Artisans & Agency
Artisans & Agency Santa Cruz Home page
Linnaea James, owner of Artisans & Agency, has an iconic brick & mortar store located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz. Linnaea started working at Artisans while in high school, in 2015 and on her 16th year anniversary she celebrated by purchasing the store.

Artisans & Agency had an existing website that was outdated and  carried only 35% of their products online.  Like many local shops the pandemic tragically decreased store foot traffic, leaving the retail business with a significantly decreased revenue. In early August 2020, Linnaea reached out to GetVirtual for help.
Old webpage
This was the previous state of the website when I was hired to work on it.
Artisans and Agency home page screen shot
I designed and developed Artisans & Agency’s website from end to end. And created a side bar feature with category expansion. Also created a tagging concept that allowed customers to easily navigate through their large product catalog. I worked directly with the CEO and Marketing expert at Artisans & Agency, acting as the Principal Web Designer. 
Scopes & Constraints
I was required to use Shopify because the CEO was familiar with it. I created side bar filtering and tagging for over 5000 products. I expanded the navigation bar categories. The original product categories were no longer relevant so I was required to recategorize all products to support the new category expansion. The project was expected to be completed in less than 3 months, we launched on time for November 2020, Black Friday. 
Side bar categories
Sidebar planning and worksheet.
Analyzed Artisans & Agency’s sitemap and architecture. Created a new, user friendly website with category expansion. Conducted discovery interviews with stakeholders to understand their target market and customers.
Old webpage
Image of Artisans & Agency's old Navigation Bar. When the screen was minimized it wrapped to 2 lines.
In my role as Website Designer, I was in charge of the end to end redesign and development of Artisans and Agency's website in Shopify.

I partnered with the business owner, digital artist and data entry staff while leading the design process. We collaborated weekly on sidebar and tagging ideas and I delegated different roles for the project.
Users & Audience
The target audience consisted primarily of women 40-70 and locals. Income range is from middle to upper class. The generation of people shopping at the store were GenZ, Millennials and Baby Boomer men searching for gifts for women. Other people that visited the store were weekend and holiday tourists. I also found that most customers that shop at Artisans & Agency are creative, free spirited individuals that enjoy local art and are in search of something special and unique.
Customer Development Map
Customer Development Map
I created 4 Persona’s using sketch and free images from Pixaby. I also conducted interviews with the owners of Artisans & Agency and a few of their past and present customers.

Some of the questions I asked the owners were: Why do you think your business is valued by your clients? What brings your clients into the store? What does your business have that sets you apart from other businesses?

Questions that I asked clients were: What brings you into the store? and what is your…..age, gender, income and where do you live? and what do you enjoy in your free time?
Persona Married business owners
Persona of educated married artistic business owners.
Persona Single Milliniel
Persona of an educated single millennial.
Persona Married Entreprenuer
Persona of educated married entrepreneur.
Persona Single Woman
Persona of educated single business owner.
I gathered the stakeholders for a discovery meeting to discuss the project. We discovered that we needed to build a new website specific for high volume stores that include a large product catalog, predictive live search and sidebar filtering. We started with a business model canvas to understand the key partners, activities, resources, value propositions, customer relationships, channels, customer segments, cost structure and revenue streams. My initial focus was to get insights about the customers they serve. We wanted to look at the full picture on how the operations work and where they wanted to target change.
I reached out to the CEO to understand Artisans & Agency’s target market. What type of people would shop at the small brick and mortar and what are their customer demographics. I needed to have a full understanding of this and created personas to identify their ideal customers.

I identified Artisans & Agency’s direct and indirect competitors and targeted the same customer base. I also analyzed their competitors online presence and evaluated their website functionality.

I looked at things like: How easy is it to navigate their site?  How do they categorize their products?

I also researched online reviews and blogs to get more insight on the customer experience and identified their strengths and weaknesses. I used this information to focus on specific areas that Artisans & Agency can capitalize on.
Creating the customer profile
With the data from the study I found that a majority of the shoppers are female (75%) between the ages of 40-70, they live local and are tourists. They are educated and middle to upperclass. Some local GenZ/Millennials shop there too because of their parents.
Empathy Map
I surveyed the owners and past customers to understand Artisans & Agency’s demographic. With the data from the study I was able to uncover that people love visiting the store in search for that perfect unique gift.

Here is what they said: “Beautiful wall art, paintings, jewelry and wood working. Great place for gifts and just browsing.”, “Nice selection of craft jewelry. Been my go-to gift shop for my wife for years.”, and “Truly beautiful and whimsical art of all mediums!”.

I created empathy maps for 3 classes of shoppers: Educated Married business owners, an educated single women and an educated millenial.
Wireframe Anatomy
Wireframe Anatomy Home page
Wireframe of Home page.
Wireframe products page for Artisans & agency
Wireframe of sidebar and product images.
The sidebar helps the user to easily navigate the site while searching for specific models and accessories.

GIF of how sidebar filtering works on Artisans & Agency. For more, please visit their website.
Artisans and agency GIF of website
Macbook HomepageMacbook screen shot 
Art pageMacbook screen shot 
Cart pageMacbook screen shot 
live search bar
The website revenue for Artisans & Agency in 2020 was ~$5,000 month. After the site launched in November 2020, Artisans & Agency’s monthly sales revenue increased by 400% and with holiday sales it increased 900% for the year!
I love the simplicity and ease of the new website. I think I made an excellent choice creating a vision that fits Artisans & Agency’s business model. I could have sped up my designs by minimizing product filtering and not focused on the small details.

If I could change anything I would have done a better job creating the  product tagging, it took a few tries and we lost several weeks after the site launch to narrow it down. I would also document my hardships and progresses more thoroughly.

As a result I learned how to navigate Shopify more easily and expanded my knowledge even further. This website and the CEO pushed me to my limits. I really enjoyed the strategic aspects of this website.

Thank you for reading my case study. If you have any questions regarding my work or would like to connect click here. Or email me direct.
Left Arrow
More Case Studies