Jay Goodey was just 22 when he quit his job as a television editor to launch Onceit, an online store where retailers can sell their outlet stock and consumers can get a bargain.
Against best advice, but like many of the best innovators, Goodey jumped in head first with almost no prior experience and no contacts.
“It was definitely the unknown and I didn’t really know what I was doing… but I thought, ‘I’m kind of young - why not give something a shot?’” Goodey recalls.
The e-tailing market was young too. It was hard work for Goodey and his partner to convince brands in 2010 that stocking their goods on his debut online store was a smart idea.
“When we started, some of the brands we dealt with were early adopters, but a lot were really concerned about how it would impact their other wholesale or retail channels, especially with what we were doing - offering a way to outlet or clear stock,” he says.
Having no contacts in the fashion industry also meant the brand recruiting process was a lot of hard work.
But once he got a few key stores on, others snowballed.
It was a different world for consumers as well.
“People were a little bit dubious about online shopping then, whereas now people are comfortable spending a couple of thousand dollars online,” Goodey says.
Despite the challenges Onceit is coming up to its five-year anniversary in May. Goodey says it’s been a half-decade of intense growth.
More than 25,000 people per day visit Onceit, and next year Goodey hopes to increase membership by 100,000 subscribers.
This year, the retailer stretched its services across the Tasman to include Australia.
Not only that, Onceit is in preliminary talks to open a bricks-and-mortar store, flipping the paradigm.
“I don’t really have too much to say about that but I’m just meeting with a few people to talk about some ideas about bricks and mortar and how it can work with online,” Goodey says.
“I’ve been wanting to do a brick and mortar for a while now, but I still love online so we’re coming up with a concept now. Hopefully 2015 will be the year.”
This story was originally published in NZRetail magazine issue 736, March 2015.