Monday, January 24, 2011

stockist interview - collection of cool

This week we interviewed Cass from collection of cool a fabulous online shop that is much loved by stylists. the products featured at Collection of cool are in the media alot. Once you pop by the site you will see why.

How did you come to start your business?
My sister and I came to the realisation we'd grown to hate shopping.  This was largely due to the stifling 'sameness' we found in all stores ('shopping mall weariness'); generic items, low quality and over priced.  Finding anything unique (for a gift or for ourselves) had become, we felt, almost impossible - without physically finding off the beaten track stores, of which there aren't many and involved so much time.  We wondered why we couldn't try to gather a collection of unique, hard to find, design oriented items all to the one place, and most importantly, online - whereby customers weren't required to leave their home.  We felt there was definitely room out there for a place that offered people a host of products that customers may not ordinarily come across, without the hassle of shopping malls, parking, traffic etc.

How long has your business been running? Since November 2009.

Can you describe your average day?
No two days are exactly the same.  First priority is always fulfilling orders.  Secondly it's a matter of what needs doing most urgently, whether it be sourcing stock, updating the site, sending out newsletters, marketing the business or boring old admin!

What is your favourite part of collection of cool? Would have to be the great feedback we frequently receive from our wonderful customers.  It helps to reinforce we're not totally mad, and that maybe, just maybe - we are providing something to people that they want, and fulfilling the initial aims of the business.

Your least favourite task?
Business admin, tax time (stuck in tax hell right now).

Do you have story about a day or customer you would like to share?
Not any one customer but on the rare occasion something has gone wrong (usually a case of delivery difficulty), we've gone over and above customers' expectations of an online store.  Speedy responses to customer emails, replacing goods immediately if necessary, finding a delivery alternative if required, quick exchanges/refunds and always including a little gift for the customer by way of apology.  As I said, it's happened only a handful of times, but on each occasion, the customer has always said they were so pleased with the way it was dealt with, and we believe that any problem can be turned around into a positive experience, if it's handled correctly (ie the way we would like it handled if we were the customer).

There was also the day we were featured on
The Design Files blog. Immediately our orders went through the roof.  This proved to us that our choice of products did seem to have an appeal to people who are design enthusiasts, or just like great stuff.  Choosing products is always slightly nerve racking (is it right? will people like it?), so it's really nice to see that people share our vision!

Attached are some pics of some of my favourite things - some of them brand new today.  ( your stuff is some of my favourite, but figured you might want other stuff?)