Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
When we got our puppy, we just couldn't find what we were looking for — well-designed apparel and accessories that were moderately priced. We felt like there was a gap for nicely designed apparel and accessories for dogs that were free from the typical cliches associated with most pet wear. It was an untapped market here in New Zealand.
All of our products are designed in New Zealand, and made all over the world. Some of our clothing items are made overseas, however they are finished, tagged and hand screen printed locally. Our art prints, blankets, and tipis are proudly 100% NZ made of luxe materials like cashmere and wool.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Clooney our cavoodle had a very active following on Instagram so we used those channels to drive awareness to the new brand. He is such an integral part of the business — quite frankly, if it wasn't for him we would have never started it. He was the inspiration behind the brand and field tests everything that goes to market. We've had great success through our social channels capturing an audience of customers from around the world. We have also been very lucky to be featured in magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites both locally and abroad.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
The order printer is our favourite app — every time we print an order it's a wee reminder of how far this has come — Camp Cloon is now a real tangible thing. It's amazing. We also use the mobile version of Shopify so we have access to our inventory levels, customers, and orders anywhere we go. It's so easy to use and intuitive. All picking and packing is done in our warehouse — we personally pack every order which is really rewarding. We send out orders multiple times a week through local shipping channels.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
If you have an idea, go for it. Lots of people doubt, but if you are really passionate about what you're selling to the world, it will show. Keep at it and definitely take up any opportunity to collaborate with media reps, influencers, or interesting people who might approach you — you just never know what can happen when you work with awesome people who are eager to do great things. Just say "yes"!