When Liezel Fourie was pregnant with her first daughter, she found that when it came to maternity wear, everything looked the same. “All the beautiful garments that you see celebs wearing are nowhere to be found.”
She launched Foxy Mama three years ago after some encouragement from her husband to bring the idea she had for years to fruition. “You want to find things for work or for functions that don’t look like you trucked it out of your mother’s cupboard.”
She began creating her own online range that has shown impressive growth over the last three years.
Why online versus having a physical store?
It was the easiest, quickest, and most accessible way to get to market. If you have a shop you are bound to a physical location. I am happy for other stores to stock my product, including competitors, but it doesn’t make commercial sense to have a store.
People want to shop around and they are more likely to find your product online than if you are in one location.
Style is a personal choice – if it’s my item or a competitor’s item, or a combination of wearing both together, it’s got to work for the client. From a consumer’s point of view, it’s easier to find both in one place so I also supply through Zando and Takealot.
Sizing and fit can be difficult online but you can also shop anytime – even in your gym clothes at night while eating chocolate! And you don’t have to get in your car and drive around – so you save time.
For me, it’s a no-brainer. Even if you are offline, you need online and if you don’t have it you are seriously losing out.
How has business been over lockdown?
I have seen an increase in sales on all portals our products are on. I am also on Zando and Takelot and I got a lot of sales through Takealot. It’s about convenience. During COVID, people just want to buy clothes online and have them delivered.
Why did you decide to go with Peach?
I actually had previously worked through Shopify and another payment gateway. My website is through Wix and I was so excited when someone told me there was actually a South African payment gateway that works with Wix.
The onboarding process was seriously easy and far less complicated than what I had previously. I had one or two questions and I had the quickest response time I have ever had from any support system.
They have a personal touch (not a robotic arm) that you don’t get from other providers.
Do you sell globally?
We only sell to SA markets at the moment but we do have plans to get there in the next 2 to 3 years. There are other things we are focusing on right now.
Advice to other businesses wanting to start an ecommerce platform?
Just start. It will never be perfect but just start. The learning curve is steep at first but if you look at other countries, their online spend is rapidly increasing. You can’t dismiss this channel.
What can we expect from Foxy Mama for Black Friday?
We are live with our special until 7 December with discount rates between 20 and 60%. You can get these deals here: https: www.foxymama.co.za
Advice for others wanting to go into eCommerce?
It will never be perfect - it’s like an artist’s canvas, so just do it. It’s the hardest work I have ever done in my entire life and I don’t regret it for a minute. You can work in the middle of the night but you do have to set up boundaries and look after yourself too.