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This is a guest post by Susan Petracco of NetBlazon. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Miva Merchant.
I’ve been designing and building e-commerce sites using Miva Merchant since 1999. Baby have we come a long way since then! In those days, many e-commerce sites looked strikingly similar to every other e-commerce site…and not in a good way. We’re not talking usability conventions…we’re talking boring. Part of the cause was simply a lack of evolution of the web. But it was also hard to implement a creative design using older versions of Miva Merchant (or any other e-commerce package) back then. Fast-forward to 2010 and things have changed drastically for the better.
When Miva Merchant 5.5 came into play, the ease of creating a really great design on top of the shopping cart leveled the playing field, in a way. As designers, we no longer had to rely on third-party modules just to tweak a button or a headline or put a new image in a certain location. The software developers basically gave us complete control over the page, from <html> to </html>, and we went from a series of restraints and conditions to a blank canvas eager for our HTML paint.
In any situation like this, the cream rises to the top, and I’ve been searching for some of the most creative and visually stunning Miva Merchant sites available today. I started posting my results of this search on my blog in a post titled 10 Beautiful Examples of Miva Merchant Sites, but found that there were many other great examples and that Miva Merchant was interested in showcasing these as well. So in an informal “follow-up”, I present you with a set of fifteen additional yummy designs. Enjoy!
Playing for Change
Playing for Change is a movement designed to bring about peace worldwide through music and multimedia. It has gained worldwide attention, beginning with the Stand By Me video that was filmed in locations around the world beginning in March 2005 in Santa Monica.
Autonomie Project is a line of stylish and affordable clothing brought to you by a company that desires to raise awareness about issues our world faces today. They are a Fair Trade company, offering organic clothing, and donating a portion of proceeds to help communities in need get water or build a health clinic. Read more about their mission and buy a great outfit while you’re there.
Melissa Joy Manning
Melissa Joy Manning produces beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry by combining stones, found objects, and gold and silver into modern and eclectic designs. All pieces are handmade in Oakland, CA with practices that promote sustainability with minimal impact to the environment. A portion of first quarter jewelry sales also go to support Haitian relief through the Red Cross.
For me this picture says it all–three happy kids in the minivan. (Why do I think they’d really be fighting?) But whether you’re snuggling with your Noodle Pillow or using it for a unique pillow fight, these are a great twist on an old favorite, and they come in wonderful designs and solids as well.
Ornamentea is a unique craft supplies store in Raleigh, NC that focuses on jewelry making and paper crafts. In addition to online shopping, Cynthia, the proprietor, features wonderful craft tutorials and project ideas, along with a blog that showcases events from her Raleigh store. Even the “About Us” page is an entertaining read.
For that truly pampered pet–of the canine persuasion, that is–visit Cuddly Ruff. They feature a selection of dog jewelry, toys, bedding, and more for the most choosy pups, including eco-friendly items and, yes, REAL diamonds.
Bella Dawn has everything a trendy girl needs, from handbags and jewelry to make-up and clothes. But don’t go it alone–you’ll also find special style services such as a personal shopper, ten-minute style consultation, and virtual closet therapy. It sounds better than a day at the spa!
Christina Norsig’s website is as beautiful as the tableware she sells, and with offerings from top brands like Versace, Royal Copenhagen, and Bjorn Winblad, that’s saying quite a lot. Her goal is to help customers reflect their personal style when setting their table. And since every bride needs to entertain family and friends, eTableTop also offers a registry for easy gift giving (and getting).
Owner Trisha Anderson never planned to start a business, but Frontier Soups is thriving with its sales of high quality, all-natural and healthy soup mixes, pasta salads, baking mixes, and appetizer mixes. And if you’re looking for more to complement their food, click on over to Frontier’s recipe blog for additional ideas to fill your tummy.
Kerry Shook Ministries
Kerry Shook is the paster of Woodlands Church, located in The Woodlands, Texas with several satellite campuses nearby and online. The website is a central point for Kerry’s ministries, with podcasts of his sermons, online prayer requests, and a store that sells books, CDs, and DVDs.
Skip Hop is for the stylish Mom and Dad, who’ve always lived life to the fullest and plan to incorporate baby into that lifestyle too. With a hip diaper bag on your shoulder, a bath toy organizer, and a day-to-night baby log, you’ll be set when the little one arrives. There are wonderful photos and videos for each product as well.
Whether you’re a fashionista or just functional, you probably invest a good amount of money in your wardrobe. It’s SO not fun when you end up with shrinkage or wrinklage or *gasp* dingy whites! The Laundress is a line of “eco-chic” laundry detergent from two entrepreneurs with previous industry experience at CHANEL, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren–in other words, these girls know about fabric. Visit their site if you’re serious about your clothing.
But enough about clothes–what about dressing your home? Try Warehouse Fabrics from Winfield, Alabama for home decor fabrics for drapery, bed linens, and accessories like curtain rods, finials, and tassles. If you’re stuck for ideas, browse their photo gallery for inspiration.
“Get Inside the Game” is the tagline for the Z800 3DVisor headset, which provides 3D stereovision for your favorite videogame or movie. From what I can tell, it sounds like the classic Viewfinder toy, but for grown-ups. (Maybe they’ll send me a free demo for including them in this post…One can dream, can’t she?)
Live Superfoods provides raw organic foods and natural supplements from their USDA-certified organic packaging facility in Bend, Oregon. Each food is described by taste and benefit, such as the Organic Goji Berries which taste like a cross between a cherry and a cranberry and offer anti-aging benefits and immune system support. A wealth of information with a simple yet beautiful design – a great way to conclude this post.
What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite among the sites showcased above? Or maybe you have a favorite one to add, one that we missed? Drop your ideas in the comments below!