When I first created the Puglie Shop back in Storenvy, I just wanted it to be cute and on brand. As I continued to grow Puglie, I began having goals of one day having a dedicated Puglie store, akin to LINE Friends and such.
Artist alleys became a small way of fulfilling that goal, allowing me to brainstorm and decorate my table to be a little store within the limitations of a 2 x 6' space. Through there, I began envisioning running a Puglie convenience store, calling my table Puglie Mart, wearing my Puglie Apron behind the booth, and helping people find the right Puglies for them :]
In the midst of COVID, when all conventions shut down, I began to really miss the immersion of having a store (even if it's just a table haha), and my website just wasn't inspiring me. It was then that I realized - I literally have the ability to create an entire world on this site!
So why didn't I before?
1. It never dawned on me. I just never thought of my website in that way LOL.
2. There are "best practices" for online stores and websites to make sure the site loads fast, that customers see things that they'll want to buy ASAP, and to get them to check out as fast as possible.
3. My knowledge of Shopify's coding language is next to none, so I felt very limited in what I could do.
But at this point... I didn't care so much about those things.
I wanted you, the visitor, to experience coming to this little neighbourhood on the internet, dipping in to the store to see what Puglie has to offer, relaxing with something to read if you're interested, and perhaps checking out other Puglie affiliated stores. As always, I wanted to create an experience with a little story.
When you land on the front page, you're greeted by all that is Puglie Mart and its neighbouring amenities:
On the left; the Shuttle Bus to For Fans By Fans, representing the link to the For Fans By Fans Puglie Store.
On the right; The Doughnut Box, which represents the blog.
As you scroll down, I wanted you to feel like you were going through the store - seeing Puglie items packaged and hung up, and the Fresh Poots we had to offer.
For the sake of a fluid online shopping experience, you get to try your luck at the gachapons with all the Surprise Puglie items before checking out.
Lastly, you get to the check out with Cashier Puglie ready to help, asking if that's all you needed, perhaps offering you some Last Chance poots, and asking if you'd like to sign up for our newsletter - The Loop - so you can stay in the loop with all upcoming Puglie news!
After you leave the store, you can swing over to The Doughnut Box!
Originally, I envisioned a small coffee shop attached to the store, which represented the blog in my head because it's a place that you can go to sit down, relax, and catch up on news, connect with friends, or ponder with your thoughts!
Upon drawing out the idea; however, I realized the the coffee shop took up a lot of the spotlight when paired with the Puglie Mart, which by and large, is still the main focus of the website. To represent the size of its importance, I opted for a little cafe truck instead, with Puglie catching you up on the latest news! (I sure hope you're sipping on your favourite drink while reading all this haha!)
Finally, when you're done catching up with Puglie, but you're still looking for more poots to enjoy, you can catch the shuttle bus that takes you directly to the For Fans By Fans website!
And this, again, was just my way of keeping the experience of this neighbourhood you visited wrapped up. Instead of a link, or branded banner, I opted for what I thought made sense for a visitor of an area to go to another - a bus! I mean it could've been a car or a taxi, but I like buses haha.
I hope you enjoy the new site!
I know most of the experience and vibe is limited to the front page, and everything else around the store is still very much just an online store plus some little upgrades on organization. But I hope you enjoy your visit, and stay excited for future goals and improvements I have for this little neighbourhood on the internet :]