Holly Goodman is a mum of two living in rural Australia. She’s also the founder of online retailer, The Good Gift Co – a premium gifting studio and online store. Holly crafts high quality gift hampers, sourcing only the finest products that leave a lasting impression. These gift hampers can be delivered directly to a recipient’s door, saving the sender time and effort.
Holly started the whole business from scratch by herself. As a result, the brand has cemented itself as one of the best in Australia and generates $15,000 AUD a month in revenue. As a busy working mum, she often has to juggle work and family, but she has some great advice to share. We chat to her to find out more.
Who are you and what brand did you start?
I am Holly Goodman, a mum of two living on our property in Tamworth, rural NSW in Australia with my husband and children. I own and manage the online retailer, The Good Gift Co.
The business is a premium gifting studio and online store. I am passionate about the gift of giving. I believe that high quality products and presentation leaves a lasting impression. I love that there is a special feeling when giving and receiving a gift and more so when they are purposeful, stylish, and luxurious products. Therefore, I started the Good Gift Co to do just this.
I have recently in the past 12 months been designing my own products, which I stock in my own store and others around Australia. These include personalised market baskets, kiondo baskets, throws, and linen totes. The Good Gift Co Target audience consists mostly of women but is a huge range at 20-70 years-old. However, our audience includes many men. I find a lot of men purchase for their mothers and partners, which is the whole reason why I started this – to make modern gifting easy for people.
In terms of major milestones, I am proud that I have created the business from scratch on my own – from the website, social pages, packaging – the lot. I never thought I could actually do the things I have done. But I have and I am proud of that.
To have been featured in Buy From The Bush was incredible and really exposed the business to the wider community. A milestone for me is to have hit above 15k followers on Instagram. The fact that these people are my customers or potential customers is amazing for me.
How did you come up with the idea, brand name and logo for The Good Gift Co?
I started the business as a hamper company originally named The Good Gift Hampers and Packages. This started with only packaged hampers that were mainly delivered in our town. I then found myself wanting to have stock that was not available in the town. I also wanted to create an online store that had unique and luxe gifts that people could buy and have delivered to the recipients’ door. This is why I changed the name to The Good Gift Co, as I was stocking more individual gifts and products inclusive of my basket bags. People really wanted personalised gifts.
The gap in the market was the desire for gifts to be made and delivered. People could save time and know that they would be presented exactly as my images show. A big one was for corporate customers, as businesses wanted to send gifts to their clients that were top notch. I did just this while saving them time. These gifts left good impressions, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and more referrals.
As for the baskets, these were the turn around of my business. Market baskets, in particular, are popular because we are stopping the use of plastic and waste so bags are a big thing. The fact that they are monogrammed is where people get excited. Who doesn’t love something personalised?
The name The Good Gift Co relates to the gifts but is also a little play on my surname, Goodman.
The logo was created by one of my best friends from Ash Around, a freelance designer. I wanted something simple and straightforward, and also easy to Read. I wanted the double G to stand out and for it to be a symbol of my brand.
Describe the process of launching The Good Gift Co?
When thinking about my product, I start by sitting down and drawing images of my designs. And when it comes to manufacturing, my products are made in Morocco, Kenya, and Australia. A lot of communication is required between those who make the products for me. To get the right end product, there is usually a bit of back and forth of my images and the manufacturer’s samples until the product is exactly how I want it.
The products are sent to me and then I hand stamp the leather and packaging to send to my customers.
Hurdles for me and my business has always been the language barriers when talking with the manufacturers..
I have always used my own money to get everything going. This has been tricky because I only have what I have, and I have to make sales to continue to stock. This is still a slow process but I am getting there. I feel proud that I have done it this way., although it would be easier to get a loan and get it all paid for. But I can say that now everything is all running properly.
In terms of promotion, Facebook and Instagram are my go-tos. Instagram is huge now, which I love as people see a post and enquire about the product. In addition to my own outreach and promotion, reposts from pages such as Lady Start Ups and Buy from the Bush have provided amazing exposure for the business.
My most memorable moments are and will continue to be around the Christmas period as we are just so busy. One year, a client ordered 100 hampers in one go. A wonderful customer - Valvoline (I’m shocked that they actually contacted me) then ordered over 65 large products.
Since launch, what has worked best to attract and retain customers?
Instagram has been really valuable for me and my business. Also, being myself and being personable. Customers love to just see something that is ‘real’ and feel like they are a part of the story.
Customer Service and making sure customers are happy is very important. I do get a lot of lovely emails about my customer service as I am quite quick to respond to anything. This is a huge positive and I am grateful for the lovely comments.
Finally, making sure products are packaged well so they reach my customers in tip-top condition.
With regards to business growth, how have things changed from a digital, revenue, customer and sales perspective?
Growth in the last 12 months has been huge. I don’t have a huge comparison because I did not have a website previously. However, I went from the thousands to hundred thousands in gross sales. This is mainly because I have a much larger customer base and am now posting to so many more areas, and so am able to reach more people to market the products to.
How is the business doing today and what does the future look like?
The business is doing well. I am super happy with it. I actually work on my own so I am probably going to have to look into hiring someone!
Lots of new projects and designs are on their way over the next few months. The plan is to continue to grow and get hold of some better strategies for time management and management in general . I am new to the whole business thing, however I am loving the journey that I am on.
What’s been the biggest learning experience since starting your own brand?
Balancing home time and work time. Being a mum of two toddlers, I found myself so consumed by work and needed to find some sort of a balance. Now, I make sure I have set working times and try to remember that I have a life out of The Good Gift Co.
Stay true to yourself! I am me and I continue to be me – a country girl who is just doing what she loves. Sure, I am proud, but I also just think I am doing what I do – no big deal. I’m just enjoying the adventure that I am on.
Don't change and just enjoy the whole ride. Make sure you have your support crew. We all need those who pump us up at times, those who help us, those who support the journey and are happy for you.
What are your top 3 tips on how to setup an Ecom store for success?
1) Look at your competition to figure out pricing. Research your products thoroughly and make sure they are exactly how you want. Don’t rush to get them out, make them what you want before you do so. Map out your costs and get it all organised first.
2) Photos matter. Professional images are wonderful if you can afford to do so. If not, just invest in a good phone or camera and a filter or preset.
3) Have a theme, colors and look that you are going with and run with it. Don’t confuse your customers. Make your website very easy to navigate and clear to read. Customers want to easily view, order and checkout. This is why images and presentation of products are important. If you can have your products in categories and collections, this will make it easy for customers to use your store.
What are some of your favorite online business tools you use to run The Good Gift Co?
Lightroom for images. Canva for any posts or stories. Planoly for social media. Shopify is a great platform for e-commerce. It’s easy to use, you can use it on a phone, and has a lot of payment methods. It also links with a lot of other platforms.
|Shipping||DHL, Australia Post|
|Payments||Paypal, Shopify, Afterpay|
|Social Media Tools||Planoly|
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What have been the most influential books, podcasts or other educational resources?
All of the lady start-up courses and books and podcasts. They have really been my main support to help with the creation of the brand and products.
I am constantly watching talks and coaching on Youtube and Instagram about building businesses. I will watch whatever I find.
Who have been the most influential people for you during this business journey?
- Mia Freedman & Lady Start-Ups
- Buy from the bush
Any other advice you’d like to share with other aspiring entrepreneurs?
It takes time but don’t give up. If you love, it continue it! Find your passion and turn it into your career. Enjoy every minute.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now or open to new investors?
Not right now but I will hopefully in the near future.