MYOB Team helps grow a very family business

Mother-daughter duo Lisa and Isabella explain how streamlining employee management with accounting software made growing designer maternity brand OiOi easier.

Learnings from two accessory aficionados:

  • Products can evolve – rather than develop entirely new products, consider updating old favourites to suit changing tastes. 

  • Find skill gaps and fill them – introducing people with complementary skills into your business helps you stay relevant in changing markets.

  • Don’t try doing everything at once – business can be overwhelming, so break big projects into manageable pieces.

Lisa Bennetts designed handbags for a luxury brand when she gave birth to daughter Isabella in 1997. At the time it made sense to use one of her branded bags as a baby bag – but the result wasn’t quite what she expected. 

“I had a lovely bag, and I completely trashed it,” she says, laughing.  

Lisa then designed a satchel bag to make taking care of six-month-old Isabella simpler. 

Impressed with how well her custom bag worked, Lisa launched OiOi to fill what she realised was a gaping hole in the market. 

“I believed in my product – I knew what it was that I was selling,” Lisa says. 

And she was right, too. After trusting her instincts and ordering 500 bags, Lisa strolled into a maternity store and sold her first six. Later that year, David Jones gladly took the rest off her hands. Word spread like wildfire and international distribution followed.

Managing this kind of growth solo isn’t always easy, though, and Lisa notes MYOB presented an ideal solution to her just in the nick of time, which she’s since relied upon to simplify her business accounting needs for 20 years.

Woman wearing a dress standing with her back to the camera, wearing a khaki OiOi backpack.
"I was managing the business on an Excel sheet. I went straight into MYOB … being able to invoice and keep a track of my inventory cut out a lot of time and hassle."
Lisa Bennetts Founder and Co-owner | OiOi

    

Isabella working at OiOi

How Isabella went from inspiration to collaborator

As OiOi became bigger and Isabella grew into a toddler, Lisa realised her product line needed a radical shakeup.

“I needed something hands-free, so I designed a quilted backpack,” Lisa says. “Then as my needs progressed, I’d change the design.” 

And as time went on, even more has changed. Isabella, who marked the beginning of OiOi, joined her mum in early 2020 to contribute to its future. 

"When I was little, I saw mum as a fashion designer. But since working alongside her I see her as a businesswoman."
Isabella Bennetts-Roberts Co-owner | OiOi

Lisa couldn’t be prouder. 

“My most rewarding moment so far is having Isabella join the business and breathe new passion into the brand.”

And just like Mum, Isabella found a knack for finding gaps in the market. Soon after coming on board, she noticed customers in love with the nappy bags wanted even more from the brand. 

“Mum and I have absolutely loved designing the range expansion together. 

“We started doing pram liners in prints that complemented the bags, then the change mats and stroller organisers in the same prints. 

“It just snowballed from there.”

An OiOi pram liner and backpack.
OiOi backpacks in different colours hung on a wall in a row.

Finding more time to design with MYOB

MYOB has been one of tools that’s helped the pair find more time for designing, and even as someone fresh to MYOB, Isabella has found a lot to love.

“I'm obsessed with the MYOB dashboard,” she says. “It gives me a really quick snapshot at the start of the day, so I have a bit of direction. I know what I need to get through and which debtors to chase up.”

Lisa is also impressed by how the software has evolved over the years.

"It flows through from Shopify, straight through to MYOB, which is fantastic. It cuts out a lot of time because we were manually entering everything in."
Lisa Bennetts Founder and Co-owner | OiOi

“The Online Invoice Payments (OIP) tool with MYOB has really streamlined how we invoice our retailers,” Isabella says. “Once we pack their order, we flick them an invoice and they've got several payment options.

“And it's really great for them to also usually see what outstanding invoices they have.”

 

Managing business admin on the go

Lisa and Isabella are also huge fans of the portability offered through MYOB’s app functionality.

“I love that the app is on my phone,” Lisa says. “If I'm out and about and I've got a receipt, I take a snapshot and then bang – it's already locked in.”

Isabella credits MYOB Team for helping OiOi manage their evolving team in recent times.

“We've had a lot of wonderful casuals come on board to help us send out our orders,” she says. 

"It's really great because they can easily download the MYOB Team app, log their hours, then we just do the payroll."
Isabella Bennetts-Roberts Co-owner | OiOi
Close-up of Lisa typing on a keyboard at a desk and Isabella sitting beside her using her phone.

Realise your strengths and cover your bases

Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say. And acknowledging your strengths is one of Lisa and Isabella’s key recommendations for business owners. 

“Think about what your strengths are and play to them,” Isabella says. “If you're great at marketing, invest in that, or if you're a design whiz, follow that. 

Finding good people to help fill the gaps will provide a “wealth of knowledge” and “extraordinary experience” to your operation.

And, as OiOi can attest, there’s no reason why you can’t run a successful business as a family. 

Free up time for your business with online accounting software

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