Cadenshae is an emerging New Zealand based maternity active wear company, specialising in activewear that is suitable for breastfeeding mothers. The colourful and aesthetic range has gained an active following of new mums seeking to keep up the pace with a baby by their side. Director Nikki Croft explains how the brand grew in a little over a year – starting as a personal experience to now exporting to international markets.
We started the company from scratch almost 18 months ago with a small order of nursing sports bras. We are now importing thousands of products each year and are distributing to a number of countries.
I understand that Cadenshae was born from your own personal experience – can you tell us about that?
Both my partner and I were personal trainers, and after the birth of our first daughter I found it near impossible to easily maintain our active life while breastfeeding our daughter. I thought I couldn’t be the only mum having this problem, so set out to find a way to change that.
The result was to create a line of clothing that could enable nursing mums to be active. We wanted a colourful range that helped mums to maintain their sense of style, all while giving them comfortable functional clothing that was easy to breastfeed in.
Where do you manufacture your goods?
We design all the patterns and fabrics ourselves here in New Zealand. We get our products manufactured in China.
Has social media assisted in your business growth?
Social media has allowed our company to grow much faster than we could ever have anticipated. It’s given us such a global reach and helped our brand to reach the mums who need our products the most.
Australia is by far our most popular market. We currently have over 60 stockists in Australia and also a large percentage of our fans and followers are based there. We are also slowly branching out to the UK, USA and Canada.
Having customers in so many different markets must present a number of logistical challenges. How has DHL helped you to tailor your delivery solutions to get the best results?
DHL has been amazing in creating a process that suits both us and our customers – not just an out of the box solution that didn’t meet our needs. Our account manager at DHL has been absolutely amazing and has always been on hand to ensure we were getting everything we needed. From supplies, to helping with software integrations and obviously all the way through to ensuring the smooth delivery of our goods to our customers.
Our customers are very happy as they receive their orders in record timing and that is something that’s really important to us.
As a maternity wear e-tailer, customer returns are expected to occur. How have you developed your logistics strategy to cope?
We are just at the stage where we need to start looking at how we deal with exchanges and so on. Our returns and exchange percentage is fairly low, but as we grow we understand we will need a strategy in place to make it an even better buying experience for our customers. I have no doubt that when this time comes, DHL will help us come up with a strategy that works for us.
Did you need to adapt your packaging to be ‘delivery friendly’?
Not so much. We found the DHL satchels really easy to use and they fit our products perfectly in regards to the size and weight of each order. The satchels protect the items well during transit. The labelling and consignment pouch are both fast and efficient for us to use as well; there’s no extra pouches or paperwork to attach. The boxes we use are also great and simple to use.
Sending our goodies off in DHL branded supplies gives us peace of mind knowing that our goods are going to be looked after and arrive on time.
On your website you promote free shipping to Australia and New Zealand for orders above $150 – how did you settle on this amount?
We just feel it reflects our products and what most of our customers want, in regards to each order they place. By giving free shipping for orders over this amount we felt we could best serve a larger portion of our customers and keep everyone happy in the process.
Finally, what role has DHL played in helping Cadenshae achieve success?
By enabling us to offer express shipping to Australia we have in return seen an increase in repeat customers. There is nothing worse than ordering something online and it taking two weeks to arrive. By using DHL we have managed to cut our delivery time by almost 70-80% which is huge.
Our wholesale buyers are much happier and our retail customers are too. That’s the biggest thing we have noticed and that is the most important thing to us – customer satisfaction. DHL have also helped us with larger exports to UK and Malaysia and it has been an easy process to implement.
Joining DHL has probably been one of the best things we have done since starting the business and I imagine they will continue to help us grow and achieve success on a larger scale in time to come.
For more information about Cadenshae, visit www.cadenshae.co.nz