Stepping off the corporate hamster wheel to find his passion, Holy Funk’s Adam Porat found it selling industrial-style furniture on eBay. From there he has spent the past two years building a thriving retail business and has expanded from an online-only presence to a warehouse and a showroom. Many of us are familiar with the slightly demoralising sense of injustice one feels being chided by the boss for being a few minutes late to work. Adam Porat, founder of Melbourne industrial furniture retailer is one of those rare people who did something about it. Adam had always been something of a bowerbird when it came to vintage wares. However, when he started developing a passion for industrial decor he took a punt that it could be an escape pod from the corporate life he wasn’t enjoying. “My housemate brought home a couple of industrial style furniture products for our house and I really liked it. I started looking for similar furniture online and noticed that it was really, really overpriced and that there weren’t too many people selling it,” says Adam. At the urging of his supportive and entrepreneurial father, Adam started poking around China’s trade fairs for furniture suppliers but had little success. Eventually he found a supplier in India and took the plunge. “It was a real gamble for me, I put literally all my life savings into one 24-foot container,” Adam reflects. The consignment started to fly off his eBay store and into living rooms, and within eight weeks most of the container was sold. He was onto something. Since then Adam has established a dedicated e-commerce site, opened a showroom in Melbourne, and started selling a mix of his own designs and those of his suppliers’ to get an edge over rivals. He says that designing his own furniture has been one the most enjoyable parts of running the business and vastly improved the sense of style he can offer customers. “I just let them know what I think will work and the longer and the more I’ve been in this sort of industry, the better I get at that,” he says. Adam wanted to provide his customers with an easy way to pay on his website,but didn’t want to be tethered to contracts and fees attached to conventional bank merchant facilities, so he chose PayPal. “I only had PayPal for a long time, primarily because it was really easy to set up. It also gave me the option to allow customers to use credit card if they didn’t have a PayPal account, so it really offered all the payment types that I needed to get started quickly,” he says. Adam also credits PayPal for helping to make the buying process quick for his customers “If the ordering process is too lengthy, you might lose the sale, so by having their contact details already on file with PayPal, it turns what would be a five-step process to a two or three-step process,” Adam explains. Adam recently ventured into selling in store too, cleverly turning his warehouse in South Melbourne into a retail store every weekend so that customers can visit and see the furniture before buying. Such is the interest his store is normally packed on a Saturday with customers looking for that unique piece for their home. To process payments in store, Adam found PayPal Here – a new Chip and PIN card reader from PayPal that links to the PayPal Here smartphone app. “It provided a really cost-effective alternative for me to be able to accept customers’ payments without having to pay monthly subscription fees and having an expensive terminal,” he explains. Adam also takes the card reader with him when visiting customers at home, and uses the PayPal Here app to quickly send invoices to customers when needed. Choosing PayPal Here for mobile payments wasn’t just about convenience. In an era where online fraud is an ever present threat, he says that having PayPal’s brand behind the card reader has been crucial. “You know when they see a PayPal logo on the credit card reader, even if they’ve never seen that before or had payment taken through a mobile phone, I think that puts people at ease”.
“It provided a really cost-effective way to accept payments.”
Adam Porat, Holy Funk
What’s PayPal Here?
With PayPal Here you can quickly and securely accept American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit and debit card payments on the go.
- A card reader connects via Bluetooth to the free PayPal Here app
- Compatible with iPhone, iPad and most Android devices
- No monthly fees or long term commitments