While working for a very large accounting firm in 1999
Daniel and Deane decided to create a hobby business.
We called our new business Rainbow Store, and on
18 January 2000 our business was registered.
Daniel tried to design the web pages himself but the
concept became daunting and he decided in favour
of a commercially available software program.
We then began ordering products from overseas as
nothing was available in Australia especially in the
quantities we required. It was a very time consuming
process hunting down the manufacturers and suppliers.
We continued to build our web site adding product
pictures and descriptions and then we went live.
We waited for an order, and waited and
more waiting until we received our first order.
Surprisingly the customer who was placing the order
lived in the US and was ordering products that we
had only just received from the US a week earlier.
We were shipping US products back to the US.
This was bizaar.
(This first customer is still a regular customer today
and orders from us at least 5 times a year, every
year and has been doing so for over 15 years).
Five days later we received the next order and
then each week we received another order.
We coped with this volume but then we began
receiving an order every day, then 15 orders a day
and of course now there are numerous orders
received every single day from all over the world.
We were on our way from what started out as a hobby
business to becomming a fully operational online
retail and wholesale business serving the worldwide
Gay and Lesbian community.
More hard work was ahead of us as we designed our
letterhead, business cards and product labels.
Then came the big task of packing the
products into bags and applying the labels.
Now we got bold and knowing nothing about
manufacturing we embarked on designing and
getting exclusive products manufactured for us.
A big task designing, getting molds made and
supervising the manufacture from beginning to end.
We struggled on and bought an accounting system
to help manage our inventory and sales. This
automated many manual tasks and gave us
some time to devote to other procedures.
Then we decided to attend the 2000 Sydney Gay
and Lesbian Fair Day. We had help from Deane's mum
and sister in law and we made a profit on the day
after paying stall and staff wages. It was a good day
and we learned a lot. We now attend over 25 Fair
Days in Australia and overseas each year and
have been doing this now for over 15 years and
that equates to a Fair Day every 2 weeks.
Storage "oh my goodness" what a job but we now
have storage facilities for all our containers. With over
1500 different products available and with quantities
ranging from 10 to 3000 pieces for each product.
This is why we have such a large storage facility.
Everything has been itemised and thankfully we
have an excellent inventory control system in place.
We both worked long hours and went without
many of the relaxing things in life that possibly
you may take for granted. We had no time to sit
in a coffee shop or to go to a bar for a few drinks.
We have no regrets and we have everything well
organised now and are ready at short notice to attend
the many opportunities to show our Gay Pride products.
Rainbow Store has grown to over 15 website domains
and we have also moved into other outlets. This was
difficult to operate at first but we now have a steady
reliable base of retail, wholesale, drop-ship and
affiliate customers both in Australia and overseas.
Our future direction is with Rainbow Store and
being able to supply our customers with quality
genuine six colour Gay Pride rainbow merchandise.
And we plan to continue to do this for at
least the next 20 years and beyond.
Rainbow Store is here to stay ... with a passion.