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Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Ryan Bigg

Posted on February 10, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Last week we introduced you to Andrew Hooker who will be talking about putting the order in disorder at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Bigg. Ryan is the Community Manager, at Spree Commerce and will be speaking at SpreeConf about the general ecosystem and one on the adjustments refactoring.

Andrew Hooker

Ryan Bigg
Community Manager

I go by two names: Ryan and Radar. You’ll see the latter one around on IRC and GitHub a lot. I’m the Community Manager for Spree Commerce and have been now for two years. Anyone who’s interacted with Spree has probably seen me around. I help the people using Spree (affectionately called “Spreeple”) by answering their emails, going through issues and pull requests for Spree and our extensions, and when I’m not doing that I write code for new features in Spree, like the new adjustments and caching work that will be included into Spree 2.2.

When I am not working on Spree, I write. I wrote a book called Rails 3 in Action which is currently being revised into Rails 4 in Action by the brilliant Steve Klabnik. I’ve written another book called Multitenancy with Rails and I’m currently writing my third book, Debugging Ruby.

I also do other things than Spree and writing, but they are not as interesting to this particular audience so I will leave them out.

Getting to Know Ryan

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

The range of new programming languages out there is exciting. On the frontend, there’s Angular and Ember. On the backend, languages like Go, Rust and Elixir seem to be gaining traction. Just the sheer amount of smart people working on new programming languages is exciting to me.

Any interesting projects you are working on that others might be interested in?

The adjustments work on the master branch is probably the thing that most people would be interested in. Rather than having adjustments be calculated and then applied to the order as a whole, the adjustments are applied to each item (a line item, a shipment or the order). I have a big write up about all this on my blog.

All in all, it allows for a more flexible adjustments system than was available in previous versions. It may also result in some speed-ups with the cart, but I have not benchmarked that to be sure of that.

I recently did some caching work on the API and Frontend components of Spree. I’ve taken the products listing for the API from doing about 11 requests per second on my test machine, to about 1,500 requests per second. Slightly faster.

In the frontend, I’ve added fragment caching to the main pages and have been experimenting with some whole page caching there too.

I am still working on the finer points of that and putting it all into an extension that should be ready by SpreeConf.

What are you most looking forward to at SpreeConf this year?

Seeing all the people who are within the community. It was really great last year seeing so many people there, and I can’t wait to see how many and who is there this year!

What do you hope SpreeConf attendees remember about your talk when they get home?

I’m giving two talks: one on the general ecosystem and one on the adjustments refactoring.

Regarding the ecosystem one, I hope to give people an idea of some of the useful extensions out there in the community that they can use in their stores. I will also cover how much the Spree ecosystem has grown in the past three years and finally how they can help make Spree better.

Regarding the adjustments talk: Hopefully their nightmares involving the adjustments and promotions systems in Spree go away.

Do you have any interesting picks – blogs, technology, books, new companies to follow?

I get my blog links from Twitter, so I’m not much help there. Technology though: the Go programming language looks and feels really nice to work with. The Elixir language feels even nicer than that, although that is probably due to its Ruby-like syntax.

As for new companies, it’s not really a company, but have you seen what the Downtown Project in Vegas are doing? They’re revitalizing Downtown Las Vegas and their plans sound really great.

Come meet Ryan and hear his talk about putting the order in disorder SpreeConf NYC, February 26 and 27. Get your tickets now! Less than 4 weeks to go!

Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Andrew Hooker

Posted on January 31, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Earlier this week we introduced you to Scott Raio who will be talking about controlling the user experience at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Hooker. Andrew is the Lead Support Engineer, at Spree Commerce and will be speaking at SpreeConf about putting the order in disorder.

Andrew Hooker

Andrew Hooker
Lead Support Engineer

Andrew joined the Spree Community in early 2010, back when Rails versions started with 2, and Spree versions started with 0. He was leading a re-platforming from a custom perl storefront to Spree 0.11. Even after that was complete, he stayed involved in the community, answering questions on IRC and on the user group, and submitting pull requests wherever he could. Andrew joined the Spree Commerce staff in Spring of 2012, doing development and customer support.

Getting to Know Andrew

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

The beautification of e-commerce; stepping beyond a standard product page, and creating a rich user experience.
Technology revolutionizing brick&mortar storefronts; services like Square, Belly and Euclid Analytics

Any interesting projects you are working on that others might be interested in?

I lead the support efforts at Spree, and I’ve been writing a book about my experience about how you can effectively support your own open source code, and how you can benefit from it. I’m also working on getting the SpreeCommerce blog more active, working on both technical and business content that will be coming soon!

What are you most looking forward to at SpreeConf this year?

Seeing old and new friends, and hearing all the stories “from the trenches”.

What do you hope SpreeConf attendees remember about your talk when they get home?

I hope that attendees see the value in keeping their store up to date on Spree. We’re constantly working to improve Spree and make sure that it is providing the best possible solution for modern stores.

Do you have any interesting picks – blogs, technology, books, new companies to follow?

Go Sphero – I got a sphere for Christmas, and it’s just fun. The simple case is using a mobile app to power it, but it’s easy to pair with your Mac and control from a ruby command line!
We Montage – A local startup who replatformed onto Spree. They’re innovating on technology to compete with much larger potential competitors
Code as Craft – Etsy’s technical blog; not a high volume blog, but always interesting to see what they’re tackling, including things like site performance, chef, and graphing how sleep relates to on-call work and incidents.
Instigator Blog – Like many blogs, it should be treated as one person’s opinion, and not the law, but Ben typically has good insights that are thought provoking at the very least.

What did you like most about SpreeConf last year?

The venues! Both the organized venues, and all the surrounding areas we were able to take advantage of, including all the incredible DC scenery.
The people! SpreeConf never fails to be full of inspirational people, pushing the line of what we thought was possible.

Come meet Andrew and hear his talk about putting the order in disorder SpreeConf NYC, February 26 and 27. Get your tickets now! Less than 4 weeks to go!

Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Scott Raio

Posted on January 28, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Last week we introduced you to Ric Lister who will be talking about Spree operations as code at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Raio. Scott is the Chief Technology Officer, and Co-Founder, at Combatant Gentleman and will be speaking at SpreeConf about controlling the user experience.

Scott Raio

Scott Raio
Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder

Scott Raio is the co-founder and CTO of Combatant Gentlemen. His background is in databases, infrastructure, and SaaS. He has a love for all things web, data, and [programming] languages.

Getting to Know Scott

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

The internet of things. The new hardware renaissance is captivating to say the least. Technology has become so cheap, connecting the physical world has never been easier. With the latest acquisition of Nest, entrepreneurs need to start thinking outside of the box with what’s possible, and I don’t mean “smart toasters”.

Any interesting projects you are working on that others might be interested in?

Currently at Combatent Gentleman, we’ve been working on an ERP for ecomm companies. Our goal is to make supply-chain, especially overseas production, seamless and efficient.

What are you most looking forward to at SpreeConf this year?

I am looking forward to meeting smart, talented hackers who are passionate about their craft.

What do you hope SpreeConf attendees remember about your talk when they get home?

I hope attendees really think about the user’s experience when building out their storefronts. How a little bit can go a long way when it comes to path-to-purchase.

Do you have any interesting picks – blogs, technology, books, new companies to follow?

Every JS hacker must read “JavaScript the good parts”. Check out WebRTC, it’s much more than video chat.

Come meet Scott and hear his talk about controlling the the user experience at SpreeConf NYC, February 26 and 27. Get your tickets now! Less than 5 weeks to go!

Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Ric Lister

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Earlier this week we introduced you to Denis Ivanov who will be talking about perfecting your e-commerce front end at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ric Lister. Ric is the Director of DevOps at Spree Commerce and will be speaking at SpreeConf about Spree operations as code.

Ric Lister

Ric Lister
Director of DevOps

Ric Lister is Director of DevOps at Spree Commerce, where he wrangles servers, evangelizes infrastructure as code, and monitors all the things. Ric loves ruby, chef, and is starting to get pretty fired up about go.

Getting to Know Ric

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

The narrowing boundary between development and ops means increasingly I get to work with people who understand and take responsibility for the full technology experience: architecture, code and user experience.

Any interesting projects you are working on that others might be interested in?

I’m working on a rewrite of the dashiki monitoring dashboard, and some of the ideas that spring from this will be making their way into the Spree Hub in the near future.

What are you most looking forward to at SpreeConf this year?

Getting to know some of the talented people working with Spree.

What do you hope SpreeConf attendees remember about your talk when they get home?

That infrastructure should be just another piece of code.

Do you have any interesting picks – blogs, technology, books, new companies to follow?

The Food Fight Show is a great podcast to follow to keep up with developments in the world of DevOps. I’m also following very closely Paul Dix’s new project Influxdb, which is a very promising time series and metrics database.

Come meet Ric and hear his talk about Spree operations as code at SpreeConf NYC, February 26 and 27. Get your tickets now! Less than 6 weeks to go!

Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Denis Ivanov

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Last week we introduced you to Emmett Shine who will be talking about solving the platform puzzle at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Denis Ivanov. Denis is a Lead Developer at Downshift Labs and will be speaking at SpreeConf about how to perfect your e-commerce front end.

Denis Ivanov

Denis Ivanov
Lead Developer at Downshift Labs

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was introduced to Rails and Ruby while I was still in high school and it was largely what pushed me to pursue Computer Science formally. I am still working with Rails happily everyday! I always find myself wanting to spread the joy of gainful and fulfilling programming employment, so I will volunteer at miscellaneous outreach programs here in San Francisco.

Getting to Know Denis

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

I am excited about the recent alternatives in computer science education. I wasn’t fond of how formal CS was taught, so seeing the programmer culture take up the problem into their own hands is very inspiring. I am talking about the numerous paid camps/workshops/express training programs such as DevBoot Camp, Hack Reactor, General Assembly and others.

Any interesting projects you are working on that others might be interested in?

Can’t say :)

What are you most looking forward to at SpreeConf this year?

I am excited to hear about heavily customized Spree deployments. I want to see a project and go “Wow, never thought Spree ran the backend for that”.

I would love for SpreeConf to invite more UX/UI specialists to share wisdom on studied user behavior, creating meaningful experiences, design basics for developers. I think this area of the development process does not ever receive enough necessary attention. I firmly believe UX will make or break most modern online companies and that goes for ecommerce as well.

What do you hope SpreeConf attendees remember about your talk when they get home?

I like to make the information I share very consumable. People should be able to improve their code/performance with some copy-pastable code right from my presentation. Everyone should be able to benefit. That is when I feel I have created value for technical atttendees.

I want my talk to be very actionable. First, I will convince people they should spend time on this. Second, I will tell them how to begin.

Favorite Moment from SpreeConf 2013?

I loved Adil’s presentation about growing and scaling an eCommerce business!

Come meet Denis and hear his talk about perfecting your e-commerce front end at SpreeConf, February 26th & 27th, New York City. Get your tickets now!

Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Emmett Shine

Posted on January 16, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Earlier this week we introduced you to SpreeConf founders, Sean Schofield and Brian Quinn who will be talking about the future of Spree Commerce as well as Spree 2.2 Today we’d like to introduce you to Emmett Shine. Emmett is the Co-Founder and President of Gin Lane Media and will be speaking at SpreeConf about solving the platform puzzle.

Emmett Shine

Emmett Shine
Co-Founder and President Gin Lane Media

Emmett Shine, is the co-founder and President of Gin Lane. Gin Lane Media is a New York based firm that has done ecommerce design and development for some of retail’s top brands, including Bonobos, and Kate Spade Saturday. Outside of his position at Gin Lane, he owns a t-shirt line, LOLA New York, and is also an avid photographer and illustrator. He lives and works in New York City.

Getting to Know Emmett

We asked Emmett to give us his thoughts on the latest happenings in the Ruby on Rails space and some of the interesting projects he’s working on right now.

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

I’m really excited about more interactive elements and content for the front end experience of digital experiences, from video to interface elements. I’m also excited about more “connected” systems and stacks between different devices or silos of data (like a connected and intelligent user-experience for an at-home ecomm site to a users mobile device in a store speaking with physical devices and the POS).

Any interesting projects you are working on that others might be interested in?

Yes a few with clients – one of which we will be demoing a sneak peak at SpreeConf, and a few other internal proof-of-concepts that are pushing the envelope for interaction and connected systems.

What are you most looking forward to at SpreeConf this year?

Meeting other developers and business admins looking to thoughtfully push the envelope.

What do you hope SpreeConf attendees remember about your talk when they get home?

I want SpreeConf attendees to remember our thoughtful and helpful holistic approach to web – and how Spree empowers that.

I want my talk to be very actionable. First, I will convince people they should spend time on this. Second, I will tell them how to begin.

Do you have any interesting picks – blogs, technology, books, new companies to follow?

This was a nice recent article on what’s changed in design in the past year and what’s next, nothing too deep just a nice topline read. Also, 4D in-browser prototyping is interesting, I just subscribed to Benedict Evan’s nice newsletter, and I have been listening to a ton of Podcasts. Accidental Tech, 99% Invisible, The Talk Show with John Gruber, + Freakonomics, Stuff You Should Know and NPR: Planet Money are amongst my favorites.

Come meet Emmet and hear his team talk about their approach to ecommerce online at SpreeConf NYC, February 26th & 27th in New York City. Get your tickets now.

Developer Spotlight - Dana Jones

Posted on June 17, 2013 by Lynne Brehmer

We’re kicking off our “Developer Spotlight” series with a feature on Spree open source contributor, Dana Jones. Dana began working with Spree a few months ago by contributing to the Spree Guides. Since then she’s made 45 commits to the Spree Guides and has become a well known member of the Spree community. I had the pleasure of meeting Dana in person at SpreeConf in May. Here’s a picture of the two of us on SpreeConf – Day 1. Dana is on the left.

How did you get started as a programmer?

My first interaction with web programming was a long time ago – around 2000. I was a new mother and a quilter at the time. Some of my quilting friends had trouble finding sites that were selling the particular quilting products they were looking for. So, I made a site that recommended where to find quilting materials. That site was written first in pure HTML, then later refactored into .NET/C#. In 2007, I wrote my first application in Ruby on Rails – a shopping cart for some of the quilt stores who were by then my advertising clients. I freelanced from then until 2011, working on a variety of projects, all in Rails. In 2011, I decided to take a break from programming and focused on trying to launch a new craft business called Hey Betty Studio, which failed spectacularly. I have four kids who generate a lot of expenses so in 2013 I decided to return to programming.

How did you find out about Spree?

Ryan Bigg introduced me to Spree when I came back from my hiatus. I had known him from the #rubyonrails IRC channel from years past. When I came back to the community, I asked him for suggestions of a small project to start making open-source contributions to. He mentioned Spree. Maybe next time, I should define “small” a little better.

Why did you decide to contribute to the Spree Guides?

Spree is an enormous project and it’s a lot to take in. I decided that working on the documentation for Spree was a good way to familiarize myself with the project. Early on in my career I used to work as a technical writer so I felt comfortable working with documentation and I see a lot of value in it. It was also a good way for me to build my resume on GitHub, learn some new tools, and get to know members of the Spree community.

Have you contributed to any Spree extensions?

I contributed to the spree_wishlist translations. The spree_wishlist extension allows store visitors to add a product to a wishlist that they can then review and purchase at a later time. The translation piece of the extension allows you to display the text in different languages. I contributed to the French translation for the wishlist.

This was just the beginning for me. I’m eager to make more non-documentation commits. I’m trying to figure out the best place to fit into the gem to make useful contributions, and have already made a few commits to Spree core.

You gave your first lightning talk at SpreeConf, correct?

Yes, some of the folks in the Spree IRC chat room talked me into it. I discussed the value of documentation and of learning software by documenting it for other people. I was nervous, but I’m really happy that I did it and can check that item off my list. The community was amazingly supportive and encouraging, which has been my experience of Spree users from the beginning.

What do you have planned next to continue improving your programming skills?

I try to spend at least one day a week just doing technical reading. It’s tough in this business of constant changes, but I think it’s important to keep up on trends and developments, plus to get fresh perspectives and ideas on solving coding problems. I’m also planning to continue moving Spree’s user documentation forward, which can only make me a better consumer of the code. There will always be new things to learn and try in software development, so at least I never have to worry about getting bored.

Look for more valuable contributions to the Spree project from Dana in the months to come. Check out her GitHub profile and follow her on Twitter.

Customer Spotlight - Hucklebury

Posted on April 03, 2013 by Lynne Brehmer

We’d like to introduce you to Hucklebury, a vertically-integrated online retailer selling better fitting, high quality men’s shirts at reasonable prices. Learn how they are using Spree and what marketing techniques they are using to build their brand. We sat down with Parag, co-founder of Hucklebury, to learn more about their business model and how they leverage Spree to target their customers’ needs.

How did the Hucklebury business get started?

The idea for Hucklebury.com originated during a trip I took to London in 2009. During that week I visited a friend who worked at Savile Row, a place where the best tailors in the industry are located and the craftsmanship of tailoring got started. I was amazed at the details and the time that goes into the construction of a single shirt. It was at my friend’s store that I met my Hucklebury co-founder, Dhawal. Dhawal and I discussed how we were both unable to find tailored shirts of the same quality at home. We felt that the mass produced shirts they sell at the large retailers didn’t do the average man justice. The fabric used to create these shirts was poor quality and the fit was horrible. There was always so much extra fabric in the chest, arm hole, and back. We saw a business opportunity to solve this issue and offer a high quality, tailored shirt at a reasonable price. With this concept in mind we self-funded Hucklebury in 2011 and launched the brand in September 2012.

Do you have a background in fashion?

Yes, my mother operated a 75-person garment factory with 60+ sewing machines when I was growing up. At the factory, they designed, manufactured and exported scarves, chiffon, shorts, and white shirts to brands like Marks & Spencer in the United Kingdom. Later on, I pursued a Masters in Engineering and learned how to remove inefficiencies in manufacturing using six-sigma. Now I apply my engineering learnings as well as the creative skills from my mother at Hucklebury.

Dhawal, my co-founder, has a background in technology. He got his first taste of programming at age 8 with QBasic. Since then, he has been playing with computers, robotics and web development. Dhawal fell into entrepreneurship when he was 18 and led his team to create the ‘Push-up Pal’ for a class – a product that was later featured in The New Paper (Singapore). He also worked at Qik in 2008 where he did web development and was their 5th employee. Qik was later acquired by Skype. His passion for programming and entrepreneurship led him to the opportunity to co-found Hucklebury.

What makes your shirts different from those available at large retailers?

Most large retailers sell mass produced shirts that are really boxy. We’ve reduced the fabric around the chest, sides, and back to get a more tailored and fitted look. On top of that we also made subtle improvements in other areas like the collar to improve the fit. Most collars collapse after a few washings. Our collars have a special interlining that helps them remain standing for almost the entire life of the shirt. Even after multiple washes the collar won’t collapse and fall down. Another innovation we’ve made is to the second button. Some men like to keep their second buttons open. But, most shirts on the market have the button too high or too low for this look. We’ve adjusted the location of the second button to make the fit just right if you leave it open.

We are also unique because we’ve eliminated the middleman, work directly with the factory, and bring the product directly to consumers. Most retail stores mark up their prices a lot because of the middlemen involved. As a result things get quite expensive. Skipping the brick and mortar retailers and offering our shirts directly to consumers online allows us to provide high quality products at reasonable prices.

Who is the target audience for Hucklebury?

Our demographic is men between ages 25 – 45 for whom appearance is important as well as a high quality shirt that fits them well. We offer two different fits for this demographic – slim fit for men who are athletic and regular fit for the average man. We are focused on the U.S. market but we do ship internationally. We’ve shipped as far away as Australia, India, and Singapore.

How do you market the Hucklebury brand?

We’re taking the grass roots approach. We did a soft launch of the brand through social media and blogs focused on menswear to see what the response was to our product. We were trying to understand what our target market thought about the shirt design. Did they like it? What could we improve? The result was a very positive response regarding the features and qualities we are focused on. We also run contests every month on our Facebook page and use other media channels like online and offline print media.

How did you find out about Spree?

I have to give the credit for finding Spree to my technical co-founder. Dhawal is highly focused on the technical side. We were looking for an open source platform that was easy to customize, responsive, and the design looks great. As a start-up we didn’t want to spend a lot of money up front not knowing how our business model would work out. We liked that Spree was built on Ruby on Rails because Dhawal was familiar with this technology and really liked it.

What do you like most about the Spree platform?

We love the level of control Spree gives us over our store. Any add-on feature we need is usually available in the Spree extension library and if it isn’t then the Ruby on Rails framework makes it very easy to add. The rapid pace of Spree upgrades gives us peace of mind that the platform is here to stay. On top of that Spree has a growing and extremely helpful community. Whenever we run into a roadblock there’s always someone available to help.

What’s next for Hucklebury?

Technically, we’re going to continue to expand our product line. Now we offer 18 different colors. In the next two to three months you will see twice as many colors and fits and styles. We are also actively collaborating with other media outlets in terms of partnership efforts. We continue to refine our marketing based on our learnings, SEO, content strategy, and retargeting efforts.

Shop the Hucklebury website and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Customer Spotlight - Jerky.com

Posted on January 10, 2013 by Lynne Brehmer

Today’s customer spotlight is Doug Iske, owner of Jerky.com. Jerky.com is an e-commerce site built on the Spree platform that you guessed it, sells jerky products online. Read below for Doug’s story, his tips for how to grow your business and how to make the most of the Spree platform.

Tell us about Jerky.com and why you started the company?

I have a long background working on niche focused ecommerce projects. I enjoy figuring out how to develop a successful business model for selling very targeted products online. Four years ago, my team and I were looking for a new project to work on. After looking closely at a handful of categories to go into, it was decided that Jerky seemed to be a no-brainer. We like jerky, it looks to be a fun category…so why not? Plus, we already had the domain Jerky.com, and it would make the perfect brand for the business. We then started our market research including what the competitive landscape looked like to determine who the players are in the space and what we thought they were doing well and what we could improve upon. Ultimately, we determined that we could really add value to people shopping online for Jerky and Meat Snacks and not just be another me-too site. We could make improvements in several areas including product selection and user experience. From that point on…we dove in head first.

What have you learned about how to successfully sell niche products online?

My experience has taught me that it is very important to be customer focused and analytics driven. We reviewed the Jerky.com sales data over a period of time and identified which products sold the most and were most profitable. This information helped us to determine how to expand into specific areas and where we needed improvements. We think its important to “keep a pulse” on these sorts of things and adapt appropriately. One important result from the first year led to us developing our own brand of jerky in the best selling and most profitable product categories. Now those products are our best selling products.

What marketing techniques have you found to be most effective?

We use a lot of the traditional marketing techniques such as PPC and SEO to find traffic. Identifying which keywords perform the best has helped us learn a lot about our customers and how to customize our marketing efforts. Another interesting source for generating new customers has been our beef jerky recipe blog. We turned the beef jerky recipes into a free eBook which we make available at four different jerky recipe sites. We send follow up emails to our eBook readers with information about how to make jerky. While most of these people are primarily interested in making their own jerky, we’ve found that over time they end up buying jerky products from us to supplement their supply. We’ve been using this technique for about a year and have found that it has been an effective way to build our customer base.

What is your most popular jerky product?

We try to continually add products to our selection that you won’t find at all of the usual places that sell Jerky. Our customers are looking for high quality products with unique flavors and jerky types. Specifically, Turkey jerky and all of the exotics are really popular. Where else can you get alligator, ostrich even kangaroo and bacon jerky?! Gift giving holidays are always very busy. We actually hand build all of our gift baskets from scratch and they present very well. We understand that gift givers really want to make an impression to their recipients and a hand built gift box conveys to our customers that “we spared no effort in making this gift for you.” We are pretty proud of that.

How did you find out about Spree?

In one of my previous business ventures we built our own e-commerce platform. We learned a lot about what worked, what didn’t, and what we would do different the next time. When it came time to put Jerky.com on a new platform, I didn’t want to spend a ton of time and money re-inventing the wheel. I wanted an e-commerce platform that had a very solid core that could be easily customized for my needs. Spree is exactly that. The basic functions of the cart are done very well without being unnecessarily complex while also allowing customization to be easy and clean. I have also become partial towards the Ruby on Rails framework, so it really ended up being a good fit. In my experience, the Ruby on Rails community is filled with some of the sharpest minds in the industry and they are very willing to help and share each other. Having the support of that community is a very valuable asset that can not be understated. All of this together made Spree an obvious choice.

What do you like most about the Spree platform?

The core shopping cart is really solid. My engineering team didn’t have to do a lot of customization work on the Jerky.com site to get it up and running. This allowed me to start making sales and profits fairly quickly. There are a lot of existing extensions and resources available to us which really helped streamline our development process.

What’s next on your Spree development road map?

We want to keep expanding our ecommerce business. One of our biggest projects is a multi-store platform. Our goal is to develop a platform where we can run unlimited storefronts from one backend. We’re leveraging our e-commerce experience and the flexibility of Spree to make sure we do this right. We’re also working on personalizing the merchandising experience for Jerky.com in order to customize the content to each of our customers interests. I hope to have more to share with you soon.

Shop the Jerky.com website and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.