And at the time, we were unable to clearly define the market potential to court investors from outside of the industry. Not to mention, the biggest hurdle – we didn’t even have a site.
So, why did we start this in the first place?
You could say it started with a room box. I call it Lime Dine. It was my first attempt at building something small, and when it was done, I was so excited. Everyone I knew had to see it. I immediately posted pictures on Facebook. I just knew they would be thrilled too. (Cue the crickets.) I got nothing – even after I posted albums of other spectacular minis I’d found online. That had to change, so I set out to find some new friends.
I was to write a blog, and it would be called “Smallisimo!”, a word I made up because it captured how minis make me feel.
In my search for minis, and others who would understand why I teared up and almost hyperventilated when I found them, I discovered that collecting scale miniatures included the most diverse group of people I had ever encountered. I wanted to know more, but the search was difficult. Smallisimo became more than a personal quest.
What is Smallisimo?
Smallisimo was to become the global resource for all things mini & marvelous – the one place online for scale miniatures Community, a Calendar, and Commerce. Simply put, we have our sights on being the “Google” of scale miniatures, serving every aspect of the industry and marketing it better.
You may be asking, “Who is she?”
I am the Founder of Glassworks Dream Boutique, a business coaching and marketing firm, with over 25 years of experience in advertising, graphic design, dot com development, retail store and non-profit management, with a newly minted Master in Business Administration degree.
Where did we begin?
Physically, Smallisimo is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Practically, we started with a $50 website template. And just like being a new parent, we had to get to know this new entity we gave birth to.
When did all of this start?
My former business partner, Leanne Heintz, and I started dreaming of Smallisimo.com in November of 2013. Seven months passed before our Demo Launch. It was the prototype that we used to test our idea.
How did we do it?
I always say “we” because Smallismo started with me and Leanne. By the time she had to step away from the day-to-day operations for medical reasons, I was working with web developers, writers, and others around the world via email, Skype, and every online tool I could find.
Look how far we’ve come!
- We started with just an idea travelling from show-to-show by any means necessary, talking to anyone who would listen.
- We launched an international website without money or programming or coding experience.
- In six months, Smallisimo.com had over 120,000 page views and 20,000 visits without any marketing.
- We overcame registration problems, site speed issues, and unexplainable bugs, while continuing to develop vital products like the Artisan miniMARKET Boutique, the Almost Real Estate Premium Section for buying and selling dollhouses, the Smallisimo Calendar, the Pinpoint Directory, and now Virtual Show.
- The most extraordinary accomplishment is that we earned just over $17,000 in revenue in six months from just 40 customers.
- We spent four months completely rebuilding, and we relaunched Smallisimo 2.0 on April 12, 2014.
Smallisimo has reached its first birthday, and after many late nights and lots of falling down, it can now stand firmly and walk. So, in case you’re wondering what to give a 1 year old, we have started a fund.
We are launching a series of funding campaigns on fundtabulous.com. We need you to help Smallisimo grow up. Click here to choose a Smallisimo funding campaign!