Give us the elevator pitch. Tell us about your brand.
Lick, the UK’s fastest-growing home decor startup, is revolutionising the interiors sector with a unique community-driven ethos, content-rich approach and high-touch quality support.
The brand champions an expertly curated range of sustainable paint, wallpaper and decorating supplies, working with influential artists and designers including Yinka Ilori, Jessica Russel Flint and Kelly Hoppen to inspire a new community of decorators – from first-timers to grand designers.
What inspired you to set up your company
My co-founder Sam and I worked at the Australian online services marketplace Airtasker before setting up Lick. Through the decorators on the platform, we were exposed to the home decor category which, at the time, had just 4% online adoption. We started to learn how frustrating the user journey was for purchasing paint and other decorating products: decorators felt unsupported in colour selection and lacked the confidence to make a decision due to a complex product offering and disjointed user experience. We believed we could solve this by bringing the industry online, by inspiring and educating our customers with content from the community, and by offering a high-touch service with the support of our colour specialists.
What was your biggest challenge in year one?
We launched on the day of lockdown in March 2020. Whilst at the time there was a huge amount of uncertainty, there was a notable increase in demand as people found themselves at home, looking to decorate. This demand, however, created challenges as our supply chain was not built to scale as quickly as we needed it to. We had to rebuild this supply chain in our first year, which was extremely challenging during lockdown. We had to innovate in an industry that had not serviced the online consumer at scale. We needed a value chain that could match our growth, could be launched into new markets, could support the changes in demand driven by seasonality – all while delivering best-in-class user experience. This was all at a time when we were in lockdown and working remotely as a team. We had to reduce our investment into growth in order to rebuild, whilst showcasing to our investors that we were still growing as a business. Whilst challenging, it has been a great success. We have returned to growth and have built an industry-first modular supply chain that can support us as we scale with strong unit economics and a market-leading great customer offering.
What would you say has been your biggest marketing success?
We have grown our decorating community across different social platforms to over 300,000 since launching. It has been fantastic to see how our community has created a people-powered decorating movement. The content our community creates inspires others to decorate, and it is this unique flywheel which makes us really excited to shape up the home decor industry.
What has been the biggest mistake you made?
Whilst we could not have foreseen COVID and its impact on our business, my big mistake was not to have built the supply chain to scale as fast as we needed it to from the beginning. We could have reduced the impact by working with larger partners, but this would have been difficult to achieve at launch.
Tell us about your plans for the future
Our focus is on internationalisation. We’re on a mission to build Lick to be the largest global decorating brand, so we will be launching into new markets in 2022. We are excited to grow the community globally and to showcase these different interior styles.