I get lots and lots of queries about the actual business of Christmas Jumpers so I said I’d write a quick post for anyone interested in starting a seasonal business.
First up, I love Christmas and love Christmas Jumpers. They’re not for everyone and that’s fine.
When I started the business in 2009, I was 28 and couldnt find non-lame Christmas Jumpers anywhere. They were all cheery happy characters, no lights, no 3D, very very boring.
I made my own. En route to a party, I stopped at a store, bought a cheap plain jumper, some novelty decorations and stapled the decorations to the jumper. It was a hit.
5 Tips for Creating a Niche Seasonal Business
Create your own product
If you just buy in from Asia and dont add any value, you wont have any attachment to the product and people are likely to copy and undercut you.
When I first started Christmas Jumper King, I bought about 200 cheap knitted jumpers from a local store. I also bought some novelty decorations and some fabric (which I used to cut shapes out of). I tried a number of ways to attach the decorations to the jumpers but ended up buying expensive fabric glue and glueing them on. Some looked awesome, some not so much.
I loved them all and guess what, they sold out in 10 days!
Don’t ask the Market, Test the Market
Don’t do a feasibility study. Don’t ask people if they’d buy it. Make it and see if people buy it. I used eBay and put up a very basic website (bought for $59). My jumpers were not the finest quality ever but I told people I’d made them myself and I consistently got 5 stars on eBay. The product was proudly handmade and people loved my 3D Christmas Jumpers.
Don’t give up, just Tweak
If nobody buys your product first time round, don’t be disillusioned. Don’t just throw it away, fundamentally change it or instantly drop the price. Just tweak it – do the photos do it justice? is the description good? Is the price too low or too high? If you saw it, would you buy it?
Remember, Discounts are Less Important at Christmas
Christmas is a unique time of year in that the majority of purchases are likely to be for gifts. Most customers have a price range for gifts and want to buy something that will be loved. The price is typically not the primary motivator. When we reduce prices, we don’t increase sales. If it’s a product you’ve created or added value to, spending time showing what the product would like as a gift or offering suggestions for who might like it as a gift is much more important than reducing price.
Create great Photos
While photos are always important when selling online, this is even more important at Christmas. When we first started with Christmas Jumpers, I thought only guys would buy them. In year 2, all our pictures were of my friends in Christmas Jumpers. A female friend mentioned that she wanted a jumper but didnt think they were for ladies. We spent a very small amount hiring a model for a couple of hours and took pictures. Sales instantly increased. Creating great family portraits so customers imagine how the product will be used /received really makes a difference.
If you’ve got any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.