Securing growth with backups

Only Curls relies on secure data backups to support rapid growth

When Lizzie Carter moved back to the UK in her mid-thirties, she faced a frustrating lack of choices for curly hair care. “The products on the shelves were the same things available when I was twelve”, she remembers, laughing. “At this point I was 30.” Clearly, Lizzie had stumbled upon a market desperately in need of a refresh. 

Fast forward to today, and Only Curls is an award-winning brand of complete hair care products designed specifically for the unique needs of curly and kinky hair. The brand has leaned into embracing natural hair, and their bestselling Hydrating Curl Creme has been called “a game changer” by fans worldwide. “The whole purpose behind the brand was to encourage people to embrace their naturally curls and wavy hair and feel good about it, rather than straightening their hair all the time”, explains Lizzie, who founded the brand.

Curly haired fans have taken notice. After rave reviews in the Daily Mail, Vogue, Popsugar, and Marie Claire, Only Curls is growing fast – and the team is growing right alongside it. From a single product shipped from their living room table, Lizzie and Hugo have built a thriving business of curl care products that are sulfate, paraben, silicone, and cruelty free.

Unfortunately, the team knows all too well how dangerous data loss can be to Shopify merchants – especially during crunch time.

“We’ve experienced data loss in the past when an app didn’t integrate properly,” remembers Hugo Lewis, the second half of the Only Curls team (and Lizzie’s husband). After a feature about the company was published in the Daily Mail, the Only Curls website was suddenly swamped with orders from new fans. So, Hugo searched for a solution to capture these new customers (despite their temporary lack of inventory). “This third party app was supposed to allow customers to pre-order products. Instead, after we installed it, customers couldn’t order anything!”

Luckily, after about two hours of manually deleting code, the Only Curls website was back up and accepting orders from devoted fans. The episode taught Hugo the extreme importance of data backups, especially considering the dozen apps that make up the Only Curls tech stack. 

“It was an awful experience”, remembers Hugo. “Having your own website is like having a living, breathing thing that you have to keep alive. Having a website or a store isn’t just turning it on, you leave it, and it works. There’s always something; you can literally spend every minute of the day doing some sort of tweak or change.”

Before discovering Rewind, Hugo had been performing manual backups by downloading CSV files from his Shopify store. 

“Shopify doesn’t make it easy. Once a week, I would export the theme backup, but that doesn’t really back up a store. And it doesn’t even touch our product pages”, commented Hugo.

With their team expanding, Hugo knew his stopgap system wasn’t scalable. “I was becoming, not wary, but increasingly mindful of the fact that we’ve got a lot of stuff on the website now. If something were to happen, it would be an awful process to try and get things back [to normal].” He needed a more efficient backup system, capable of recovering data quickly in case of an emergency. It also needed to allow for the growing needs of the expanding Only Curls team.

“I want our new team members to feel confident going in and editing a product page, for example”, says Hugo. “I don’t have the time or energy to micromanage anyone, and I don’t want employees to feel like they need to tip-toe through our site. We needed a way to allow new employees to make changes without worrying about making an irreversible mistake”. 

So, Hugo went looking for recommendations in the usual places: social media and Shopify community groups.

“I actually just asked a merchant Slack channel I’m a part of, ‘how do you back up your stores?’” explained Hugo. “And everyone I spoke with kept saying, we use Rewind. Our Shopify Plus representative told me, honestly, the only [backup app] they can recommend is Rewind.”

“Having something like Rewind just takes a load of stress away from one aspect of the business. It saves me having to manually download and export our data – plus, it captures metadata like themes, which I wasn’t able to backup via CSV export”, added Hugo. “The app does exactly what you want it to: peace of mind through backups”.

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