Animaltopia by Compassion Collective started with a lot of motivation and a clear set of values. Their prints have captured the spirit of people who just love animals and the products have a lovely character and personality that really pops when they show up in search results. We caught up with Anna and Stu, co-founders of Animaltopia by Compassion Collective to get the story behind the brand and learn how they built such a unique and successful style.
Hi Stuart and Anna. What inspired you to create Animaltopia?
Our love of animals, and wanting to do something creative to raise awareness for our favourite animal welfare charities. We didn’t want to do obvious charity campaign type products, just cool tees of animals for people who want to share their love of animals without being too in your face.
A share of the proceeds go to our favourite animal welfare charities like Compassion in World Farming and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. For us, it’s a way to make a difference.
We absolutely love your designs. What was the biggest challenge starting out?
Thanks! We’re designers, so that part was easy, but getting your brand actually seen in the big wide world has been a challenge online.
Something we really like is the newsletter app and the personalised notes we can include with purchases. It creates a sense of community amongst our customers.
Animals inspire us (cheesy but true!) and the charities working so hard to improve their lives and to save animals from cruelty or even extinction keep us going.
How come you guys chose Teemill?
Definitely the eco-friendly and ethical ethos. The fact the website admin is really easy to use and to create products with, is also a massive bonus. The front-end website also looks really professional.
What advice would you give to people starting their own brand?
Create designs that you like and would be proud to wear yourself, and the chances are your customers will like them too.
Using a print-on-demand service like Teemill is the way forward. There’s hardly any upfront costs and you don’t risk having loads of stock left over you can’t sell.
People also love things that express who they are and what they believe in, so it’s important you also do the groundwork to really find out who your audience is, so you know who you are communicating with.
For us, the main thing we’ve learned is the need to do daily posts on social and keep sending newsletters at least once a fortnight, ideally once a week. Teemill takes all the hard work and cost out of starting the business, so you have loads of time to focus on marketing. That’s the real challenging area – but there are tools in Teemill we use a lot, like the photography.
What is the most enjoyable part of creating your animal designs?
Getting the initial ideas for designs is always really exciting, but then launching the final designs on your Teemill shop is really satisfying too.
We got our first sale as soon as we told our followers we’d launched our new website on Teemill, and it felt amazing!
Creating a clothing line using lower-impact materials and charity campaign tees is just a small gesture in a massively complicated world. But it feels so good knowing that people are spreading the love for animals by wearing our tees, and that we have done the right thing by making sure they have been made as sustainable and compassionately as possible.
If you want to build your own brand sign up at Teemill.com – it’s free.