Turning a Passion into a Profitable Business
THE E-COMMERCE STORY OF ERIN GRAY MORTON
Working conditions have greatly improved for Erin Gray Morton since she launched her e-commerce store four years ago. At first, she was doing it all by herself with the help of a few good friends. “I had many late nights until 4 o’clock in the morning,” she said. Now, she has a team working with her full time.
And Ms. Morton has learned a great deal about the market: This year, she plans to start building her inventory in August for the year-end shopping spree, which she now knows actually starts in October. “Because I am still so young at this, I’m constantly learning and getting better and making better choices and decisions and being more efficient,” she said.
Since 2014, Ms. Morton has developed a line of sterling silver, gold filled and vermeil jewelry that she sells at her https://eringraydesign.com.
People’s decision to venture into e-commerce, she said, “is usually driven by some passion or some event that gives you a jumpstart.”
This was also her case. Getting into this field with her own line of products had been an old dream of hers; she had even studied fashion merchandising at university. “I had always wanted to do it,” Ms. Morton said. “But, you know, life takes you in different directions. I went into sales and marketing [...] this had brought me to a good place with everything that I had learned. But I had always wanted to be a designer.”
What prompted her to do it was her mother and step mother-in-law being diagnosed with cancer virtually at the same time. As she got sick, her mother told her to do something with her creative side because “you have so much of it and life is short.”
”I had already been toying with making jewelry,” Ms. Morton said. “When...these two things happened in such a short period of time, I just decided to take a risk and start a company.
”Initially I thought I would design bracelets and give to cancer research,” she said. “It truly started with just small ideas and I was enjoying it so much and...I was getting such positive feedback that I decided to start making and designing other pieces. And it organically grew.”