A Couple of Aussies in the USA
It's Ronnie here from The German Christmas Shop.
Recently, we have received some feedback from potential customers regarding our 'Australian-ness'. The main complaint they have is that we claim to be Australian but our products currently ship from the USA (which means we must be American). With this in mind, today I wanted to take a quick moment to tell a little bit more about our story.
For our existing customers, this tale is a bit of old news but if you are new to our site, this article will hopefully give some context as to who we are and why we are still a good old Aussie business.
Once upon a time in Sydney
Back in 2014, Kristie and I started The German Christmas Shop from our home in Sydney. It was like any other small start-up business at first. We knew authentic, German-made Christmas decorations were special but were not sure about whether customers in Australia would think so too.
So we brought a small range in and hit the streets. That first Christmas we set up the online store but also attended pretty much every market imaginable around Sydney. I also remember candles melting at a market in Camden where temps reached 43 degrees and a blustery Christmas market in the Southern Highlands where I had to hold on to our weighted tent, just to make sure we did not blow away!
Rents for a shop in Sydney were just too high and so we made a conscious decision to keep our main store online only. Over the years, we also found the right markets that were a good fit for our products. Some of the big markets like 'Finders Keepers' and 'The Big Design Market' in Sydney would never allow us to attend (They thought we were just cheap importers) but we found a home at wonderful places like the Carriageworks Market in Sydney and at The German International School's annual 'Christmas Market in Winter' fundraiser. They were wonderful experiences that we looked forward to every year.
So... why America then?
Earlier this year, an opportunity came up to move to America. As you can all appreciate, one does not just quit their day job one day to sell Christmas decorations. Both Kristie and I have professional careers and early in 2019, Kristie was presented with an opportunity for a promotion to the USA office of her company.
Kristie is amazing at what she does and so it was a no-brainer. I left my 'day job' and moved with her to take this role in the USA. With the German Christmas Shop now very successful in Australia, we decided now was a good time to see if we could also sell to American customers.
But, couldn't you ship to Australian Customers from Australia?
Ahhh, the joys of being a small business! When looking at the move, w had a couple of options.
1 - We could find a solution where our amazing decorations are stored and shipped from an Australian Warehouse
2 - We could find a solution where our amazing decorations are stored and shipped from the USA.
In the end, we decided on the second option and the reasons were very simple. Firstly, if we ship the stock from the USA, we have more control over quality. We can check each item before it ships and can ensure the personalised shopping experience enjoyed by our customers is maintained.
And believe it or not, the cost of storing and shipping from an Australian warehouse actually worked out to be more expensive than shipping directly from the USA. Talk about the Australia Tax.
'Your not Australian!'
It's funny you know, I don't consider ourselves to be overly patriotic or anything but I am an Aussie, have been all my life, and that is not going to change. A poor unsuspecting person sent a private message to us through Facebook, telling us that she was not happy with the 'deception' we were perpetuating as we were not Australian.
Suddenly, I found myself being one of those horrible FB people that go on a bit of a rant. I mentioned generations of our family being born in Australia, our Aussie passports and over 15 thousand Facebook friends, built up over six years of history in Sydney, Australia. Of course, I immediately apologised and wished them all the very best. After all, if a stranger comes to our page and cannot see our story clearly enough, well that's on us. We need to be clearer.
The German Christmas Shop is still an Australian business. We have an ABN and collect GST. Every sale we make is reported to the Australian Tax office and as far as both the USA and Australia are concerned, we are an Australian operation.
Those who have known us over the years will know that we are authentic and honest. The last thing we would ever want is for one of our customers to feel like we are being 'disingenuous' or 'fake' in any way because in reality, we are just a couple of Christmas nuts that are working to spread a little Christmas cheer through our small business.
We are always happy to hear from you
If you ever have any questions about who we are or what we do, please feel free to send us an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much for reading about some of our story. Hope you have a great week!