Biz-Life is a series where we highlight local businesses, big or small, giving insight into how they operate and succeed in our economy. By interviewing those behind it all, we gain understanding of pros, cons and what it takes to have a successful business. The bonus is Shelflife get to highlight businesses that we believe in.
We got the chance to ask Kevin from Mini-Me some questions about his work, and he is even giving away a R300 voucher plus shipping to one lucky reader. Full details after the interview.
For those who don’t know already, what exactly does Mini-Me do?
We use advanced technologies to safely clone you for the sole purpose of being in 2 places at once! That's a lie, but we do offer you the opportunity to easily create some awesome and unique, personalised LEGO minifigure versions of yourself (or whoever), complete with custom display options including text options, perfect for any and all occasions from birthdays to wedding gifts and beyond!
What was the inspiration/idea for your business? Was it a need that you already saw in the world, or was it something you knew the world just didn’t know they needed yet?
Both! I really wanted to target the corporate gifting space and people can always use another option for something unique and personalised. Who doesn't love LEGO anyway..
What was the hardest part about starting your venture?
As cliché as it sounds, it would have to be funds. Starting a business as well as having the usual monthly bills, catches up to you VERY fast without investors.
Which are the most popular pieces with your customers? Any that are normally sold out?
Cellphones, laptops, the more basic type shirts and alot of specific hair pieces. Oh and jeans for sure! #1 seller.
What have been some of your career highlights so far?
Probably the 1700 branded figures including custom stands for the 2017 SACSC event and working on figures for our local TEDx event 3 years in a row.
What are the biggest hurdles/setbacks you have to deal with?
Marketing on little to no budget, and since we source our stock from 100's of different places all over the world in order to provide the inventory that we do, we have to make use of the South African Postal Service. Not ideal having stock take 2 months to arrive and having funds caught up in stock that is not able to be sold.
Do you mainly sell your figurines locally or do you have an overseas client base too?
Mainly local ZA but we do ship internationally also.
Any exciting plans for the future we should keep an eye out for?
The smart answer would be yes, so yes!
Any advice to others wanting to start something of their own?
Don't worry about being where/what you want it to be straight away. Just start, things take time. Progression takes time, just dive in. 2 years ago Mini-Me was so much different, the principle was the same but the growth in execution and delivery is something we are very proud of. Basically don't worry about starting your web design business and not having 25 clients in the 1st Month. Be happy with 1, 3, 5, as long as you work hard, stay consistent and see growth, who knows where you will be in 1 year.
Check out the Mini-Me Website
Mini-Me x Shelflife Competition
Follow @Mini-Me and @ShelflifeStore
Post the image of facial expressions (below) to your Instagram, stating which face best describes you when you finally buy that pair you want. Most creative caption wins!
Remember to use #ShelflifeMiniMe and @Mini_me and @ShelflifeStore to enter!
We will pick a winner on the 25th of January to win a R300 voucher plus free shipping!