12 January 2016
Made It’s 2015 Top Sellers: a reflection
As talented designers and creators start to gear up for another year of making their mark in the online market, it’s a good time to catch up with those that reigned supreme in 2015. After strong performances by fashion designers on Made It all year, it's no surprise that on top of the Made It seller’s podium, is a fashion designer. Actually three of the top five sellers for 2015 are in children’s fashion!
The Made It top sellers for 2015 are (drum-roll please):
Twinkle Star - designer Jodie Sly
Bubby Makes Three - designer Nicole Cleary
the little card boutique – designers Helen and Duncan
Cute as a Button Jewellery - designer Jill Hudson
Pour Bebe – designers Marini and Mery
In their 5 minutes’ rest after the Christmas rush, I was lucky enough to pick their brains a little about what they thought contributed to their success in 2015 and what the future holds for 2016.
In 2015 Made It top-seller, Twinkle Star, completely re-branded and Jodie introduced product collections rather than pieces. Each collection was professionally presented to customers in a carefully designed look book, featuring professional photography. “Organising my designs into collections and having them photographed really increased my professionalism within the handmade community and impressed my existing and new customers” Jodie said.
Jodie Sly credits much of the success of Twinkle Star in 2015 to re-branding
Jodie also commented that “2015 was all about social media and I quickly discovered the importance of getting your brand out there into the world in front of people, especially people of influence”.
Having a really strong visual offering is really important in the new social media environment, where it's all about catching the eye of your customer and keeping them interested for long enough for them to engage with you and lead to a sale. This is especially true of Instagram.
Nicole from second-placed, Bubby Makes Three, mirrored that advice, also realising early in 2015 that Instagram was growing rapidly as a feeder into sales and that she needed “to jump on-board and develop a strong social media presence.” Nicole also concluded that “an ad-hoc approach was no longer going to work, and that a strong social media strategy was essential in moving forward. No matter how successful you might have been in the past, you can never afford to rest on your laurels”.
Bubby Makes Three’s Nicole Cleary got strategic with her approach to social media last year.
Helen from the little card boutique is a “planner by nature” and she was able to really relax and enjoy the lead up to Christmas as she had purchased all her gifts throughout the year – something I always say I am going to do and I really never do – so Kudos to Helen (and anyone else who’s that organised). When asked how she likes to slow down and recoup after a huge year, (her “biggest year ever,”) she spoke about naps and said she and partner, Duncan, “chilled out with movies in bed, and loved-up our kids”. One lesson learned for her brand, the little card boutique, was one of balance. Helen said “We neglected ourselves quite a bit in 2015 and this year we are seeking that magical formula of working from home, having a young family, and working in a thriving business.” Nicole also spoke of the importance of giving “yourself and your business a break; especially if you are 'going it alone' and have no-one to hand the reins over to while you take time out!”
Helen & Duncan of the little card boutique are focussing on balance in 2016
Cute as a Button designer, Jill, concentrated on “a higher level of customer service, which has resulted in a high volume of repeat customers purchasing and raving about their goods and experience.” So many businesses forget how important it is to really care and to think about your customer when it comes not only to the pre-purchase, but also after the sale has been made. It is critical to really think about the whole experience of your product and your brand, not just about making the sale.
Jill believes a focus on great service is responsible for her high volume of repeat customers at Cute as a Button Jewellery
Pour Bebe by Marini and Mery
Congratulations to the top five sellers of Made It for 2015: a job well done, improving the customer experience, levelling up your brands’ visual representation, and refining your marketing channels. For the rest of us, remember there are so many sellers (not just the top sellers) that can offer all of us many little pockets of wisdom. We'll be sharing some of these with you in future Made It sellers’ newsletters, where we will also be talking about all areas of the online market world, from branding to packaging, and everything in between. We're aiming to make the Made It sellers’ newsletter your go-to for hot tips, ideas and a little sprinkling of motivation to help you realise that you too, can reign supreme in the online market!
Meredith (a.k.a. “Honest Dave”)
Creative coach, pixel perfectionist and handmade obsessed.
Store: Dee Dub Designs