- Player: Zelda Arnott
- Company: Zellyco
- EST: 2014
- Contact: + 27 (0)72 500 0394, firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Visit: www.facebook.com/ZellyCodotcom / zellyco.com
Zelda Arnott reinvented herself – and her life – by taking advantage of the online shopping boom and launching a retail store on Facebook.
After a 15-year stint in Australia she returned to Johannesburg when her marriage ended, and found herself wondering how she was going to pay the bills.
The one thing she had on her side was a flair for fashion. “Women have always wanted to buy the clothes off my back,” says the 55-year-old entrepreneur.
No stranger to the world of commerce, she won the New South Wales Businesswoman of the Year Award for her resurrection of an ailing hair salon, and also worked as the events manager at a local ad agency.
“I saw women at the office ordering from Zando every day, and I thought, ‘I can do that’.” Knowing that lots of people have no clue how to match items, she put her business savvy and fashion-forward sense to work and began to import carefully selected accessories – scarves, belts, earrings and handbags.
With the help of her daughter Taryn Hatchuel, she set up a Facebook store and Zellyco opened for business just in time for the Christmas rush.
She was blown away by what happened next – everything was sold out in one day. In that first month her turnover was R6 000; by July 2015 it was R55 000.
The store has more than 11 000 ‘likes’, and 85% of sales are repeat business. How did she do it?
We recommend: When is the right time to start an online shop?
The price is right
Zellyco posts images of on-trend accessories that work well together and sells them as bundled items for an average of R280 a set. The first person to comment ‘sold’ gets to buy the bundle.
“I’ve hit the sweet spot in this current economic climate and I’m making an excellent return. For the cost of a lunch my customers can have a new look.”
The look is on trend
She sources from the UK, Turkey, China and Thailand, and buys according to her own taste. Expect to see bright colours in combinations that will surprise and delight.
“I’m always following trends and making sure we are ahead of the curve. Not only do we make it easy for busy women who have no time to shop, but we also only buy two to four of everything, not thousands, so the look is always exclusive.”
Arnott packages the items beautifully and pays attention to detail, thanking customers personally for shopping with her. This means the items also make perfect gifts, and they are delivered by courier within 24 hours.
She chose the right partner
While her daughter runs the back-end of the business, Arnott sources items and spends time interacting with her customers on WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.
And, because enthusiasm comes naturally to her, she’s made friends with many customers – so much so that a pop-up shop she held in Rosebank in May was sold out in a couple of hours as ‘fans’ came to meet her in person.
That inspired her to run a makeover workshop in August, the first of many that will create another revenue stream.
Why aren’t you on Facebook?
Arnott says Facebook has made things easier than she ever imagined.
“You can easily create a Facebook store, upload your products, promote them on your wall, or promote your entire store so your fans know it’s there – all for a fee that is affordable for any business. The potential for start-ups is enormous.”
What’s really made a difference is the page insights and advert reports.
“We get all the demographics – who has bought where and when. I know that our audience is between 35 and 50, likes to shop between 8pm and midnight, and that Mondays are big shopping nights. Facebook provides us with all this information, which we use for marketing and selling. We don’t need sponsored posts to grow our audience. Zellyco has built its own momentum. I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.”
Alan Knott-Craig On Learning To Overcome Your Fears And Building Successful Businesses
After Alan Knott-Craig ran some of South Africa’s well known companies like Cellfind, iBurst and Mxit, he’s on a mission to broaden South Africa’s wireless internet network with HeroTel.
We interview entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig, who after running well known South African companies like Cellfind, iBurst and Mxit founded HeroTel, which is a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) and his strategy is to buy up smaller WISP companies to create a broader network.
Ian Fuhr Explains Why He Likes To Launch Businesses In Unfamiliar Industries And How He Made Sorbet A Success
Ian Fuhr, a serial entrepreneur is not scared of opening businesses in industries he knows nothing about.
We interview entrepreneur Ian Fuhr, who founded the Sorbet Group in 2005 which has now grown to over 200 stores in South Africa with stores in the UK. Ian is a serial entrepreneur who has launched many successful companies in industries he knew very little about.
How Pepe Marais Went From Bankruptcy To Founding Joe Public And Becoming An Entrepreneurial Success
After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe, along with his partners, turned their business around to being one of the best advertising agencies in South Africa.
We interview entrepreneur Pepe Marais, who co-founded Joe Public, one of the biggest independently owned advertising agencies in South Africa. After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe found his life’s purpose and not only turned his business around, but his entire life. It’s all documented in his booked titled Growing Greatness, which is a must read.