How BOUKHairTools got started
Introduce your Etsy shop and tell us your story. How did you begin and decide on what to sell on Etsy, and how do you create your products?
My name is Billy. I am an avid traveler and lover of all things zen. Here at BOUK Haircare, we’re all about healthy hair and being efficient and effective with self-care while also caring for the planet. BOUK started with the idea of being sustainable in every way and sharing age-old secrets and hair growth tips amongst the natural hair community. Since I was young, Sunday was always self-care" or "prepare for the week ahead day, and that routine became more important the older I got as responsibilities sometimes keep us busy. As children who could not sit still, having hairstyles that lasted the whole week was heaven to my parents, and they achieved this using a bonnet or a silk scarf. BOUK helps you recreate that feeling of looking your best every morning. We wanted to share that feeling with the world.
Initially, I started creating our items in-house, sourcing fabric from local stores and markets and doing custom color orders—sometimes even branding them with names, for example, bridal shower boxes. When sales and demand increased, some elements of the production were outsourced. The ideas for the products come from creating solutions to hair issues, which I learn about from blog posts, influencers, and the comments of their followers, my own hair, and an understanding of what causes me to buy which hair products and the pros and cons of each hair type. Hair is an actual science and a very interesting study. Common problems are dryness, split ends, dullness, thinning, lack of growth, and frizziness. BOUK is proud to be a remedy for all, but don’t take our word for it; see our customer reviews. My Caribbean roots inspired the color, sustainability, and use of plant-based materials for our little creations, keeping BOUK completely vegan.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
I love the starter hair box because it’s the perfect gift, especially for those starting their hair care journey, like younger kids or adults transitioning to natural hair. It includes the recyclable plant-based plastic biodegradable comb with bulbed edges and smooth teeth. Perfect for head massaging, detangling, and being gentle on the strands, every comb pattern is unique. Also in the box are two scrunchies and a bonnet, which help grow the hair and maintain styles.
The bonnets on their own are best sellers too. As an adult or entrepreneur, it’s satisfying to feel like you are using your time wisely and have fewer decisions to make per day. I already struggle with thinking about what to eat. This hair staple cuts down on getting ready time in the morning and really helps grow healthy, strong hair in one easy step.
Getting sales on Etsy
How long did it take for you to earn your first sale and how do you currently attract customers to your Etsy shop?
My first sale wasn’t too difficult, as it came from a friend. I was really excited by my first ‘stranger’ order. I definitely did a happy dance. When I checked the stats, it indicated that Instagram brought in my first sale during that first week. I was glad to be doing something right. Before opening the store, I studied a few Youtube videos and forums of other sellers to be successful, educating myself on stats and keywords. To date, stats show that Etsy brings in most of its sales, possibly from its keywords and small advertising budget. Other avenues are Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, Youtube, and Instagram by way of ads and influencers.
How do you manage your shop? Are you running solo or do you have any team members? What tools or services do you use to run your shop and how do you handle fulfillment?
It’s just me. I sometimes get assistance with packing orders from my younger sister when she doesn’t have exams or other general teenage crises to deal with. I use Canva for all my designing, editing, and superimposing. Admittedly, I’m not a very technical person, so get help if any needs outside of Canvas capacity arise, but that’s rare. I’d advise a drop-and-go account with Royal Mail so I don’t have to stand in line. They have my account number on file, so when the orders are dropped off, they’re processed and charged to my account without me needing to be there. Perfect for allowing me to focus on more important customer-capturing tasks or streamlining the business.
The future of BOUKHairTools
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
I’d love to have more consistent sales. Over the past two years, my shop has been on a steady decline in orders compared to the previous year, which can be disappointing when you’re really trying to implement every piece of marketing strategy and advertising. After year one, BOUK had its own website, which could also be a contributor. On the bright side, I’m grateful to all our repeat customers. If BOUK was an international brand available at airports or in chain beauty stores, I’d rest for a bit.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
Do it! It’s rewarding and fun. Nothing comes easily, and anything that doesn’t challenge you to think a little will become a boring afterthought very quickly, so go for it. Research beforehand, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and promote yourself anywhere and everywhere. Having something that’s fully yours that you can pour your time and energy into is quite fulfilling. Outsource non-important tasks where you can, recognize and accept your strengths, and have a marketing plan in place for the year.
Some sellers really get inspired by hearing numbers. Feel free to share these if you like.
Question: How much is your monthly revenue?
Question: What is your average profit margin?
Question: What is your shop’s conversion rate?