From cake mold family fun, to online opportunity. The Moldyfun founder discusses his exciting and growing business.
Moldyfun is an online business that was founded as a hobby and is now growing into a full-scale seller of novelty items, with sales across the globe.
We had a couple of minutes over a coffee and cake to ask Moldyfun founder Tom Pannet a few questions about his work.
Why did you start Moldyfun?
I started MoldyFun as I loved the idea of silicone molds being a great way to be creative with your kids. The simple detail in the molds are great, and although their main use is baking, there’s all sorts of things you can do with them.
How long have you been doing this for?
I started Moldyfun in 2016, so this will be my 4th year. It was very small scale to begin with, but is now ramping up as interest grows.
Who are you aiming it at?
It’s basically products for kids, big kids and bakers. I want people to come to us to find something fun they can do. with their friends or their family.
What have been the biggest challenges to date?
I feel the biggest, but most enjoyable challenge, was creating the new jammy dodger mold from scratch, through to selling it. This included securing the license, finding and agreeing production with an overseas factory, and getting it shipped to our warehouses ready for sale.
It’s great to offer people an amazing new product they can’t get through another route.
What has been the best bit? Biggest success?
The best bit was selling the Star Wars “Set of 6 Collection”. Star Wars is massively popular and will remain so forever.
It meant a lot to find that after 3 months of starting I was getting sales from across the world. It just shows what you can do with a laptop and some energy!
What are the best products you sell?
In terms of products, I would say our Star Wars set of 6 molds and Giant Custard Cream cake mold are the most popular products at the moment. We do add other products where we see the demand. For example, the Donald Trump toilet brush was a big seller during 2018/19.
Although our focus is molds, we have extended our product range so we can offer other novelty products alongside the baking ones. For example, Funko Pops have proved a hugely popular range, and we now have Plush toys, clothing and a range of kitchenware to underpin what we do.
Any key learning or messages for others going down this route?
I would say be very careful about what products to sell, and primarily validate your ideas through selling… If you can sell your product day in day out then you’re onto a winner.
Also don’t be afraid to fail but fail small and keep going. You may not become a big business overnight but you can have a lot of fun trying!
Where do you want it to go?
I would love to expand the business more into USA over the next year.
I’m also keen that now the business is generating a steady turnover, 2020 becomes the year we relaunch and grow.
We have started small, and recognize we have to work hard on things like improving our online image, website and making it easy for customers to do business with us. We have a good presence on online retailers like Amazon, but we need to do more.
Over the coming months this will be our focus – so keep an eye out!
Do you have any hobbies or does this take all your time?
I have many other interests – including cycling and running. Obviously spending time with the family is up there too! I started this business as a hobby to do things with my kids, and I want to keep that in mind as it grows.
Moldyfun – online seller of all things fun!
So there we have it. Thanks Tom for the insight.
You can follow Moldyfun on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
We’ll also be tracking the trials and tribulations of growing an online business, to help people thinking of midlife career changes understand what can be done to keep them sane in middle-age.