myheartcreative Builds Thriving Design and Ecommerce Businesses with LightCMS
Amy Samuel didn’t know where myheartcreative would take her when it launched back in 2010. Initially a blog used by Amy to share her art and designs, myheartcreative quickly blossomed into a business once Vinod Samuel applied his customer relations skills, converting the site into a digital front door for potential design clients.
But that wasn't all the site needed to be: As the Samuels were building the design business, Amy also designed a baby sling that would make carrying her child throughout the workday comfortable and practical, and they decided they'd sell these slings through myheartcreative.
"We get our hands dirty with all sorts of things," said Amy Samuel
"We get our hands dirty with all sorts of things," said Amy Samuel, who serves as the company's creative director. "Pixels, paints to help a brand, fabrics to make lives better — you name it."
The problem was, the young company's initial technology platform wasn't up to the task; it was equipped with outdated templates that weren't designer friendly, and it was going to make selling any product via the myheartcreative site more expensive than was viable.
Finding the Ideal Solution
By 2012, the site needed a fresh look, and the Samuels started looking for an affordable, easy-to-use tool for managing content and enabling ecommerce. Additionally, the company was seeing growing demands for wedding designs, and if it was going to show off its ability to design invitations, stationery, decorations and the like, it needed a solution that would make it easy to add pages and sections.
It was then that the Samuels tried out about LightCMS, which, like myheartcreative, is an Oklahoma City-based business that delivers all of the functions a company needs to build and manage websites and ecommerce engines in an affordable, cloud-based package. It was the perfect solution to address the Samuels' needs.
They decided to take their time and do things right. A year after they started working with LightCMS, they started selling the slings through the myheartcreative site, but it wasn't until 2014 that they formally launched the design studio.
Walking the Walk with LightCMS
By that time, the Samuels not only had lots of practice working with the LightCMS platform that would become so important to their business, they'd also become quite adept at running an ecommerce operation. It was a combination that would prove appealing to future clients.
"They know we have experience with what it takes."
"The fact that we've built a company and built a product adds a degree of respect from clients," said Vinod Samuel, who serves as operations director. "They know we have experience with what it takes."
Because of that experience, myheartcreative hit the ground with a healthy dose of confidence. Amy Samuel said she knew how good the LightCMS platform was, and how well it would serve her clients. In fact, she built her company's core web design service around LightCMS, branded it Webvis CMS, and she established a solid process for her clients to work closely with their design team. Myheartcreative’s clients use the LightCMS platform to bring their content visions to life. She figured they'd like what the combination of myheartcreative and LightCMS could do for their businesses.
So far, so good.
"We haven't even had anyone on sales — no sales team, no account exec, nothing," said Amy Samuel. "For the past two years everything's been done by referral, and that says a lot about us — and about LightCMS."
More Than Meets the Eye
Today, two years into its design firm life, 90 percent of myheartcreative's clients are running their web and ecommerce environments on LightCMS, with myheartcreative providing support services, as well. In this way, the myheartcreative staff acts not only as creative professionals and developers for their clients, but also as their de facto LightCMS support team.
In fact, the firm's website clients even get an hour of training on LightCMS packaged with their service. Vinod Samuel said the firm is only able to provide that extra touch because of LightCMS's inherent ease of use and affordability. Clients, of course, view it as a valuable extra.
"LightCMS is easy for them to use, but at the same time, because we're providing customer support and affordable hosting, they can go to sleep knowing it's not breaking the bank and they have a whole team behind them," said Vinod Samuel.
Amy appreciates LightCMS's elegant design and ease of use, never taking either for granted. She mentioned the difficulties she's had working with clients who prefer to use Wordpress as their web content platform; after being trained no fewer than three times, she still fumbles her way through that interface.
Conversely, "if you can use Word, and you can use Facebook, you can use LightCMS."
For a young business with a base of small business clients who place a premium on affordability, that's worth its weight in gold.