Owner: Nicole Chowles Start-up costs: R200 000 initially; R100 000 for the website and app development for Gift Finder, which is a unique app tailormade for us. Most eCommerce sites can use ShopStar.co.za, which wouldn’t be as expensive. Profit: R0-R50 000. Most of our profits go straight back into marketing. As a young business, we expected that to be the case for the first few years. By now most of us have accepted the fact that we’ll be spending a significant amount of our precious holiday in malls, walking from store to store in search of gifts, comparing prices and losing any semblance of sanity in the chaos of the festive season. But finding the perfect gift doesn’t need to be torture, nor does it have to be a guessing game. Enter online gift guru, Tidy & Co. Established in early 2014, the young eCommerce site is geared towards helping users find the perfect present – at a click. Our products are hand-selected, mostly handmade, locally sourced and unique in some way,’ says founder Nicole Chowles. Nicole studied interior design and was a project manager at Design Indaba for two years. I was involved in so many aspects of the business; it was a great learning experience for me,’ she says. The young entrepreneur (26) has always had a passion for giving gifts. Our values revolve around improving people’s personal relationships.
Thoughtful gifts makes people feel loved and appreciated.’ And here’s the really cool thing: Tidy & Co. has a nifty Gift Finder. Just answer a few quirky questions about the person you’re buying for and – voila! Questions like: Are they manly or girly? Metrosexual or somewhere in-between? Are they eco-conscious? A little nerdy? How do you feel about them – They’re Why you should shop online this festive season: Spend less time in queues and more time with your loved ones: Shopping online can cut your browsing and buying time in half, plus you can do it from the comfort of your couch. Stay on budget: Shops just can’t compete with the product selection online, which also means better price points. Convenient delivery options: Many online stores offer overnight delivery and even operate countrywide (perfect for when loved ones live in other cities). pretty cool’ or I’d take a bullet’? Your answers are run through an algorithm, which churns out a selection of great ideas! One of my partners is a statistician, so she developed the algorithms. The idea is to link personalities with products so the person ends up with something that actually suits them,’ says Nicole. The Tidy & Co. user experience is about making gifting pleasurable for the giver, too.
This is especially important for eCommerce businesses in SA, as most consumers are still wary of online shopping. The fact that we offer overnight shipping as a standard is a huge plus,’ says Nicole. I wanted it that way because South Africans tend to leave everything to the last minute. So often when they need a gift, they need it now!’ How does she keep up with the Christmas and holiday rush? Preplanning, she says. I have to make sure I have no admin to do so I can concentrate solely on logistics. During December we pack and wrap orders all day, every day.’ Each gift from Tidy is also hand-wrapped (which Nicole loves doing herself). It’s clear that Nicole has a rare gift for gifting I recently bought my baby sister an apple tree for her birthday,’ she says, so that one day when she’s grown up, I can teach her to make apple pie!’ Definitely the gifting guru you want on your side. – MI recently bought my baby sister an apple tree for her birthday’ Nicole says, so that one day when she’s grown up and the tree starts bearing fruit, I can teach her to make apple pie! Move over, Willy Wonka We met four local entrepreneurs who are making a living from making chocolate, and bringing a bit of this African-born ‘ billion-dollar industry home in the process.
TIDY & CO Photo Gallery
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