Aspiring online venture grows fast

Jay Goodey, director of online store Onceit, set up the stie with $20,000 savings in 2010 when he was just 22.
Jay Goodey, director of online store Onceit, set up the stie with $20,000 savings in 2010 when he was just 22.

When former New Plymouth Boys' High School pupil Jay Goodey was 22, he decided to leave his job as a television editor and set up an online store.

When he first established Onceit, using $20,000 of savings, the venture consisted of just Goodey and his laptop in a small office.

The online store, which sells designer clothing, homeware, jewellery skincare products and more, launched in May 2010 with Kiwi clothing designer twentysevennames as an 'invite only' website.

Nowadays, new sale items are put up every weekday at noon, devotees can get email updates or follow the site on social media and users need to register to check out the deals.

"In the early days my now-wife Cat would help me pack out customer orders at night-time. I hired my first staff members about three months after the site launched."

The $20,000 he set the site up with didn't go far.

"The quotes I was getting to build the initial website were ranging from $60,000 to $150,000.

"I managed to do a deal with a web company for a reduced rate and for some equity in Onceit, but I still didn't take a salary for six months. I'm a bit conservative like that."

Now 26 and living in Auckland, Goodey employs 20 full-time staff.

The business has two minority shareholders from the initial web deal, who also sit on the board of directors.

Goodey says the idea to start up the site came from an interest in online retail.

"I saw there was potential growth in the Onceit business model.

"The amazing thing about online retail is in a relatively short time frame someone like me, who had no real experience, can scale to reasonable size."

The site gets between 25,000 and 35,000 visitors a day and has just been launched.

"We want to be doing 30 per cent of our revenue through that site within the year," Goodey says.

"We're also trying a lot of new product verticals on the site, home decor is now a big market for us, beauty is proving popular and we're looking to do more designer kidswear."

Goodey says the business sets targets and goals, and creates daily, weekly and monthly plans to achieve them.

"When I first started I had a loose business plan.

"I think more importantly I spend quite a bit of time thinking about the customer journey or story and how we can make that better."

Taranaki Daily News