Being an entrepreneur and small business owner, I love to hear success stories of talented people who started companies, with the goal to make a difference and to to bring something new to the market; people driven by a vision, a passion, a curiosity, and a determination; people with a mission.
The Is To Me shop was envisioned by husband and wife team, Andrew and Haiyan. I’ve been working with this lovely couple for a couple of month now, as their shop was selected for the Shop Directory. It is beautiful online store selling great Scandinavian design. Their selection of timeless home accessories and furniture is perfect to create that Nordic look. The kids assortment is pretty great, too!
I was curious as to find out more about Andrew and Haiyan, what motivated them to start Is To Me, and what their plans were for their nice shop. They kindly agreed to answer my questions.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, and what do you do?
A: We are husband and wife team who share our love of Scandinavian design and a keen eye to detail. Our company is driven by one thing… passion; a passion for design and a passion for great service for our customers. We help them to create amazing spaces. Is To Me will be the lasting, trusted retailer that our customers can depend on for years to come.
Q: What inspired you to start your shop?
A: We both have a passion for design and after completing her degree in Product Design, launched Is To me to share the amazing world of great design and how this can improve our every day environments. Ultimately Is To Me will launch its own brand and trade from a physical store.
Q: What sets your shop aside from it’s competitors?
A: The biggest thing that sets us aside from our competitors is our attention to detail, our passion to deliver excellent site visitor experiences. We pride ourselves on the personal touch and look to build long-term relationships with our customers. Every customer is different and we personalise our service no matter which part of the world they are from. The personal style in our home that lends through to our store is clean, fuss free and timeless.
Q: Who or what influences your style? To what do you attribute your wonderful aesthetic?
A: A keen eye to detail and making sure that everything sits within the feel of what we are trying to do. We love Scandinavian design and the lifestyle and try where possible to emulate this throughout our store. We love clean lines, neutral tones and the timeless feel of a lot of the brands that we work with.
Q: How do you find the pieces/products for your store?
A: The selection process stems from what we are passionate about. We spend a considerable amount of time keeping up to date with all the latest trends and fashions, we only stock the items that we are passionate about, hence the name Is To Me (or us!) we are very lucky as well to have a home that lends itself well to such a design ethos, sometimes it can be tough the let some items go!
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face with running your own store?
A: Time is the biggest challenge, to keep up to date and raise the profile of the store you need to devote a lot of time and passion. For us no two customers are the same and this approach while challenging is rewarding. Another challenge is trying to anticipate what will work for the store and ultimately what our customers will want.
Q: What do you love most about having your own store?
A: Being able to share our passion and there really is nothing more rewarding than being your own boss. As mentioned earlier it is time consuming but when you are the one making the day-to-day decisions and connecting with people from all over the world, the rewards are immense and the great feedback from our customers is a clear indication that what we are doing is working! When you are so passionate about certain design pieces, they do look great in your own home!
Q: What are you proud of?
A: We are proud of overcoming lots of early challenges, from souring stock to delivering a great service to our customers from all over the world. With the running of the site, running a family home, challenges have made us stronger and even more determined to succeed.
Q: Do you have any special projects in the pipeline or exciting future plans?
A: The biggest plan is to keep working really hard and looking after our amazing customers, with a view to open our own physical store in Edinburgh and launch our own brand.
Q: What are your favorite pieces/products at the moment?
A: Oooh we have so many…..one of our big things just now are the Carrie LED Lamp and we have also fallen in love with Cooee Vases, everything at Is To Me is on our wish list, that’s why we stock them!
Make sure to visit Is To Me for well-curated design, and don’t forget to bookmark this lovely shop!
For more online shopping destinations we recommend, check out the directory.