Mystic Knotwork Credits Artfire
Mystic Knotwork started in 1957 as Beaudoin’s Rope Locker. This small retail and wholesale artists studio was reborn in 2008 and grew in large part because of the partnership with Artfire.
“It’s my goal to share our quality knot work based on American cord made to the highest standards possible to the world. I count on the Expertise of Tony, John, and their team in reaching that goal.”
In October of 2008, Matt & Jill started designing their own website. They were building a local wholesale clientele, but were looking to expand their horizons. Even with Matt’s IT background, he was having trouble splitting time between modifying the shopping cart software, scaling their supply chain, advertising, and connecting with customers. The business was growing, but it was not going to work.
By December of 2008, Matt decided to hire a professional webmaster, Cathy Morneault from Fluffydogs Designs. She estimated the cost of the commerce side of the website, but Jill had a better idea. Jill suggested we incorporate the Artfire Marketplace within the site. Because of Artfire’s intuitive system, we were able to embed links to the categories within our Artfire shop and provide a professional bridge between our website as a ‘squeeze page,’ and Artfire as our ecommerce solution.
By February of 2009, Matt & Jill were featured on the cover of the Mystic River Press and inquiries started to truly roll in. The professional appearance of their website along with the large selection of products in their Artfire studio, Mystic Knotwork came out of the gate in the online world as an established company with a long history.
By April 2009, Mystic Knotwork was able to secure enough wholesale customers to make a truly viable company. Artfire’s model provides a fixed cost for shop management rather than a piecemeal pricing scheme. The power of the Artfire search engine combined with their reach into Google, Bing, and other ‘organic search’ engines provided Mystic Knotwork the opportunity to grow to the next level. The lack of any final value fees allows us to pass those savings along to our customers.
“The ease of listing on Artfire really streamlined our process of bringing new product to market. Because I can list multiples, our customers can buy exactly what they love without having to have us listing custom quantities. This saves both our customers and me a lot of time and aggravation,” said Jill back in April.
Because of the efforts of Kevin and Kyle on the Artfire team, products sold by Mystic Knotwork are usually on the first page of all the search engine and have been noticed by publishers both online and in print that often showcase their nautical treasures. “Artfire has really become our IT Department when it comes to web sales and retail exposure.”
“Artfire provides me with a continuing education on marketing and sales through a very professionally managed forum. There is no censorship as we explore sales approaches, tools, and opportunities with our colleagues in the Artfire community. Tony and his staff are always in the background ready to answer questions as peers within that community. The feeling is that we are all in this together.”
As search engines evolve, Artfire is often the first place to find out about the changes. The community and its leaders scour the web looking for changes. The significant changes cue the Artfire staff to improve upon our processes through new prompts in the listing process. This is a truly energized and proactive team.
Recently Artfire teamed with Propay, a credit card processor for online as well as traditional sales. This new association led to more opportunity for Mystic Knotwork. Matt & Jill have been able to sell their knotwork to a much wider audience of event planners and small stores because they can process their cards online without the often distrusted services of Paypal.
Artfire has even passed Mystic Knotwork’s needs by creating a commercial marketplace. This is a parallel operation to the Artfire Handmade and Vintage areas for artisans that have grown from a single studio to an enterprise or collective of artisans. As Mystic Knotwork grows, they plan to include the commercial opportunity within their sales and marketing strategy.
As Mystic Knotwork enters its third year as a full time venture, its business has already grown past the sales volume the original incarnation “Beaudoin’s Rope Locker” ever reached. While the team at Mystic Knotwork are hard working, their success is largely because of their association with Artfire.
I started tying knots long before I could ride a bike. My grandfather taught me the turks head, monkey fist, sennett braiding, cox-combing, splicing and practical knot working during my early years. By 10 years old, I was making hammocks and bottle coverings. By 16, I had made over 100 woven door mats and thousands of turks head bracelets. When people think of the bracelets they wore at a New England beach in the 1980′s, they were most likely made by me or another member of the family.