Alexandra and Aaron Weller were told they were “crazy” for investing $50,000 of their savings in a carpet company, but now they’re making millions.
The married couple from Sydney, both 37, launched Miss Amara from the comfort of their home in 2014 before the wave of e-commerce skyrocketed.
The ‘hero’ product that has caught the attention of the masses is a stress-resistant rug, meaning parents and pet owners can breathe easy knowing that accidents can be cleared up quickly.
In the past fiscal year alone, the company generated worldwide sales of $22.9 million.
After rapid growth Down Under in the first few years, the brand launched in Hong Kong in 2017, followed by New Zealand in 2019 and the US in 2020. The couple now live in Hong Kong with their baby.
Despite their booming success, they didn’t initially know if the business model would work.
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Married couple Aaron and Alexandra Weller (pictured) launched their carpet company Miss Amara in 2014 after failing to find the ‘perfect’ rug for their home
The ‘hero’ product that has caught the attention of the masses is a stress-resistant rug that repels liquid – meaning parents and pet owners can breathe easy knowing that accidents can be cleaned up quickly
Speaking to FEMAIL, the couple started the business after having trouble finding the “perfect” rug for their own home.
At the time, Aaron was consulting at an SEO agency and saw a huge search volume around the term ‘carpets’ – and with this knowledge about consumer behavior, they decided to take action.
“We both thought there must be something – the current solution (at the time) was clearly broken,” the pair said.
The idea behind the brand was to try to ‘address some of the reasons why so many people gave up’ when trying to find a suitable rug – along with the idea that rug shops always seem to have ‘never-ending sales’.
“We wanted to turn this on its head,” the founders said.
What you need to know before starting a business:
Be original – offer customers something unique and an experience they will remember, don’t try to imitate other companies
Resolving problems – don’t get caught up in what’s currently trending or popular. If you offer an exceptional solution, it is more likely to succeed
Be careful who you listen to – in the beginning we went to networking events to tell people how we sell carpets online, and people looked at us like we had the plague. We would have questions like ‘can you make a living doing that’. The one thing that confirmed us was that other people had no idea of the opportunities or the size of the market.
Work with people who have the same values as you – this is all
Hire the right people and treat them right – hire people you like, a lot. People who fit your company culture and believe in your brand and company. We often have positions open for 6 months because we know that hiring the wrong person can be catastrophic for your business and will only cause more pain in the long run.
In the past fiscal year, the company turned in $22.9 million, but in its first five years, the couple “didn’t take a salary” and didn’t think the model would work. Honestly, the risk paid off
But they feared that the company would not succeed.
‘To be honest, no – we didn’t know if it would work, it seemed like we wanted to tackle all the problems of the carpet market from all sides. We had so many ideals and it was ambitious,” said the founders.
“For five years we didn’t take a salary and used our savings to live on. Fortunately for us, things turned around at this point.’
At first, the couple says they started the company with a “lean strategy” to get profitable as quickly as possible.
They also didn’t have their own inventory and used the unconventional business method of dropshipping from local Australian distributors to build volume and discover what our customers loved.
‘Once we had a significant volume, we started to develop our own range directly with our manufacturers.’
Undoubtedly, what sets the brand apart from other carpet stores is its range of stain-resistant, washable, hypoallergenic rugs
Undoubtedly, what sets the brand apart from other carpet stores is its range of stain-resistant, washable, hypoallergenic carpets.
For example, the Tumblelux rugs are easy to move, fold and store and are designed with a built-in underlay to prevent slipping or tripping.
Stains, liquids and puddles won’t be absorbed – as long as you get there quick enough to wipe it off with a paper towel, otherwise the rug can be machine washed or hand washed.
“Before pregnancy, we were committed to making washable products for pretty obvious practical reasons — but it wasn’t until after I got pregnant and became a mother that I realized that the rug’s experience, feel, and texture was actually something that the missed the market,” Alexandra said.
“I wanted my kids to have a soft, nice landing for their little feet to play on. So we paused development until I could deliver just that and I couldn’t be more proud of the final product – known for its wonderfully thick pile.”
The Miss Amara rugs are designed by an in-house creative team, with abstract concepts and patterns inspired by distant destinations around the world and a timeless design style.
Styles include Scandinavian, Tribal, Contemporary, Traditional and Mid-Century with hundreds to choose from.
When asked how their business differs from others, the two agreed on one essential aspect.
“It may seem trite to say: we really listen to our customers,” the duo said.
We have whole ranges around the lifestyles and habits of our customers. All design decisions, right down to the characteristics of the fibers we choose, are based on what our customers tell us they need and stylistically the decor styles they covet.”
They also describe the carpets as ‘top class’ made with ‘luxury handmade wool’.