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I first encountered Shopify when one of my best clients jumped off the Joomla bandwagon to try out the still green, but now more hulk worthy, eComm platform. It was (maybe not) coincidentally my first brush with an unapologetically human business.
Here’s the email I dug out of the archives:

8/19/11
to SmallBizTriage

Hey Everyone,

My name’s Brian Alkerton, and I’m part of the Guru program here at Shopify. If you’ve been with Shopify for a while, you may not be familiar with who we are and what we do, but the short version is that we’re dedicated to making sure you’ve got everything you need to succeed at your disposal. Want marketing advice? We can help. Unsure of how to make a couple edits to your store’s template? We’ve got that covered too.

I’ll be in Seattle next week for Penny-Arcade Expo, but I’ll be arriving a few days early. This coming Wednesday and Thursday, August 24th and 25th, I’ll be in the city, and since my plan was to spend most of those days working, I thought it might be fun to hold some “open office hours” and meet some of our customers in person.

If you’ve got any questions about working with Shopify, need a bit of hands-on help to get up and running, or just want to say hi, I’ll be at the Top Pot Donuts located at 2124 5th Ave. Wednesday afternoon from 1pm-5pm (and yes, coffee and donuts are on me). On Thursday, I’ll be at Office Nomads, at 1617 Boylston Ave. all day from 9am-5pm.

The whole thing’s going to be fairly informal so there’s no need to RSVP or schedule a specific time, just drop in and say hi – you’ll be able to spot me by my MacBook with the Shopify decals on it. Of course, if you’ve got any specific questions you can feel free to send them my way at [email protected] and I’ll make sure you get the info you need.

Hope you have a great weekend, and look forward to seeing you next week!

Regards,
Brian Alkerton
Shopify Guru
[email protected]

I met up with him, had coffee, learned some Liquid (Shopify’s ‘language’ for customizing their stores). Can’t remember a lick of Liquid, but can’t forget the personalized approach they used. A few months later, Tim Westergren (founder of Pandora) held a town hall style get together at the Seattle Public Library. Unapologetically human business events became a permanent fixture in my life from that point onwards.
Shopify is now our go-to platform for anyone trying to sling a physical product online (with WooCommerce and BigCommerce nipping at their heels).
Take a look at this ridonculous 61 Facts About Shopify infographic.