What a difference twelve months can make in a lifecycle of a business. That’s exactly what Pink Frosting’s CEO, Louise Curtis is saying about the business she acquired in August of 2015.
Pink Frosting, a party and wedding supply business, established in Canberra in 2005, quickly grew to amazing heights and was twice listed
in BRW’s Fast Lists for turnover growth.
“Beyond the surface though, the business was failing, with a raft of unhappy customers, terrible reviews and considerable losses,” Louise explained.
There were two things that attracted Curtis to the business, the first being the business’ extraordinary online following and the size of the site (with over 40,000 products) and the second being the Company’s huge social media following. Those two things, with the existing turnover in mind, presented a case which was too good to refuse, so Curtis, with a team of other Canberra investors, took on the business.
“Buying a Company which is in significant distress, comes with a large commercial risk, but I was confident that with a change of direction in terms of suppliers, exploitation of the existing online following and focus on the ‘personalisation’ of party goods, the business had a positive future,” Louise outlined.
Following the acquisition, a few very hard months followed whilst the new owners found some ‘nasties’ which needed to be resolved. Sadly, the business would need to retrench half its staff in order to scale back the operation and bring the business back to basics. In addition, a complete revamp of the Company’s offerings and reduction of stock, would see the business only offer around 17,000 products.
The Company now sources all its products direct from China (rather than from wholesalers around the World), and only sells products it holds in its warehouse. Currently, the business dispatches 100 parcels per day. A strong and happy customer base, supported by excellent customer service has stopped the wave of negativity which had surrounded the business. The foundations are strong for a prosperous future and there are plans to re-open its Fyshwick showroom in the near future. The Company has employed six new staff in the last three months.
Beyond the online presence, Curtis and her team have been focused on building two other sidelines to the business, Pink Frosting Digital and Pink Frosting Events. Pink Frosting Digital has seen the Company partner with their web designers to build a new site which will be launched in coming months. The new site will provide a Wedding and Party Supply Directory and give partners advertising opportunities.
Pink Frosting Events is already hitting its straps, with the business’ ability to personalise corporate functions through the business’ full print operation and a wide variety of supplies, centrepieces, linen, and personalised sweets.
“Pink Frosting’s Candy Bars are the talk of the town and the business is struggling to keep up with demand for these beautiful creations,” Louise said proudly.
Personalisation of gifts and favours where businesses can order small runs of printed corporate style gifts and promotional products has seen an increase in print production of 400%.
The Company is offering corporate customers the ability to style their events, at reasonable prices.
“I believe there is a huge growth opportunity in this market and we now employ two stylists to work with our corporate clients,” Louise said.
Curtis’ ability to source products through her existing relationships in China has certainly given the business the edge it needed.
“The first twelve months of ownership have been anything but smooth, but I’m excited about the future of the business and am loving being part of the event and party business,” Louise concluded.