Updated: May 10, 2022
If you’ve ever had a Topargee related sales enquiry or needed support with a product, you’ll have come into contact with James, our sales guru and resident photographer. In this interview he shares a little bit more about himself and the behind the scenes of the business.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what the Topargee journey has been like so far?
In my free time I'm a photographer bouncing from commercial jobs to personal portraits. My passion is astro time lapse photography that I pursue either on holidays or on my mini trips to dark areas with no light pollution.
Most of my working life I have been in an IT/Customer Service type role, which made the transition to Topargee a natural progression. The training I received when we bought Topargee is what really launched me into supporting our customer’s needs and understanding the technical aspects of our products. We purchased the business just as COVID hit so it’s been an interesting and fun learning curve. This presented a number of challenges including manufacturing issues, logistics, a high demand for our product, storage and a few other things but we have managed to overcome each and every one of these.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since taking on Topargee?
I think the biggest learning curve when we took over the business was sending out the daily orders, there was a lot of double handling of data. To minimize the amount of typing from one system (Topargee website) to another system (Australia Post or couriers) I had to really get to understand our reporting capabilities and the tools offered by our suppliers to help streamline the data in our supply chain. Now we have a seamless and efficient process which makes life a lot easier from a time management perspective.
What is the best thing about working with Topargee co-owners, Kylie & Danielle?
Kylie and Danielle involve me in all of the Topargee processes and strategy. This helps me to make decisions related to supply and demand of our existing products and most excitingly, research opportunities to expand our offering. This has included the addition of the water flow meters and our adventure range to the website. The adventure range in particular is very personal to me. I recognised that there was a lack of affordable portable camping and hiking products available on the market so I worked hard to find durable items that filled that gap. Fun fact, if you packed our entire adventure range for your trip it would weigh less than 4kg!
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs just starting out?
Research your products down to a user level, understand your market and industry and try not to get distracted by shiny pretty things. In researching for our new range, I would sometimes get excited about products that weren't necessarily a must-have in everyone’s backpack. For example, I bought a reflector snaplock bracelet that I attach to my tripod to stop people from walking into it. I love it but it’s probably not what most of our customers need, so I realised it wasn’t the right fit to sell through Topargee.
What is your dream holiday destination?
Patagonia, Mountains of Monte Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. The locations are so remote and I know I would be able to take some incredible photos of the spectacular scenery.
What is your favourite product in the store right now?
The Flush Mount Water Gauge is my favourite. It’s such a great product, customers absolutely love it and it’s the backbone of our business.
What is your top water saving tip?
In the shower, wet down the body, turn water off, soap up, turn water on to rinse. Try not to linger in the delicious warm water after a day of strenuous activities.
What’s next on the horizon for Topargee?
We’ve just added a really exciting new product, the EverShower, to our range. It allows travellers to have a hot shower whenever and wherever they want, recycling the water or running it continuously. We can’t wait to see the reaction from our customers.
Do you have any more questions for our team? We’d love to hear from you! You can contact us via the online form or email us at email@example.com.