Tambo's Teddies are a Regional Hero
TAMBO Teddies' new owners have been in the shop just one year, and they're already kicking goals online and offshore.
Founded out of the desperation of the early 90s wool price crash by a bunch of women who had the brilliant idea of turning leftover wool into teddies for tourists, they've never done so well.
In the last twelve months the venerable company has used its online presence to double sales, and to more than double the number of staff. A teddy was even given to the duke and duchess of Cambridge by the state government when their daughter Princess Charlotte was born.
Co-owner Alison Shaw said Google and the Regional Australia Institute had picked Teddies as their Regional Online Hero because of their online strategy of building sales throughout Australia and offshore, and converting them into tourists for the region.
They were picked from a field of 170 applicants by a panel including the Deputy Prime Minister.
"It was pretty amazing, I though we'd be way too small," she said.
"I looked at the other competitors in the shortlist of ten and thought 'gee, how would we win against these guys?'
"One of the finalists was Four Ingredients [a cookbook company based in Caloundra]."
The Teddies were flown to Google's Sydney HQ for a money-can't-buy growth masterclass on Monday, November 2, where they learnt new tools and methods to grow their businesses even further.
The finalists were selected by a jury consisting of Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, digital entrepreneur and Birdsnest founder Jane Cay, RAI CEO Jack Archer and Head of Small Business at Google Australia John Ball.
Finalists were recognised for their outstanding use of the internet to grow their business, reach new customers and give back to the community.
"We're the inaugural winners," Alison said.
"It's for what we've done for the digital space really.
"We've taken the business that had no online presence and turned it around and improved sales using the digital space.
"We're not just waiting for people to come through our door. So that anyone can buy anywhere online."