Meet Jacinta Taylor, a Melburnian with a penchant for pizza and a passion for eco-conscious living. In addition to her love for online shopping and Netflix crime thrillers, Jacinta is the proud owner of The Laminated Cotton Shop, a business that has evolved over the last decade.
Crafting a Sustainable Dream
The Laminated Cotton Shop, nestled in the heart of Melbourne, operates from Jacinta's home studio. It specialises in crafting high-quality, reusable homewares using laminated cotton fabrics. Among its top-selling products are eco-friendly shower caps. Jacinta caters to a diverse clientele both online and through in-person handmade events. What started as a hobby has now become her full-time endeavour, supported by a dedicated team member.
The Drive for Change
Jacinta's journey began with a simple desire to reduce disposable plastic waste. During a trip to the United States in 2012, she discovered laminated cotton—a waterproof, washable, and reusable fabric. Inspired by this eco-friendly material, Jacinta embarked on a mission to introduce it to Australians. She started by creating highchair mats, initially selling them at Flemington Market. Over time, her product range expanded to include placemats, shower caps, reusable snack bags, toothbrush holders, tablecloths, and more, all crafted from laminated cotton.
Jacinta's primary challenge was convincing people that she wasn't just selling another plastic product.
“A lot of Australians still haven't used or seen laminated cotton before as it's a specialty fabric so it was a lot of time and effort explaining what it is and why it will last so well as a reusable alternative to disposable stuff. In the end word of mouth was one of the biggest things that has helped me.”
She dedicated considerable effort to educate potential customers about its benefits as a durable, reusable alternative to disposable items. Word of mouth became a powerful ally in conveying the message.
Support Through Melbourne Innovation Centre’s Digital Solutions Program.
As the founder, owner, and creator, Jacinta handled many aspects of the business herself. She sought guidance on how to present herself and her brand more effectively to customers.
“When I saw the Digital Solutions Program I knew it was going to be a good fit. I'm at the stage where my products need branding tweaks and help telling my story better so I can better communicate just how useful our products are.”
Jacinta grappled with the challenge of conveying a consistent brand message. The Laminated Cotton Shop had grown organically, resulting in a somewhat scattered messaging approach. She recognised the need to streamline her brand's presentation for a more polished and unified image.
Melbourne Innovation Centre proved instrumental in Jacinta's journey. The program provided a platform to refine her messaging and understand the nuances of effective communication. Collaborating with Jo, her mentor and a digital marketing expert, resulted in numerous "aha" moments. Through the program, Jacinta gained a deeper insight into product branding and digital marketing strategies.
“Every session was an opportunity to chat about what I'd worked on, upcoming digital priorities and setting goals for the next session. Not only did I improve my business online through the program, I feel like I have a roadmap and tool set to go on with.”
Measurable Outcomes from working with Melbourne Innovation Centre
The program enabled Jacinta to make crucial adjustments to her digital presence and online platforms. Thanks to the Melbourne Innovation Centre, Jacinta has achieved some significant improvements across her branding and online growth, including:
- Increased cart values online after redesigning flow and layout of the website of her home page.
- Improved engagement on social media from working on posting consistently with a content plan which had a flow on effect of more clicks to her website.
- Increased conversions after working on in person event display and product presentation.
To fellow businesses considering the Digital Solutions Program and the support provided by Melbourne Innovation Centre, Jacinta offers a simple but compelling piece of advice: "Do it, it will open doors to knowledge that can transform your business. Access to industry experts provides fresh perspectives.” Jacinta shares.
The Digital Solutions Program is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by Melbourne Innovation Centre across Victoria. Join today to unleash the full potential of your small business in the digital realm.