A Thoughtful Gift Turns Into An Online Success Story
|July 6, 2012||Posted by Louise under Online Business Ideas|
Christina Platt’s success story started 8 years ago when Christina, not finding the type of doll she wanted, made one by hand for her niece. She called it Bamboletta, the name Christina’s father used to call her as a child. (It means doll in Italian).
Seeing the doll, family friends inquired on where it was purchased and the rest is history, as they say.
Well, to be more specific, there was a little more to it than that. Seeing a demand and fully enjoying the process of making dolls, Christina used online tools to bring her product to market. Today, she’s amassed a large population of loyal fans from around the world and over 35 employees who help her meet the high demands for her handcrafted dolls.
On Small Business Fundamentals, she describes her use of online tools in more detail:
Blogs and the Internet played a big role in the success of Bamboletta from the beginning. When I started there were just a few doll makers on Etsy. I remember doing a search for ‘Waldorf dolls’ that brought up 2 listings! Right from the beginning too, I connected with mommy bloggers. They loved my dolls and wrote about them. Because I feel like I have been on the Internet since I was young, I always knew that I wasn’t limited to a local market. I believe that these days you can do almost anything, you just need to get it out there.”
As she explains, Christina found a large demand on Etsy, where very few dolls of this type were available and tapped into a very likely market by connecting and engaging with mom blogger platforms.
She also connects with her audience through her very active Facebook Page, which houses over 8,000 fans and where most of her communications take place.
Despite Bamboletta’s popularity, the dolls continue to be handcrafted. They are created in a small studio on Vancouver Island, Canada, handmade from top materials and selling in the range of $120 – $250 plus shipping.
To keep her product authentic, Christina can only offer a limited number of dolls via her online shop once a week. She posts a calendar with upcoming sale dates and times and loyal customers line up online and wait, grabbing up all the dolls withing minutes of sales being posted!
Christina hopes to upscale production in the future and better meet demand, without compromising on the quality of her product and work environment. As she states on her website:
“Bamboletta creates outstanding dolls and doll accessories handcrafted with skill, care and a lot of love. Bamboletta delivers an amazing customer experience and treats each customer as a friend. We are honored to be making dolls and that we are playing a role in the childhood of kids around the world. Our dolls protect childhood and do not propel little ones into adulthood. Bamboletta is committed to provide a supportive, ethical, fulfilling, and creative environment for women to work in.”
In the meantime, to assure fairness in the market, Christina limits doll sales to one doll per household per month. She also runs an occasional online raffle for Serendipity Dolls: extra dolls for those who weren’t able to purchase through her online store.
Overlooking Christina’s progress throughout the years, we can spot a recipe for success:
- A unique product: It’s similar to Waldorf dolls, but with a modern twist.
- She found a hungry market that wants her product.
- She finds and engages her audience through use of social media tools like mommy blog platforms, Facebook and Etsy.
- She stays true to her goal of creating an authentic unique top quality product.
- With a large selection, quality dolls and a limited sales model, she not only has a line-up of customers, but returning ones as well.
But there’s one major point to her success not listed that’s worth mentioning. Visit her website and you’ll quickly see what I mean. Christina’s dolls and business clearly impassion her. This girl does what she loves and loves what she does!
What do you think of this business and the marketing used? Leave a comment.
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