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Discover how DIY crafting brand Craft Club Co. partnered with ShipBob’s fulfillment center in Melbourne, Australia to fulfill orders locally, simplify inventory and order management, and position themselves for easy international expansion.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Craft Club Co. creates cross-stitch and rug-making kits for beginners and crafting experts alike. With a mission of making creativity simple and accessible for all, Craft Club’s kits feature modern and stylish designs that add a pop of playfulness to any room, and come with everything you’ll need to complete your piece — including a pattern, hoop, pre-cut embroidery floss or yarn in each color, needles, hooks, ribbon, and of course instructions. Each project takes between 5 and 10 hours to finish, making it the perfect hobby for a night in or gift for your crafter.
During the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nakisah Williams was like all of us: bored. Stuck inside her home in Sydney Australia, still at university but unable to work or attend classes in person, she wanted a hobby — and having always had a bit of an artistic streak, she picked up a cross stitching kit.
She loved it, and after completing her first piece, Williams started looking for kits that had more trendy designs that would better complement her style — but to her dismay, she quickly discovered that there were none. Even though cross stitching as a craft was (and still is) gaining popularity, none of the patterns she found featured the sort of modern, stylish design she was looking for.
Rather than becoming discouraged, Williams quickly recognized that she had stumbled upon a niche in the crafting market; and even though she had never started or run a business before, she decided to take a leap towards realizing her dream of owning her own creative business.
After drawing up and honing her own designs, Williams founded and launched Craft Club Co. and began selling her cross stitching kits to fellow crafters — all while still in that first lockdown. Since then, Craft Club Co. has not only survived the pandemic, but expanded its product offering to include rug kits as well.
We sat down with Nakisah Williams, Founder of Craft Club Co., to discuss more about her fulfillment strategy, use of ShipBob’s Australian fulfillment center, and plans for expanding overseas.
Achieving product-market fit & quickly outgrowing self-fulfillment
As told to ShipBob by Nakisah Williams, founder of Craft Club Co.
When I first started Craft Club Co., I was picking, packing, and shipping orders on my own — but since order volume was reasonable, fulfilling orders myself was still manageable while I was stuck at home during the pandemic.
But as soon as I expanded product categories and released the first rug kits in the summer of 2021, business really picked up. All of a sudden, I went from the size of an Etsy shop to a growing ecommerce brand, with the order volume to match. I was staying up until midnight for weeks on end, just packing boxes and shipping them out.
I knew I couldn’t go on like that, and that I would eventually need to fulfill and ship through a 3PL — but it had to be the right partner.
Preparing to scale globally
Since our customers are all located in Australia for now, I needed a 3PL that could operate locally with real efficiency; but at the same time, I knew from the very beginning that I eventually wanted to bring Craft Club Co. to other countries like Canada, the UK, and the US, so the ideal partner would have fulfillment centers in the countries we targeted as well as the ability to support us as we went international.
I researched a couple of local fulfillers that only had fulfillment centers in Australia, but as soon as I heard about ShipBob, I knew I’d found the best solution.
In addition to their Melbourne fulfillment center that currently stores, fulfills, and ships orders for me, ShipBob also has an entire international fulfillment center network. They have fulfillment centers in every country I was planning on expanding into and beyond — and most importantly, every single center uses the same SOPs and can be managed using the same dashboard.
It’s great to know that I have the option to expand globally so easily and seamlessly without having to switch providers.
“It was so helpful talking to our Merchant Success Manager about the process of how we’d be able to use our one ShipBob account, and connect international websites to it. It makes the process so simple, which is great.”
Nakisah Williams, Founder of Craft Club Co.
As soon as I sent my inventory over to ShipBob, they were able to begin storing it, fulfilling orders, and shipping them out to Australian customers. I’m very impressed with the quick turnaround time and speedy delivery for orders so far, especially given the supply chain blockages caused by COVID. Plus, ShipBob has enabled us to offer the fast, affordable shipping that really matters to Australians.
Driving time-savings through simple, easy-to-use technology
ShipBob was the best choice from the beginning, because it simplified so many aspects of my business.
The software is intuitive and easy to use, so I can add features like custom packaging with just a click or two. I especially love the bundling feature — it comes in handy when selling my kits, and it makes it much easier to group the right elements in various kits correctly every time.
“Since using ShipBob, we realized it’s so helpful having such a clear software and online platform. I haven’t had experience with other 3PL warehouses, but I imagine that some of the smaller, more traditional ones in Sydney would not have that, and it would be much more annoying to see what’s going on inside the warehouse.”
Nakisah Williams, Founder of Craft Club Co.
Inventory management through ShipBob is also incredibly simple, and very helpful. I use Shopify, which can easily get inventory out of sync when you’re assembling and packing orders yourself. ShipBob integrates with Shopify directly, and automatically syncs my order and inventory data in real-time, so all I have to do is load Shopify, then ShipBob. Now I can see how many units of each product have been sold and how many I have left without having to count stock myself, which is a huge time saver.
“Having ShipBob’s dashboard is so helpful, especially when you can look on there and see how many have been sold today and how many you can sell. It’s really helpful to know that it’s a trustworthy inventory source! It’s really handy, and I love that it just automatically implements new changes.”
Nakisah Williams, Founder of Craft Club Co.
And if there’s ever a problem, there’s always quick communication to solve it. I currently have a Merchant Success Manager who will jump on a call with me to tackle any issues that arise.
I’ve saved so much time with ShipBob. I’m no longer spending hours packing boxes into the night, because my orders are fulfilled for me. And since my dashboard is so intuitive, I’ve stopped wasting time on inventory counts, fiddling with software features, troubleshooting, or juggling between different softwares platforms. Now I’m free to focus on planning for the future and growing my business.
What’s Next for Craft Club Co.?
Even though the initial lockdowns have ended and people are going out more, we’re not slowing down. Preparing for Black Friday has been an exciting priority for us, as we hope that it will set the pace and goals for Craft Club Co. going forward. Our small size, production costs, and accelerated growth allow us to air freight stock from our supplier and avoid delays, which is lucky for us; our kits make greatgifts for artists, crafters, or even people interested in trying something new, so we’re expecting an uptake of orders this holiday season!
In terms of growth, our biggest focuses are product development and moving overseas. Currently we are working on expanding our product line to include more categories of crafts, including weaving kits and different types of embroidery kits, so that our customer has even more media to explore.
We’re looking to open up operations in Canada early next year, and then expand into either the US or UK shortly after that. Having the freedom to expand into either country with ease through ShipBob means that we could always do both. No matter where we expand, Craft Club Co. will continue pursuing our mission of making creativity accessible for all, and keep bringing mindfulness and creativity into people’s lives in a way that they’ll want to share and be involved in.
Want to improve your fulfillment strategy and scale your business? Discover if ShipBob is the right fit for your brand and request a fulfillment quote below.
Craft Club Co.’s team at ShipBob
Jim Spangler is a Global Account Manager at ShipBob, and serves as the Account Executive Sponsor for Craft Club Co.
Samantha is Craft Club Co.’s Implementation Specialist, and helped Nakisah get set up with ShipBob.
Chetan is on our Merchant Success team, providing strategic guidance to ShipBob’s customers.