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How Consistency and Focus Transformed Wendy’s Online Business

A few weeks ago I was in the Inner Circle group and I saw a comment on a post. The “poster” was asking for some encouragement that it was possible to reach her sales goals. One of the comments stopped me in my tracks. When I read Wendy’s comment about how she doubled her sales last year – and she broke it down into steps – I knew I had to share it with you!

I’m so thrilled to finally chat with Wendy Aughe, founder of Log Cabin Vintage, face to face. Log Cabin Vintage is an online children’s bookshop with a mission to reconnect people with the books they loved as kids, and she’s passionate about helping people find and share those beloved books with their own children and grandchildren.

Wendy’s journey hasn’t been a straight line; initially, she sold vintage home decor. And while it may seem counterintuitive, she had much bigger success niching down to just children’s books than when she sold to a broader audience.

Wendy’s Big Pivot

In 2014, Wendy started selling vintage home decor on Instagram, gradually expanding her business to Etsy, local markets, and antique stores. After growing frustrated with Etsy, Wendy decided to take control by launching her own website. For about a year, she continued selling vintage home decor on her site. But the constant struggle of packaging and shipping large items made her rethink her business model. Aafter spending an hour building a box one afternoon, her husband suggested something that seemed impossible at the time– ditch the big items altogether and focus on books exclusively.

An avid reader all her life, Wendy had  always enjoyed finding children’s books the most, so after some consideration she took her husband’s advice and decided to specialize in vintage children’s books.

This niche focus turned out to be a smart move. Wendy noticed that there were very few booksellers solely dedicated to children’s books online. While many booksellers carried children’s books, hardly any specialized in them.

 

By narrowing her focus, Wendy carved out a unique space in the market, leading to greater success and satisfaction in her business.

 

A Methodical Approach to Success

Wendy’s superpower is that she is incredibly consistent and focused. She picks a goal and sticks to it, and this methodical, step-by-step approach has unlocked success for her new venture.

When she first started her business, Wendy had no idea how to run a Shopify store or manage emails. Coming from Etsy, where everything is done-for-you and sellers have little control over their own brands, she faced a steep learning curve when launching her own website. There was so much to learn.

To avoid overwhelm, Wendy broke everything down step by step. She admits there were times she felt frustrated and tempted by “shiny objects”— distractions that make you want to jump ship and try something new. But she always stayed focused on her goals, understanding that success doesn’t come from the first attempt (and sometimes not even from the second or third.) Wendy believes in doing things repeatedly until she gets it right.

She rebuilt her website not once, but twice—first for vintage home decor and then again when she shifted to selling books. This repeated effort gave her plenty of practice rebuilding and adapting her business. 

Wendy’s Secret Weapon: 1:1 Coaching

 

 

Wendy’s other secret weapon is getting help when she needs it. Many of our Inner Circle members hesitate to book coaching calls because they don’t know what to talk about or ask. But Wendy started booking calls early on, initially with Claudia (our email marketing coach). Wendy didn’t have time to learn everything at once, so rather than wasting time figuring out her email  service provider, she focused on listing products and getting them up for sale while Claudia worked on her email templates.

With Claudia’s help, Wendy got two master email templates designed with her branding. And Claudia didn’t just create the templates; she also showed Wendy how to use them, even filming the training sessions as part of their coaching calls.

How Regular Coaching Sessions Keep Wendy on the Fast Track to Success 

As Wendy narrowed her focus to vintage children’s books, she realized she needed regular guidance to stay on track. Enter Coach Tina, who meets with Wendy every two weeks, assigns tasks, and reviews her ads to ensure they’re running effectively. Tina helps Wendy by creating a game plan, telling her which Inner Circle trainings to prioritize and which steps to take next.

Wendy doesn’t have to prepare extensively for these calls. She simply outlines her goals and asks for help in creating a plan to achieve them. This approach helps manage her expectations and provides clear direction for where to focus her time and efforts.

From 25 to 200 Web Visitors a Day: How Wendy 10x’d Her Traffic

When Wendy first started, she was getting only about 25 web visitors a day. It was a real struggle—hardly anyone knew about her shop or what her business was about. With such low traffic, making sales was nearly impossible.

Despite having been an Inner Circle member for a while, Wendy had avoided Facebook ads for a long time.

 

But after completing our Big Picture Training and reviewing her numbers for the past month to identify gaps in her sales funnel, she had an aha moment. She needed a bigger audience if she had any hope of meeting her sales goals.

 

This is where tools like a brand video become essential for audience building – the video reaches a large audience, and then a second retargeting ad drives traffic to your site, which can significantly boost your numbers. Using these strategies, Wendy almost 10xed her traffic (and doubled her sales).

On track to double her sales again this year, Wendy finds it exciting to compare year-over-year progress. Even if day-to-day numbers feel stagnant, looking at sales data from the same month last year shows just how far she’s come. For example, by the 17th of the current month, she had already tripled her sales compared to last April.

And the butter to her paid marketing bread? Email.

Alongside her paid ads, Wendy is diligently building her email list and sending them campaigns weekly. She’s also in the process of creating automated flows that will keep her subscribers looped in with very little effort on her part.

Even though she’s got a lot to stay on top of, Wendy is the first to say that the weekly effort is paying off.

 

Wendy tries to limit product-listing to one or two hours a day to avoid getting distracted from other essential tasks. She emphasizes that marketing should always come first, not last. This disciplined approach helps her maintain steady growth and achieve her business goals.

 

 

 

The Biggest Win Of All: Wendy Is Paying Herself Now

Rather than waiting to hit specific sales goals or order numbers each month, Wendy has started paying herself a percentage of her gross profit each month. Whereas before, she would only take money out of her business sporadically, usually for personal expenses like her daughter’s summer camp or braces. Now, she sets aside 25% of her gross sales every month into a money market account. She’s saving up for a big dream, but after a chat with her mentor, Tina, she realized that if she didn’t start saving now, her dream would never become a reality.

Using a percentage to determine her pay took the pressure off hitting specific financial targets and made the habit of paying herself much easier. She recommends starting small, even with just 10%, and adjust as you feel more comfortable.

Wendy also continues to invest in her business growth through things like personal development and keeping her membership in the Inner Circle active. Nurturing her business’s growth while still enjoying the rewards of her hard work helps keep Wendy motivated and ensures both she and her business are financially healthy.

Advice Wendy Would Give to Her 2021 Self

Wendy says that if she could go back and chat with her 2021 self, she’d tell her to pivot sooner. Back then, she was worried about losing her audience if she switched from vintage decor to books. But after making the switch, she realized that while some followers did drift away, many who loved vintage decor also loved using books to decorate their spaces.

She also began to discover her true audience—people passionate about collecting books or those seeking to reconnect with beloved books from their childhood. These are the folks who had cherished memories tied to these books, perhaps ones they lost or that were damaged over time.

Wendy would also be less afraid to seek help. She now believes in the power of coaching calls for gaining insights and support, which at first she hesitated to take advantage of. Getting consistent advice from experienced coaches has made a huge difference, fast-tracking her progress and helping her stay accountable.

What’s Next For Wendy

Wendy recently launched her YouTube channel and plans to create more content throughout the year. She’s excited to continue growing her sales and expand her business’s reach to the homeschooling community looking to add depth to their curriculum with classic literature.

Wendy is eager to dive into this niche, although she acknowledges she has a bit to learn about the community and their needs. Most importantly, Wendy is careful not to rush into it. She’s focused on making sure her business’s current operations are smooth and effective before branching out.

 

Wendy believes in ensuring everything is running well before taking on new challenges.

 

Consistency Is Your Compass

Wendy’s journey is a powerful reminder of the importance of consistency and the value of steady, incremental progress. Each step she has taken, whether pivoting her business model, expanding into new markets, or diving into social media ads, reflects her commitment to moving forward thoughtfully and deliberately. Wendy’s willingness to seek guidance through coaching and to adapt her strategies based on what she learns has significantly contributed to her growth.

By putting one foot in front of the other and knowing when to seek help, Wendy continues to build a sustainable and flourishing business. Her story is a lesson to all online store owners to embrace consistency as their compass and to recognize that sometimes, slow and steady really does win the race.

 

RELATED LINKS:

Log Cabin Vintage

How Many “Eyeballs” See Your Product?

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/how-many-eyeballs-see-your-products-get-past-this-roadblock-to-success-episode-175/

Here’s How To Find Your Future Buyers

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/heres-how-to-find-your-future-buyers-episode-206/

What Happens When You Put Marketing First

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/what-happens-when-you-put-marketing-first-episode-198/

Build A Massive Audience With A Brand Video

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/build-a-massive-audience-with-a-brand-video-episode-162/

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