With support from VSO and the skills of Bordermedia, wo got ourselves a beautiful website around the middle of 2008. At around the same time the world started to get attached to facebook and instead of using our website to communicate, we posted more on facebook than we did at our website. It is similar with the fate of emails, which are replaced by messenger services and line and whatsapps.
A few years ago we asked a volunteer to upgrade our website and the result was as beautiful as our original one, and used as much. Then we attempted to add a shop to the website and several constrains resulted in there still not be a proper channel to offer Borderline products to people over sea.
In reality it is not that difficult to start an online shop, there are dedicated sites for hosting and other programs for handling the payments and with just a few clicks you can share your products with the world. Of course that doesn’t mean the sales will start. Whatever is easy for us is also easy for others.
In a long search for a set up that allows us to showcase products, make it easy for people to order it, while making sure the item seen online is the same as the item send without losing too much to companies vying for a share, has not been easy. Often you can start with a free option to try out. Often this means walking into a dead end street with one door that can only be unlocked by signing up.
Many of our products are unique, the fabric used to make several items might have shades of the same colour and the pattern might be shifted to give two products slightly different looks. In our shop that is a bonus, for people used to click, pay and receive this is a harder sell.
Right now our website has been stripped bare and all you can see is a sparsely filled online shop and the blog page where you read this. Each week some more items will be added to the shop and we hope eventually people will browse the way people walk in our shop. Admiring the skills of the women who make these products, often on the floor of their house while making sure their children are looked after.
Most of our sales abroad take time, it is hardly ever a straight forward process. The main reason is that we strive to make sure the customer receives what they hope they had ordered, that they understand the colour might not have been captured 100% on the photograph, that the shipping might take three instead of two weeks, or one.
Ours is a slow sale as opposed to those sites that promise to have send the product a day before you have ordered, that offers to take the product back free of charge if you don’t like it, and who will destroy the product if it cannot be sold in ‘mint’ state.
We encourage you to have a look at our Online Shop and contact us with any questions, suggestions or inquiries. Share our site with friends, tell them about us, how we not only run an online shop but also a real shop, a gallery and a restaurant. We also serve as information center, tell people what to visit, connect groups, inform about Burma. Our restaurant has been for years a place like Wework, without charging any rent, with better coffee and the best air-conned place you can imagine.
And if you do like a product, let us know and we will do our best to get it to you.