Frustrated with being unable to find unique children’s products easily online while at home pregnant, Rebecca Butler identified a gap in the market.
Two years later, after much research and development, she’s launched Littleville.com.au, an online marketplace for unusual children’s products from boutique stores and designers.
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“I like design, I like unusual products and that’s how it came about,” she says.
Littleville users can purchase online in one transaction from multiple stores and choose whether they want their goods delivered or collect them from the retailer’s physical store.
“I want to focus on small bricks and mortar stores and smaller brands that are emerging in the market,” Butler says.
She says some stores have their own websites and use Littleville as a third platform for sales while other stores don’t have their own online presence.
Her goal for the site is that it becomes a household name in Australia for parents looking to buy for their children or gifts for family and friends.
Butler, who has a background working in communications and marketing for professional services firms, says starting her own online business was a “very steep learning curve”.
“You need to be across everything,” she says.
Sales and approaching stores to be part of the site was an area that didn’t come naturally to Butler and was something she worked hard on.
“I worked on my key selling messages,” she says, adding that she practised and kept them short and sharp.
Butler says other challenges included finding the right people for her team and funding.
“As a small business owner you have to stretch limited resources across several areas. All of which are really important so finding the right balance is critical.
“Each time you speak to someone from their area of specialisation, for example legal or branding, they all naturally highlight the importance of their area so you have to exercise your own judgement on how much to spend.”