Australian gift and homeware sector is a $6.6 billion dollar market. Consumers constantly seek for quality, niche and unique products year by year.
It’s been about a year since Dainy Sawatzky, creator and designer of These Little Treasures, came to us to for a brand design and an online store. She makes one of a kind cloth dolls that you can customise to look just like you. The details and craftsmanship of these products are incredible, and we knew the brand would be positioned as a high-end product in the market.
First of all, we moved the client’s initial shop from Etsy to a new platform, Big Commerce, with a design and strategy to connect stories and Dainy’s products. We made sure the beautiful photography stands out and soft colour scheme carries the voice of the bespoken brand.
We were thrilled to witness this hobby turned business grow from a few hundred dollars a month to six figure profit within 12 months. The business has moved out of a home studio into a larger production studio.
Here is what Dainy has to say.
Well, now I have a lot less sleep! but it so rewarding and satisfying doing something I love, which also (now) brings in income. As I live in regional Victoria, there are few job opportunities for a person with my qualifications as a designer/maker, so creating my own business, where I can make my own product, work from home, and sell around the world, really has been liberating.
Lots of long hours and hard work, but with the thought of ‘how can I improve this, or how can I scale this’ always in my head. I believe you have to do all the tasks you can do yourself, until you know all there is to know about it – then when you grow, delegate. On the flip side, don’t do the things you are bad at!
When I started, I was trying to save every penny and thought I’d build my own website. The best thing anyone said when I told them I was doing it myself, was “Are you a website developer?” I said ‘No’ they said, “Then why are you doing it?” Point taken. My website would be my only portal for sales, so it was way too important to get it wrong.
Another thing I constantly think about is what I can offer over my competition. I find Instagram the best tool to use to be able keep an eye on, not only what your competitors are doing, but also what the public responds positively to, then use this information and understand what makes your product distinct and stick to it.
The most important things on my website design are imagery that tells the story beautifully and emotionally, easy navigation, and great customer service.
In 3 years, I would like TLT to be a well-known brand, particularly with my new range of ‘Wish Pixies’ that I will be launching this year. This range has scope to be produced on a larger scale, be sold to other stores, and to incorporate other types of merchandise, such as books and charms. I see this as the ‘scalable’ part of the collection and intend to use this to break into a more ‘commercial’ end of the marketplace.
Don’t worry about making money in the beginning. Anyone I spoke to about my idea was all about ‘what does it cost, what’s your profit, how many hours does that take you….’ Literally, I was probably making less money than an intern at McDonalds for a good 6 months! But I felt strongly that I would work out how to make money from it as I went along, but I also had determination to make it work. So, I guess passion plus determination is a good start to success. After that, it’s just about keeping on, learning, adjusting, and repeating until you feel you are getting there.
Many other factors made this a great little success story, but we thought the key is to be consistent in her high-quality products and consistent in Social media. It was inspiring to see the passion paid off with a big reward. It’s been 48 hours since we’ve relaunched the website, and the Cart page is looking very busy.
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