Multi-channel brand was established
Rapid Go Live
Everything is better with Brightpearl – Julian Tyrassek, COO, Stitch & Story
Once upon a time, knitting and crocheting were extremely popular pastimes – and it’s easy to see why. Apart from being a fun way to create beautiful clothes and homeware, both hobbies are well known to reduce stress, keep your mind active and even have a meditative effect.
However, over a number of years, the activities fell into the unenviable category of ‘something only your nan does’. The terminology was overwhelming, the patterns available were out-of-date and the yarns on offer were usually low quality.
Stitch and Story was launched in the UK in 2012 to change all that.
A pattern for success
Founders Jennifer Lam and Jen Hoang set out on a mission to make craft simple – and breathe new life back into traditional hobbies.
Starting out with a range of beginners knitting and crochet kits containing bamboo needles and hooks along with 100% merino wool and modern patterns, the business quickly took off.
It has since become a multi-channel brand that has successfully expanded into the US, selling primarily direct to consumer via its Shopify Plus-powered website and marketplaces including Amazon, but also B2B.
The Stitch & Story range has grown to include kits for kids, homeware and more advanced crafters and won collaborations with big-name brands including Hello Kitty, Miffy and Sophie La Girafe.
But while the ecommerce business was booming, the firm’s operational spine wasn’t keeping pace.
“There was no backend software in place and it was a bit of a mess, to be honest,” said Stitch and Story’s Chief Operations Officer, Julian Tyrassek.
“We had no connectivity across our tech stack. We had no API and we had zero visibility. Things had to change – fast.”
Unfortunately, before discovering Brightpearl, the business went to the hassle and expense of bringing in a single-solution ‘inventory management platform’ called Unleashed.
It did not go well.
Within just a few months, it was clear that Unleashed wasn’t the flexible, scalable platform Stitch and Story desperately needed. It didn’t connect well with Shopify Plus and it simply wasn’t up to the task of handling high order volumes.
Following a recommendation, the business decided to switch to Brightpearl in the hope the best-in-class, built-for-retail platform could ‘save the day’ and provide a solution suited to the new and rapidly changing software environment.
“It was essential for us to find an operations platform that could integrate with Shopify as quickly as possible and with minimum hassle – and Brightpearl delivered,” Julian added.
“We were live on the platform and fully integrated in just four months.”
Apart from it’s out-of-the-box connectivity to Shopify and its rapid deployment, the beauty of Brightpearl is that it can scale as businesses do.
Thanks to the platform, Stitch and Story has been able to enjoy 300% year-on-year growth and handle huge spikes in demand during the Coronavirus pandemic, as swathes of locked-down craft-newbies craved an activity to help distract them from the news cycle of doom and gloom.
“Before Brightpearl, we were frequently over-selling stock – something that’s increasingly disappointing for ecommerce customers who expect flawless service,” Julian said.
“Now, we have a real time accurate overview of our inventory which has eliminated errors, streamlined operations and enabled us to deliver a seamless customer experience.”
The Knitty Gritty
Brightpearl has joined the dots between the brand’s existing tech stack and its in-built automation engine has enabled Stitch and Story to automate key workflows to save time and minimise mistakes.
“The automation functionality on Brightpearl saves us hours every week,” Julian added.
“All order fulfilment is now automated and jobs that were previously done manually, such as counting stock, are now done automatically in a fraction of the time.”
After helping the Stitch and Story team stop worrying about back end operations and instead focus their time and energy on front end strategy, Brightpearl is set to play a crucial ongoing role in the brand’s future.
As Julian put it: “As we continue to grow and innovate, we need a platform that can grow and innovate, too.”
Brightpearl makes doing business easier. It has connected all the parts of our company and streamlined them into one single source of truth – Julian Tyrassek, COO, Stitch & Story