CHARACTER.COM (Swansea)

Origins

The major motivation in starting the business was looking for a way for the founder to combine his online marketing skills gained while being a marketing manager at a bank, alongside his wife’s and business partners’ love of children’s fashion.

Our main challenges when starting the business

As with any new business the early years were tough. Despite initial success it took two years of hard work and determination to be able to develop enough knowledge of the market and economies of scale to develop a profitable range of products that were exclusive to Character.com. As growth has continued, finding and managing a superb team of people to help grow the business has been key but perhaps the hardest challenge is managing cash flow in a growing business. It has have been a fully self-funded business since the outset with all growth funded by sales and with revenue is heavily slanted toward the Christmas period, long lead times for garment production has often meant extremely careful management of cash flow.

Success Factor

The biggest factor in the success of the business is the great team of staff, all the way from the warehouse team fulfilling orders to the customer service and marketing teams. Their hard work and dedication has made the founders’ desire to drive the business forward a reality. It has also been focused on having superb customer service because as an online business, you are only as good as your reputation and character.com is extremely proud of its simple philosophy of delivering great products on time and offering a first class no quibble return and exchange policy. The benefits of this can be seen in its 9.7 out of 10 rating from an independent review site. The business also strive to make sure that in a competitive market, its range is some of the best designed, highest quality and value for money products that a customer can find.

The Future

Character.com continues to expand the range of products it sells and are looking at multiple different sectors for further growth. Its export sales have grown well and plans further pushes into other overseas markets where it thinks its products will be well received. The driver of this will be in making www.character.com a more recognised brand, by increasing advertising and PR activities with the aim of making character.com the “go-to” destination for character wear in the UK.