This young man surprises me with great accomplishments every time we meet. When we caught up recently, I found him selling Jellycats online.
Jellycats!? What’s that?
www.jellycat.com says Jellycats are soft toy silliness. It is quirky cuteness from the creators of the softest toys you have ever hugged, cuddled and adored. Established in London in 1999 and with new designs every January and July, there is always something original and yet incredibly soft and sumptuous to find at a Jellycat jamboree. Irresistibly cuddly, sophisticatedly silly, hilariously humorous, a perfect gift for all ages.
Her boyfriend looks like a Panda. His father’s Chinese zodiac is Horse. They are looking for the mystical Unicorn. And me? I was looking for a Starfish. The perfect gift must hold meaning to the one who receives it, and the one who gives it. Whilst most retailers carry mostly teddy bears, at Abbie and Friends (www.abbieandfriends.com), you can find pandas, horses, unicorns, starfishes and more. With more than 600 choices, it is the home of meaningful gifts. The lion with the cheesy grin, reminds me of someone (maybe I will get it for him, haha). BTW, Abbie’s friends are certified safe by Euro Safety Standards for infants and all ages.
The best sellers are Bashful Bunny and Blossom Bunny that comes in a rainbow range of colours, and they can be personalised with names. It is no wonder that these are collectors’ items. When the creators retire a range, there is usually a frenzy demand for the whole collection and/or missing pieces of a collection. There are facebook pages and websites run by fans for exchanges. eBay is selling a beige bunny at 5X its original price.
What Drives Him?
He is a charming IT professional. He is a collector of fine toys (yes, grown men can have toys). The brand is named after one of his two daughters. It is truly amazing how this young man systematically built this business from scratch. Sales doubled and tripled, from its start 3 years ago. The business is primarily from Malaysia and about 10% from worldwide. I am looking forward to celebrating him crossing the million mark (and it won’t be long).
His philosophy is simple – Be Genuine, Flexible and Help Customers Make the Right Choice. He has many repeat customers. I can understand why. He is genuine and not product pushing. He is flexible and accommodates urgent deliveries and customisation. He helps customers find the right Jellycat – the right panda, right horse, right unicorn and the right starfish (for me, yey). Like what Malcolm Gladwell says in his book, The Tipping Point, this offering has “stickiness”.
Chi Leong is a maven and expert about the competition, competitive pricing, social media marketing, logistics and everything about his online business. And admirably, much of these are self-taught. He asks a lot of questions, gathers inputs and is never afraid to try or test out new ideas.
He is carefully expanding his distribution. Social media marketing is expanding nicely and delivering results with an ever growing fan base. He is testing a few new options and looking to augment the business with some choice physical locations. He is also considering strategic collaborations. Once these gel, Abbie is going places.
His show room (which serves as the office, warehouse, and everything else) in Damansara Utama, is like a little AMAZON. It is neat, organized and functional.
Keep It Up.
You can feel it. He wants to succeed. He has a vision & plan and he consistently executes his plan. I would say his strength is determination and his ability to make things happen. He doesn’t just talk, he DO. It is a great pleasure to see this young man grow from strength to strength. Congrats and keep it up.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to DO hard things well.” Jeff Bezos
“If you double the number of experiments you DO per year you’re going to double your inventiveness.” Jeff Bezos