Sticks & Stones is a small group of designers, jewelers and artists making handcrafted wooden accessories here in Portland, Oregon. Their pieces are meticulously crafted from a variety of beautiful woods in combination with fine metals, gemstones, leather and resin. Switchyard was drawn to the project because of the quality of their work and the interesting marriage of handmade jewelry, refined urban style and the need for a sophisticated storefront to display and sell product in an easy-to-update platform.
“They needed a strong online presence to sell products nationally and globally through their website.”
Sticks & Stones already had a strong local presence when they started their relationship with Switchyard. They featured their jewelry in Portland galleries and boutiques, and as active members of the design, fashion, street wear and arts communities they established a solid local basis on which to build. But they needed a strong online presence to sell products nationally and globally through their website, plus the social media tools to spread the word to the ends of the earth.
Switchyard initially was approached by Marc Ishida, Director of Marketing, and Stephen Alexander, Creative Director. We sat down together to clarify the project requirements and find a mature solution that we could implement rapidly and host with affordable, efficient software. After doing our homework into the wealth of Software as a Service (SaaS) e-commerce solutions, we chose Shopify as the platform of choice because of its strong open source track record, designer and developer-centric API, powerful third-party integration options and easy-to-use administrative tools.
“We sat down together to clarify the project requirements and find a mature solution…”
Switchyard collaborated with Marc on initial wireframe prototypes, and then rapidly developed revisions to fit the needs of Sticks & Stones’ audience. The power of the Shopify platform allowed for development to begin while the store was being populated with products, images and content.
At site launch, Sticks & Stones mobilized their Facebook page to let their fans know about the changes, some of which caught on even before the DNS propagated. There is no doubt that Sticks & Stones know exactly how to reach their audience, but Switchyard was happy to develop the technical tools to enable that outreach.
The Sticks & Stones storefront immediately caught the attention of local bloggers and soon was picked up by the alt-weeklies in Portland. The power of the Shopify platform has allowed for rapid changes to the site to take place as needed, as well as integration directly into payment gateway and merchant accounts.
We developed the site such that Facebook “Like” buttons appear on every product page and allow users to share their interests with their friends on the world’s largest social network.