Case Study: Startup brand Nocturnal Creature

Dave Moore found himself in the thick of London’s house and techno scene, and was inspired to start a brand. Whilst his idea was great, following through and making a success of it was tough. Then he found Teemill.

Nocturnal Creature is one of the leading underground labels in London’s techno scene. If you’re in a club on a night out, chances are the DJ, if not half the people at the bar and on the dance floor are wearing #NCLondon. Every one of those t-shirts was designed by Dave on his laptop, posted on Facebook on his phone on a night out, pictures shared the day after on Instagram and blogs written on the plane coming back from a mission to Ibiza. It’s his brand, they’re his customers, but you won’t see him working on all the logistics and admin.

We fulfill orders on demand, with your branding.

Dave is a 21st century entrepreneur and has plugged into our supply chain technology to increase profitability, save heaps of time and let him focus on making his brand epic – not wasting time running to the post office or hanging on to old stock. Whilst Dave runs a lightweight modern brand from his laptop, the competition are still trying to work out what to do with the tees they have behind the sofa from last season.

Teemill has allowed me to focus on building the brand – and it’s a massive success. Knowing that my orders will get shipped and my customers sorted is massive for me. I’m making money even when I’m asleep.

Dave doesn’t worry about customer service because Teemill sorts it for him. Equally, there’s no worries to find cash and print some t-shirts up, painstakingly photograph them and upload them to his website: Teemill does this all for free.

At the Teemill factory, his stuff is printed to his specification, one at a time, on demand and shipped to his customer in his packaging. He’s never charged for a t-shirt unless he’s bought one, and his share of the profit, he keeps. There’s no paperwork: All the billing and payments happen in the cloud, with cash going direct to his account.

People don’t know #NC is powered by Teemill. Or care.

One of the reasons why people often try and do it all themselves with clothing supply chains is pride – Afraid that their brand might not seem quite as good if it doesn’t have a branded bag or fancy neck label. We understand that and that’s why brands can customise their own paperwork, packaging and even design custom flyers and inserts to give the customer a rounded brand experience – as if it came direct from you. Every product comes with a plain size label – no branding. Everything including the ecommerce store is white-label and customisable.

Flexibility

In conversations with Dave, one of the most common subjects is about how many lessons have been learned since deciding to pursue NC. From having too many ideas and getting distracted, to learning about what’s working and what’s not, there’s a reminder at every mistake how Teemill was a great choice.

That t-shirt design that I tried, that didn’t work: With Teemill, I just deleted it and tried another one. It makes me feel sick thinking about what would’ve happened if I’d done it the hard way and invested money in that stock.

One of our real motivations is to prevent amazing dreams ending up as dead stock in an attic. This flexibility, coupled with our print on demand factory, means that Dave can still keep his day job working in finance in London. There’s so many hours saved with Teemill that the business is profitable, running and growing – without needing to invest any more time in it.

Profitability

The original plan was to fund the venture from cash reserves and maybe a small loan, and get a few thousand pounds of stock and a professional website. Instead, Dave got all that for zero, and kept the money for marketing. He was in the black from day one, and through clever use of photography, managed to make his brand look amazing for the cost of a couple of samples.

There’s no financial pressure at Nocturnal Creature. The business is in profit, and very profitable already – in it’s second year – with a valuable database of customers.

Scheduling

One of Dave’s top tips is scheduling. He writes his content on the train to work all in one go, and schedules the posts to drop at the best times for his customers.

As there’s no real limits to our ability in fulfilling orders, with 93% of NC items shipped the same day, the business is set up to scale up as large as Dave can grow it.

We’re super proud to have been able to help this amazing brand get established – it was exactly what Teemill was built for.

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