Toyella is Smallish Awards Best Online Retailer 2015

Smallish Magazine Best Online Retailer 2015

Every now and then Toyella does enter awards. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s nice for the ego.

Toyella has always been a little bit mischievous and rebellious in our approach. I get it from my kids!

In many ways we're a company who wants to be a movement as much as we are a retailer. Yes we have to be profitable but the product and ethos always comes first. We choose toys we feel deserve exposure even if they’re not the ‘next big thing’. We don’t do fads.

We also have a rare honest tone to how we recommend our toys. Often poking fun at the trials and tribulations of parenting. If a toy is great for developing a child’s motor skills we’ll point it out. If it’s a gem for shutting them up for 30 minutes we’ll definitely say so. Sourcing respite is high on the parenting agenda in our experience.

We think we have the right honest approach but we’re bias of course. For us, more than anything, an award soothes any entrepreneurial self doubt in our approach. And a competitive streak in me wants to be acknowledged for doing things different to the norm. For niché to win over mainstream predictability. Philosophy over profiteering.

That said we’re often up against similar owner-managed small businesses who also have comparable stories and drive behind their online shops. We all watch each other and it helps keep each other on their toes. There’s always mutual respect in this area and as a result the consumers have a greater choice of unique product at an affordable price.

However, Toyella only sells toys. Our peers in such award categories are always websites retailing to broader parenting needs - often offering maternity, fashion and interiors with perhaps a sub section of toys.

The Smallish award is our forth award entry. Our third as winner in four years. It’s pointless us entering many other awards open to us as their rewards are based on public votes. They are effectively awards for the largest customer base and not for any criteria other than scale.

Smallish Magazine to us represents the very best in ‘kids style’ and they judge by panel. A level playing field. They fill the void after the likes of Junior Magazine stopped in print. After all, despite websites, we all like handle a nice magazine.

What makes this our best win is the competition we were up against…any online retailer. Not just toys or gifts. Any company who had a website retailing child and family products.

So yes, Toyella will milk it over the next year. We’ll display the winners badge; place it on adverts; add it to press releases; stick it on our boxes. Why not. And if it brings us some attention that great.

But primarily we don’t do it for that.

Every order from a customer is a compliment. Just under half feedback to us after they complete their online transaction. Yet trading online, and in spite of social media, is still a remote relationship between buyer and seller - that's why 'distance selling regulations' are named as such. We never quite know whether we're doing everything as we could and should.

So awards, in the right format and with a credible organisation, gives Toyella that extra confidence to stay single-mindedly true to our retailing convictions and not to sway from a successful philosophy.

So to our customers and Smallish you could say:

A big thank you to those who didn’t vote and to the panel that did.

Carl Shaw
Toyella Head Honcho