Papoose - Case Study

Posted 8 Oct '21


Helping sustainable toy store grow online

Papoose is a fun, vibrant, and environmentally friendly business that makes fabulous wooden toys and play furniture for children to enjoy. It’s owned and operated by Bill and Judi from Auckland, and these are not the type of people who just retire, do nothing, and leave it at that. 

Judi is a mum, grandmother and auntie and a few years ago, she came up with the idea for Papoose as she was disappointed by seeing so many children’s toys end up on the side of the road or sent to the rubbish tip. Bill can fix anything, so together they created this great alternative to all the plastic junk, and a more sustainable solution for this throwaway society.

The product range includes pull along wooden wagons, push chairs, a gorgeous doll house, tables, chairs and other cute furniture for kids, two different designs of garage set-ups for toy cars, and a whole lot more. They are all one of a kind, and lovingly handmade by Bill from sustainable NZ timber. The one thing that stands out above all else is that the products are just like Judi herself: colourful and bright.

Judi and Bill enjoy taking the products to markets and expos all around New Zealand’s North Island, displaying them, talking about them, and seeing the look on the children’s faces when they touch and play with the toys. It shows the same passion and love that goes into making them!

Going digital was a battle

Selling and promoting their lovely products at markets is one thing, but of course they know that they could potentially reach a much larger audience if they had a great website. They knew exactly what they wanted, a bold, fun, and colourful website that they could use to tell their story and sell their products with online.

In her own words, Judi “knows nothing about websites” and she doesn’t’ have the time to learn the ins and outs of it either. She was looking for a partner who could make it happen for them. But there are a lot of cowboys in the digital marketing world and unfortunately, Judi and Bill were taken for a ride.

They approached a local company, a well-known digital agency, and all seemed well at first. The salesperson they dealt with seemed nice enough, but that’s where the positive vibes ended. The project became a 3-year nightmare for the couple.

They were moved from account manager to account manager, didn’t see anything constructive happen, and ended up with a website they hated. The whole process caused them a lot of stress, cost them a lot of money, and it’s fair to say that their trust had suffered a huge blow.

“This was a reputable web company, but it turned out they were more than willing to take our money then underdelivered by a long shot. We were far from happy with what they delivered. They had not taken our brief and comments on board at all, and it was even more disappointing that they didn’t want to take responsibility for their mess,” Judi says.

“It was a battle from the start. Trying to get the website done was horrid, even after it went live. They even launched it without our approval. It was drab, had errors, and looked boring. It was far from how I wanted our brand to be portrayed. I was so upset!”

Children love play furniture

We make quality wooden toys that will stand the test of time.

They are made to be handed down through generations with pride.

Handmade with care for your little ones, with love from us to you.

She understands small business

Venessa reached out to Judi on Facebook a little while later and asked if there was anything she could do to help. At first, Judi was cautious because her previous experience with people offering web design and digital services had been so bad.

“Eventually, I plucked up the courage and made the call. From that first conversation, Venessa put me at ease. I felt that she understood my pain, and it became clear that she would go over and beyond to find a solution for us. She was brilliant, and it was just what I needed at the time.”

Judi had indicated that she likes face-to- face contact and setting up a meeting with Venessa to talk things through was not a problem. Judi had nearly given up on selling online, but Venessa was determined to help Papoose reach their goal, and that’s exactly what happened.

Judi says Venessa really understands small business, and to anyone who needs assistance with business growth, web development or digital marketing, she’d recommend working with her without any hesitation.

“Her patience, and the confidence and support she has given us has been amazing. Then she over-exceeded on the delivery of a website that is exactly what we wanted. Actually, I would have like to see it even more colourful but that would give people sore eyes. It looks really great and above all, it works!”


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