Meet the Best Friends Making Little Designer Club a Household Name

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By Published On: July 17, 20180 Comments

The Mon Purse of children’s handbags and accessories, Little Designer Club has been launched into the spotlight with its recent ORIAS nomination a mere six months since hitting the e-commerce scene. Power Retail talks to the businesses co-founder, Lauren Jauncey.

“The best design is your design” – this motto, printed front and centre on the Little Designer Club homepage, is a simple yet effective description of the e-tailer’s business.

Founded with one simple goal, Little Designer Club is designed to give children a creative outlet that makes them feel like a real designer.

“One evening I was playing on the Mon Purse website, designing myself a beautiful leather handbag. My daughter, Milla, who was six at the time, asked if she could have a turn. She had a wonderful time designing her own handbag, and once she finished, she asked if I would buy it for her,” she says.

Not surprisingly, Jauncey wasn’t willing to spend $350 on a handbag for her daughter, but it did spark an idea.

“A couple of days later I was telling Jac [my business partner] this story, and she suggested we look into creating an online accessories design experience for kids.”

It was in this moment that two best friends landed on a business idea that, unbeknownst to them, would land a deal with Myer, and receive an ORIAS nomination, all within months of the brand launching.

Here, we talk to Little Designer Club’s co-founder, Jauncey, about how the children’s design business went from a simple idea to a fully-fledged e-commerce offering.

How would you describe your business offering?

Little Designer Club

Little Designer Club helps kids design their own handbags.

We’re an online design studio where kids can create their own accessories (necklaces and handbags are our first two products) online. We then make their products and have them delivered to their door.

We have complimented our e-commerce business with school holiday pop-up design studios within Myer stores. At the studio, kids design their unique products on iPads that are linked directly to our website. Once they have completed their design they then help our staff construct their unique accessories.

Our products can all be made on the spot (even the handbags can be made in minutes due to the clever modularised design). The kids then get to create a personalised swing tag, making them feel like true designers. We even have a photo media wall where our ‘little designers’ have heaps of fun taking pictures of themselves with their new products (and a bunch of fun props).

Kids leave our pop-up with proud smiles on their faces and unique creations in their hands. And when the kids are happy, mum and dad are happy too!

What were some of the key challenges you faced when setting up Little Designer Club?

We needed to make sure the website was kid-friendly – intuitive, easy to navigate and fun to use.

We partnered with an amazing design company, S. Group, who helped us build our website from scratch. S. Group has also helped us with branding, and the design of our pop-up kids’ studios – they’ve been a wonderful partner.

What do you think differentiates Little Designer Club from other online retail businesses?

Little Designer Club

Little Designer Club puts creative control in the hands of children.

We have created an online design studio for kids – which is unique in itself.

Most e-commerce businesses focused on children are still built for adults to use, but our website has been developed for the actual kids. While online, they get to create their own unique accessories.

They love being part of the design experience and they feel a strong sense of pride when they receive their personally designed products. At this point, we don’t believe there are any businesses in the world like ours!

What website and marketing initiatives do you believe have been the biggest contributors to your success?

We are still working on our marketing strategy, and so far have spent almost nothing. But, we have offered vouchers to influencers that have kids in our target market, which has been a cost-effective way of getting our brand out there.

Partnering with a reputable retail brand like Myer has also helped us gain early credibility and customer trust. Although, over the next few months we will be focused on developing a more robust marketing strategy that will help us grow Little Designer Club.

How does your business engage with social media, and how do you determine ROI?

This is a tricky one, and not something we have mastered yet. When social influencers post pictures of our products we will often provide them with a unique discount code for their followers to use. This way we can track how many sales have resulted from a particular influencer’s post.

We’ve done a little bit of post boosting and have tracked the clicks and engagement from these. But to be honest, we haven’t spent enough time in this space to determine meaningful ROI yet.

How would you describe your mobile strategy?

We don’t have a separate mobile strategy as this an integral part of our overarching business strategy. From day one we made it clear to our web designers that our website had to be mobile friendly. Every update to our site also has to be mobile compatible, as we know most of our customers access our site through their mobile devices.

What technologies and solutions do you use to power your e-commerce business?

We use Craft CMS / Craft Commerce for an exceptionally flexible and robust content management and commerce system. With customisable products, we needed something really flexible, but not at the cost of a great user experience. Using Craft means we don’t have to restrain our ideas.

For payments, we use Stripe/PayPal (for the customer, developer and client).

Which are the current e-commerce trends of most interest to you now?

Little Designer Club

Lauren Jauncey, the co-founder of Little Designer Club talks all things e-commerce.

We are very interested in the trend of combining e-commerce with physical pop-up experiences. To date, these two marketplaces have been very complementary for us, and in helping us build brand awareness and increase sales.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for Australian e-commerce businesses, and what could be done to address these?

Navigating your way through the world of social media advertising in a very crowded marketplace is a huge challenge. Also, the cost of postage is a tough barrier – but I suspect prices will decrease as new logistics solutions emerge in Australia.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities for online retailers?

Creating unique experiences for customers online.

E-commerce is becoming an incredibly crowded space, so rather than just selling products online, retailers now need to consider how they can give customers different experiences that are memorable and valuable.

What are some of the things you know now that you wish you had known while you were setting up your e-commerce business?

We wish we (or at least one of us) had more knowledge and experience in understanding social media from a business perspective. Being a ‘social user’ of social media is very different from being a ‘business user’ of social media.

Understanding how advertising works, engaging influencers and how to boost followers, engagement and sales is a whole new world to us – but we are learning through trial and error!

Finally, what do you love most about the online retail space?

FLEXIBILITY, and the ability to work from anywhere, while still developing an exciting and profitable business. I live in Tasmania, whilst my business partner, Jacquie, lives in Victoria. Between us, we have five young children and we are able to fit Little Designer Club into our lives in a way that works for both of our families.

Little Designer Club has been nominated in the Best New Online Retailer category for the 2018 ORIAS, with the winners being announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on Thursday, July 26.

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Heather Bone