Real People Doing Real BusinessMike Sullivan
In January 2009, Brenda Jones started 7 weeks of daily radiation treatments for breast cancer. She absolutely hated having to wear those horrific hospital gowns. So, she decided to make her own to wear. She came up with a design for a kimono style wrap that opens in the front, comes to the hip in length and has a belt. “I never dreamed that my design would catch on with other patients but it has. I have been hand making & sewing them ever since.” She does not have any employees but does have help from an occasional volunteer. Her friend, Jeff, is doing all the website work. It has been up about 8 months now and work is still progressing.
Mike: The domain name, HugWraps.com, clearly has meaning. Tell me what you were looking for when searching for the right name.
Brenda: The name actually found me! When I tried on the first finished wrap I had made, I immediately thought, “this feels like a nice warm hug”. So, I combined the 2 words, switched them around and got Hug Wraps. I have so many people comment that the name is so perfectly suited to the product. When you think or say the name Hug Wraps….you can actually visualize in your head, giving someone a nice warm hug.
Mike: Can you share the volume of traffic that your site receives?
Brenda: Right now, being so new, we have not gotten that far as to track traffic.
Mike: What kind of feedback have you received from your customers?
Brenda: “What a great name and product”, “Such an inspiring story” , “I came across your name on a Google search” “Saw you on TV or read about you in the newspaper”, “I wish I had a Hug Wrap when I was going thru my cancer treatments”, “I like your colorful website”
Mike: How do you go about marketing your product and your site? Do you use online methods such as pay per click advertising, search engine optimization?
Brenda: I have gotten a lot of media attention for what I do for cancer patients. TV, newspaper, magazine, radio and blog interviews have helped me get my story with Hug Wraps all over the country. All interviews include a link to my website. I have made visits to hospitals to personally give Hug Wraps to patients. Because of all this publicity, I have a large presence on Google search. When I give out Hug Wraps and the patients love my product, I ask that they help me spread what I do through their emails, facebook and twitter. I also speak at various cancer support groups, churches and cancer survivor events.
Mike: Any advice for start ups, small business, or business of any size for that matter on choosing the right domain name?
Brenda: Choose a name that comes from your heart. Something people can connect with on a personal level.
Mike: Have you faced any challenges with running an online business?
Brenda: Being online, you can get emails from all over the world. Sooner or later, the scams start to appear. That’s frustrating.
Mike: Anything else you’d like to add?
Brenda: The biggest thing to tackle is fear. Once you have that under control, roll up your sleeves and get to work.