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How Online Embroidery Shop Trish Burr Found Business Success With Support From FedEx Express

Based in Cape Town, Trish Burr’s online embroidery shop caters to niche customers around the world. Top-quality products and exceptional customer service are meaningless if you can’t get your packages into your customers’ hands though, which is why FedEx Express is such a vital cog in Trish’s business.

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Trish Burr published her first book on embroidery in 1999. She has since published a total of eight books, all of which are distributed internationally. In 2005 she launched a blog, and soon realized there was an international demand for her patterns, which she made available on Etsy. She launched her first Shopify store in 2016 and soon followed this up with an online embroidery store, Trish Burr Embroidery Shop, which sells physical goods, kits, materials and embroidery supplies. The US makes up 75% of her customer base, followed by Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Brazil and Asia.

Visit: trishbembroidery.com


Customers across the world have become accustomed to top-class customer service, quality products, reasonable pricing and efficient delivery. When Trish Burr launched her online store, Trish Burr Embroidery Shop, she knew her core customer base would be international, and that she would need to meet the gold standard in all four of these areas. Here’s how she’s achieved her goals, and how FedEx Express is the golden thread that ties Trish to all of her customers, whether they’re based on the West Coast of the US, or an island off New Zealand’s shores.

1. Top-quality products

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Trish’s love for embroidery compelled her to share her work long before she launched an e-commerce platform or designed embroidery kits. She started teaching workshops around the world based on the success of her books, and soon realized that because she’s self-taught, she can empathise with students and simplify embroidery methods for them. When she launched her online store, she was therefore able to offer top-quality kits, patterns and tutorials that anyone interested who is in embroidery can follow.

She also hasn’t rested on her laurels. “There’s always more to do,” she says. “I periodically take a good, honest look at my business through my customers’ eyes. If I was a customer, would I like the products on offer? Can I find all the information I need? Is it easy to navigate my way around the store? Asking these critical questions allows both my products and the entire user experience to constantly evolve.”

2. First-rate customer service

“Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference,” says Trish. “We include a little thank you note and free gift with each purchase. Our customers love it. They often express appreciation for these personal touches and place glowing reviews on our site. Nothing grows your business faster than positive feedback, so this is always welcome, and yet not why we started doing it. We just wanted to make our customers smile when they opened their packages. It’s been my experience that your motives behind the business shape your success.”

Related: Going The Extra Mile With Neil Robinson Of Relate Bracelets

3. Reasonable pricing

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As with many businesses, pricing was a challenge for Trish, but she over-came it by being completely transparent with her customers. “My kits include quite specific materials that are not always readily available in South Africa.

“Because these items are imported, they are subject to import duties and taxes, which increases the cost of my products. Initially there was some resistance to my prices. To address this, I posted an article on my blog explaining the full process of sourcing the materials, to compiling the kits and everything in between. This has helped our customers to better understand our pricing, and they are comfortable supporting us as a result.”

4. Efficient delivery

Without the ability to deliver her packages to her customers around the globe, all the great products, packaging and customer service in the world would be meaningless.

“FedEx threw me a lifeline when I needed it most,” says Trish. “I was shipping by international post and 25% of the parcels got lost or didn’t reach their destination at all. It was a nightmarish situation. I had unhappy customers and was having sleepless nights worrying about it. I was considering closing down the store completely and going back to just selling digital patterns when I decided to approach FedEx with my problem.

“I honestly didn’t think that an international courier company like FedEx would be interested in my small business, but I also knew I had nothing to lose by making contact. The result was incredible. Within 24 hours FedEx had phoned me to arrange to come and see me at my home studio. They were interested in supporting my business and helping me grow and were able to offer me competitive rates that meant I wouldn’t need to push up my prices for my customers.

“Since we started working with FedEx 18 months ago, we haven’t lost a single parcel and I have happy customers who are astonished that their packages are delivered to their door within a few days, all the way from Africa. My sales have been boosted and my customer base has increased – all because I can get my products into my customers’ hands.”

FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories.  FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.

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How Lexus Is Emphasising Quality And Taking Craftsmanship To New Heights

The seventh generation Lexus ES is crafted to the last millimetre and is the essence of comfort​.

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The seventh generation Lexus ES ushers in an era of performance, mirrored by design that stirs the soul. The exceptional body rigidity allows for incredible design freedom, resulting in design that has the confidence to stand out. The brave new design that is lower, wider and sleeker, giving this sedan a coupé-like silhouette.

The 2018 Lexus ES range has no space for mediocrity – every vehicle excels and provokes. The petrol ES 250 EX and hybrid ES 300H SE set a standard of excellence with unparalleled levels of sophistication, elegance and performance. The Lexus ES range places all available performance in the driver’s hands for an intimate experience. It is performance that can be heard and felt.

The new Lexus ES has a profile that is impossible to ignore. The striking signature spindle grille is a significant feature, a sculpted form that speaks of inherited architecture and meticulous craftsmanship. It is the embodiment of provocative elegance, of finesse and sophistication.

Every curve builds from the grille. Athletic headlights flow from the spindle grille, emphasising the sleek lines of the three-dimensional front-end while tracing the outline of the lowered roofline.

The Lexus Takumi craftsmen embody the quest for perfection by carefully refining design elements. Boldness is balanced with elegance, and innovative design characteristics are made possible by the new chassis platform that allows the New Generation ES to be longer, wider and more spacious than ever before, but with a sleeker and lower silhouette. The fastback roofline captures the glamour of a coupé and emphasises the low stance, while the interior roominess is all premium sedan.

Related: 10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing

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The meticulous attention to detail of the Lexus Takumi craftsmen is evident in every inch of the Lexus ES interior. In a physical manifestation of Omotenashi, the Japanese philosophy of warm hospitality where your every need is anticipated and catered for, the Lexus ES offers a personal comfort zone, an escape from the ordinary.

The ES seduces you with details such as embossed stitching on semi-aniline leather-trimmed* seating and real wood trim*. The door panels flow into the instrument console, creating a sense of spaciousness, and at the same time placing all controls of the navigation*, Multi-information and entertainment systems within your grasp, while all driving related functions, as well as those for communication, are controlled from the leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Define your own personal climate with automatic dual zone climate control. The innovative nanoe air-purifiers cleanse the air and moisturise your skin, which is why stepping out of the new Lexus ES, is just as invigorating as stepping into it.

For further individual comfort, the front seats of all ES models have adjustable lumbar support, with standard heated and ventilated seats.

At Lexus safety is of paramount importance, which is why the new Lexus ES features the most advanced passive and active safety and driver support systems available. This is the most technologically advanced Lexus ES ever, with traditional measures of comfort merged with cutting-edge technology for all-encompassing driving pleasure.

* Available on ES 300H only

Read next: 10 Dynamic Black Entrepreneurs

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Rethinking Learning In The 21st Century

The changing world of work has disrupted the three elements of the traditional ‘career’: Expertise, duration, and rewards.

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Traditionally the concept of a ‘career’ was considered to include three elements:

  1. A career represented our expertise, our profession, and ultimately our identity.
  2. A career was something that built over time and endured. It gave us the opportunity to progress and advance.
  3. A career gave us financial and psychological rewards. It made life meaningful and paid us enough to live well.

The changing world of work has disrupted all three elements: Expertise, duration, and rewards.

A career can now be as long as 60 years; at the same time, due to rapid advancements in technology and the changes that bring about in the workplace, skill sets can become obsolete in as little as five years.

Increasingly, companies need to rethink the way in which careers are managed and learning opportunities are delivered, and many have already begun to overhaul their career models and L&D (Learning and Development) infrastructure in line with the digital age.

Related: Your Investment In Knowledge

Employees’ learning behaviour is also changing. In the past, employees were able to obtain the skills required for their career early on and as a once-off; now, the career itself is a journey of learning, up-skilling, re-skilling and continuous reinvention to remain relevant and to thrive in the changing world of work.

Older employees who studied at a time where most of one’s learning occurred prior to entering the workplace, find themselves working alongside millennials who place greater value on learning and progression rather than on earning potential as a first priority.

Eighty-three percent of the respondents surveyed in Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey say their organisations are shifting to flexible, open career models that offer enriching assignments, projects, and experiences rather than a static career progression.

However, in today’s fast-paced business world, even if companies are restructuring L&D delivery, no one is going to make you engage in a strategy that is essential to your future success – continuous learning. You will have to take the initiative yourself.

Noted self-help expert W. Clement Stone, in his many writings on this topic, recommended that one spends anywhere from a half-hour to two hours a day in study and thinking time. This tireless dedication, combined with an insatiable curiosity, will equip you to excel in the future world of work. What’s more, learning new skills and knowledge can be fun!

The good news for both companies and for employees is that an explosion of high-quality content and digital delivery models offers employees ready access to continuous learning. The Wits DigitalCampus offers a range of accredited and fully online short courses to support your continuous learning.

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Your Investment In Knowledge

When you understand the value of knowledge, in this world where technology is rendering previously expensive products or services much cheaper (and even free), it’s just a matter of getting more of it. Dedicate yourself to constant learning!

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Most people spend their lives collecting, spending, and worrying about money — so much so, in fact, that they say they “don’t have time” to learn something new.

However, some of smartest and busiest people in the world — Barack Obama, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates — all spend at least one hour a day on deliberate learning. They see what others don’t: That learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make. As Benjamin Franklin said long ago, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

When you understand the value of knowledge, in this world where technology is rendering previously expensive products or services much cheaper (and even free), it’s just a matter of getting more of it. Dedicate yourself to constant learning!

One of the very benefits of ongoing technological advances is that it empowers an accelerated and personalised learning experience that puts the learner in the driver’s seat. Modern learning harnesses the speed, power and ubiquity of digital capability. Online platforms, software and mobile devices means that the traditional hurdles to learning — such as income, status and location — have just about disappeared. Knowledge can now be gained by anyone with the passion to pursue it and the commitment to stick with it.

Related: Building Customer Relationships

We are only at the tipping point of what future learning technology can deliver. Artificial intelligence (AI) will transform all aspects of human capital management, including learning. Technology-enabled learning will be immediate and directly relevant to the task, for example:

  • personally tailored learning content and experiences delivered to you as and when you want or need them
  • chatbots and virtual assistants can source and categorise the information that you need for optimal decision-making
  • augmented and virtual reality simulations can provide a multi-sensory experience to speed up and embed learning.

Additionally, social connectivity already enables user-generated content to outpace and outstrip what traditional education and learning institutions can deliver.

Knowledge may be the new money but, unlike money, you don’t lose it when you use knowledge or give it away. Transferring knowledge anywhere in the world is free and instant. It’s fun to acquire and it makes your brain work better. It helps you think bigger and beyond your circumstances. It puts your life in perspective by essentially helping you live many lives in one life through other people’s experiences and wisdom.

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