“It’s crucial to consider the cost of sending overseas. I was initially looking for more competitive pricing than Australia Post. That was the first box Sendle ticked.” ~ Jiali Kelm, co-founder, Ellie Grace Jewellery
Jiali and Michael
If you’ve ever been stumped trying to write a special message on a birthday card, spare a thought for Jiali Kelm who has crafted hundreds of love messages over the last few years. Jiali is one of the founding partners of Ellie Grace, a unique online business that specialises in meaningful jewellery.
Jiali was following a well-worn path from hard-earned degree to bottom rung of the corporate ladder when she started to question whether she was on the right track. She and her husband were both working ten hours or more a day as engineers, but they found little meaning in their work. And while Jiali was good at her job, she hankered for something more challenging and set out to find just that.
Taking a shine to ecommerce
Jiali felt that ecommerce would give them independence and an opportunity to create their own future. After researching markets and products, they settled on jewellery because it’s a popular gift that’s always in demand. Plus, jewellery is easy to pack and ship.
Ellie Grace was launched in 2020, just in time to catch the pandemic boom in ecommerce. By marketing and analysing sales through Facebook, Jiali noticed that more meaningful pieces in the range were the most popular. These small gifts had the power to create connections between those who were feeling isolated and gave her the inspiration to create something more unique and meaningful, by adding messages of love and hope to each piece.
Drawing inspiration from their own lives and from stories shared by customers, she and her team started to create personal notes to accompany the gifts. Nowadays, a copywriter has taken on this job, but Jiali, her husband, and even ChatGPT have tried their hand. And, just in case you’re wondering – ChatGPT couldn’t match the human touch.
Everyone wants a love note
While Jiali initially planned to sell within Australia, customers further afield were also enchanted by the personal messages and beautiful jewellery in the Ellie Grace range. She and her team were surprised and delighted when orders started to come in from the UK, India and Asia.
However, Jiali became concerned when customers in the Philippines reported that deliveries were taking more than a month to reach them. Comparing delivery times between different carriers, she found that Sendle was much quicker, and she could track the deliveries. Sendle’s international prices were better too, and the system was easier to use, so it just made sense to go solely with Sendle for her international sales.
“International shipping with Australia Post was more complicated. With Sendle, we can use the same label for Australia or New Zealand – the overseas parcel just needs the harmonisation code. Our courier picks up the parcels at the same time – it’s super easy.”
With Sendle, it only takes 20 parcels a month to qualify for even better shipping rates.
Sendle continues to spread the love
Sales to New Zealand have soared since Ellie Grace implemented a dedicated marketing plan and now 20% of orders are coming from international customers. Jiali believes their best option is to continue to serve these customers from Australia because Sendle’s rates make it worthwhile. A lot of orders fit into the 250g pouch, and every dollar spent on shipping counts towards their Ship & Save discount.
With the busy season approaching, Jiali is looking forward to Ellie Grace’s third Christmas. They’re expecting a surge in sales and she’s confident that using Sendle for international shipping will help deliver thousands more good wishes.
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Photo courtesy: Ellie Grace