It’s always inspiring to chat to our small business customers, especially when they’re only in their early 20’s. Darcy and Brian were both still at school when they launched Snupped. Snupped are self-described ‘merchandise enablers’, allowing anyone to produce print merchandise on demand.
The idea came to them one day at school when they saw everyone with the same, boring laptop case. The pair bought a few different fabrics and got them sewn into sleeves. Unfortunately the first batch were the wrong size, but as with many startups, practice made perfect.
Creative by Design
Their site now allows buyers to choose from a range of prints and designs, including custom prints, and apply these to everything from laptop sleeves to clothing.
‘We collaborate with the artists that sell on our platform,’ says Darcy. ‘We work with them to turn their art into brands, and support them with production and fulfilment.’
Launched in Singapore in 2012, Snupped went onto open their second office in Taipei in 2015. Singapore is home for the co-founders, but it’s easier and cheaper to manufacture in Taiwan.
‘Singapore has been a great starting point for us. It is very conducive to fostering global expansion,’ says Darcy.
There are some major considerations about going global though. Regional expansion can be difficult for SMEs who are limited by language diversity across the region. ‘This is why we chose Taiwan to develop a localised platform’ says Darcy. ‘ It’s proximity to Korea and Japan means we have the opportunity to roll out there in the future with localised teams.
Technology Input; Design Output
Technology plays a huge role in Snupped’s success. The business sells to individuals and also works as the merchandise partners for large events. The team recently managed the customised merchandise for Microsoft’s Surface Pro line and also the Singapore leg of Ultra EDM festival.
‘Manufacturing on demand at scale is and will be a challenge’, says Darcy. ‘But with technology we aim to automate resource intensive manual jobs,’ adds Darcy.
And the duo take every opportunity to use technology to support their business.
‘Until we found Xero, we used to code our own systems to manage our accounts,’ says Darcy. ‘Usually SME’s have to ‘make-do’, but Xero means we can enjoy the ideal in accounting standards.’
Made to Measure
Coding your own systems is admittedly more than most people ‘make-do’ with. ‘But,’ says Darcy, ‘Xero offers me seamless bank reconciliation, sales tallying – and most importantly for a cross-border ecommerce platform: multi-currency.’
‘The number of add-ons we can access with Xero means that we can tailor our systems to suit our specific needs. Just like how we help our customers design and produce the exact products want,’ says Dean.
The option to individualise and tailor is key to the business offering. It’s also crucial to drive their future growth and expansion across Asia. ‘Our goal is to bridge the digital and the aesthetic,’ says Darcy. ‘Our products are always changing, and so our business model needs to be solid but also versatile.’
The next time you’re looking for a unique birthday gift or a merchandise supplier for a major event, check them out!