If you haven’t heard, the Artifice sponsor for June and July is Bluchic. As soon as I got the podcast started, I reached out to the owners (wife+husband team Kathie and Andrew) to request a promo code for my listeners because BLUCHIC IS THE BEST. I say a little bit in my 50-second podcast ad, but while the promo code is active, I want to tell my art-preneur friends a little more about the experience I’ve had with Bluchic over the past several years. In case you’re having a TLDR kind of day, the promo code is BCARTIFICE (all caps!), and it’ll get you 10% off your whole purchase at Bluchic.com.
WHAT IS BLUCHIC?
Bluchic is a two-person company that makes stunning website (WordPress) themes, landing page templates, and other design templates. They market themsevles as a “feminine” brand, but I’m going to go ahead and just say that their stuff is more aptly described as generally gorgeous/beautiful/clean/intuitive (more on this below). I’ll say right up front, my site uses the Samantha theme. And I am in love with it.
Three years ago, I was wringing my hands trying to solve the website problem. I knew I wanted to set up my site to have longevity, and to be able to grow with my career as I added new goals, new projects, etc. I had a few main functionality items on my checklist:
- Ecommerce-ready (a built-in “store”)
- Able to support lots of different kinds of media (music players, podcast player, photo galleries, video) in an organized way
- Built-in Newsletter/mailing list capability
I’m no expert, but I’ve heard lots of people express that WordPress has the best (or some of the best) functionality in terms of customization and options, but I really struggled to find themes that were beautiful, as well as functional.
Obviously, this is Bluchic’s big selling point. And I think this is maybe why Kathie chose to market Bluchic as “feminine” . . . because most of the entrepreneurs who really need complex functionality are “business” types for whom aesthetic is maybe less crucial? And I assume that most of the business people for whom aesthetic IS an absolutely essential component just happen to be women.
Regardless of the actual reason, it seems clear that there’s an under-served market here: people who need the functionality of WordPress, with the aesthetics of some of the more-typically “do it yourself” website platforms.
And it seems to me that any art-preneur (of any gender) falls into that category.
DO IT YOURSELF
The WordPress downside I usually hear is that it isn’t user friendly. I had a WordPress site before I purchased my Bluchic theme, and I had NO idea how to get anything to look right, or work correctly. I totally get why people feel this way about WordPress.
Luckily, Bluchic themes come with EXTREMELY thorough documentation (including videos) to help you set up every page/menu/widget/plugin, etc.
After following the documentation, I started to get a feel for how to make changes, and have since lost almost any fear I had for branching out and experimenting with my site. I’ve even written some of my own HTML code for a few things (and I am not a person who says that sentence casually).
It feels SO GOOD to know that I can visit the back end of my website and feel comfortable, capable, and knowledgeable.
Also, Bluchic has FREAKY good customer service, headed up by Andrew (not my Andrew, Kathie’s Andrew). I’ve submitted tickets for things that ended up being embarrassing (and, frankly, totally out of the scope of Bluchic’s product), and Andrew always responds quickly with information that is simple, kind, patient, and helpful. I’ve never had a problem for which Andrew didn’t give me wonderful advice (again, even when my issue ended up being related to the domain, or something totally unrelated to the theme). I value this SO much.
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MY WEBSITE:
(1) This gorgeous, clean menu/social icons/header/newsletter that “sticks” to every page (as you scroll down on the page, the menu always stays in view). Does this look “feminine” to you? I don’t think so! It just looks freaking clean and professional and like it belongs to an ARTIST!
(2) These stunning “home page” widgets that display a picture, and link to featured pages on my site.
(3) How pretty my videos look on this page (the photo gallery is equally beautiful)
(4) How clean and professional my store looks:
(5) How easy it is to make my blog look great
(6) This gorgeous contact form
You guys. I have NO design training whatsoever, a very limited “comfort zone” with technology (I am not a mechanically-minded person . . . remember how I’m a professional musician??), and I built all of these pages. And there are SO MANY MORE pages that are equally beautiful and functional.
Ok! I’ve said enough. If you have more questions about my experience with my Bluchic theme, hit me up. I’m genuinely psyched about my site, and I genuinely want my creative friends to be psyched about their sites. Bonus, if you follow this link and use my promo code, I will also get a tiny kickback! This is my favorite kind of quid pro quo. Here’s what you need to know:
The promo code is BCARTIFICE (all caps), and it’ll get you 10% off your whole purchase at Bluchic.com.
Happy Beauty Building!