Quality Beach Style Homewares
Nicki Richards and her partner started their online business about 2 years ago when they lived in Sydney and were looking to buy a house to earn some extra cash while they worked full time. They started a hobby store on eBay selling beach decor and homewares, some of which they made themselves, like driftwood garlands. They’d collect driftwood from the beach, bring it home, cut it up into small pieces, drill a hole in each piece, thread string through, whitewash it all and voila!
They had been so successful, in the last couple of years building their business online that they have been able to quit their jobs and move to Palm Beach in Queensland, buy a new house with a pool and work from home.
Here is what Nicki shared about her business.
Q. Describe your business and products/services you offer
We specialise in providing high quality beach style indoor and outdoor soft furnishings to retail and commercial clients. All our products are inspired by the sea and coastal living and designed to enable our customers to appreciate and enjoy the great Australian lifestyle.
Q. How long have you been in business?
Q. What made you decide to start this business?
We were struggling to afford a house in Sydney and thought we could earn some extra cash with an eBay business on the side, but it took off and before we knew it we had an e-commerce website up and running as well and started importing and selling to commercial clients.
Q. How many hours a week do you work in your business?
At the moment we are still working about 8 hrs a day but next year most of the work will be outsourced so the plan is to be working just a few hrs a day.
Q. What kind of online and offline marketing do you do and which is working for you?
Online and offline press releases, Facebook marketing, email marketing, creating great content in our blogs and on our website to ensure Google likes us etc
Q. What mistakes have you made in running your business and what lessons have you learnt from those?
Don’t rush in, do proper research. Don’t put all your apples in one basket.
Q. How has your website helped you run your business?
Our website is our business. It definitely puts all the products and information in a user friendly environment so you’re not fielding questions all day long. People can make very informed decisions about whether or not to by your product based on how they feel about you. So presenting who you are and what you stand for are very important things.
Q. What obstacles or challenges are you facing at the moment?
Technical support. We are not very tech savvy so we outsource a lot of the work that has to be done to keep our website operating smoothly. It’s difficult building a complicated website like ours and lots of things need to be tested to make sure they are working correctly. We want the best experience for our customers and that means, fast page opening speeds, high quality images and descriptions but more importantly simple, smooth transactions and after sales support.
Q. Any other comments / points you would like to share about running your business?
It’s important to surround yourself with positive go-getters, not negative nancies. Building a business is hard. If we knew how hard it was going to be, we might not have started this journey. It is extremely rewarding when you come out the other side and realise that you’re making your own money and your own decisions. It certainly shows your true character.
For more information, visit Beach Abode Living website.