Twoodle Co - Navigating and Thriving in a Pandemic
Tim Rundle-Wood's businesses was inspired by a near tragic event that shone a light on a real problem with some existing reed diffusers and similar products. Lockdown 1.0 back in March 2020 meant Tim had to improve his online presence and do it fast. But what might come as a surprise is that he also chose to open a shop in a year when non-essential retail was closed for months. We chat to him to find out a bit more. Over to you, Tim.
Tell us a bit about Twoodle Co
I started making natural scents when my dog, Henry, almost died from toxic shock after he sniffed a Reed diffuser – which turned out to be caused by synthetic fragrances.
I began blending essential oils and discovered I had a talent for making scents, which I create based on my happiest memories.
I launched an online shop in 2018 and in 2020 opened my first store in Shoreditch.
How has Covid affected your business?
When lockdown happened I immediately locked to how I could pivot and expand my online footprint and reach new customers – all of who were suddenly at home with nothing to do!
So I launched on the Amazon and Etsy and invested in a course to grown my already established website. Online sales exploded in spring 2020 and by the summer, it had become impossible to continue making all our products, store all the materials and processing the hundreds of orders flooding in daily.
So we started looking for a workshop and found all these stores coming up in our price range. This allowed me to fulfil my dream of having a store which I wanted to be like a bakery for candles – so customers can watch our products being made while they shop!
Although COVID-19 has been very damaging to the economy and to businesses in general. So many businesses stuck their head in the sand, while others pulled out all the stops to find ways of adapting – and obviously the businesses who are doing well now, are the ones who didn’t bury their heads in the sand.
Of course there are still huge challenges – even for businesses doing well, but I feel I’ve created a culture of adapt and change with my team. This means I have a really flexible team, who are ready and willing to do what it takes to thrive.
Sounds like you’re in a great place. Tell us how you grew your online presence so effectively.
I use a 2 part approach to keep growing and adapting.
1) From market places to seeking out PR opportunities in Twitter, I always keep my eyes open for every opportunity to reach new people. It’s all about building lasting relationships with people – this is what lead me to landing an interview last October on a prime time LBC show.
2) I’ve created a customer experience to keep my customers coming back for more. My customers are my biggest asset and I want to look after them. I created a VIP club that every customer is invited to join and rewards my loyal customers.
How’s the business doing today?
Things are really starting to pick up for Valentines now and we have some big wholesale orders to do over the next few months – so that really exciting.
We’re also continuing to find ways of making both online and the store experiences an amazing one for our customers.
What do you expect for Twoodle Co over the coming year?
Over the next year I’m looking to expand our physical presence with at least one other store in London.
Amazing…. a business that hasn’t only survived and grown through Covid, but has actively chosen a strategy of opening non-essential retail stores during the pandemic. If you want to find out more you can visit Twoodle Co’s website.