We’re delighted to feature in the May edition of Isle of Man Portfolio magazine. Here’s the link – the article is on page 30 – or read on below!
Quirky.im – Supporting Manx Businesses
A new online shopping platform launched in February, celebrating and supporting Manx businesses. Quirky.im is a marketplace platform, where sellers set up and manage their own shops, loading their products and fulfilling their own orders. It’s an Etsy style platform dedicated to Manx businesses with a very ‘Manx’ feel, using photographs by local photographer Mike Radcliffe, Manx words for the selection buttons and each page having a ‘quirky’ Manx fact. And of course the name ‘Quirky’ is quintessentially Manx too. Let’s be honest, isn’t everyone with the surname Quirk called Quirky by their friends?
Already over 40 businesses have set up shop on Quirky across a wide range of sectors, from health and beauty and art and collectibles through to jewellery, food and yes, even beer, with Bushy’s selling their famous brew via the website with free delivery island wide. You can buy coffee from Noa, hand soap from Little Tree Soaps and even buy books by local authors such as Graham Hamer. His latest novel is ‘The Zone’ about a virus which has taken hold on the Isle of Man…
Creator of the website, Jane Hall, said “The coronavirus is causing major disruption, but we asked sellers what they wanted to do and some of them who work from home were still able to deliver, popping smaller items in the post box while out taking their daily exercise. We felt it was important to help support these businesses by providing them with a way to continue trading, albeit on a smaller scale. The impact the virus has had on self employed people has been particularly severe, so sales during the lockdown have been very welcome.”
Whilst not everyone is in a position to be able to deliver during the lockdown many people do have some time on their hands, so it’s a perfect time to get set up ready for when things get back to normal. Jane has been using the lockdown period to onboard new sellers. Her ‘hands-on’ approach means that she supports everyone who lists on the website, answering questions and helping with technical queries. The more challenging technical problems are solved by website guru Owen Cutajar, Jane’s business partner in the venture. Together, with Jane’s sales and marketing bent and Owen’s technical skills, they provide a solid team to take Quirky.im from the local marketplace to an international audience.
Despite the visitor market being disrupted for this year, Jane remains optimistic about the future. “People love the Isle of Man, and visitors will return. These things pass in time and by the time things get back to normal we will be in an even better position to serve both them and the community, with more sellers and even more choice. I would urge people to support our local businesses by buying goods from Manx businesses as often as possible. Shopping on Quirky.im guarantees that you are supporting team Isle of Man”.