2020 – The peak of COVID-19 was an exceptionally difficult time for the whole world. With so many businesses struggling, laying off staff, and even shutting down for good, it’s hard to imagine any company starting up and then being extremely successful, isn’t it?
Well, Hobbiesville managed it and how!
A hobby shop, stocking all types of collectibles, from Pokemon to Magic the Gathering, Hobbiesville was launched in 2020. Today, they have over eight figures in revenue. That’s just in three years! It’s an extraordinary achievement for any business, let alone one that started out during such a hard time for businesses everywhere.
So how did they do it?
On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, our host and co-founder Kailin Noivo sits down with Edmond Georges, Co-Founder of Hobbiesville, to discuss the journey Hobbiesville has been on in the last three years.
Their chat covers everything from technology decisions taken early on in the growth journey to managing moving parts today. Find out exactly how they’ve achieved greatness in a short space of time by reading on and tuning in to the full episode.
Making The Transition From Online to Brick-and-Mortar
We typically see businesses transition from brick-and-mortar to omnichannel, venturing into the eCommerce space (we’re looking at you Pet Supermarket). Hobbiesville did the opposite.
Having launched during the height of COVID-19, it’s understandable that their initial presence was strictly online. After all, none of us were really going to stores in person. Initially, their launch was experimental; they were just seeing if there was a market for the old collectibles they found in their parents’ basement by setting up a Shopify store.
There was a clear market. However, restrictions across the collectibles space meant that they needed to have in-person trading to stock certain products.
This spurred them on to open their first brick-and-mortar location.
Like their online offerings, this was incredibly successful, and only lasted a year before it completely outgrew its infrastructure. This led to them opening up an Ottawa base, which is now supported by a Toronto store.
Their omnichannel approach has benefited both them and their customers, particularly in the realm of buying online to pick up in-store.
Achieving Eight Figures Revenue in Just Three Years
We’ve already said it, but we’ll repeat it here: growing to eight figures in revenue in just three years is exceptional. But how did Edmond and his Co-Founder do it?
Well, from day one, part of their ethics was centered around scaling responsibly.
Prior to the pandemic, there was a definite era where all people cared about was top-line revenue. Having seen the end of that philosophy, Edmond and his Co-Founder have been bootstrapped since day one.
Have they ever had a fundraiser? No.
What do they do with any debts? Leverage them strategically.
And how long have they been profitable? Since day one.
Over the years they have utilized different tools, such as traditional banks and alternate lenders, to grow, and now, at the closing of year three, they are sitting at 62% up year over year.
Managing Moving Parts: How Hobbiesville Does it Efficiently
Before even venturing into the collectibles business, Edmond and his partner interviewed merchants across the industry to find out about pain points and the biggest issue across the board was inventory syncing, particularly around returns and single-item skews like unique cards.
Hobbiesville itself has many moving parts. They have their online store, brick-and-mortar locations, and they have customers who come in to get their unique collectibles priced and potentially put into inventory. It is these unique collectibles that have helped to build the Hobbiesville catalog to around 60,000 individual skews, an immense amount to manage.
To get ahead of the game, and make their management easier, they utilize a variety of methods. For one, they have their own dedicated fulfillment warehouse that they run and operate. They have further launched on eBay recently in a long-term partnership. And finally, they utilize a mobile sales channel that helps them cope with customer returns.
All of this together keeps them on top of inventory synchronization while allowing customers to be able to interact with the business in different assets and avenues – it’s a win all around.
Quality Customer Experience: The Foundation of Hobbiesville’s Growth Strategy
Hobbiesville has always tried to place customer experience high in their priorities.
In their early days, Hobbiesville tried to be as responsive as possible to customers, with a focus on proactivity in letting the customer know where their order is at every step of the journey and automations set up to deal with pre-orders.
As part of their future plans, they are looking to expand their focus on customer experience, by building an ecosystem of content around the different products they sell and creating customized experiences on their mobile app, giving back to the loyal customer base they have built over the past three years.
Listen to the Full Episode Below!
Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Edmond Georges to learn more about the Hobbiesville journey to eight-figure revenue.
👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/3Z8R5iM
👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/44FlWVw
Over the past ten years, Edmond Georges has built eight companies in the hospitality, retail, eCommerce, and tech spaces. His most recent venture is Hobbiesville, where he is currently President and CTO, as well as Co-Founder. Hobbiesville is a hobby shop, stocking all types of collectibles from Pokemon to Magic the Gathering, shipping across Canada and internationally.