Central Coast entrepreneurs Melissa Wilkinson and Matthew Mosse-Robinson have shared their story in front of a packed audience at the annual Retail Global event on the Gold Coast last week.
Selected to present alongside the likes of Booktopia CEO Tony Nash, The Beach People Co-Founders, Victoria Beattie and Emma Henderson, and Amazon Marketing Manager Brittany Rinker, Melissa and Matthew were handpicked to educate audiences about how they transformed their backyard e-Bay business into the multimillion dollar enterprise it is today, by selling ‘love’ online.
Observing a gap in the wedding market for affordable, customised wedding goods upon her own engagement nine years ago, Melissa’s background in industrial design and work with big-name brands including Adidas and Disney, saw her begin selling original, personalised products via e-Bay, while still working fulltime in Sydney.
Her instincts proved correct and the business took off, with Personalised Favours becoming the group’s founding wedding and special occasion online marketplace. Brother-in-law Matthew joined the business in 2013, using his ecommerce expertise to scale new heights.
Today, Melissa and Matthew are Joint Managing Directors of the Foresight Online Group Pty Ltd, incorporating six successful online marketplaces across Australasia and the US.
The powerhouse duo hope that by sharing their story they can inspire other budding entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and learn from their mistakes.
“We presented to a full house of start-up business owners and hope that by sharing the highs and lows of our journey so far, we can help other budding businesses realise the realities of running your own business and help them avoid some of the mistakes we’ve made along the way,” said 34-year-old Melissa.
“We don’t sugar coat anything and are very honest about what it takes to succeed – it’s important to talk about the hard work and sacrifices, along with the successes.”
They also shared their secrets to building a loyal online following and growing a motivated customer base with little to no budget, through creating community and connection.
“The online space is a rapidly changing, competitive environment and it’s important to embrace innovations in technology to stay ahead of the game,” said Matthew.
“Our purpose at Retail Global was to offer tangible knowledge and experience regarding online innovations, international workforces, building communities, creating a committed team, expansion into the US market and other key factors that have contributed to our success, so that audiences can apply these to grow their own business ventures.”
It’s now back to business for these Central Coast entrepreneurs. You can next catch Melissa when she presents at An Inspirational Evening with Lorraine Murphy on Thursday 5 July at the Performing Arts Centre, Central Coast Grammar School.
About Foresight Online Group Pty Ltd
Founded in 2009 as an e-Bay store in the garage of Managing Director Melissa Wilkinson, Foresight Online Group has grown to incorporate six successful e-commerce businesses, operating throughout Australasia and the US.
Melissa runs the company with her brother-in-law Matthew Mosse-Robinson, together transforming the business from a backyard operation into a multimillion dollar international enterprise, employing 20 staff and dispatching close to 3000 orders across Australia, Asia-Pacific and the US every month.
Recently expanding into an 1800m² factory premises on the NSW Central Coast allows all artwork, design and product customisation to take place onsite, promoting cost effectiveness and reducing the margin for error and risk of delay.
The Group’s latest venture, Keep It Custom, launched in February 2018. An online marketplace offering customised corporate giftware and personalised promotional products, KIC offers high-end laser engraving across more than 100 quality products.
Ph: 0418 661 831