Guilherme and Renata are the owners of Canário Handmade, a two-people handmade furniture and decor shop. They started promoting their business through social media, fortunately it grew so much that it had to have it’s own website and e-commerce.
The catch: they didn’t have money to hire a developer or someone with both skills to design and code. They also wanted it done as soon as possible, because they had a baby on the way. Since we are good friends, I took the challenge.
I had no team to work with, so Guilherme became my team. We worked really close, respecting each other ideias and expertises.
First Step: Understanding Canário
Since the project was born, it had this “Pinterest vibe”. Everything is handmade, with some rustic side to it, but very well finished. They also present themselves as a warm and friendly service. So it was important that the website showcased not just their work, but also their owners and feelings.
Even thought they have their own collection of products, the main goal is to sell custom designs projects. It was more than clear that an e-commerce alone wouldn’t be enough. They needed an institucional website.
Second and Third Step: Choosing the platform and sketching the wireframe
Guilherme had already chosen SquareSpace as the platform for this project. I’ve never done an e-commerce on the platform, but was very familiar with it. It accepted PayPal, so we went with it.
He also had already sketched a wireframe. We sat together, done some experience mapping and changed a few things. As soon as we were happy with the hierarchy of the information and the potencial user journey, we called it a day. It was a simple website and it needed to adapt with the template I would choose.
Fourth Step: Building the UI and dealing with bad news
Even though Canario has a very strong identity through its copywriting (Guilherme is a former copywriter), it lacks visual identity. They have a good logo with a strong icon and that it’s all.
I didn’t want to impose a visual identity, so I’ve made it as simple as I could and let the photos shine.
Canário’s main color is brown, but they are very warm and joyful. I didn’t want the website to become to serious. So I’ve brought some of that calm and friendly feeling with a warm background and a friendly type for the titles. As a highlight color, I chose red. It goes really well with brown, reminds woodwork and bring passion to the design.
The titles overlapping the photos are a nice touch of fun.
After the institucional website was finished, we asked close friends to give some feedback. There were only minor changes.
As we focused on the e-commerce, we found out very bad news. SquareSpace worked with PayPal, but didn’t let PayPal manage the pricing. And they didn’t work with our currency. We had to find another platform for the e-commerce.
My first choice was Etsy. It had the same Pinterest feeling and Canário could take advantage of the community. Turns out that Etsy displays the price on our currency, but doesn’t accept payments on it. This was a big no-no to us.
We searched for other options and none of them were good enough. Finally we found one. It was small, but had a good pricing and everything we needed.
It was a stressful moment, but me and Guilherme were always clear and friendly with each other. We worked together to solve this and it paid off.
After some final validation, we launched it.
It was a great experience. I’ve learned a lot about small e-commerce.
Canário has already sold it’s first products through their new e-commerce and has everything it needs to keep growing.