Spring Creek NeedleArt is a small design business that specializes in quilting patterns for both retail and wholesaler markets.
Revamp the company’s visual identity and collateral while building a mobile-responsive e-commerce website.
Lion’s Share developed a new logo and branding for the company and built an efficient site with easy-to-use content management and payment systems.
The new website better showcases the company’s products, appealing to new customers and improving the purchasing process for existing customers.
“Lion’s Share is equally creative and technologically savvy, always finding the right solution. I think they really understand what it is to be a small business and the particular challenges we face. I can’t say enough about how wonderful this experience was and how happy I am with the end product.”
Founded in 1988, Spring Creek NeedleArt produces applique and pieced-quilt patterns for both retail and wholesale customers. The company’s emphasis on accessibility and products for all levels of interest has attracted both novice and seasoned quilter. The patterns are carried in stores around the United States as well as in nationally distributed catalogs such as Annie’s, Nancy’s Notions and Keepsake Quilting. Since the company has never operated a bricks and mortar storefront, Spring Creek’s website has played an important role both in facilitating direct to consumer sales and serving as its most visible signpost.
The original Spring Creek NeedleArt website was developed by company founder Nancy Richoux in the 1990s who tackled the project with true DIY entrepreneurial spirit. “This was back in the time when any website was a good website,” she says. For its time, the site was efficient and useful: Customers would place an order and mail a check. In the 2000s, Richoux added the ability to take credit card payments online, though it was not a one-step process. She continued to update the site by hand-coding each new product and feature herself.
However, over the next few years Richoux realized that the site—her most important interface with customers—was no longer fulfilling her needs. With over 70 products, all the maintenance became unwieldy and the site itself wasn’t keeping pace with technological and design developments. In particular, it wasn’t mobile responsive and the e-commerce features were sorely out of date. Worst of all, her Google ranking was sinking, making it even less visible in searches.
Along with the website, Spring Creek’s visual identity—defined only by a characteristic but now dated font—was due for an overhaul.
Lion’s Share worked closely with Richoux to first rethink her brand’s identity and part of that process was educating her as a business owner about the importance of a proper logo. “I had several phone meetings with the Lion’s Share team about the world of quilting and our average customer and what might speak to them. We really wanted the design to resonate with current and potential buyers.”
After a few rounds, Richoux and the team settled on the current logo—the N for NeedleArt is now fashioned to look like a needle with a blue thread run through its eye. “I love that it’s very subtle and yet customers have really noticed it.”
With the revamped logo in place, Lion’s Share designed new pattern fronts or packaging for the patterns that feature the new look.
The next order of business was rebuilding Richoux’s website, using a content management system that would simplify her process of adding new products and images on a regular basis. “There’s no coding necessary. I can just upload an image and type in the price and name and it’s ready to go.”
The new site is integrated with Paypal, streamlining and securing the payment process for customers as well as adding a shopping cart and other commerce features. “Before I would manually have to take the credit cared information and process the card myself on online and email the customer when the transaction was complete. This way, it’s automatically processed which is a great timesaver.”
The site also got an aesthetic upgrade, with the new logo setting a cleaner, more contemporary tone and a more intuitive and searchable interface. A slideshow displays exciting new products and gift ideas, while the homepage also shows the most popular categories. Best of all, shoppers can now view and purchase items from any device.
The initial response from both individual customers and distributors to the new website and logo has been one of pleasant surprise. “Some said they were not entirely sure they had landed on the right page, at first because they had been so used to the old site,” Richoux says. “They can see right away that it’s more of the moment. It’s much easier to navigate now, with both the navigation bar on the top and some of the product categories pictured as you scroll down the home page. There are multiple ways to find the product you’re looking for and this is very useful for boosting sales.”
Working with Lion’s Share made what might have seemed like a daunting process quite easy. The entire job, which took about three months, was seamless, Richoux says. “Along the way Lion’s Share kept us apprised of what was going on, and they always wanted to know about my customer base, which was very important to me. Sharon and her team are equally creative and technologically savvy, always finding the right solution. I think they really understand what it is to be a small business and the particular challenges we face. I can’t say enough about how wonderful this experience was and how happy I am with the end product.”
Date: January 8, 2016
Category: Branding, Web design, Workhorse Website