Business Plan

Prepared for SMAD407 Investment Group

Karina Hange
Amanda Harvey
Josephine Smith
1155 F St NW, Washington, DC

Confidentiality Statement

It is understood and agreed to that this report and presentation of confidential information may provide certain information that is and must be kept confidential. To ensure the protection of such information, and to preserve any confidentiality necessary under patent and/or trade secret laws, it is agreed that:

1. The Confidential Information to be disclosed can be described as and includes:

Invention description(s), technical and business information relating to proprietary ideas and inventions, ideas, patentable ideas, trade secrets, drawings and/or illustrations, patent searches, existing and/or contemplated products and services, research and development, production, costs, profit and margin information, finances and financial projections, customers, clients, marketing, and current or future business plans and models, regardless of whether such information is designated as “Confidential Information” at the time of its disclosure.

2. The Recipient agrees not to disclose the confidential information obtained from the discloser to anyone unless required to do so by law.

3. This Agreement states the entire agreement between the parties concerning the disclosure of Confidential Information. Any addition or modification to this Agreement must be made in writing and agreed to by both parties.

WHEREFORE, the parties acknowledge that they have read and understand this Agreement and voluntarily accept the duties and obligations set forth herein. This agreement is binding and will take effect at the initiation of the presentation and at the individuals decision to continue reading this report.

Executive Summary

There are over 900,000 pins, patches, keychains, and lanyards on Etsy alone. Creators get lost under all of that clutter, and for users, finding high quality products with beautiful designs sold by merchants they can trust is a hassle at best and a nightmare at worst. Flairist was created to provide lovers of flair with a single platform that they can use to sell, shop for, and connect with others over radical accessories.

Flairist is a responsive website which has three main functions: selling, shopping, and content creation and interaction. Our collections will create more possibilities in keyword usage, and our blogging and lookbook functions will be shareable to social media to assist with our SEO. We will also pay for promoted content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to spread our advertisements to people who will be more likely to click on them, as our competition, mainly Etsy and Amazon, do. These posts will be made at peak traffic times, to maximize impressions. We will rely heavily on social media to spread the word of our site and lend it credibility. We will also rely on linking with other pin, patch, keychain, sticker, etc. selling sites to gain credibility. The Flairist site will be developed using the Agile project management methodology.

Flairist is using managed hosting from Rackspace, with custom built storefronts and shopping cart functionality. Our credit card payment are through an authorize.net gateway. We have a security certificate through Globalsite. Our analytics will consider both engagement and profit as measurements for success.

Company Background

Flairist is an online marketplace for pins, patches, keychains, and other small accessories. Merchants create their own stores. Users can browse through listings. The Flairist team curates collections and publishes lookbooks for users to browse through. There is also a blogging feature that allows Flairists to connect with each other.

User Demographics

People who wear pins and patches have something to say and are ready to say it loud and proud. Whether it’s a pro-vax pin or a pride flag patch, folks use their flair every day to show people who they are and what they believe in.

‘Flairists’ value aesthetic and personal expression. They are artists, poets, musicians, creatives. Their fearlessness in being who they are sets them apart from the rest.

Because of these considerations, our audience demographics will likely be younger people. We will be trying to reach the artistically inclined as well as the politically involved. We will cater to those involved in subcultural movements, who think of themselves as living outside of the status quo.

Usability Requirements

Most users will use laptops with this interface due to the primary task as a shopping app.

Shop owners will also mainly utilize laptops to upload high quality images, edit product information, and accomplish other tasks needed to run their shops.

The research suggests that mobile shopping makes up about half of ecommerce traffic.

As mobile shopping continues to grow, and may yet surpass desktop access, our site will be mobile-first and responsive, to ensure easy access from any location. Mobile shopping is a growing marketplace and we want to ensure that our interface is easily usable with a mobile device.

Keyword Analysis

Keyword analysis and distribution is particularly complex for a marketplace-- we expect a significant percentage of traffic to come into the site via organic search for specific item ideas. This means perhaps the most important portion of our keyword library will come from user-generated content, making the process of keyword analysis radically different from a more controlled site.

A strong system and guidelines for keywords and listing copy, as well as optimized modules in our content management system will allow us to maximize traffic from individual listing pages. Each listing will have a short descriptive phrase and at least one “theme word” that must appear in both the listing copy and the listing tags.

If a seller wished to list a pin featuring Pokemon’s Pikachu with his classic open-mouthed smile, a descriptive phrase might be “excited Pikachu pin,” with theme words of “Pokemon”, “Pikachu”, and “90’s kids”.

More general keywords regarding the site’s overall content were simple to generate-- as a fairly niche marketplace, related search terms do not vary broadly. Various synonyms and descriptions of our main products-- pins, patches, and keychains-- along with descriptors like “artisan”, “handmade”, and “indie” encompass the majority of our general keywords.

View Keyword Planner results

Keyword Distribution

Keywords are closely tied to page content, and become progressively more specific as you proceed deeper into the site. Certain key words and phrases appear on the majority of pages associated with retail content, however.

View keyword distribution

Competition Analysis

Pins and patches, often collectively known as “flair,” are at the heart of a tight-knit creative community that values self-expression. Thousands of artists run independent shops, sell at conventions and markets, or provide goods to stores. Many of these independent artisans rely on online marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay to reach their audiences, as well as to forego the cost of brick-and-mortar shops or personal websites.

There are three main problems facing users currently trying to shop for or sell flair: some platforms are too large (Etsy), others too small (individual or niche retailers), and the rest simply too confusing (eBay). Etsy has almost a million flair items available, but no means of sorting through them to find reputable sellers. Niche retailers often have quality products, but only offer one or a handful of brands, severely limiting options. eBay offers millions of items that could fall into the category of flair, but they are scattered across dozens of eBay’s own shopping categories, with no means of centrally searching or browsing them.

Data on engagement, traffic, advertising, etc for our competitors was accessed from SimilarWeb. Niche shops focused on similar items get an average of 50-60 thousand visits every six months, giving a decent idea of the general level of traffic to be expected to our site. These niche sites were often discovered via search for general terms like “enamel pins” and “where buy patches,” as well as searches for specific items carried by the shop like “globe pin” or “apistevist patch.”

Interestingly, none of the niche sites reviewed appear to engage in any form of display advertising, so the effectiveness of display ads for our products will need to be assessed organically.

Pinterest was by far the most common referring social site, followed by Facebook and Youtube. The Youtube market was unexpected, and further analysis of the kind of content that is linking to ecommerce sites will be required to take advantage of this market.

Check out our complete competition analysis

User Personas


Olive Garcia

Age: 32

Location: Los Angeles, California

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Education: Bachelors Degree in Art

“I want to share my art with the world, it is my passion. I love seeing other people wearing my pieces.”

Tech Habits

Olive uses technology daily. She owns a Macbook and an iPhone and is extremely comfortable using both.


Olive is passionate about art, ever since she was a child she has always been creating something and giving it away to family and friends. She uses that passion now as a career and loves spending every spare second she has in her backyard studio. Her main product she creates is jewelry but she also creates pins. She currently has a website of her own but mainly sells off of her Instagram.


1. Olive wants to be able to maintain her branding in her shop.

2. Olive wants to be able to easily connect with customers and as a top priority she needs her social media to be connected to her shop.

3. Olive wants to be a part of a community, not just another artist who has an online shop.


Marigold Jones

Age: 28

Location: New York City, New York

Occupation: Blogger/Influencer

Education: Bachelors in Marketing

“I love everything about art and finding a new great artist is the most exciting experience for me.”

Tech Habits

Marigold is constantly using her iPad to blog or surf social media. She considers herself very tech savvy and grew up part of the internet generation.


Marigold is very outgoing and loves using social media to express herself and connect with others. She currently has a popular blog about art and crafting. She uses Instagram daily and posts often. She loves the supportive nature of the art community and is extremely grateful to be a part of it. She loves blogging and sharing great products with her followers, which she does on a daily basis.


1. Marigold wants to be able to favorite artists.

2. Marigold wants to be able to make wish-lists/groups of products.

3. Marigold wants to be a featured blogger on the website and a part of the community.


Jonas Fitch

Age: 23

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Occupation: Tech Support

Education: Bachelors in Computer Science

"I love supporting artists, especially because that means I get to shop online”

Tech Habits

Jonas works all day with computers so his knowledge level is definitely expert. He always owns the latest technology.


Jonas does most of his shopping online. He loves buying his friends gifts from artist shops because of the personalization that comes with it. His favorite jacket is a denim jacket covered in personalized pins and patches.. In any spare time he spends his days scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram finding new and exciting art.


1. To be able to save wishlists for future purchases.

2. Know about the artists he is buying from.

3. Easily find what he is looking for and get recommended items.

Project Management Methodology

An agile project management approach allows us to respond rapidly and flexibly to user and investor feedback, and the iterative process ensures that catch mistakes before they become crises.

Agile also allows us to continue to work in the same manner as we develop and update the product after launch. This will ensure a smooth transition to maintenance and development, and allow us to scale and change with our community and the ever-moving world of ecommerce.

Design Considerations

Brand Name: Clicker Script

The typeface Clicker Script was chosen for instances of the brand name based on the handwritten aesthetic which conveys a sense of personalization.

Headings and Accent: Abhaya Libre Extra Bold

Abhaya Libre Extra Bold was chosen for headers and accent script as a more readable and bold, yet still artistic font.

Body Text: Antic

Finally, Antic was chosen for the body text as a more delicate font that is easily readable still maintains some artistic flair.

Brand Colors

Text and Dark Accents: #25283D
This deep blue is unique, readable, and versatile.

Logo and Accents: #F45F58
This bright red-orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

Backgrounds and Accents: #FFCCD0
This light pink stands for tenderness, vulnerability and youth. It is a calming, non-threatening color.

Backgrounds and Accents: #ADEAD2
This light sea-foam green is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.

Accents: #FFEC4E
This bright, saturated yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. It produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy.

View our brand standards cheatsheet View our moodboard

Search Engine Optimization Plan

We will feature the work of and link to the stores of artists that we like off-site.

We will maintain an on-site blog that creates weekly blog posts, as well as a blogging section for users to create content and connect with each other.

We will create daily social media posts at peak traffic times to spread our activity and presence on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Online Marketing/Advertising

To begin advertising, Flairist will rely heavily on social media to spread the word.

A fair amount of customers will be using Instagram to follow their favorite artists; we can utilize this site further by paying influencers in the community to promote our brand and lend credibility.

An active Pinterest presence is essential for the brand, and our team will maintain a business account and keep boards updated with new and featured products.

The built-in blog will allow community members, shop owners, and influencers to create content, which will help build a community that will naturally advertise itself through word-of-mouth, as well as constantly creating and sharing new content from our website. The arts and craft community is strong and connected, and momentum will grow organically once word begins to spread.

We will also utilize Google Search Ads and the Google Display Network (including remarketing) to put our site in front of more people's eyes.

Technology Selection

Our responsive, mobile-first website was designed with every user in mind. Giving users the option to download a progressive web app gives shopkeepers and regular shoppers the power, speed, and low-connectivity functionality of an app without the extra development time. Native apps may be an option in the future as use expands, but we don’t currently anticipate adding any features that require native functionality.

We’ve worked hard to incorporate technologies to make life easier for our users. Our integrated translation API allows users all over the world to shop in their preferred language. Integration with Paypal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay allows users to shop without pulling out a credit card or risking their financial information. We offer Oauth login in partnership with Facebook, Google, Tumblr, and Twitter to allow users a rapid, seamless sign-up experience.


We are currently using a managed hosting service on dedicated infrastructure from Rackspace (with Fastly CDN integration to decrease load times), costing an average of $120 per month.

Our content management platform/storefront manager and shopping cart were custom built by our development team, and are supported by Fastly’s PCI-compliant cloud security.

We accept credit card payments through an Authorize.net gateway ($25 per month plus transaction fees), as well as Paypal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.


We are a 100% HTTPS site, with an SSL certificates from GlobalSign.

Despite only requiring Level 4 certification, we meet the standards for Level 1 PCI Compliance.

Our security through Fastly has world-class TLS encryption to ensure total protection of customer data, while a web application firewall prevents hackers from using our site to attack our users.

Website Structure

Our site makes use of familiar ecommerce conventions to minimize the user's learning curve and maximize product discoverability.

Check out our navigation map Check out our wireframes Check out our mockups

Privacy/Security Policy

First and foremost, our customers and artisans need to feel that their financial information is secure. In addition to accepting all of the major e-wallets and online payment systems, we are a PCI compliant (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) handler of credit card data-- and we never store credit card information without affirmative consent from our users.

User data will never be shared with or sold to third parties for any reason without explicit, affirmative consent from the user.

We use analytics tools on our site that allow us to see information about user behavior such as page views, time spent on each page, scrolling behavior, associative tracking, and link-clicking. All information about your browsing habits is privileged, and used and shared only within the context of analytics for Flairist. We will never share or sell this information to anyone else, for any reason. (Appendix: Privacy/Security Policy)

Check out our full privacy policy

Usability Testing

We will first do our own usability testing through focus groups. After making any adjustments deemed necessary we will then go through one more round of focus groups. This is to ensure that before the website goes live any potential user interacting with the site will only have positive experiences for the user. It is more important to us to take the extra time to ensure that as soon as Flairist launches it is a great user experience for every user.


Our analytics are divided into two main categories-- success metrics and use metrics.

While the former are obviously more important to stakeholders and investors, use metrics are an essential part of growing our business. Monitoring of bounce rates, unique visitors, scrolling behavior, and link tracking will help us understand what portions of our site need improvement. Tracking browsing behavior will allow us to provide interest-based advertising and personalized recommendations based on previous browsing history, an essential part of the modern web experience.

Our success metrics can be further divided into two more categories: engagement and profit. Engagement includes account creation, saving items, reviewing items, and sharing on social media. Profit tracks seller account creation, new listings, and purchases.

Staffing and Budget

With initial product development complete and no immediate plans for large-scale expansion, we are a stable team of 18 employees. Employee salaries range from $42,000 to $74,000, with an annual salary expenditure of $959,000.

Our team includes an SEO and Advertising Coordinator ($42000), Data Insights Analyst ($58,000 ), UX Researcher ($60,000), UX Designer ($62,000), Graphic Designer ($47,000), Lead Copywriter ($47,000), Junior Copywriter & Seller Copy Consultant ($43,000), Senior Platform Engineer ($74,000), Junior Platform Engineer ($68,000), Front End Developer ($65,000), Full Stack Engineer ($68,000), Product Manager ($48,000), Customer Support Specialist ($42,000), FP&A Analyst ($52,000), Accounting Manager ($74,000), HR Manager ($55,000), Community Moderator and Quality Assurance Manager ($44,000), and Legal Counsel ($10,000 retainer).

We expect to spend around $15,000 this year on advertising and marketing as we get the platform off the ground, but anticipate this cost will drop below $9,000 once adoption rates rise.

Our current hosting and technology costs are at a monthly average of $200; as engagement with the platform increases we expect these to rise. Upon reaching an excess of 5,000 unique visitors a day we plan to migrate to a multi-CDN strategy to speed up delivery and ensure no outages, which will increase our costs.

View our budget


Competition Analysis

Keyword Planner Results

Complete Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy describes how your personal information is collected, used, and shared when you visit or make a purchase from www.flairist.com (the “Site”).


When you visit the Site, we automatically collect certain information about your device, including information about your web browser, IP address, time zone, and some of the cookies that are installed on your device. Additionally, as you browse the Site, we collect information about the individual web pages or products that you view, what websites or search terms referred you to the Site, and information about how you interact with the Site. We refer to this automatically-collected information as “Device Information.”

We collect Device Information using the following technologies:

- “Cookies” are data files that are placed on your device or computer and often include an anonymous unique identifier. For more information about cookies, and how to disable cookies, visit http://www.allaboutcookies.org.
- “Log files” track actions occurring on the Site, and collect data including your IP address, browser type, Internet service provider, referring/exit pages, and date/time stamps.
- “Web beacons,” “tags,” and “pixels” are electronic files used to record information about how you browse the Site.

Additionally when you make a purchase or attempt to make a purchase through the Site, we collect certain information from you, including your name, billing address, shipping address, payment information (including credit card numbers and account details for Paypal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay), email address, and phone number. We refer to this information as “Order Information.”

When we talk about “Personal Information” in this Privacy Policy, we are talking both about Device Information and Order Information.


We use the Order Information that we collect generally to fulfill any orders placed through the Site (including processing your payment information, arranging for shipping, and providing you with invoices and/or order confirmations). Additionally, we use this Order Information to: Communicate with you;
Screen our orders for potential risk or fraud; and
When in line with the preferences you have shared with us, provide you with information or advertising relating to our products or services.

We use the Device Information that we collect to help us screen for potential risk and fraud (in particular, your IP address), and more generally to improve and optimize our Site (for example, by generating analytics about how our customers browse and interact with the Site, and to assess the success of our marketing and advertising campaigns).


We share your Personal Information with select third parties to help us use your Personal Information, as described above. We also use Google Analytics to help us understand how our customers use the Site--you can read more about how Google uses your Personal Information here: https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/.You can also opt-out of Google Analytics here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Finally, we may also share your Personal Information to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to respond to a subpoena, search warrant or other lawful request for information we receive, or to otherwise protect our rights.

BEHAVIOURAL ADVERTISING As described above, we use your Personal Information to provide you with targeted advertisements or marketing communications we believe may be of interest to you. For more information about how targeted advertising works, you can visit the Network Advertising Initiative’s (“NAI”) educational page at http://www.networkadvertising.org/understanding-online-advertising/how-does-it-work.

You can opt out of targeted advertising by:
FACEBOOK - https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=ads
GOOGLE - https://www.google.com/settings/ads/anonymous
BING - https://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/policies/personalized-ads

Additionally, you can opt out of some of these services by visiting the Digital Advertising Alliance’s opt-out portal at: http://optout.aboutads.info/.

DO NOT TRACK Please note that we do not alter our Site’s data collection and use practices when we see a Do Not Track signal from your browser.

YOUR RIGHTS If you are a European resident, you have the right to access personal information we hold about you and to ask that your personal information be corrected, updated, or deleted. If you would like to exercise this right, please contact us through the contact information below.

Additionally, if you are a European resident we note that we are processing your information in order to fulfill contracts we might have with you (for example if you make an order through the Site), or otherwise to pursue our legitimate business interests listed above. Additionally, please note that your information will be transferred outside of Europe, including to Canada and the United States.

DATA RETENTION When you place an order through the Site, we will maintain your Order Information for our records unless and until you ask us to delete this information.

MINORS The Site is not intended for individuals under the age of 16. We do not knowingly collect information from anyone under the age of 16.

CHANGES We may update this privacy policy from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to our practices or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons.

CONTACT US For more information about our privacy practices, if you have questions, or if you would like to make a complaint, please contact us by e-mail at privacy@flairist.com or by phone at 111-111-1111.




Brand Standards


Keyword Distribution