Simone Taylor is founder and CEO of Paws with Opulence, selling handmade luxury dog collars and leads – perfect for the ultra-pampered pooch. They launched in December 2016 with 200 orders in the month, and after just one year of trading have hit the 1,000 order mark!
About the business
- eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
- Product Range Scale – niche
- On Squarespace
- Located in the UK, selling globally
Listen to learn how Instagram helped Simone bring in international customers from the start.
Simone had always wanted her own eCommerce business, and when a contracted job fell through and she was left jobless, it was the perfect opportunity. She had unfortunately lost her dog, and when thinking of her own business, wanted to do something that represented him with luxury dog accessories. Armed with her idea but not knowing where to start, Simone went to the Prince’s Trust and did a few courses with them, and that’s where Paws With Opulence was born.
The business is mainly Simone, but she has a lot of family members and some close friends who help her with marketing, packing, and social media.
It took a year of planning, designing, finding manufacturers, and gathering materials to launch Paws With Opulence. Simone wanted it to be a complete luxury experience for the customer, from the website to the packaging to the product, so everything had to be perfect before launching.
Properly Pampered Pooches
The target audience is pampered dogs. The audience is niche, but that nicheness attributes to Simone’s success. It had to be catered to pampered dogs to emulate the personality and style of her lost dog. She had searched for ultra-luxurious accessories for him and couldn’t find them, and she knew other friends who loved to pamper their dogs as well, so she knew the market was out there for people who wanted very fashionable, luxurious accessories that really spoke to the personality of their pet.
Contributions to Her Growth
A combination of things contributed to Simone’s success. Social media has played a big part, and networking has been very beneficial. When you see a potential customer face-to-face and they can see the passion you have about your business and can see and feel the products, it helps build the business. Simone has done fairs and exhibitions, and she always sees a big flow of traffic to the website afterwards, even if people didn’t buy in person at the fair. She attends business events as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, and she attends dog events as well. Even at events that are not specifically about dogs, many people in attendance will have dogs that they want to pamper, so there’s always opportunities to hand out her business cards.
Instagram now allows people to have business accounts as well as personal accounts. Simone recommends posting regularly, using the story feature to let customers see behind the scenes, giving sneak peeks of products and designs coming out, and doing polls to see what the customers want. Use Instagram analytics to find out where your customers are, and then post according to their time zones to get the most engagement. She prefers organic growth on Instagram, but does use ads on Facebook.
Listen to learn how Simone used Instagram to tease products to customers before launching.
Most Awesome Thing Right Now
The most awesome thing right now is the bespoke service at Paws With Opulence. Every product on the website can be customized for the customer’s needs and individuality of each dog. She can emboss and personalize names, colors, beads, and designs so that each customer can have something that no one else has. The individuality that this allows is important to Simone, and she wanted it that way from the start.
eCommerce Book Top Tip
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Face-to-face networking and interactions
You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…
Tool Top Tip
Start Up Top Tip
- Never stop believing in your business. If you believe in your business, your business is bound to succeed.
Never give up. When you reach your initial goal, don’t get comfortable within your success. Keep going.