UK-based craft and design marketplace, Design Bundles, has experienced significant growth since its launch in July 2016. Co-founders Andy Croft and Alex France have successfully expanded the self-funded business without a centralized office or external investment.

As of June 2021, the digital marketplace boasts over a million products, nearly three million customers, and a combined Facebook community of over 90 thousand customers and independent designers. And those totals are only set to increase.

The co-founders attribute continued growth to adopting an international approach early on, fostering a company-wide dedication to impeccable customer service, and listening to their independent designers.

“I am from a customer service background, and so it has been extremely important to me from the very beginning to put ourselves in our customer's shoes and always give incredible customer support to everyone, no matter where they are in the world. By listening to our customers, we have really driven forward our ethos of putting our customers first by implementing changes and improvements they have requested at a moment's notice, regardless of time zones.”

  • Andy Croft, the co-founder of Design Bundles

How Design Bundles Expanded Without a Centralized Office

The team working application Slack was integral to starting and scaling the business without any central office. Slack continues to help co-founders, Alex and Andy, communicate and manage the company wherever they are in the world.

Having a diverse range of independent designers from across the globe has further assisted growth by ensuring that an impressive range of products is readily available for consumers. Thus, the marketplace appeals to people across demographics with various hobbies, interests, and creative needs, regardless of where they are located.

The marketplace also allows independent designers to generate a passive income, providing them with the incentive to regularly upload new and varied high-quality digital design resources. Keeley, an independent designer on Design Bundles, expanded upon selling on the marketplace:

"I wish I knew how amazing having a passive income was and how much more time I would have with my kids."

Equally, serving an international consumer base of crafters, designers, and creatives has encouraged growth for Design Bundles. Having a digital commerce platform also helps with international expansion because there are fewer purchasing barriers for global consumers. Meaning anyone can download the design resources anytime, from anywhere with a wi-fi collection.

A Commitment to Customer Service With a Community Led Approach

The company has also fueled global growth with its commitment to outstanding customer service: whether helping internal stakeholders such as independent designers or new and existing consumers. At present, their live chat support system typically replies within minutes to solve customer issues or queries promptly and effectively, regardless of different timezones or locations.

As a community-led business, Design Bundles has a forum available on the website and a customer group on Facebook with nearly 90 thousand members from across the globe.

Meanwhile, company co-founder, Andy Croft, takes a hands-on approach to the Facebook support group for over two thousand independent designers and believes in an open-door policy approach to Slack to further support business growth.

"I am involved in our Customer and Designer Facebook Groups daily, making sure I read and reply to comments. When customers and designers see the company's founder responding personally to Facebook comments, they know Design Bundles cares about them! Without our customers, we simply wouldn't exist; I like to ensure that isn't forgotten."

  • Andy Croft, the co-founder of Design Bundles

Investing Growth Into Positive Global Impact

Aside from reinvesting profits from growth directly into the business, the founders have set their eyes on expanding their corporate social responsibility efforts. As part of their CSR strategy, they have focused on creating a better future for people and the planet.

"Alex and I are passionate about climate and making a difference,” said Andy Croft, Design Bundles co-founder. “We're trying to make Design Bundles a sustainable business by offsetting our carbon and supporting carbon-reducing initiatives," he continued.

As of May 1st, 2021, they became a CarbonNeutral® company and are the first in their industry to achieve accreditation. Design Bundles also supports Darkwoods Forest Conservation in Canada, which helps offset over 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Aside from sustainability, the UK-based company has started a new internal ‘charity roulette’ initiative to encourage positive social impact across different global communities. The team-centered approach means that every month the company donates to a charity or cause, based on the core business values and a team member’s recommendation.

Thus far, ‘charity roulette’ has enabled Design Bundles to support Mind, Parkinson's UK, the Northern Colorado Down Syndrome Association, and the CFC ANCOP Global Foundation, to name a few.