In this blog post we are going to tell you about Monika. She is an inspiring artist, a full-time web designer and an online store owner.
Her store – moniml.com – offers only handmade products that Monika makes either herself or in collaboration with her mother. The products are divided into two brands: Monimal (minimalistic jewellery made from polymer clay, raw brushed polyester resin, and other materials) & Stampa (home decor and textile). Many of the Stampa products are specifically developed to support a life style, which Monika herself calls trash/less.
Over a cup of tea, Monika opens up about herself, what inspired her to create her online store and what trash/less is. She also tells us about the biggest challenge she faced as an online store owner and how Storakle helped her overcome it.
You can read our talk below. Hope you enjoy it!
The 3 words that best describe your personality are…
Curly night owl.
How about the 3 words that best describe your store and your work as an artist?
Minimalism. Geometry. Nature.
What is your favorite form of art?
I am fascinated by the way people express themselves through visuals. I think I like the visual arts the most – craft arts, photography, graphic art (painting in particular), architecture.
Which are your favorite handmade artists/brands?
In no particular order:
These are off the top of my head. I have other favorites as well. Each artist has a specific style that has its own special charm.
When you were a child what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?
Anything from fashion designer, to interior designer and architect. I was interested in various aspects of design. This hasn’t changed much – things I was interested in as a child, still interest me today.
I think at some point I also wanted to become a paleontologist. But somehow I never managed to find any dinosaurs in the garden of my childhood home.
Speaking of childhood, if you could become a character from a children’s book for a day, which character and book would you choose?
Alice from “Alice in Wonderland”. I really want to see how deep the rabbit hole is!
Who is the author of your all-time favorite book? If you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?
It is difficult for me to define a single favorite book. I love reading travel books that tell stories about climbing the tallest mountains in the world. I love the ones about the Himalayas the most. So, I guess I would ask each of the authors of those books: was everything you went through worth it?
If you could have dinner with any person in the world – famous or not, fictional or not, dead or alive, – who would it be?
Tadao Ando – I would love to hear a first-hand account of his personal worldview. It would be amazing to get to know and understand this person better.
How was the idea of your online store born?
The idea of my store was born a few years ago during a captivating trip to the minimalistic Scandinavia. In a way, it was also a consequence of my job as a web designer – my job inspired me to create something that wasn’t part of the digital world. Something you can actually touch. I wanted its character to represent the Scandinavian spirit: functional, clean and minimalistic. All in all, I wanted to create something memorable and not boring with as little resources as possible.
But soon I realized that simplicity wasn’t enough. I wanted my work to have a deeper meaning. This is why and how trash/less was born. trash/less is a project that aims to reduce our negative impact on the environment by helping people live plastic-free lives, and, ultimately, if possible, zero-waste lives. This is the purpose of the items I created for the project – practical shopping pouches and reusable beeswax wraps that can substitute nylon bags and plastic boxes.
I truly believe that anyone can contribute to this meaningful cause. trash/less is simply my way to do it. If I had to wrap the idea of the project in a single sentence, I think it would be the following: by making plastic-free life easier and more accessible, I believe I can make the world a little better.
Can you give specific examples of how trash/less can help us live more environmentally friendly?
Yes. For one thing we can all use reusable pouches instead of nylon bags. Have you ever noticed how when you go to the store, you are usually offered nylon or paper bags to put your products in – fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, etc.? You put each item in an individual bag and soon after you get home and unpack your products, those bags end up in the trash. This is an extremely common occurrence and its impact on the environment is horrific. This is what inspired me to create a set of reusable drawstring pouches.
The pouches are made of 100% raw natural undyed cotton without any chemical treatment and are offered in 4 sizes. Each size is suitable for different types of products. For example, in the XS pouch you can put teas, herbs, spices or nuts; in the S pouch you can put lentil, grains and cereals; the M pouch is suitable for fruits and the L pouch is suitable for veggies or bread. Each of the pouches has a thematic minimalistic print. You can purchase each pouch individually or buy all 4 as a set.
The pouches are just one example. Many people take a snack with them to the office – a sandwich, a fruit or homemade cookies, for example. They usually put them in plastic boxes or wrap them in aluminium foil. But, instead of doing this, you can wrap them in beeswax food wraps. They are a great alternative, because they are reusable, have antibacterial properties and can be easily cleaned (all you need is cold water). This makes them extremely convenient.
Moreover, they can be used at home as well – I, for one, use them to cover gingerbread, biscuits and all sorts of homemade goods. But you have to make sure that the food you are covering isn’t too hot because the wax is very sensitive to heat.
Currently, I offer them in 4 sizes – XS, S, M and L. As it is with the cotton pouches, they can be bought individually or as a set.
And, since I am a person who appreciates the beauty in all things and likes things with personality, I made them in different colors and with different prints. Thus, everyone can choose the wrap that suits their personality the most.
Wow, this sounds amazing! I also noticed that on your website, you offer a set of spice jar stickers. Can you tell us a little more about this product as well? Why did you decide to make it?
Well, buying bulk teas, herbs and spices is an essential part of living environmentally friendly. Storing them in glass jars is just as important. This, however, brings up the question of how you are going to organize your kitchen in such a way that you can easily find the spice jar you need without losing too much time.
I was struggling with this for a while (laughs). This is when I came up with the idea that I can make my personal set of spice jar stickers. So, I got down to work and, after a while, I had 80 different stickers with minimalistic black-and-white designs. I made the stickers from washable matte materials so that the jars can be easily cleaned. I was so happy with the results that I knew I had to offer them as a product on my website as well.
I think this spice jar set is a wonderful solution for organizing your cupboards – it is convenient, you can easily find what you need and your kitchen looks amazing!
Yes, exactly. This was what I was going for.
On your website I noticed that the set is available only in Bulgarian. Should we be expecting an English version?
Yes, currently the set is available only in Bulgarian but the English version is coming soon.
Okay, and what would you say is the biggest challenge you are facing as an online store owner?
For me, it is definitely not having enough time. For example, I have to deal with cart abandoners on a daily basis and, unless I contact them in a timely manner, I lose revenue. I absolutely love my day-job as a web designer, but it doesn’t always leave me enough time to effectively communicate with my customers and reach out to cart abandoners at the right moment.
For a long time I was struggling with bringing cart abandoners back to my store. I would send cart abandonment campaigns but the open and click-through rates would be discouragingly low. The campaigns would barely generate any revenue. I needed a solution that can be more effective but also work on autopilot. Customer segmentation and highly personalized email campaigns seemed like the way to go.
This is when I started working with you guys. I signed up for Storakle and created my first automated email campaign shortly after.
* Note: You can read a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create an automated campaign with Storakle in our documentation.
Can you tell us a little more about how you set up your campaign?
First, I chose “Abandoned product” as a campaign trigger.
* Note: A campaign trigger (or trigger event) represents a customer’s action. When the action occurs, the customer receives an email. When setting up an automated campaign with Storakle, choosing a trigger event is optional. If there is no trigger, you will have to create a customer segment which will act as the trigger for the automated campaign, i.e. when a customer falls into the segment, the customer receives an email.
You can also define both a trigger and a customer segment for your automated email campaign. In this case the customer segment will be used as a filter for the customers who will receive the email.
I defined a customer segment as well. I segmented all the customers who have abandoned the Cotton Storage Pouches Set and did not buy any of the pouches individually.
Then, in the drag-and-drop email builder, I added the “abandoned products” content type to the body of the email. Thus, each recipient would see a link to the Cotton Storage Pouches Set and a personalized CTA in the email. I think this made it much easier for cart abandoners to go back to my store and complete their checkouts.
As an incentive, I offered the cart abandoners a 10% discount on the Cotton Storage Pouches Set. I also added links to each of the pouches individually and offered the cart abandoners a 5% discount on each of them.
After designing the email, I scheduled the campaign to send emails “as soon as possible”. Thus, I made sure I would always act on cart abandonment at the best possible moment – shortly after the customer has abandoned the cart and is very likely to reconsider their decision.
* Note: When you schedule your campaign to be send “as soon as possible”, a customer will receive an email from you as soon as the trigger event occurs or the customer falls into the automated customer segment.
Are you happy with the results? Did they meet your expectations?
To be honest, I think they surpassed my expectations. Compared to the results from previous cart abandonment campaigns I have sent, the open and click rates of my Storakle campaign are (at least) 3 times higher. So far, the campaign has been running for about two months and I am really happy with the revenue it has generated. Moreover, now I am able to reach out not only to my cart abandoners, but to every customer in a much more effective way. Creating customer segments and sending targeted campaigns with Storakle is easy, convenient and saves me a lot of time! I am really happy with your service!
Thank you for these kind words! I just have one more question: if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Don’t lose focus and keep working towards your dreams.
Thank you for your time! It was a pleasure!
Thank you too!