When Leanne and Richard Sexton realised the baby wipes they were using caused their two boys to suffer from nappy rash, they knew they needed to find an alternative.
Frustratingly, they were unable to find anything that suited their needs. Most eco-friendly offerings were far too expensive for their budget, while the cheaper, mass-market options came up wanting in terms of quality.
Drawing on her experience working in media and marketing, including a stint in luxury advertising for brands in glossy magazines, Leanne could see there was a need for a brand that mums could be proud to pull out of their bag: “I knew there would be a demand from mums for affordable baby wipes that they could say were safe for both the environment and for their kids. And so, we set out to build an integrity-based brand that offered transparency around what goes into the products we sell. That’s Joonya.”
Combining Leanne’s insight with Richard’s background in finance and passion for entrepreneurship, the couple’s mission has been to provide parents with access to stylish, eco-friendly, and safe baby products at affordable prices. Parents have clearly been looking for precisely this, with Joonya proving a hit from the start.
Within its first year of operation, the brand won the 2017 Mother & Baby Magazine Award for fragrance-free wipes. Then, when Amazon launched its Retail and Marketplace offering in Australia, Leanne and Richard understood it was an exciting opportunity, having already experienced success with Amazon in the US. Consequently, Joonya was one of the very first baby wipes to appear on Amazon.com.au, and within the first few weeks of operation Joonya’s wipes were the top-ranked product in the baby products section.
Despite the success they had already experienced, Richard admits the response caught them by surprise at the time: “Being a small business you think that only the big brands get a chance to shine, but with Amazon the cream rises to the top regardless of your size. It’s all about your customer services.”
Room to grow
Since then, a constant stream of orders from Amazon has helped the brand build momentum, and this success has enabled Leanne and Richard to expand their offering beyond wipes, with Joonya adopting a more holistic ‘baby essentials’ approach, including the imminent launch of a new nappies range.
This expansion has been possible in part due to Joonya’s recent adoption of Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), which enables sellers to send their products to an Amazon fulfilment centre and then Amazon look after the rest, including picking, packing, shipping and all customer service, helping sellers scale their business and reach more buyers.
“Our whole model is about supplying premium baby essentials for less when people buy in bulk,” explains Richard. “So, it made sense for us to partner with a program that enables us to further capitalise on one of Joonya’s signature strengths.”
Thanks to FBA, the brand can now offer customers bulk buys of up to 24 packs of baby wipes at a discount. And as Joonya’s products are used frequently and in large volume, FBA’s ability to make deliveries quickly and cheaply is a perfect fit.
According to Leanne, this support from Amazon has had a major impact on Joonya’s success: “We’re really grateful to continue to be partnered with Amazon as it grows in Australia. It’s really helping our brand grow, and it’s so encouraging to find a place where small brands like ours aren’t pushed to the wayside. Despite being such a small brand, we truly feel loved and appreciated on Amazon’s marketplace.”
Most commercial deodorants available in Australia prevent sweating by using an aluminium base to clog underarm glands. Unsatisfied with this, Lisa Raciti decided she wanted to find a more natural, healthy alternative.
Looking around, she couldn’t find a deodorant that ticked all of her boxes; both vegan and effective, cruelty-free and completely natural, so she decided to create a product of her own that could fill the gap in the market: KIND-LY.
KIND-LY has a unique take on natural deodorant, compared with other products on the Australian market, which Lisa describes as deodorant pastes: “They require you to stick your fingers in the jar, dig out the product, rub it between your hands, and then apply it to your underarms. That isn’t something I’m into and I’m sure most people would feel the same.”
Natural and familiar
Instead, Lisa was determined to develop something a little more familiar to those who have used deodorant in the 21st century. So, in 2018 she launched KIND-LY’s 100 per cent natural roll-on deodorant, enriched with probiotics and magnesium and blended with essential oils instead of synthetic, chemical fragrances.
Launching at a trade show, Lisa initially secured a national distributor, but by signing up with Amazon US she was able access a much bigger market, resulting in fantastic exposure for KIND-LY and its deodorant.
Encouraged by the response, Lisa soon launched the KIND-LY Armpit Detox, a mudmask product users apply to their underarms that draws out impurities, clears skin, and assists in the transition to natural deodorant after years of anti-perspirant pore clogging.
Now with her range doubled, Lisa started looking for more distribution for KIND-LY’s products. Following her success with Amazon in the US, she partnered with Amazon Australia and its Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) program, which enables sellers to send their products to Amazon’s fulfilment centres and then Amazon looks after the rest, including picking, packing, shipping and all customer service.
“Amazon, both in Australia and the US has been wonderful in terms of raising KIND-LY’s brand awareness, and it’s been great watching sales increase as Amazon Australia’s traffic has done so,” explains Lisa. “It’s just me on my own, so using FBA has been fantastic. Anything that relieves some of the burden on me to ensure that orders get out on time has been wonderful.”
Lisa now has her sights set on launching a third product, and she looks forward to expanding her Australian-made and Australian-owned range: “It’s great that Amazon is looking to support and help promote local, Australian businesses.”
On the cusp of having her second child, Emma Geerlings started looking for a portioning-focused meal-storage solution that could help her reclaim pre-pregnancy eating habits. However, she became frustrated with the lack of options available for those on a budget, particularly young families.
While Emma’s search proved fruitless, it inspired her to launch precisely the kind of meal prep storage solutions she had been looking for, and so Goal Prep was born. With the decision made, the launch process moved incredibly quickly. Starting her research in August 2018, by December Emma had signed up to sell through Amazon, followed by the fulfilment of her first order, not long after in February.
Onwards and upwards
At launch, Goal Prep’s offering was a 21-pack of meal prep containers. Now, the brand’s success means Emma is already looking to expand the range with the imminent launch of a 7-pack and a move into glassware.
Located in Far North Queensland, Emma credits Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) – a program enabling sellers to send their products to an Amazon fulfilment centre and then Amazon looks after the rest, including picking, packing, shipping and all customer service – with making Goal Prep possible.
“FBA was a huge part of us choosing to go ahead with Goal Prep. We had neither the time nor space to handle all the orders and shipping, especially with a new baby,” she explains. “Now, I only have to spend three or four hours per week on Goal Prep as Amazon has taken 90 per cent of the business out of my hands. Amazon basically does it all and the fee for each product is so tiny it’s incredible.”
The launch of Goal Prep has completely transformed the lives of Emma’s family, leaving her enough time to return to her old job, while also providing the luxury of more family time: “It’s allowed my partner to drop down to part time and enabled us to have a stronger family foundation. We’re enjoying the benefits of having a small business without our whole life being consumed by it.”
Help is at hand
According to Emma, Amazon has been invaluable in helping to guide the business, from helping to get her first stock shipment from an international supplier to Amazon’s fulfilment centres, to using data provided by Amazon to help optimise Goal Prep’s sales. This has enabled Emma to focus her efforts on promoting the brand through influencers and social media, with a dedicated Facebook campaign helping to get sales up and running at the brand’s launch.
Goal Prep has also made use of Amazon’s Lightning Deals – promotions in which a limited number of discounts are offered on an item for a short period of time – with Emma now having them set up to run every two to three weeks as a way of bringing new customers into the Goal Prep fold. As Emma explains, “I have no idea where those customers come from, but somehow thanks to Amazon’s marketplace they find Goal Prep and start making purchases.”
While Emma’s ambitions for Goal Prep are to move beyond plastic containers to become an overall lifestyle brand – offering everything meal prep-related from cooler bags to scales – she’s confident that whatever the future holds, Goal Prep will remain an entirely online enterprise in partnership with Amazon.