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Crafting a Unique Niche: Little Gili's Journey with Loyverse POS


Mia

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Nestled on the picturesque island of Gili Air in Indonesia, Marta Jes runs "Little Gili," a charming boutique catering exclusively to children's needs. Founded out of a personal necessity to provide quality toys and educational materials for visiting families, Marta's shop has quickly become a haven for both locals and tourists seeking thoughtful, eco-friendly products. Despite the challenges of operating in a remote and tourist-centric environment, Marta's strategic use of Loyverse POS from the outset has played a pivotal role in managing daily operations and fostering growth. In a candid interview, she shares her insights on starting and sustaining a unique business on this idyllic island paradise.

What is your business about?

I have a small offline shop. It is like a kid’s boutique. The shop is located on a small island of Indonesia called the Gili Air, which would take you an hour and a half to go around. This island is very touristic, and the visitors are particular. A second ago, I was looking on the web for Loyverse, and you have features to add and manage your customer base, but my clients are coming to the island for one to three days for holidays with kids. Probably, they will never come back here, or they will come in terms of years or something like that. A few families live on the island with kids, and I would say they are my loyal customers.

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What inspired you to start this kind of business?

I have two boys, six and eight years old, and this is the place where we usually come for a quick getaway. I am the mom who is always prepared, which means we have coloring books and crayons when we are waiting for the food. My kids don’t usually sit on the phone, so we need to be prepared. What if I don’t have the coloring book and staff? There is no place on the island where to buy such items. This island is considered a family-friendly place. If you have kids, you would come here and not to the other two islands next to Gili Air, one for yoga and the other for people who prefer parties and noisy activities. This got me thinking that if families are coming here, they don’t have a place where to buy toys, coloring books, puzzles, and other items that are needed for their children. There is a supermarket with nothing and everything in it. They offer only some plastic toys that will be destroyed within 5 minutes. I had never thought I would be a shop owner, but I felt that this was something that the island was missing. This was my first business, and I would need to open my wallet wide to have it. It is not like let’s spend 50 euros and try it to see if it will work or not. But, so far so good. 

When did you open your shop?

I have opened the shop on July 5th. It will be a year since it opened soon. 

Have you used Loyverse since the beginning, or did you start using it later?

I used Loyverse since the very beginning. Before I opened the shop, we had a small social project where my friend and I helped the local community produce coconut products, and sometimes, we were in the market trying to promote these products. That was the first time we came across Loyverse. We checked a very basic version of Loyverse then, only to register sales and print receipts. That was three or four years before opening my own shop. When I opened the shop, I didn’t do extensive research about the POS app. I know that in Indonesia, there are two popular POS used in Coffee and other businesses. But I decided to go ahead with Loyverse. I know that I don’t use Loyverse fully. I am paying only for employee management at the moment since I have an employee who needs to have her own access to the system. I know that I can have Advanced Inventory and use Integrations to connect Loyverse with other systems, but I might explore the other two add-ons later since I don’t need those extra features at the moment. 

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How was the onboarding process for you and your employees?

The girl working in the shop is 21 years old, so you know, you just show the app, and she is like, “Great, I got it,” but for me, it took a little bit longer :). Even though her English is not the best, she has no issues with the system. She knows everything, and it is excellent. Sometimes, when I visit the shop, I see how she is using the app and learn something new myself. It was easy to set up everything. I think after two months of using the app, while I was talking with my friend who is also using Loyverse for her business, we were discussing how to track the cash that goes in and out of the cash drawer, and she told me that I needed to activate the shift feature and the employee needs to count the starting cash and the cash at the end of the day and the system will help with the cash reconciliation. So, I was learning new things along the way and using more and more features. 

Are you the only one with access to the Back office, or have you given your employee access as well?

I am the only one who has access to the Back office. The employee has restricted access rights. 

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What has been the most helpful feature for you so far?

One of the most useful features has been the daily reports, which allow us to understand daily sales. I also appreciate the receipts report because it is essential to know which items have been sold. As I mentioned, my shop is really small, so I don’t have 50 units of a specific product, for example, since I simply don’t have the space for it. Today, I saw that my employee sold four units of a particular product, and I know that we had only eight units of it in stock. Every day, I can quickly check which items have been sold. I use the Dashboard app very frequently, and I appreciate that I can see the total number of receipts, total sales, and how many items were sold. Still, I would also like to see the individual receipts since, for me, it is interesting to see who bought what. I can see this information on the computer, but unfortunately, I cannot see it on the phone as well. 

What improvements would you like to see in the Loyverse system?

I noticed that once you create an item with variants, it is not possible to delete them and make the item a simple item again. Sometimes, I have items with variants, but when I notice that some of the variants are not selling well, I would like to remove them. This is an improvement that I would like to have. But overall, I am really happy with the system. 

Do you sell only offline, or do you also have an online shop? 

I have Instagram since if you don’t have Instagram today, you don’t exist. When I first opened the page, I was committed to posting every day, but this is not in my nature. Actually, I don’t feel it. I like to see and swipe rather than post. I was committed, but I noticed that my customers don’t care because most of our customers are walk-ins. I started to post every day for every new product; I even started to post reels, then I stopped for a week, and I noticed that it did not affect the sales at all. After this, I decided that I didn’t need to advertise via social media or other channels. I think this is also due to the fact that we are the only shop of this kind and there are no competitors. Sometimes, people from other islands contact me via Instagram to ask if I have a specific product in stock, and if we do, we ship it to them by boat. In Indonesia, we have a page called Tokopedio. I have an account there, but I rarely use it as well. 

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Do you plan to open more branches of your shop in the future?

I was thinking of making this store bigger and maybe expanding with some kids' activities, like workshops for kids, drawing, etc., since this is something that the island does not have. On the other hand, this would be more risky than selling diapers. We are talking about small humans, and I have two boys, and it is a real challenge. So, I have to really study the pros and cons before making the final decision. 

What is the philosophy that you try to follow in business?

I don’t know if it is a philosophy, but it is mostly related to the items that we are selling. We don’t have plastic products inside, and the island is also very eco-friendly. We tend to have wooden toys, puzzles, and books and avoid anything plastic. I think kids can and should play with very creative toys, and they don’t need phones or plastic toys that will harm them. All the products that we offer help to boost the children’s creativity. I don’t know if it is a philosophy, but I don’t sell anything in my shop that I wouldn’t let my children use. 

What message do you want to give other young entrepreneurs who might be planning to open a new business?

I am an Excel person. I would not go through anything without really thinking about it. I am not a business shark. This is the first time that I opened my wallet to open a business. I made some profit before making some small things, but it wasn’t this level of investment. What I know now is that it is not possible to make a profit in a business without opening the wallet a little bit. The more money you put in, the more money you will get. I know that from this small shop that I have, I will not build a villa with a pool, but is it something. My advice is to calculate everything and have a backup plan. It is a risk, but no risk, no fun. 

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GabrielaYP

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What a beautiful place! 🥰

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