Practical Ecommerce

    Kara English

    Kara English

    Kara is advertising sales consultant for Practical Ecommerce, and CEO and co-founder of CandlesAndSuch.com, a unique site that sells party favors, wedding favors and gifts. kara@practicalecommerce.com


  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Trust in your customers

    March 29, 2013 •

    There’s a lot of talk about trust in business. I read a lot about the importance of good customer service, quality products, toll free numbers, and contact information on your site, etc. But something I haven’t seen discussed much is trust in your customers. This year I have seen more... 4 Comments 4 Shares Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Surviving the stages of my business

    January 3, 2013 •

    I haven’t blogged for Practical Ecommerce in months and I apologize for that. Many of you have reached out to me by email, which has been very inspiring for me this year. In April my business partner retired and I’ve been racing like mad trying to keep up with every aspect of the busi... 5 Comments 2 Shares Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Going Solo

    April 29, 2012 •

    April has been an interesting month full of change for us. My business partner decided to retire so I am now the sole owner of CandlesAndSuch.com. It’s all very exciting and scary at the same time. We started this online venture together when we took her local candle business and tur... 5 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    A Real Job

    February 21, 2012 •

    A few months ago I took on a part-time seasonal job just to help us get through the holidays and take some pressure off the business as my main source of income since we are still battling that Panda update. I thought it was a great idea at first. I could get out of the house, meet ne... 3 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    The Year of the Panda

    January 30, 2012 •

    I am very happy that 2011 is over. Usually every January I like to look back over the past year and see the growth and progress our little business has made. This January I would like to just forget 2011 all together. We were one of the many sites hit by the Google Panda Update. W... 1 Comment Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Losing Balance

    October 24, 2011 •

    Things have been a little crazy around here, so I apologize I haven’t written this blog in awhile. The last couple of months have been a true whirlwind of work, kids and life. Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you felt crushed by everything going on around you? I often write abo... Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Playing the E-Commerce Game

    July 31, 2011 •

    I remember when we were just getting started online. It was still early in the game and we didn’t have too many competitors. I remember the thrill of seeing a page I created show up in Google search results. It seemed so easy back then. I felt like we had joined a race and we could ... 4 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Service and Trust

    June 30, 2011 •

    I usually blog about things that happen to me outside of eCommerce because so many times the experience can be valuable and I can apply it to help me run my business better. For instance, I ran into some of the best customer service I have seen in a long time and felt I needed to blog ... 3 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Making Progress

    May 30, 2011 •

    In my last post I talked about all of the problems we seem to be having this year. After writing that post and reading the great advice from Practical Ecommerce readers, I have spent the last few weeks making a lot of changes. Even though it is still early I am already seeing results.... 2 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    The Year of Problems

    May 1, 2011 •

    2011 has been a very interesting year so far. The number of fraudulent orders is up, we get phone calls daily asking us to match the price of other online stores, returns have doubled and complaints about quality or item size have gone up. We are facing a new issue with our suppliers... 5 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Working Without Distractions

    March 31, 2011 •

    It is Spring Break here and for the first time I sent the kids over the river and through the woods to their Grandmother’s house. They are having a great time and for the first time ever I am able to focus 100% of my energy on work. I was looking forward to this for weeks, knowing tha... 1 Comment Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Fraud on the rise?

    February 28, 2011 •

    2011 so far has been the year of fraud and theft for us. In the last five years we’ve had 1 maybe 2 fraudulent orders. This year so far we’ve had three. Just last week three customers called to tell us that even though UPS shows their package was delivered, they never received it. T... 10 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Cutting Costs for 2011

    January 31, 2011 •

    It’s a new year which means time for new goals. Sure I want to lose a few pounds, but business wise I’d like to lose a few bills this year. I have spent most of January really going over our books trying to find where we can save some money. Of course we want to see our sales go up t... 3 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    If We Build It They Will Come

    December 1, 2010 •

    Lately I have been getting a lot of inquiries from friends and acquaintances that have seen the success we have had online and want to start their own E-Commerce business. Many come to me for advice on where to go for website hosting, how to design a site and most importantly what to s... 6 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Time to Re-Group and Review

    November 1, 2010 •

    The last few years in our business have been quite a whirlwind. We saw success quickly in the beginning and have spent a lot of time trying to keep up. Our busy season has ended and it’s time to review. This year was the first year that we didn’t see tremendous growth in our business... 8 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Running Your Business while Depending on Others

    September 30, 2010 •

    In my business I have to rely on many drop ship suppliers. Being a control freak this is very difficult for me to handle. I dream of the day I can warehouse my own items and ship direct, but until funds are available for that venture, drop shipping will have to work for now. I depend... 4 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Know Your Target Audience

    September 1, 2010 •

    My kids were flipping through one of our favorite family magazines when all of sudden I heard giggles. You know the giggles that mean they are doing something they shouldn’t be. I come around the corner to see what they are doing and I see an advertisement that is clearly not appropri... 5 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Looking Back, Moving Forward

    July 27, 2010 •

    We are in the middle of moving across the state and as I was packing up my office I found a journal. In it I found a list of why I wanted to start an online business and what I wanted that business to provide. The list was written 5 years ago. It’s funny to look back at this list now... 2 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Giving your customers what they want…ATTENTION

    June 30, 2010 •

    In my business I expect the best, no exceptions. This goes for my business partner, my family and anyone that I do business with. That may make me seem like an awful person. I’m really not that bad. I just figure if you are going to put forth the effort, why not do the best that you... 2 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Little Entrepreneurs

    May 28, 2010 •

    The other day my kids approached me and informed me that they wanted to start their own online business. They have a fantastic idea so I figured what the heck; this will be a great summer project. We sat down and brainstormed over lunch, and before I knew it we had been talking for ov... 1 Comment Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Confidence as a Mom-preneur and as Myself

    April 27, 2010 •

    Something that I have struggled with since making the choice to stay home and making the choice to start and run a business from home is having confidence in myself. It may seem crazy to think that an entrepreneur would lack confidence. In fact I’ve always felt that confidence is one ... 3 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Free Education and Networking (and I didn’t even leave the house)

    March 2, 2010 •

    I apologize I haven’t been blogging a lot here on Practical Ecommerce. Our busy season has begun and of course I am in the never ending quest to keep up with the business, my kids, the house etc. etc. I wanted to blog about something that I experienced this weekend. I know many of us... 2 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Missed Opportunity

    February 1, 2010 •

    I was listening to the radio the other day when a commercial for a local business came on. They were making it very easy to do something very small that could help many. I listened some more and learned that if I bring in gently used shoes they would donate them to people in Haiti. W... 2 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Mom are you going to work on Christmas?

    December 29, 2009 •

    Mom are you going to work on Christmas? This is the question I got before the holidays from the kiddos. They’ve been home on Christmas break and I’ve been working each day. We are busier than ever so I haven’t had much personal time lately. My answer was of course, no honey I will n... 1 Comment Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Thankful for our Crazy Year

    December 1, 2009 •

    It’s been a crazy year for me this year. Beside the business growing like crazy, a full website redesign and adding over 2000 new Party Favors and Gifts, it’s been crazy for me personally too. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when my husband lost his job in June. We knew it wa... 2 Comments Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Preparing for the Holiday Season

    October 28, 2009 •

    With the holidays coming up fast I thought I would blog about something that happened to me a few months ago and how I plan on applying this experience to improve my business. Last Spring at the end of the school year my kids and I went shopping for teacher gifts. Our first stop was t... Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Separating Work from Home, When Home is Work.

    September 28, 2009 •

    For the last four years I have struggled with the balance between work and home. The main struggle is that I work at home so it can be very difficult to shut the door to the office and try to be just Mom. I realized not too long ago that my children needed MOM, not CEO. Here are some... 1 Comment Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    Creative Resources

    August 3, 2009 •

    When I started our online business one of my best research groups was a group of other stay-at-home Moms. Anytime we would meet for play-dates. I would bring a couple of product ideas, or some photos of our site design and get feedback. I loved the feedback, and the other Moms enjoye... Read More »

  • Life of a Mom-preneur

    The Life of a Mom-Preneur

    July 14, 2009 •

    I am constantly asked what I do for a living. The answer is complicated and it can be answered in many ways, but I find no one really understands what exactly it is that I do every day. My typical answer is, I’m a Mom but I also own my business and work from home. Now most people t... 14 Comments Read More »

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