Natalie Marie Jewellery is making its mark with PayPal and Xero
Natalie Marie Jewellery is a bespoke jewellery company with 3 sides: custom engagement and wedding rings, an online store and wholesale selling. Launching the business from her home in 2012, Natalie worked full-time for the first 5 years while her fledgling business consumed her evenings and weekends.
“You have to put in the hard yards – it doesn’t happen overnight,” Natalie says. “And it’s only been in the past 18 months that we’ve had a proper team onboard as well as our own small studio and boutique. This was probably the biggest step as before that everything was done online and from my home.”
The bespoke element of the business means that cashflow has never been a major issue for the small team behind Natalie Marie Jewellery.
“The good thing about our business model is that everything is made to order. We get an order in and then we create the product rather than making all these diamond rings and having them sit in a cabinet and hoping one day that one is right for someone. We make it the right fit and, in doing so, we’re not buying the stones before selling them.”
Having used PayPal as a customer, it was an obvious choice for Natalie when she was considering support tools for her online store.
“I had a Big Cartel online store in the beginning and PayPal was the option they suggested to receive payments and for credit card processing. Initially, it was the ease of use and offering customers a really easy way to check out with the assurance of security.”
The jewellery created by Natalie and her small team – her husband, 2 friends from university, plus an admin manager – command large transactions due to the bespoke nature of the business and the time involved. The transaction amounts mean some banks might flag payments going through internationally which can delay proceedings, but this isn’t an issue with PayPal.
“PayPal also means saving on bank fees and with around 90% of our international customers using it because they know it’s secure and seamless, it’s really helped us expand our online international base.”
Natalie applauds the seamless way that PayPal works with Xero across the various devices her team uses.
“We predominantly use Xero for invoicing and payroll on our desktop computers, but we have the app on our tablets and smartphones too. The smartphone app is especially good as you can use it for expense and cash claims simply by taking a photo and uploading it to Xero. It was a complete revelation! All our systems run through iCloud and our online system integrates with the tablet, so customers see our POS there and it all links back to shipping, Xero and PayPal.”
The other benefit of the PayPal and Xero partnership is the ease of reconciliation when payments come through. Having the app automatically match payments to clients makes it super easy, says Natalie, who has been using Xero for about 4 years. She says it’s a simple way to track orders from start to finish.
“The integration of PayPal and Xero has enabled us to have awareness of our cashflow and means we’re able to focus on the things that are important to the business, such as designing beautiful jewellery and moving orders forward.”
After Australia, Canada is Natalie’s second largest audience, followed by the US and then parts of Europe. But the growth doesn’t stop there. The team has sent wholesale sales agents to Tokyo, New York and Paris. Natalie also runs Natalie Marie Jewellery pop-up stores around Australia, which she’s keen to expand.
“We went to New York last year, which was really successful, plus we’ve done Melbourne and a couple of other cities. It’s really wonderful to offer potential clients that tactile experience, seeing the product in person and really getting to understand that and the start of the process from that point.”