Eco friendly eCommerce with James Byrne from Faerly

Eco friendly eCommerce with James Byrne from Faerly
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Okay, cool. We're live. Today I'm joined by James, who is the founder of Faerly, which is an online destination for sustainable living. James, welcome. Really excited to have you here. Why don't you give us a background into who you are and how you got started with Faerly?

James Byrne  0:17  

Thanks, Adam. Thanks, Leah. Thanks for having me. Well, as you said, I'm James, myself, my husband founded Faerly just over a year ago, and 13 months ago. And since then, I've left my job to work full time in the business. So we're an online sustainable store. So we sell everything. Handmade Irish eco-friendly things from sort of small Irish makers in the main and also some independent brands from Ireland and outside of Ireland.

And we set up the business, I had been working in a large company here in Ireland for about the last 10 years working in the eCommerce space. So a fancy change. We have been working at home here because of the lockdown, really liked working at home, and didn't mind giving up the commute. So we said, Look if you've got a time as any to try change, and we set up 13 months ago, and so far, we have been going really well. We've been really busy. We've been really happy with it. Not always easy, but it's been a bit of an adventure over the last year or so.

Adam Kitchen  1:13  

Amazing. How important is the patriotic side because I've worked with Irish companies before and there seems to be a lot of emphasis on supporting local Irish businesses? Much more so in my experience than people in the UK. Is that like a general sentiment within the country to support local businesses?

James Byrne  1:32  

Yes, yes and no. So I would say yes, it's a huge sentiment here. People feel very passionately about it, there is a bit of a, I suppose a disconnect between the stated support, and then the actual sales figures. So while people love supporting Irish here in Ireland, we still have 70% of our online sales go outside of Ireland. And I guess a certain amount of that is inevitable.

We're a small island in a big world. And, we say that we sell products from outside of Ireland. So, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. We don't have a problem with it. But it has become stronger and stronger here over the last few years to support the Irish. And particularly, I would have said last year, when we were in the height of COVID, lockdown restrictions, it was a huge public health pouring of support, I guess for small businesses, local businesses, people were being very directly affected by it in every asset of life.

So there was huge support with huge media support, we had TV specials we had, we had a campaign that started it actually started before last year, but it came into its own last year called champion green here. And which was led by the Cochrane group and reached excellence, Ireland and a few other organisations here. And that was about supporting green Irish local, so not at the expense of anything else. But, if you can buy the same thing here, have it shipped locally, why not do that instead of flying it in or shipping it in.

So I would say it's bigger than in other countries are certainly my experience bigger than other countries. And it's definitely been a positive factor for us. We set up,  in lockdown, people wanted to shop local, and it's kind of core to what we do. We sell a lot of products from small Irish makers, and a lot of them sell themselves as well online. With a limited product range that they make, I suppose we allow them access to a bigger customer base. And we also allow our customers to shop for multiple Irish makers all one in one transaction baskets. So it's kind of a win-win. And so yeah, hopefully, there's going to be another year of support in green here.

Adam Kitchen  3:37  

Awesome. Sounds great. So a couple of questions in one now. So in 13 months it sounds like you've come really far and are still a small business, but it's based on what we were talking about before, and I know eCommerce can be a slog these days to get started. It's a very, very tough business. It's not the gold rush everyone thinks it is. So there are two sides to this question. As you mentioned, you have previous backgrounds in eCommerce and retail, how has that helped you? And secondly, what was your initial strategy to drive traffic to the store? Because this is always the main challenge at the beginning of any new eCommerce business?

James Byrne  4:18  

Sure. Well, I guess, my experience has to have helped me in that I have been working in some way in eCommerce over the last nearly 20 years. And a lot of time not exclusively in eCommerce. So working in retail or eCommerce was one of our channels. So I would say in one sense, that's been a big help because things like terminology in terms of digital marketing, like SEO or PPC, are all familiar to me. The nuts and bolts of running an online shop and running a business are familiar to me. So that's definitely helped.

What I would say is that a lot of the online platforms now is massive leveller is that the value of having deep domain knowledge is diminishing a little bit over time. So I wouldn't like to put anybody off for sure. Maybe in my sector, but in any other sector, I would never put anyone off. Because, with the likes to say Shopify, my experience in recent years has been in kind of enterprise-level eCommerce platforms, which are super, they're powerful. They can do almost anything you want them to do, but they require a big capital investment.

And they require a big team of specialist developers and people like that in the background to make it work. And I would say, for the likes of me in Faerly as a, I'd say, even smaller than a small business, right, we're still in the microphase, we took on our first employees two weeks ago. And so we're still very small.

But with platforms like Shopify, we've been able to get up and running. And okay, while we might not be absolute, top of the market, and everything that we do, we're able to offer an online experience that I believe is as good as what any of the big brands can offer, for the most part, and what we can do maybe in terms of some functionality, we can shore up in terms of the kind of personal operational service that we can give. So I would say it's, it's mixed, I would say, yes, experience has helped me a lot. But I definitely wouldn't have to put anybody off now.

Because whether it's a digital marketing platform or an eCommerce platform, or looking at a YouTube video to tell you how to do something, I think it's not as hard. You don't need to be as much of a specialist, as you did one time, even though a recruiter wouldn't agree with me on that, because you cannot hire eCommerce people at the moment. And maybe because we're boxing people into that box of you must be an eCommerce person, but eCommerce experience. Interesting compared to your question, Adam, what was that?

Adam Kitchen  6:39  

So yeah, that's actually great to get that context. So you obviously had some understanding? Well, a strong understanding of fundamentals, that's a long time considering it's still a new field. So how were you able to pull the traffic levers, what type of go to market strategies that you have for that?

James Byrne  6:56  

Well, I suppose in the short term I drove in the initial launch and I'd love to say we had a huge strategy in terms of driving and traffic. But really, we set up the business, initially, with the intention of being sort of a part-time affair, almost like a hobby business, initially, we'll set it up, we'll get the work done, we're at home, we have all this time we can't socialise at the moment, or let's utilise this time to build this thing is our discretion decision that we've had to build this thing that's been on our mind. And really, I didn't expect it to get as big and as busy so fast, I didn't expect to leave my employment as fast as they did.

So I was really lucky, my employer was super supportive, I was able to go initially to a part-time in the role I was in, and then go on a kind of a consultancy basis on a few days a week and gradually transition out of the business. So I was really lucky, I had that support. And I had that soft landing, and we could build it up. So as I mentioned earlier, there was a huge support in the media last year, around supporting the Irish.

And we were able to tap into that. So we got some really good local coverage, we got a lot of national coverage, we got national radio, all these things that really helped us it was free coverage for us. And it really helped us. But the big one for us. And I suppose the focus for us in terms of channels has, from the beginning, then kind of PPC and SEO, not necessarily because we feel they're the only channels or they're the only channels we're going to focus on but I felt that PPC was something we could turn on immediately.

And that's what we did. So from day one, we turned on PPC and SEO was about growing our product catalogue and growing, I guess our domain authority. And I felt there's no point in delaying that work because we might not see the benefit of it for, months or years. So we wanted to start that from the beginning. So from the beginning there were two channels that we focused on.

And, look, PPC has been great for us. It has gotten us a lot of customers quickly. And while COVID volumes are still in what would have been considered Black Friday volumes not so long ago. And now there are normal monthly volumes or, close to them. And the retention of those customers is the important thing. So we wanted to get as many people, I guess, through the door as possible, having some confidence that we would have strong retention, and if nothing else by having really good customer service, so our reviews are really good. It's probably the thing that keeps us up at night, if they're not, touch wood they haven't been, we feel if we can get them through the door and to the to we have a really good chance of getting them back again. And the other channels, I guess we can focus on better later.

Adam Kitchen  9:38  

I'm gonna let Leah take over and once I realise I'm hogging, so it's fine.

Leah Magee  9:44  

You asked the technical questions, and I'll ask the other ones.

Adam Kitchen  9:50  

But one final point I wanted to speak to you about is that you mentioned SEO there. So we're sort of seeing a bit of a resurgence in SEO I would say where Because paid traffic sources were so cost-effective for so long. A lot of people sort of said like, I don't want to waste time with SEO anymore, it's too much about investing long term play like there's no guarantee of investments. And also they have that perception where it takes a really long time to see a return, you seem like you were able to maybe not necessarily hit the ground running, but you've got some fast results with what type of strategies have you used?

James Byrne  10:28  

Well, I guess, having it in our mind from the beginning, like I, I love SEO, I'm not maybe the most technical SEO expert in the world, but I love the principal's office, I love the wins, I think it's very motivational. When you're kind of, you can say like, I'm starting here, I want to get here and you can kind of see yourself edging ever closer. And you can really benchmark yourself. It's one of the areas I think you can benchmark yourself really well against your competitors, and the competitive space and kind of know what, what it's possible to do.

So in terms of strategies, I guess from the beginning, it was a big strategy for us, I would, I would always be a strong believer, and it's not my expression, I don't know who came up with it is to not build your empire on the borrowed ground. And things like PPC and social are by definition for our ground, because I think Google has a new update today. So that could change our landscape tomorrow, all the returns from the lights PPC are so much less than what they were even a year ago. But for me, SEO has a real long term value, even though it can fluctuate.

So our strategy from the beginning was to identify, I guess what we could do. So one big part was expanding our product range, because every time we add a new product, we're obviously adding a new page of content to the site, we're adding new copy, we're adding new imagery, we're adding all these opportunities to improve our SEO improves the size and scale of the website, the footprint, the freshness of the content. So we add, even though it nearly kills us, sometimes we add new products all the time, and we have 10 times as many products available on the site as we did when we launched. And that's one area the other area is in media.

So PR we would have been quite focused on PR value. So I guess if we get PR in a national newspaper, I'll be happy. If we get  PR with a clickable link, in a less important national newspaper, I'm usually happier. And we tried to get that spread. Because while the coverage, in a magazine or newspaper, would give you that instant boost, which is great, it will give you brand value, which is also great. That kind of clickable link will give you that long term SEO benefit and you'll get rewards from that for a long time to come.

So things like that we weren't, we were focused on a breath of media, we are focused on little things like for me. It amazes me sometimes people don't chase down the little wins. So just like getting on and getting unstuck as locators. So we have our suppliers driven mad, asking them to get us into their stock. Some of their stock locators might have not been updated in a long time. And we get in, we get the links. And there's a cumulative effect and a benefit to more of that you get.

We do a lot of things like testimonials. And we have our site as one of the showcase sites for our team developer on the Shopify platform, which is super, which is great. But really the win for us is that we get all that good Google juice, I suppose it's coming from the Shopify domain as well, which is one of the top domains in the world.

So all those little things, incremental wins, like doing the site, correct from the beginning, in terms of structure, taking advantage of the Shopify ecosystem and having the likes of apps we use crushed IO, I think, where we can rename all of our images with good record naming conventions that include the category, the product, name, the brand, without us having to manually like I've had plenty of projects in my past where we're trying to do that manually. And you might do the initial load for the initial build of the project to a high standard.

And then that standard diminishes over time because you're putting up products and different people working on it, you're doing it on short notice, with the likes of the Shopify apps that you can use that can be done in a more dynamic way. So I guess Yeah, things like that are being strategic about certain things. But really, for me, SEO is what I think we could be doing SEO in a much more advanced way for us at the moment. The way we're doing it is working quite well for us to get a few wins every week and every month and build on that and then maybe in a year's time we look at more advanced strategies.

Adam Kitchen  14:44  

Super insightful, especially considering the currently optimising slides at the moment.

Leah Magee  14:52  

When he says me and Leah he means me. Yeah, Wow. I mean, there's I think there's, there are definitely certain things there that you've touched on, which maybe we've not even thought about. So

James Byrne  15:11  

I think SEO freaks people out. To be honest, I think it looks very technical, it looks very hard. And I don't like to ignore some of that aspect of it. I think there's enough on the surface to make it easier to understand personally.

Adam Kitchen  15:25  

Yeah. Sorry, go ahead.

Leah Magee  15:28  

I was just gonna say, I think we have SEO, sometimes there's a lot of information. And it's sometimes making sense of what's in front of you. And being like, okay, there's a lot of words here. Let's Yeah, buy felt through it and do it. And I think when you love sticky notes, and being organised like myself, it's something that can be really, really exciting.

James Byrne  15:49  

I think so. I do think like, you look at things, people are talking of schemas, and you're looking at words like that, and canonical, and it can sometimes feel a bit dense. And you think, Oh, God, this is almost like a developer language. And I just, yeah, away from it.

Adam Kitchen  16:04  

That's it. It's sort of I think people have made it too overwhelming over the years. And actually, we're working with related moments called Silvia. And I like how she simplifies it into a try factor of like clean code goes architecture on the websites. And basically good quality content with backlinks is the key to good ranking. And I mean, we've definitely sort of structured with architecture a little bit, the wrong way around. So we're working on that at the moment for Yep, incremental gains, as you said, every day.

Leah Magee  16:38  

And Moving swiftly on from the technical language. Like I said, Before, I wanted to ask you so much about recycling and things like that. So as a sustainable eco-conscious brand, which aspect of business do you think is the hardest to be the most sustainable? So that can be anything from the packaging? Like advertising, like being really aware of what you're doing? Which is the hardest?

Adam Kitchen  17:09  


James Byrne  17:11  

it's a tricky one, right? Why packaging is not hard. So I don't know why people have such difficulty with packaging. For them. Being a business, it is hard to be Sam, because they are a little bit at odds like you can't be a business without consuming. So I think it's, it's a bit misleading. And it's a bit naive for a business to go out and say, We're totally sustainable, or, we've no carbon footprint, or we've offset all our carbon footprint, because, we are consuming and if we want to be a business, and we want the most sustainable thing is to wind up your business, and that's the most sustainable solution.

And, and that's not what we want to do, we want you to have a sustainable business, that's sort of sustainable by demand, we understand that there are limitations on that. And no matter what we do, we want to be having an impact, and some of that would be negative. So for us, it's about minimising that as much as possible, I think the biggest one for us is transport. So why do we do a lot on satellites, packaging, and our products by nature, we kind of encourage people to buy less and buy better. So we're not really about getting those giant transactions.

And that's not really what we want to do. We're not really about using tricks to get you to buy stuff that you don't need, we would rather you bought, as you need us, and we sell, we take away packaging where it can be removed. So most of the soap, for example, that we sell has no packaging, because soap doesn't really need packaging, we might pop it in a paper bag. And that's really as much as it needs, it doesn't need to be in an elaborate clamshell package or anything like what I would say transport is the hardest one. So a lot of our we work with DPD and DHL, and they do really great work in this area. DHL in particular would be our DVD in particular here in Ireland would be leading the way I feel they have a very strong sustainability programme.

And they're very strong electric vehicles and biodiesel, things like that. But they're still a transport company, they're still putting goods into trucks and driving up and down the country. And a lot of those trucks are still diesel and petrol. And DHL is where we use the green offsetting with DHL. They're really progressive as well, but they're still filling up aeroplanes and sending them around the world.

So I think transport is the hardest one to get right? And I think as an eCommerce business where we're part of that chain, whether we're entirely comfortable with it or not, and we just have to minimise it. Give you a good example of needless stuff that I see happening. I ordered not that long ago from a big retailer here in Ireland. Big, very prominent, very successful, very good retailers happen to have a head of sustainability so they are not new to this space. And I ordered some skincare products became in two separate deliveries.

One delivery was a tiny little, tiny little bottle, something as in a huge big box and then filled with air pillows. And for me the public Have them and that is the plastic, but also the fact that they're shipping an empty box. So they're taking on failure and in those trucks that could have been used for other packages. And it was completely needless, even to use the same box, if you put it down, reduce the size you want to ship to be able to ship to it all that empty space.

But then the real, the real kicker, that order was a couple of days later, I got the rest of my order, which was another small skincare product in like a fluorescent pink plastic bubble wrap envelope. I'm kidding, all of that was unnecessary, that could have gone in a padded paper envelope, they do the same job, they're about the same price. And it just wasn't necessary. So for me, I think we can make a lot of changes. Today, every company can make a lot of changes that will lessen it. But it's never going to lessen us completely. We're never going to be totally sustainable if I'm honest.

Leah Magee  20:52  

Yeah, I definitely think like what you said with half of an order coming out and then the other rest of you are to go in. It doesn't make any sense. But I think sometimes with businesses, they think, Oh, well, they want the order as quick as possible. So let's just end up and then send off later. Whereas when you take that question away from the customer, before you've even asked it, you've made that and like they've annoyed you by sending it to separate things. Because if you're aware of the implications of sending out two lorries and sending out two boxes, it's like, well, I'd much rather wait three extra days and get it all together. And what about

James Byrne  21:36  

that second shipment? Where did that cost go? Where did, I have no doubt that the profitability of my order vanished insane in that second shipment because you're sending a bottle that was marked maybe six or seven euros even. And you're sending it out in the national polls that have to be getting a better price, but you still retain a couple of euros for that shipment. So where did the marriage go? How do they make money on my transaction? And for me, that's not sustainable. That's just kind of acquiring customers at all costs,

Adam Kitchen  22:06  

This is also an interesting sort of paradoxical as well, like what I ordered from Amazon Prime. I try not to order from Amazon. But I do have a prime membership. And I bought a mouthguard and hand wraps on Sunday, and the hand wraps came on Monday and the mouthguard just came today and obviously, they literally are like this big. So then they came in two separate cardboard boxes. And the consumer is also like that incessant demands for convenience and speeds. This clash and I would have been happy to wait for both to come together. But at the end of the day, when you sign up for Prime membership, you almost expect things the next day. So I wonder whether consumers need to rein back that axe but I don't think it's going to happen by it will be interesting in the future behaviour.

James Byrne  22:58  

It's a bit like putting the genie back in the bottle. It's hard to do. And it's not actually as severe here in Ireland today as it is in the likes of the UK. I know a lot of Irish based brands that have opened up fulfilment in the UK market so that they could compete locally, the next day delivery offering that they couldn't do from Ireland, even pre definitely couldn't do it now, but even pre Brexit, that they couldn't compete with that because they were maybe a 48-hour service and there's no reason to the UK we're getting them on that extra day. It's not as intense here in Ireland up to now, Amazon is building a fulfilment centre here.

So we would have liked to prime here probably by early next year. And I think that coaches, you might change it, I hope it doesn't, I don't have a problem with Amazon per se. A lot of businesses work on Amazon. And I think there's space for everybody. And, but at the same time, we don't offer a next day delivery as a service, you cannot pay extra to have next day delivery. Now I would say probably 80% of our deliveries are delivered the next day.

Because we want to be efficient we want to keep the orders moving true. We want to get them true we use DPD they're very reliable next day service. But we don't intentionally offer it as a service because again, I think it's building that expectation that this is somehow needed or necessary and I think there are very few things you need to buy online that you actually most have the next day and none that I can think of it you need to have in four hours or whatever you can get over the likes of London at the moment.

Adam Kitchen  24:34  

I needed my wraps for my boxing today.

James Byrne  24:41  

we could do a bit of bare-knuckle No?

Leah Magee  24:43  


Adam Kitchen  24:45  

I had to escape Barry Kerrigan when he was trying to find me when he was drunk

Leah Magee  24:52  

Anyway, another eco-friendly base question. Do you think companies take advantage of the Eco status just for a boost in the market? And do you reckon there's some way we could try and stop them from doing that?

James Byrne  25:13  

I do. And I look, if we're honest, I think we all do is to a point. So like, it's, it can be a fine line, sometimes between what's greenwashing and what isn't. So I have, I save a lot of feelings about this and talk about it, I think that part of me would feel like it doesn't matter if they're doing something, it's positive, it's a step, we're all on a journey. As individuals or as companies, we're all on a journey in terms of being more ecologically conscious, and about being more active in this space.

So if somebody is putting a recycling bin into their canteen, and that's a big step for them, I would be slow to knock it. And at the same time, individual actions are only a very small part of a very big problem. So I have no illusions about that, like, we will position ourselves and feel that our brand is about making small positive changes in your everyday life. That's our space. That's where we want to be.

We're not about masses of campaigning, we're not about pushing a message down our customer's throats. It's not that we don't think that message is important, because we just feel that that's not where our brand should be or needs to be. So I would say, yeah, and sometimes I think we should be positive about it. We should applaud companies and say, Well, Don, what's your next step? I think customers are becoming more and more consumers are becoming more and more aware, and being more and more demanding.

I think that's important. So if a company says we're planting trees, well, okay, who are you planting trees? With? Why are you planting trees? What's the benefit of that? Is this audit of activity? Or is this a tree that was planted somewhere and never returned to, and it's probably dead a week later? So I think we have to get a bit deeper about it, a lot of it is kind of superficial. And we'll get deeper by challenging some of these things.

And if we can, we're all open to being challenged. I can be challenged by having a business, that's a sustainable business, but yet we send things out in a van, and that's been delivered to your home. So like, all of this can be challenged. I think a lot of the big companies have the power to make the biggest change. So even if they're superficial changes today, if a big company does something small, that can have a massive impact compared to a small company like mine, if we do something, so I'm slow to knock anything. At the same time, I think we should all have our bullshit detector set on high. And we should gently ask for backups and things.

Adam Kitchen  27:45  

I really respect how pragmatic and honest you've been about the consumer sides as well of the business like you haven't just come on and like you said, just bullshitters and say, You're saving the world like you're right, there is a trade-off, right, like any type of consuming is ultimately not necessarily going to be eco friendly. So the only thing we can do is try to mitigate this as much as possible and be a bit more conscious. So yeah, I really respect the fact that you've been honest about that.

Leah Magee  28:15  

I just wanted to say as well, from looking at your, from looking at your website, like you said, you're not ramming things down people's throats. It's not common this dark and terrible. I mean, it is dark and terrible, what's going on with the world and climate change and things like that. However, the design of the thing and it sometimes I think people look at, like buying a vegan soap or something, it's a luxury, or it's either going to be a luxury or it's going to be a bit like you're going to smell like grass.

Do you know what I mean? There's no, there's never really an in-between. What by looking at, looking at your website, it's like it's kind of refreshing in a way and to also see it's really affordable. Like it's not going on to Marks and Spencers and finding the biodegradable face wash that's going to cost you 33 pounds. Not that that's a bad thing. But making those things affordable and accessible to people is probably the best thing you can do. Because nobody wants to buy something that's like, really, really expensive. So then it's not accessible to everyone.

James Byrne  29:23  

Yeah, exactly. And nobody wants to feel bad about what they're buying. I think products have come a long way. A lot of the products we said a couple of years ago might have been a bit more have been the product development has come on in leaps and bounds. We don't think any products should be agile, and products the recession, notification functionality should be nice. First, and then be sustainable and eco-friendly and natural and all those second emirates to so many great products out there we're able to marry the two with everything that we sell. Thank you

Adam Kitchen  30:00  

Awesome, awesome. Very educational, Bob, back to the technical question.

Leah Magee  30:06  

Shock. Okay, I'm gonna go.

Adam Kitchen  30:12  

So James, three pieces of software, I like to ask for all econ file just so that you couldn't live without your store. What are they?

James Byrne  30:22  

And that includes platforms, right?

Adam Kitchen  30:26  

Yeah. Okay, I'll let you include platforms, maybe

James Byrne  30:30  

Shopify number one. For me, we couldn't run a store as we do without it. And so many of the apps that we use for our taste, we would need to have people we can't afford today. So that's one right Shopify is probably number one. And what would I say on the rest of so many like we use all the Google Suite for everything's I've gone from being a big company, Microsoft man, to now have a no Microsoft nearly on my computer by the computer itself. So things like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, we use these for everything, I'm using them, I'm using them all day, every day, I couldn't operate without having all of that kind of at my fingertips, I suppose.

Yeah. And the other one is probably, I would have said Photoshop not so long ago. And we use Photoshop a lot. We outsource, we outsource most of our image processing. And I'm very lucky in that my sister in law is a photographer's brilliant photographer, a baby photographer that is on lockdown, she couldn't get near any babies. So I was able to give her my baby and get her to take over photos for me. But we do the actual image processing. We outsource that. So all that would obviously be done in Photoshop and images are core.

And we don't have a physical store where you can come in to smell our products. So our pictures have to work really hard for us. And they have to look really good. They have to give you a sense of the product. And then we put a big focus on Photoshop within the old me. And now, to be honest, I use Canva more than I use Photoshop now. It's cheap. I thought it was a bit of a novelty at first. And I'm actually amazed at what you can do with it and how easy it is to haven't done so many long, painful courses in Photoshop and InDesign over the years. I now find myself using Canva because it's quick.

Adam Kitchen  32:23  

It's incredible. And really Yes, we don't use it personally. But yeah, so some of the designers have told me the same thing, essentially that it's just been incredible. Like how much it's developed over the years, I remember when I first used it basically was just like drag and drop, put something there. And that was the extent of it. But now it's a pretty competent tool.

James Byrne  32:49  

It has got a  strong background remover which is actually spot on 99% of the time. And the other app I use all the time, which is not really for my business other than to keep me sane. When things get very busy is TikTok. I'm a lurker. That's where I go and I need to switch my brain off.

Leah Magee  33:11  

I keep trying to get Adam to do some on TikTok. I was like we need to make a TikTok dance.

Adam Kitchen  33:21  

I've been dancing already. I always do a little dance Friday morning to get everyone ready to make me rich.

Leah Magee  33:31  


Adam Kitchen  33:33  

Oh, no, in the Slack channel is the most you'll get off me.

Leah Magee  33:40  

So on a roundup, what would your advice be to new founders in the E-commerce space? Oh,

James Byrne  33:52  

You might have to come back and ask me that in another year.  We're still in the storming phase, I suppose I would say do it, just do it. And you're never going to be ready. You're never going to be ready to. It took a global pandemic and being off because of that it gave me the space to give myself the kick to do it. And I should have gone as I showed on it sooner.

So I would say just do it, you'll never be ready. We launched with a fraction of the products we have now. We didn't have the budget for things like a developer, these things are not a barrier anymore. And we were able to build a good size. And we were able to do it from our own resources for the most part. And we've been able to grow ourselves and ask me again in a few years where we're at, and it's, it's fairly busy, it's a lot of work. You will have to put in the grind but it's the same as that in any business.

But it's massively fulfilling. It really is like having your own baby because you're doing it from the beginning. I've come from marketing in big companies where you're one cog in a big operation, and that can be very fulfilling. And because you can really do things that are transformational. But this has been a lovely change, I have to say as well. It's also nice to be the master of your destiny and to be able to just do things and execute things and be agile about things. And sometimes, you make a mess of that. But it's quite easy, it's quite easy to reverse course, as well. So I would say just do it.

And the other thing I'd say is to watch your numbers. So it's very easy to get carried away with sales and turnover and how much you're setting. But if that's not profitable, you're out nothing. So be careful of what you know about your margins before you go into it. So don't just look at a product category, because you're interested in "Are you like us?''

There has to be margin in this, there has to be space for you, theatre space to do what everyone else is doing or space to do something different and carve out a bit of the market for you. But yeah, my biggest advice would be just doing it. Even do it small. Do it part-time, you can set up a Shopify shop in a couple of hours. You said don't do what I'm doing right through me. But you can set it up in a couple of hours to do it. And trying to play around with this doesn't work. Close it down. Try it again.

Adam Kitchen  36:22  

Great advice. tonnes of knowledge across multiple areas. Really appreciate your time, James if anyone else No, no, it's a pleasure rally. And if anyone wants to find out more about Faerly, I'm guessing the website And how can people contact you? LinkedIn is the best.

James Byrne  36:40  

Sure you find me on LinkedIn. You'll find us on all the socials.  @thisisFaerly, you'll find me on Twitter at James Byrne. And yeah, just search for fair, you'll find it. You'll probably misspell it. And that's okay. You're probably fine.

Adam Kitchen  36:57  

Well, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it. We're going to end this now. If anyone has any questions for James, just drop them in the comments and I'm sure he'll get back to you. But James, thanks once again for your time. Really appreciate it.

James Byrne  37:08  

Thank you so much. Thanks, Leah. Thanks, Adam.

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