The respected annual Website of the Year Awards celebrates exceptional startups and established internet heroes. Here, our Founder talks about the inspiration behind Timeout Bags and supporting other women in business. The Good Web Guide is your online guide of favourite sites, apps and Instagrammers, all handpicked by guest editors and its expert team. Voting is now open! Please vote for us at https://www.thegoodwebguide.co.uk/votefor/timeoutbags
When did you launch the site?
We launched our online store on 20th March 2018 after two years of developing our product through customer surveys, workshops and product research. Our website is hosted on the e-commerce platform Shopify and our online traffic is in the top 15% of stores that launched the same week as us.
What are your greatest challenges?
Developing a bespoke high end product on a limited budget is not easy. Buying merchandise online has its limitations and it’s crucial that we fine tune our stock to ensure we don’t make mistakes.
What's your background?
Holidays were spent working on Kibbutz’s in Israel, which instilled a hard working ethic and being able to survive in tough conditions. I then spent ten years in the Marketing Department at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, gaining valuable insight into all areas of luxury brand marketing. I attended fashion courses at The London College of Fashion in the evening, and launched an online millinery business, selling and renting bespoke headpieces for customers.
Who do you admire in business?
Nowadays, my inspiration comes from other mums that have started up their own businesses. Currently we love www.mybaba.com, the daily scoop on family, food and lifestyle.
Please recommend a website and / or app that helps you promote or run your business or that you simply couldn't live without
All elements of our business have been created by ourselves from the bag design and website, to all the artwork we produce in house - we do not employ external agencies. We could not live without www.canva.com where we design all our artwork and download it for free. The app, www.sortly.com gives us a visual record of every bag sent out. Since 20% of our business comes from repeat orders, we need to ensure our bags are different every time.
What is the best piece of digital advice you've been given in regards to your showcasing your business online?
When you come up with a business idea, make sure you analyse the marketplace and do your research. Ensure you have unique selling points that set you apart from businesses offering similar products or services. Build a beautiful user-friendly website and create online content which is unique, fresh and consistent. React to what your customers want and listen to their feedback. Always remember that you are there to provide a service that you have identified that your customer wants, so always put your customer first.
What is your motto?
‘Supporting another’s success, won’t ever dampen yours.’ Always be supportive and celebrate other women in their lifetime goals, as working part-time and being a parent can be tough and challenging to find a balance. Don’t be afraid of going back to work after having children, you can still be a mum and run your own business! If you come up with an idea, don’t be afraid to make it happen!
Where do you see the business going from here?
One of our business goals is to better support children who visit hospital. Our unique 'Hospital Packs' are designed to be a ‘treat’ for children and we wish to further develop strong relationships with hospitals to help improve children’s experiences in hospital. Our son regularly attends Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and we have identified a lack of activities for screen-free time. Our unique ‘Hospital Packs’ give kids something to look forward to.