Two teenagers who made $70,000 in a month selling craft and hobby products at the height of Australia’s lockdown are setting their sights on Melbourne as the state re-enters Stage Three restrictions.
Aspiring entrepreneurs Lachlan Delchau-Jones, 18, and Taylor Reilly, 19, from Brisbane, made more money in April to May this year than they had in the rest of their lives combined, by selling brain teaser craft and hobby products to bored Aussies around the country.
The two boys are now rushing to capitalise on Melbourne’s lockdown while also providing its residents with some nice distractions from their current boredom.
It comes as Victoria recorded its largest number of coronavirus cases yet, with 273 new infections overnight.
“It was a month-long project, a COVID-19 experiment,” Mr Reilly told news.com.au, referring to the successful online store that he ran with his mate from their bedrooms on different sides of Brisbane. “We ran it for 28 days. Then we slowed it down when we started to come out of lockdown.” Though they might be young, this dynamic duo are not ones to pass up an opportunity. “We’re thinking of looking at Melbourne now that there’s a second wave,” Mr Reilly confirmed to news.com.au.
“We’re really going to start pushing it in Melbourne.” And Mr Reilly’s ambitions don’t end there. “We have a big thing for wanting to venture internationally,” he said. “With the riots going on, COVID-19 is going to come back, and that brings opportunity.” Not just your average teenagers. Lachlan Delchau-Jones (left) and Taylor Reilly (right) earned more than $70,000 at the height of Australia’s lockdown.Source:Supplied Mr Reilly studies IT and Business, and decided to take a year off for 2020. His business partner, Delchau-Jones, moved out of home when he was still in high school to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. They met online because of their shared interests, and soon became fast friends. Then the pandemic hit. Taylor Reilly is already a successful entrepreneur at age 19.Source:Supplied The boys’ idea was conceived as they were cooped up in their Brisbane homes, bored and lonely during lockdown. They knew that the lockdown was presenting a literal once-in-a-century business opportunity but needed to decide on the right product. Although face masks and hand sanitiser presented a lucrative opportunity, they wanted to be ethical business operators.
After watching a segment on TV about purchases of brainteaser products skyrocketing, they had a light bulb moment.
“We sat down trying to finish our website in a few hours,” Mr Reilly said. For most people, it would take about a week to set up a website, according to Mr Reilly, but he was able to complete a rough site in a matter of hours because of his IT knowledge. Meanwhile, business partner Delchau-Jones was sourcing the product. The newly-graduated 18-year-old found a supplier in China and then forked out some starter cash for a Facebook advertisement campaign.
“What we did was called drop-shipping,” Mr Reilly explained. “That’s the main difference with our business. “Most businesses have a warehouse in Australia – usually have to pay tens of thousands to store their products. “Instead, we ship the product to customers directly.” The two teenagers worked into the night, and their website went live at 2am, April 10.
Essentially, the boys planned to buy the product off their supplier, then mark up the price and sell it on. “It literally costs no money – buy the product, and someone buys it from you,” Mr Reilly said. “People don’t realise how easy it is to set something like this up.” Lachlan Delchau-Jones has been dabbling in entrepreneur projects since he was 14
Knowing timing was vital as Australians would be seeking ways to stave off boredom over the impending Easter long weekend, the teens worked well into the night. Their business website officially went live on April 10. They weren’t expecting too many sales, but figured anything was better than nothing. “We went into it thinking ‘let’s try and make a couple of hundred dollars this weekend,“ Mr Delchau-Jones said.
What happened next far exceeded the boys’ expectations. “The first day we were in business we made $600 bucks,” Mr Delchau-Jones revealed. Just four days later, they’d made $16,000. Within days of starting their business, the two boys were overwhelmed by customer demand from bored Aussies.Source:Supplied They only needed to spend 10 per cent of that on Facebook advertising. When they ended their “experiment” a month later, on May 10, they had made a staggering $70,326.93. Overall, they made $70,326.93 in a month. Although Mr Delchau-Jones went and rented a flashy apartment, life hasn’t changed much for Mr Reilly.