Get the dirt on Little Succers: Interview with our mother succer founder, Tara Shelton
When and why did you start Little Succers?
I own and run a branding agency for start-ups, Dream & Do, and one arvo the team was busy working (and online shopping) and my account manager and good friend, Laura Coggles, was looking for some succulents for her desk. She was struggling to find some online. She moaned, “Man, someone should seriously start an online succulent business”, I joked “Yeh we could call it Little Succers - Because Flowers Die!” The major player for online flowers at the time was Little Flowers, so I laughed at my own cheeky, rebellious take on their tagline. Then I instantly saw the brilliance. When ideas are your day job, it takes a big idea to get your blood pumping. We naturally got distracted by this and scribbled a business plan on the back of an envelope. It looked viable and the brand would be easy to create as we had a creative dream team at our fingertips. We worked hard for about two weeks to create an instagram with the elusive “Same day succulents Sydney, coming soon - sign up for $10 off when we launch.” Naturally, we got distracted by something else, until 6000 Instagram followers got our attention. We had loads of sign ups to our database, and this was the sign that we needed to start! We launched the day after Valentine’s day 2017, got ‘pricked’ up by the press and we have had daily orders ever since!
Who is Little Succers for?
Little Succers is for people who are bored of the same old gifting options - flowers, chocolate, wine, candles. BORING. BORING. BORING. Little Succers can say so much more than flowers and chocolate ever could. With our hilarious punny greeting cards, it’s hard to find an occasion they aren’t perfect for. And we’re not too humble to say that Dream & Do launched Little Succers way before Kmart bastardised the trend with plastic succers and printed cactus on EVERYTHING.
Little Succers is also for people who want to be smart with their money. Flowers are beautiful, but seriously, cost vs. longevity is far outweighed! Are we wrong? The money is barely debited from your account before the bouquet is wilted and in the bin!
Little Succers customers are dirty bastards. If we hear someone say “You can’t say that!!” Then we say it. Life is too serious, succers don’t have to be. We represent millennials, as they find themselves having to be more resilient in this succ’d up world. We are so lucky to get to read all of the incredible messages that are being sent alongside the succers. There is so much kindness, wisdom and wit going around - young people get a bad wrap.
What has been your biggest success so far?
I would have to say launching our pop up event in 2018, ‘Build Your Own Terrarium Bar’. We wanted to sell terrariums but thought that there would be no way they would survive the delivery journey and arrive looking good. So the answer to this was creating an event where people could design and build their own. It quickly took on a life of its own! From a tiny pop-up event in Chippendale, we have come a long way. We have a permanent pop-up space in Surry Hills, hosting around 200 customers on a weekend, and our events are often sold out weeks in advance. It’s such a buzz - we love seeing what people create! We even find ourselves being inspired by all the creativity! We now host private parties with bottomless wine and dumplings so you can get really succ,d up while creating! We basically get paid to party and hang out with our customers. That’s SUCCess to me!
Have you had a failure that led to a big lesson?
I am a succer for design and details and when we launched I had the dumb idea to do ‘hand-stitched packaging.’ I thought the tactile packing was a cute point of difference. Cute in theory, dumb in practice. I had my whole agency on salaries, sitting and stitching cardboard as our orders rolled in and our client work stacked up. I quickly learned to weigh up function vs. feasibility of creative ideas.
If you had four million dollars to invest in Little Succers, what would you do?
SO much! I would build a terrarium bus and do ‘Terrariums on Tour’ - travelling Australia so everyone can jump on board and build their own mini arid garden! I would create a remote retreat experience called ‘ LIFE SUCCS’ where you could immerse yourself in succulents and cacti, meditate, party, drink and let loose and get pampered with aloe inspired products and cactus scrubs. I would build an app like Nike where you can design your terrariums online and get all the parts sent to you to create your vision. I would continue to build a brand that is ever changing and exciting and get as many people I can hooked on the green stuff. Investors click here. Lol.