Written by Starshipit
Jacqui Burton is the inventive owner of the hugely successful online store Rudie Nudie Designs, who make waterproof playmats for nappy-free playtime, featuring designs by well-known Australian artists. We spoke to Jacqui about her journey to success and the lessons she’s learnt since launching in 2018.
Jacqui worked full-time as an Account Director at an advertising agency but knew she wanted to start her own business to have more flexibility to spend time with her family. She had some advertising experience but knew that she would need the hands-on know-how to run digital marketing whatever business she started.
She decided to upskill by doing a digital course with a Melbourne-based social media outfit, The Digital Picnic. Jacqui could not speak more highly of this team and found the experience invaluable. The team helped her focus her brand story and gave her the confidence and skills to manage the marketing by the time she launched her product.
One of the tools Jacqui highly recommends is the “Find your why” business strategy framework by Simon Sinek.
“To help you focus your business strategy and marketing use the
Find your why framework by business strategist, Simon Sinek.”
As a mum of two, Jacqui’s focus and her business “why” is rooted in supporting fellow mums and families. Finding the right product took time, though. She had a few product ideas, but nothing felt right until she had a eureka moment after washing one too many baby blankets after nappy-free playtime.
Jacqui also has an appreciation for art and design, so combining the need for washable playmats and her love of art, she identified an opportunity to create a machine-washable playmate that’s a canvas for local female artists.
The heart of Rudie Nudie focuses on building a supportive community for mums. A natural starting point was to build a community around shared interests for mums on Instagram. Jacqui found so much support among mums wanting to share experiences and exchange knowledge.
As it took a fair amount of time sourcing the right materials for her playmats, Jacqui used this product development time to nurture her followers and bring them along for the journey. This meant that by the time Jacqui launched her product, her fans were eager to purchase a playmat as they were already part of the Rudie Nude community.
Jacqui decided to set up her online store with Shopify and discovered via the Australian Shopify Facebook group that her online store would need a shipping solution. There are 2 main shipping solutions: a courier aggregator and a multi-courier enabler. Jacqui opted to launch with a shipping aggregator first, which was fine in the beginning.
As her business grew Jacqui was approached by Aramex (ex-Fastway) and offered cheaper shipping rates but was penalized 75c per label for using them as they did not have a partnership with the courier aggregator. At this point, Jacqui decided to switch to using a multi-courier enabler, which allowed her to use the courier of her choice without extra costs.
Jacqui needed help getting all those orders out the door, so she looked into using a 3pl service that would take the time to understand her business and products.
She eventually found Black Bear Fulfillment, a Melbourne-based third-party logistics specialist that assists eCommerce sellers to navigate the fulfilment process. She found they took extra care to nurture first-time eCommerce sellers and play an active role in helping her grow her business.
Jacqui’s online business has gone through all the growing pains of setting up an online store and the hard work is paying off. Rudie Nudie is doing so well that the artful playmats now sell in jumbo family sizes.
“There are no dumb questions! If you’re starting out in eCommerce I recommend small business forums on social media for feedback and support. "
— Jacqui, Owner, Rudie Nudie