Small handcrafted goods retailer Stitchbird takes home the prize in the latest BizGiver competition
2020 has not been great. Here at BizCover, we saw many of our customers struggling to keep their doors open. We did what we could to help defer their insurance payments and keep their livelihoods protected during the pandemic. We also continued our long-running small business grant competition, BizGiver.
Twice a year, we give one lucky small business owner a $2,000 grant to go towards purchasing goods or services they can use to help grow their business.
We received a huge number of entries for this round which were narrowed down to 10 finalists.
Backed by a strong community of friends, family and loyal customers, Lyndy Young, the owner of Stitchbird, received the most votes and is the winner of the latest round of BizGiver. We spoke to Lyndy about her business and how winning the grant will help her grow it.
What is Stitchbird best known for?
Stitchbird is a crafter and gift giver’s heaven with a stunning range of fabrics and crafting materials. It showcases an amazing curated collection of handmade and sourced gifts. Customers love the look and feel of our store and how we display our products and that we go out of our way to look after them.
Why did you start your business?
I started Stitchbird when I fell in love with modern Japanese fabrics and was having difficulty sourcing crafting materials that I wanted. I was saying somebody should import these into New Zealand and then thought, I should do it. I have always been a maker and crafter so in addition we have a number of handcrafted items in store, both made by us and others including family and friends.
Why did you enter the BizGiver competition? What did you wish for?
I saw the BizCover post about the BizGiver competition and decided to give it a go. I have limited space in the store and am always trying to find better ways to display products in an attractive way. Some products, which are high value, aren’t in a very visible place so my wish was for some new display furniture to help these products stand out better.
What does being a small business owner mean to you? Why do you love your job?
Being a small business owner gives you the opportunity to follow your own dream. It can be scary at times as you are responsible for your own income and those who work for you but when things go well the feeling of accomplishment is great. Being at work is my happy place, I love the products, helping our customers and the sense of community we have built around the shop.
How will winning this prize help your business?
Buying the display furniture was something I was going to have to do at some point but in the meantime, we have been making do. Winning this prize means we are going to be able to get something sooner and possibly more customised than what I was going to be able to afford.
Where do you see your business in 5 years time? What are your growth goals?
I hope that in 5 years’ time Stitchbird is seen as the destination shop for great fabrics and unique gifts here in Wellington. We already have a successful online business but I would like to see that grow even more within the New Zealand and Australian market.
What are the biggest challenges your business faces? Will winning the award help?
The biggest challenges to our business are the economy and the big online stores overseas such as Amazon, that own an online fabric store. We find it difficult to compete on straight price with these stores, so our challenge is to provide better service, a better range of products and create a community of happy and loyal customers.
What have been your biggest achievements?
Our biggest achievements all come from the little everyday achievements. That is, making sure that every day we go out of our way to help our customers. Stitchbird started as an online store only with the products in a spare room in our house, to a room in a friend’s commercial building, to a very small shop in Kilbirnie Plaza and then to a larger store. All this was only possible by looking after our customers.
Visit their Website: www.stitchbird.co.nz
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