Ryan Popoff jumped into The eCom Ops Podcast to share his journey of transforming his hobby into an eCommerce business, how his team handled the challenges faced by the pandemic, and his plans for the future. Check out all the other episodes here.
To learn more about Ryan Popoff and Popov Leather:
A hobby turned into a revenue stream
After graduating from an art school, Ryan was left with a lot of spare time. And to fill the void, he picked up Leatherworking as a hobby. Initially, he struggled with dozens of prototypes but finally managed to create a simple leather wallet that would fit in his front pocket.
His wife encouraged him to explore the niche further and post a few of his creations on Etsy. To his surprise, the response was great and gradually he advanced his hobby into a full-time job.
Today, Ryan’s brainchild Popov Leather boasts a variety of customized leather goods including wallets, belts, tote bags, notebooks, wallets, and more. Each product sold through his company is backed by a lifetime guarantee and a 90-day exchange policy. The exceptional craftsmanship of leather goods has earned Popov Leather 4,500 reviews and Ryan credits all the success to his hard-working team.
Shopify – the preferred e-commerce software
Ryan started his e-commerce journey with Etsy and had been using the same along with Shopify until the first quarter of 2020. However, due to some policy changes, the company decided to cut the cords with Etsy after a long collaboration of 7 years.
Ryan further explains that Popov Leather Ltd specializes in customized orders. This means that the consumers are allowed to personalize their leather goods with engravings and preferred colour of the material as well as thread. Due to this and budget constraints – the company found it unnecessary to venture into the Amazon marketplace as well and decided to focus mainly on their Shopify store.
DIY (Do-it-yourself), customized leather kits, a pandemic invention
Ryan says that just like every business across the globe, Popov Leather Ltd also faced some logistic disruptions. However, the team managed to operate from home while some work – the one that they are unable to perform without the required tools is being done from workshops in shifts.
The company also introduced ‘DIY Leather Kits’ amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate the homebound citizens. Surprisingly, the idea turned out to be fruitful and gave them one of the highest revenue in March.
Plans for the coming year
Similar to many people out there, Ryan and his team are following a ‘wait and watch’ policy. According to Ryan, the future due to the coronavirus outbreak is pretty uncertain and the company plans to adjust their operations according to the increase/decrease in revenue.
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