Congratulations are due to entrepreneur Jesse Dobbs and his team mates Dustin Robbins and Nick Lott. Once employed as the top piercers for another studio, they forged out on their own to create Iris Piercing Studio here in Salt Lake City. Today, with Jesse at the helm, Iris is a strong brand that has been wise enough to invest extra energy and time on building the business. Some small business owners never get past the day-to-day of working in the studio, the shop or the office. This foresight has produced a strong structure with just the right amount of operational systems behind it to allow the company to expand.
Saturday, May 14th slated the opening of the second Iris Piercing in the Capitol Hill area of Denver, Colorado. The opening comes on the heels of stellar performance at the annual jewelry sale. But, Jesse will say more about that in his interview that follows.
Two weeks before the Denver Studio opened, I quizzed Jesse concerning his success and here’s what he had to say:
“You’ve probably heard the saying; ‘if you build it, they will come?’ Well that has held true for us. I believed in our brand. I believed in our team. I believed that if I we offered the highest quality of jewelry, delivered exceptional service and if we held ourselves to high standards of sanitation then people would notice us. So we built Iris Piercing on these ideas and people have come.
First, I hired a branding coach and he created plans for us to reconstruct the look and feel of our shop. Then I invested in the construction of that plan. Our studio is now an amazing space. It looks highly professional and it showcases our exceptional jewelry. The ambiance fits us and gave people something to talk about that fully sets us apart from other piercing studios. The new studio is equally as stunning.
I also believe that marketing through the use of word of mouth is the best way to go. You can pay a lot for fancy ads but getting people to talk favorably about you is less expensive and more effective. Over a year ago Dustin started talking about creating “street teams” which were meant to be small clusters of people hitting local campus or hotspots to hand out our referral cards. What actually happened was that because of the other things we were doing, these teams grew organically without us going out and formally structuring them.
What happened was that Nick created a referral card and we all agreed to a system for redeeming the referral credit. When our best customers send us new customers the referring folks get store credit in their account. This means that when our clients come in they might have anywhere from $10 to $50 dollars or more to spend without even opening their own wallet.
When you spend time creating multiple reasons for people to shop and talk about you, and you patiently stick with it for a full year things accumulate in your favor. I believe these are the reasons that we hit our goal this year during our annual jewelry sale – we hit 100% of our goal in three days. Last year we hit 60% of our goal over a week’s time.
Another part of our success has come from making sure that we pay attention to S.E.O. (search engine optimization). Our online presence is part of a marketing strategy. We had to invest in making it easy for search engines to point shoppers our way.”
Cheers to Jesse, Dustin and Nick. You must be thrilled to have the new studio open.
I encourage anyone who is following this story to hang onto your plugs and barbells because I sense that things are just getting started for these guys.
P.S. As Jesse reviewed this blog he wanted me to add this last part. So Jesse, as you requested:
And… thank you sooo much Lyn. This is exciting! It was really fun to read!! It’s missing one part though. The amazing company and coach that helped piece this all together. I know it is hard to write and brag about your self, but come on! This wouldn’t have happened at the pace it did without you! Love you always!!
– Jesse Dobbs