Kate Brown founded Henley & Co in 2017 with a mission to provide lucky pooches and their owners with a heavenly collection of dog beds and accessories. A Melbourne mum of three and fierce animal lover, Kate’s passion lies in rescuing and protecting dogs and animals from cruelty.
“We’re very heavily involved in charity at Henley & Co,” Kate told us during a recent interview. Recently, Henley & Co has partnered with the RSPCA, as well as become an official Corporate Supporter of RSPCA Victoria. “We spend a lot of time supporting animal charities and fighting animal cruelty. We have a range in our business from which 100% of the profit from the sale of those products goes to helping animals in need.”
A few months into her new venture, Kate launched the Henley & Co website on Shopify, and things didn’t go as smoothly as she initially thought.
“I’m not very tech savvy,” Kate laughs. “I’m just completely computer illiterate. I had this sort of vision with Shopify, that everything would be fairly easy to set up. But despite all that, we just ran into a lot of problems.”
Although Shopify websites are fairly easy to set up, giving business owners several themes and options to choose from, theme customisation isn’t always straightforward. And even though the Henley & Co Shopify website was functional and ready to take sales, there were certain functionalities that Kate needed but wasn’t comfortable tackling herself.
“Online retail is quite visual, and the way I had set [the website] up, it just wasn’t working that way. It was not user-friendly,” she said. “And I think we might’ve lost a lot of business because people got frustrated not finding what they wanted.”
So, Kate reached out to the Shopify experts.
Choosing The Hope Factory
Kate researched several local businesses that could help her make her Shopify website more user-friendly and help drive sales before deciding on working with us.
“I chose The Hope Factory based on the large amount of positive reviews. And just looking at the gallery of the previous work they’d done—their vision and their previous work was exactly what we were after. I was pretty confident we were going to have a good working relationship.”
At The Hope Factory, we strive to help owners build businesses that they’re proud of and that reflects their brand and their vision. So, the first thing we did was ask Kate about her goals and vision for the new Shopify website.
“I wanted a completely new fresh look for the website that would complement our business,” Kate said. “And to make it a lot more user-friendly, and they did that!”
After making suggestions aligned with Kate’s goals, our team went to do what they do best: build a well-designed, functional Shopify website that would increase sales and help Kate’s business grow.
“There were several components we also wanted to add,” Kate said. “Like adding our personalised range, and a few more things like that that I wasn’t comfortable doing, and it was done very efficiently and exactly as I wanted it.”
“Our sales have increased I would say almost four or fivefold since we launched the new website,” Kate told us. “And I do credit that to the website being a lot more user-friendly and a lot more appealing to the eye as well. I think The Hope Factory have done a fabulous job of helping us reach our customer target. They’ve really, really nailed it.”
Besides increasing Henley & Co’s sales, part of the solution we devised for Kate was training her on how to manage certain elements of her new Shopify store on her own. At The Hope Factory, we’re not interested in working in isolation as our clients watch from afar—we like to involve our clients in the process, and have them come out the other end more knowledgeable and more in control of their business.
“It was wonderful because they would actually send tutorial videos and train me,” Kate said. “So, for someone like me, who is completely computer illiterate, I actually learned a fair bit. I’ve been able to make a few changes to the website myself since they’ve completed the job. I’ve also learned a lot about how I can manage the website moving forward as well, which is great!”
Even though the Henley & Co Shopify website was completed months ago, Kate still maintains ongoing communication with our team.
“There are still a few things I’m not comfortable doing,” Kate told us. “But the team is always there on hand to help. We had an urgent issue the other day, and Matt got back to me immediately and corrected it. The Hope Factory dealt with Shopify on my behalf, it was all done very promptly!”
As for Henley & Co, more than $80,000 in donations have already been given to the RSPCA in 2017 alone, thanks to the Henley & Co Rescue Range. Henley & Co are also continuously dedicating time to support other Animal Rescue organisations throughout Australia including Save-a-Dog Scheme, Second Chance Animal Rescue, and Australian Working Dog Rescue (AWDRI).