A hop in the right direction for Mizzie The Kangaroo

Customers are still out there, the biggest change is how they are shopping or finding you, so you need to be found in a different way."

Founder and Managing Director of Mizzie The Kangaroo, Sandra Ebbott successfully boosted her business's digital presence in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

As well as driving the brand’s overseas expansion, she launched her flagship store, with a little help from Council's Suburban Shopfront Activation Program.

Tell us about your business

We design and manufacture fun educational toys. ‘Mizzie’, the quintessential Australian kangaroo character, was born following the birth of my first child. We launched the business in 2016 after more than two years of development.

Under Council's Suburban Shopfront Activation program, we have opened a brand-new pop-up shop at 160 Racecourse Rd, Ascot Village. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our brand in a flagship store environment.

What has been the biggest challenge in running your business during coronavirus?

Our biggest challenge was the fact that our business model was 80% wholesale, 20% online. When retailers closed due to coronavirus restrictions, so did our wholesale business. We worked very hard to focus our efforts digitally, and we are very proud to have been able to flip the business now to 30% wholesale and 70% online.

Have you increased your business’ digital presence?

As well as moving to predominantly online, we reworked our digital strategy and customer journey, we took on board brand ambassadors across six different countries, we tailored some beautiful video ads on our social channels to increase brand awareness and conversions, and we increased our digital spend.

What skills do you think will be vital for businesses to navigate the ‘new normal’?

We need to stay focused on what our customers want, and we need to be able to react quickly to the changes. While online is now a huge part of our business and will continue to be, I do look forward to working more closely together with our lovely retailers again.

How do you stay up to date with business information?

I am constantly researching, talking, networking, and learning. I attend a lot of events (now mostly virtually), and I regularly communicate with the business community and ask questions.

Mizzie The Kangaroo

Visit the website

Learn more about Mizzie The Kangaroo

You can also view this video on Council's YouTube channel.

Video transcript

I’m Sandra Ebbott, I’m the founder and managing director of Mizzie the Kangaroo.

So, we are home of Australia’s original natural teething toy and educational toys. We design and manufacture fun educational toys for babies between the ages of zero and three years old.

The pandemic has definitely put on a lot of challenges for our business, our business model up until now has been 80 percent wholesale, 20 percent online. With retailers closing overnight back in March, so did our wholesale business.

So, pretty much overnight we had to refocus our business and managed to actually flip our business to completely now being 70 percent online and 30 percent wholesale. We're looking a lot better now and we're feeling really positive.

I was very very lucky that Brisbane City Council contacted us and offered us a pop-up shop. As a brand we’ve never really thought of that before because we sell to retailers, so there are shops, but this was actually an opportunity to create a bit of a flagship store environment as the brand.

We typically showcase our products at trade fairs, so to be able to actually showcase it to the public and to people that are walking past, in the community, people I know, it's actually been a huge opportunity.

Last updated: 27 August 2020