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Handmade Web Design For Queen Bee Creations

by Arianne Foulks

October 17, 2013

Sometimes a business owner comes knocking on my door and I give a squeal of delight and surprise! We’ve been fans of Queen Bee Creations for years – they’re a Pacific Northwest staple, and Christine, who designed the new site, has two vintage Queen Bee handbags of her own.

Queen Bee Creations “Before”

The challenge for this project was to bring Rebecca’s three lines together seamlessly, while exposing fans of her classic Queen Bee line to her other lines, Chickpea Baby, and Rebecca Pearcy textiles. You can see her original site below. Each product line took you to a website section with a different color and with different navigation menus, making it a bit murky to browse. The choices on the category page were very small thumbnail photos.

Queen Bee design before
Queen Bee design “before”

Queen Bee’s New Handmade Web Design

Our objective was to design a fresh, clean, colorful, and fun ecommerce website based on Queen Bee’s existing (excellent!) branding that will be easy to use, flexible, and extensible. We offered guidance as to how best to display and organize content and products from a marketing standpoint, and the new site is designed to make Rebecca’s administrative systems easier while also making shopping more enjoyable and tempting for her customers.

Rebecca wanted the new site to have an emphasis on hand-made, locally made items, and to show Queen Bee’s integrity and transparency.

We are friendly, approachable, and hope to inspire others by our process. I love to create items that are beautiful and stylish but also very functional – the items that you use every day and really serve your life well. I want people to smile and feel good when they see & use our goods.

So – a connection to my personal story of how this business came into being, as well as a connection to the people & makers that help bring them to life (in Portland) are important aspects to our personality and brand.

Here it is:

Queen Bee handmade web design

And the item page:

Queen Bee handmade web design item page

We felt that we were a perfect match for Queen Bee, since we’re often complimented on our “handmade” web designs. Aeolidia sites don’t look overly slick, corporate, or cold, and we always aim for friendly and accessible design. We’re at our best when working with handcrafted businesses, as we understand where they’re coming from and what makes their customers feel at home as well.

Working together with the team at Queen Bee was a delight, and we always feel so satisfied when we can make such obvious improvements for a client.

Finley convertible bag - a clever design
Finley convertible bag – a clever design
Sling rocker chair
Sling rocker chair

Interview With Rebecca

What hesitations did you have about working with us?
I think the only hesitation that I may have had was location – when I began looking for a web design partner, I was hoping to work with someone in Portland, so that I could have in-person contact with them. But once I broadened my search and we began working with Aeolidia, I saw how organized your company is and that your systems for working and communication put to rest any of my initial worries.

What changes have you noticed in your business since working together?
Before we migrated our site over to Shopify, we were using a custom-built site that was having a lot of little problems, and we were having a hard time finding someone to keep it updated and functioning properly. Now that we have a freshly designed site that is built in Shopify we are able to manage most of it ourselves, which is really great. It is a sharp learning curve, but I feel more confident in the future of our site than I did with our old one. And working with Aeolidia has been such a positive experience, that I’m super relieved and happy to have such a great partner moving forward!

What did you like best about our work together?
Well, for starters, everyone was really friendly and warm. I also had the sense, pretty quickly, that Aeolidia would “get” my brand and aesthetic. It was reassuring that you had worked with so many other small, creative businesses, so I knew that you had experience with similar projects. Beyond that, I was really wowed by how organized, professional, and on top of it the team and process were. There was great communication, helpful things like milestones and reminders, and the use of Basecamp as the hub of all activity was great. I also loved the chance to have a group of really talented folks take a look at our project with fresh eyes – there were ideas and suggestions that came up that were like lightbulbs going off, that led to a greatly improved website for us.

Would you recommend our services to others, and if so, why?
YES! The quality of work for the price is unbeatable. You have clearly built a business that delivers an amazing experience, service, and product in a way that is professional, fun, fresh, and affordable. Your team is varied and spread out geographically, but you work together and with your clients so seamlessly, which makes a huge project more manageable and enjoyable. I also really liked your approach for offering 3 different levels of website packages – it made it much more approachable to work with you – it helped clarify exactly what we were going to get for our money and we could add or subtract features to customize the project.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m really thrilled to have a brand new website that will be easier for us to manage, easier and more enjoyable for our customers to use, and with a look that is updated to reflect the evolution of the company. I’m also looking forward to having Aeolidia to turn to for future design projects that will ensure that our branding is consistent and high-quality. Thanks for everything!

See more handmade web design examples in our portfolio.

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