Poppy Lissiman says partnership with Airwallex “absolutely essential”
Learn how partnering with Airwallex has helped this cutting-edge accessories brand go global.
Six figure savings annually
Big savings in foreign transactions
Dedicated account manangement
Local support to helping the business succeed
Truly borderless in every way
Embarked on a journey of endless opportunities with Borderless Cards
Poppy Lissiman designs are high-quality, eye-catching, and always aim to be left of centre, made using exclusively faux leather materials which are cruelty-free with no animal parts.
Freemantle, Western Australia
Originally started in 2008 as a ready-to-wear brand selling from a brick and mortar store in Western Australia’s Claremont fashion strip; it’s safe to say that Poppy Lissiman (both the brand and the brand’s founder) are now a worldwide sensation.
Poppy first started designing and manufacturing clothing while studying fashion design, before pivoting from apparel to accessories and launching her first eCommerce store in 2014.
Now, Poppy’s eponymous brand is famous for its high-quality, eye-catching and cruelty-free accessories that are all made using faux leather materials, and fabrics made from post-consumer plastics.
As a truly global brand loved by the fashion-forward the world over, we chatted with Skip Lissiman (Executive Chairman of Poppy Lissiman and Poppy’s father) about how partnering with Airwallex has helped this family business soar to new heights.
Overcoming challenges with smarter marketing and cost-cutting
Like many online brands, Australian accessories label Poppy Lissiman was seeing a drop in discretionary spend within its core demographic during the macro-economic downturn. To protect margins and the brand, the team focused on brand collaborations, customer engagement, cutting foreign exchange costs, and a strategic approach to sales.
Brand collaborations. The brand collaborated with several artists and designers to help expand beyond its core demographic of 30-somethings. For example, the recent collaboration with iconic British designer Dame Zandra Rhodes exposed the brand to a greater range of ages.
Customer engagement. Poppy Lissiman uses Klaviyo to re-target its already-large audience. The business also releases new designs every two weeks as part of its strategy to keep customers engaged with the brand and coming back to see what is ‘new’.
Saving six figures in foreign exchange costs. As an international accessories brand, the business sells in AUD, USD, and GBP, and trades in several other currencies across its operations. Since adopting Airwallex, the business has saved six figures in currency conversions and several hours on weekly bookkeeping thanks to a direct connection with Xero.
“Traditional banks tend to have high fees for foreign exchange, along with a less user-friendly online portal. Airwallex offers a low exchange rate and links directly into Xero, making it flexible and easy to use – and it’s become absolutely essential in keeping our costs down”.
Minimal sales events. When it comes to sales, less is more at Poppy Lissiman. The business limits sales to once or twice a year, offers discounts at strategic touchpoints such as email sign-ups, and is in the process of launching a separate archive store to sell one off samples, older lines and damaged stock.
Using Airwallex’s Global Accounts and Virtual Cards to manage multi-currency expenses
With Airwallex Global Accounts, Poppy Lissiman can receive funds from customers in their preferred currencies and then store those currencies to be spent later, avoiding costly foreign exchange and transaction fees.
“We have Airwallex Global Accounts in Australian Dollars, Japanese Yen, US Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, Euros and Great British Pounds,” says Skip.
“We also use these accounts to pay our subscriptions that are based in other countries. For example, our Google Ads spend in the US comes out of our US Global Account, meaning we skip that exchange rate and transaction fee once again.”
“When it comes to travel expenses, Poppy travels all over the world marketing the brand currently lives in Japan, so besides her Airwallex Global Account set up for her in Japanese Yen, she uses her Airwallex Borderless Card to pay for business expenses in various currencies around the world without cross border fees with each transaction.”
Airwallex’s Borderless Cards can be created in minutes and issued globally, meaning it’s easy for employees to make the purchases they need to make, wherever they are in the world.
“Whether our staff are doing a photoshoot in Bali or a photoshoot in Europe, they can link their Airwallex Borderless Card to Apple Pay on their phone and make the transactions they need to cover our business expenses,” explains Skip.
“The transactions are recorded in the Airwallex portal which minimises all the paperwork and accounting, saving us a huge amount of time. You can switch between currencies and, as long as you’ve got the card, you can spend directly from that currency account, so there’s no foreign transaction fees involved.”
Partnering with Airwallex
Skip says that having a dedicated account manager at Airwallex is “absolutely essential” for Poppy Lissiman, as the Airwallex team is always on-hand to offer advice and work through any issues.
“When we were using other Airwallex’s competitors, we often didn't have a dedicated account manager, even though the money they were making off our transactions was significant. The frustration in dealing with issues and not having someone you can talk with to problem solve can be very annoying,” explains Skip.
“We see working with Airwallex as a partnership - it’s not just one way. It helps to be able to solve issues quickly, even though we don’t have many, and we also have an awareness of what we can look forward to with the platform.”
“For a global fashion label using Airwallex is a great way to keep your costs down as low as you can while also being able to utilise their great systems. We want to continue working with Airwallex to keep figuring out how we can do business better.”
See how our customers are finding Airwallex
“Airwallex is our one-stop shop for all our banking needs, in one easy-to-use interface. Without Airwallex, we would not have been able to scale our business as fast as what we’ve been able to achieve.”
Andrew Ford and Rosa-Clare Willis
“Airwallex has been a game changer for us. I cannot recommend these guys enough. The forex services are super efficient and super competitive. The customer service is not gold-plated, it's solid gold. One of the best eCommerce services for merchants we have come across since Paypal hit the scene 20 years ago."
CEO, Cosmetics Now
“The new Expense Management system has been a real time saver for us in relation to the administration of our benefits program. Team members can upload receipts as they shop and we are able to clear our reconciliations much faster this way.”
Payroll & Benefits, Linktree
“Airwallex provides us with flexibility and cost savings in dealing internationally. We used Airwallex to receive our recent global fundraising round and pay international suppliers and are saving at least 5% per dollar transferred versus the big banks.”
George van Dyck
Finance Manager, Zoomo
“Having all our global SaaS subscriptions in one place has streamlined our finance processes and enabled better tracking and control of expenses. It’s even better knowing that Airwallex isn’t hitting us with any international transaction fees.”
Chief Operating Officer, Dovetail
“Airwallex has made it really easy to pay our suppliers in any currency. We have not only saved $10,000 each month, but our suppliers now get their payments faster and in-full. We receive a notification once it’s dispatched, and it eliminates the worry factor of where our money is at. This is important for us to keep building a strong relationship with our suppliers.”
Director, Hawkeye Vintage