The launch day is finally here!
After years of preparation, the Les Terroirs store is finally launching.
But let us be honest: it was a day I was both dreading and looking forward to. It has been stressful, sometimes even scary, to work and launch an entire business on my own relying on my own funding for it, and all that in a foreign country. But receiving so much help and support from numerous family and friends also gave me the strength I needed to ultimately lead to this day.
And frankly, it has been quite the journey!
A bit of background
Although the idea of a French food online store was born in 2018, the serious work really started in early 2019 with the setting of an online solution (Shopify) for a retail store in Japan. From there I spent almost one year and half customizing and adding features to the store theme, learning some useful coding skills along the way, in order to provide a smooth experience to potential visitors and customers. Having worked in the e-commerce field most of my professional life, it was a very important point.
Additionally, I really wanted Les Terroirs to be a promotional platform for French food, so I conducted extensive research of useful information for every single product and their producer.
And of course, I also wanted to offer a multi-language experience in Japanese and English so I manually translated every single data entry of the store. Then I thought it would be nice to do it in French too since no other store in Japan was offering this possibility, while I was eager to offer a bit of a home taste to my fellow French expatriates. The following translation work was probably one of the densest works I ever done but I think it was worth the effort and I am very proud of it.
Exploring new fields of work
In the meantime, I had to develop some skills in photography starting from scratch. So, I invested into a versatile camera for video and photo shooting, then simply worked on how to use it while traveling or hiking when I was not working with my handmade mini studio. The learning curve was quite steep but it was fun all along and I ended up with enough decent technique to feed my store.
One of my creation, and I really like it. Saucisson was not bad either.
But I also had to focus on another important thing: getting French products here in Japan. It was actually harder than I thought since French quality food is mainly supplied to restaurant and hotels, and finding the right products with suppliers willing to work with a not-even-launched online retail store was not an easy process. It took lots of food events, phone calls, emails to find my way in the import world and connect with the right people, getting access to a fair number of suppliers from Japan and France.
Finally getting started
And here we are. Although delayed due to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, rising costs and closing businesses, the launch of my online store became a reality after spending so long time working on its creation, and I am now officially a small business owner.
But it is just the beginning, really. There are still so many more products I would like to share and promote, so many projects and ideas I would like to work on and so many people I would love to connect with.
So, from now on I’ll keep trying offering the best French food to visitors on my online shop.
And to those ending up making a purchase, I would like to say: thank you! Thank you for trusting the concept and helping me developing the store.
Thank you for believing in Les Terroirs :)
- Tags: Behind the scenes
- Mikael B.