After more than 11 years selling favour making supplies online, One Eyed Cat Ltd is closing its doors. |
The owner, Sara Jones, started the business in 2004 after returning home from living in the Middle East. She had always been an avid crafter so, combining that with her newly found love of web design that she’d learnt through an Open University course, she set up her first website.
“It took me a bit by surprise when it first started. I still remember getting my first order – someone rang on a Saturday morning and I took it down on a scrap of paper because I was still in bed!”
The orders soon started flowing, and several rooms of the family home were taken over with stock and equipment. It wasn’t long before Sara, a single mum of 4, had to move somewhere with a bit more room.
“I loved the flexibility working from home gave me. I could take and fetch the kids from school without worrying about work – I never missed a nativity play or parents evening. And of course school holidays were great – the older girls would help me and I didn’t have the stress of childcare to worry about.”
The business soon outgrew the house, and Sara rented office space and a showroom in Brynmawr and expanded her range to offer DIY and bespoke readymade wedding stationery.
But things have become increasingly difficult over the past 3 or 4 years, with more companies setting up online every year.
“The online competition was fine” comments Sara “as my second love is search marketing and SEO so I managed to keep my website ranking well. The problem came with websites popping up with insanely low prices – I had employees and overheads and it became increasingly difficult to compete on price.”
Sara also started selling via eBay and Amazon marketplace – this put her products in front of a huge number of people, but with fees hitting almost 20% on Amazon, again it became difficult to compete.
“I love the internet and I do most of my shopping online” Sara says “but it does make it very easy to shop around and most people will buy purely based on price. Customer service doesn’t come into the equation until it’s too late. I always prided myself on having customer service second to none – in 12 years of trading I didn’t have a single negative review!”
The decision to close the business has been a tough one for Sara, but it’s not all doom and gloom. She has now taken her other passion for internet marketing and has started a new business, Zilch SEM. It offers Search Engine Optimization and AdWords management to businesses who need to get more visitors to their website.
“I’ve been doing SEO since 2003 so it made sense to do what I know and love” said Sara. “Things are changing all the time but that’s part of the challenge – I have to keep my knowledge up to date so I can get the best results for my clients.”
One Eyed Cat Ltd will continue trading until the remaining stocks are sold off via their website at www.oneeyedcat.com
About One Eyed Cat Ltd:
One Eyed Cat Ltd is based in Abergavenny, South Wales, and has been selling favour supplies online since 2004. It is owned and operated by Sara Jones whose mission was always to supply the highest quality products with the best customer service.
Name: Sara Jones
Company: Zilch SEM
Address: 20 Woodland Crescent, Llanfoist, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9LY, UK
Tel: 07955 153335
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