December 14, 2021

10 Years of Industry West: Shooting Our Shot

As we wrap up our 10th year, our co-founders Anne and Jordan England sat down to talk about what it was like to create the first iteration of Industry West as an e-commerce business.

Why go into ecommerce?

Jordan: It just seemed natural. At the time, people were talking about ecommerce, and we were in the middle of the last recession. People were really struggling in the real estate market. The industry I was in was really challenging, so I spent a lot of time reading. It just seemed like that was the future. At the end of the day, you're solving a problem that somebody else isn't, which is what most businesses do. It became very clear that nobody was solving for this style of product to restaurants, hotels, and the designer community. And quickly.

Anne: Quickly.

How did you know it was time to launch your own online shop?

J: We quickly knew that in order to build a brand and control the process, we had to have our own platform. Testing on eBay was great, but we had to get off that in order to control the process and the message.

A: It was still a side hustle. So, we literally had no idea where this was going to go. We just kind of went for it.

orange octane chair with ten gold balloons ties to itorange octane chair with ten gold balloons ties to it
“We just kind of went for it."
Anne and Jordan England dance under confetti surrounded by balloonsAnne and Jordan England dance under confetti surrounded by balloons

How was that first photoshoot?

A: We did our first photoshoot literally in our front yard with a bunch of chairs.

J: Front yard and a bunch of chairs. I had like a little Eos Elf camera that attached to the dock and just took some photos that ended up being the homepage. People loved it.

What was it like to manage the beginnings of Industry West?

A: We were both working full-time, and we both had other jobs. You [Jordan] were staying up late to processes orders, but we also had to go to our day jobs. We were doing other things.

J: I remember having a conversation when I was launching the website. The first day it went live, I set a Google Adwords budget to drive some traffic to not exceed $5 a day. I was playing in a band at the time, and I was on the way to practice. I had the commerce software tied to my iPhone, and it started pinging. I was like, "Holy s***! People are going to this website!"

A: It's happening!
J: People are buying the furniture in massive amounts. I had no money. We were pretty broke, honestly. It's interesting to think about scale. I was recently back in Beaufort, SC, and I drove by the house we started this out of. You know when you're younger, and you go back, and everything is way smaller than you remember it? It IS way smaller than I remember it. It's crazy to think that's how it goes.

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