Monday, November 19, 2012

Ecommerce goes Cuckooland in Dorset

A new Dorset business is putting down quirky roots amid the slightly unreal environment of Poundbury, just outside Dorchester.

The name,, is an insight into the not-quite-of-this-world flavour of a firm which purports to be run by Zebarella, an award-winning half-woman, half-striped horse who enjoys Champagne and seafood.

If that isn't curious enough, the company employ a young, and rather special, feline chief buyer, who features heavily in their social media presence.

If you look closely at the photos published on Facebook and elsewhere, you’ll also spot some real people. These may be the three business partners from whose imaginations Cuckooland has emerged, both the fantastical curiosity and the online retailer with an unwavering focus on the upmarket female customer.

Once upon a time...

The tale behind Cuckooland begins in South Africa, where Russell and Nathalie Davis ran a successful property firm. Deteriorating economic and social conditions led them to sell up and come to the UK in search of a new life and business.

After an abortive attempt to buy a firm in Kent, they decided, with another partner, to create an innovative new operation of their own.

They chose to build a brand, and a world, that would appeal to women with money to spend on themselves and their loved ones. A lot of time and cash were invested in researching the market and sourcing unique and aspirational products. wasn’t just going to be another online shop selling nice things. It was to be a “magical place of intriguing discovery” where women could indulge themselves, and their partners, with products that are far from average or boring.

The reality is now online

Following months of very hard work, went live a few weeks ago and is already proving to be a hit with the target audience.

News of this “female focused, luxury lifestyle emporium” is spreading fast, in part because the team are committed to making full use of social media as a marketing tool. They’re active on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+, where they’re attracting plenty of ‘Likes’ and fresh followers.

No doubt, somewhere behind the scenes, Zebarella is already researching other opportunities for her “very upmarket, very exclusive and very different” online adventure. She is, after all, responsible for promoting the finest non-mass-produced products from the Principality of Cuckooland into our world. According to her website profile.

Don’t be fooled by the whimsical presentation. Push through the magical mystique of and you’ll find it has a solid commercial heart, and the potential to be a huge Dorset success story.

Intrigued? Take a peek into the world of  

Read more Dorset start-up and success stories

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