Feel good, bank some Karma (what is that again?), meet like-minded entrepreneurs AND make loads of small business friends with the Ampjar platform.
From humble beginnings, Ampjar has grown its community to over 900 members, fostering a feeling of doing good by one another through supporting and lifting each other up across socials, emails and post-checkout pages via online stores. Ampjar, at its essence, is a business all about building a community that harnesses the power of word of mouth marketing. Their message resonated with us because, at Finders Keepers, we are champions of small business and wholeheartedly believe we are – stronger together. We are pretty damn chuffed to be partnering with Ampjar to support our community to be stronger, grow and amp-lify (don’t mind the pun) their opportunities to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.
We had the pleasure of a personal chinwag with founder Peter Davis on where the idea came from and the meaning of community in small business. We also chatted with three Finders Keepers community members who lean into the Ampjar philosophy and use the platform to grow their business, not only for small business support but to find a whole heap of joy in meeting new, like-minded people.
Pete, in your words, what is Ampjar?
Ampjar is a place where like-minded businesses find and share each other, knowing that whatever they do for someone else, they’ll get the same value back in return.
“… Let’s chat about the amazing Ampjar team. CEO Pete is incredible. He just ‘gets it’ in terms of the small-biz mentality. He’s super relatable and leads a great team that is always able to help and advocate for small brands each time. Not many companies have a team and leader like Ampjar.”– Holly, TopKnot Girl
How did the idea for Ampjar come to fruition?
With lots of love and help from businesses who were all looking for ways to grow. We actually went the Silicon Valley route, raised some money and built the team from there. The idea originally came from seeing how much my wife loved it when her fledgling business was shared by other business owners. So often, some brilliant people would help her out without asking for anything in return, and then Maria would do the same for others. We wanted to make this happen more often, let the sharers get rewarded for what they do and take at least some of the attention away from paying for ads.
What is your background in business?
I ran a social media marketing business where we built the social media presences for big brands like Tony Bianco, Le Tan, Australis, Brita and many more. We had 20 in the team, and we were all about content and driving sales through social media. We were at the right place at the right time when Facebook first blew up and then Instagram launched, and no one knew what they were doing, including us!
“It’s a community that really celebrates small business and a community that is happy to support each other and grow together.”– Karen, NeNe & Bop
Pete, what does community mean to you?
I think true community in a marketing sense is a lot rarer than people realise. Anyone can just throw the word out there, but until you have people around you who really care, like actually care about you and your mission, then it’s nothing. This is why I love the small business space. Community is real, and a lot of what smaller businesses do is completely impossible for big brands. It’s the true advantage and why I think small businesses with the right technology behind them will win.
Karma is a Hindu word, what was the meaning/intention for you using this in a business?
We think of karma in the sense of every action having a reaction, that whatever you give is what you get back in return. We wanted this to be true for the businesses that lift others up.
What does “good” business mean to you?
I think it’s about taking an approach to business that has a longer term view. You can sell a bad product for a high price and you will probably make more money in week one, month one, year one. But when you think about doing good by your customers and your suppliers and everyone around you, this comes back. For me, it’s about businesses taking the opportunity to go the extra mile when the opportunity presents itself. It doesn’t mean throwing away money or always being the giver, but it means taking small positive steps every day that will make a difference to the other person now (and then make a difference to you in the long run).
Tell us a little bit about your #strongertogether – how was this derived?
We’ve always looked at Amazon and how strong they are in the US, and kind of dreaded them getting the same strong footing in Australia, and looked at Kmart and squirmed at how their new approach to homewares and toys and everything else is really cutting in on the incredible products that are being designed by the small business owners across Australia. They will keep getting stronger and we believe that the only way that small businesses can win is by thinking and working together. This could be as drawn out as thinking about how businesses represent themselves legally and with logistics and even lobbying that works so well for big business. For now though, I see this as an opportunity to think about supportiveness and sharing information and demanding technology that helps them compete.
If we look at the ‘Great Resignation’ that’s currently gaining momentum in the States, there’s a growing percentage of people re-evaluating their lives and questioning what’s truly important to them – what they do for a living, how they spend their time, where they spend their money and what they feel good about supporting. And that’s leading to a ‘Great Resurgence’ in support for small business – not just by consumers, but amongst small businesses themselves. More and more consumers are becoming dissatisfied with the big players and are consciously seeking to invest in the artists, makers and creators in their own local communities who sell products or provide services that are made with thought and care.
We see that online support daily from our members throwing their weight behind each other, because small business owners get one other. They know only too well the myriad of steps that go on behind the scenes to run a business – the weekend commitments as a market stall holder, navigating the set-up of an online store and shipping orders, the responsibilities that come with opening a bricks and mortar shop and, in so many cases trying to juggle family time too. There’s an understanding between small businesses that by being another’s cheer squad, they’re also helping themselves. It’s collaborating together to celebrate each others ‘wins’ and becoming stronger together, rather than the old mindset of needing to compete against each other.
“Ampjar has a lively, active community that is constantly growing with new, interesting brands always joining up. And it is just so easy to use!”– Jess, Cookie Doh Co
Where do you see Ampjar in 5 years?
We want to be the first choice for marketing, known to be more effective than paid advertising. Our aim is to be the number one source of traffic so that businesses across Australia and globally know that if you have something to share that you want to draw attention to, the community of brands that you meet and help and work with are there for you.
Real Ampjar Customers from the FK community
MEET: Karen from NeNe & Bop
NeNe & Bop creates wearable art that’s accessible to all with thoughtfully designed clothing and accessories that put the fun in functional.
I have been part of the Ampjar experience for a couple of years and have really enjoyed the community spirit and finding new brands to follow. It is always great to be featured in new brands stories and being able to reach new followers. It’s a community that really celebrates small business and a community that is happy to support each other and grow together.
MEET: Holly from TopKnot Girl
TopKnot Girl is a handmade accessories brand that sells a range of practical and stylish headbands, scrunchies and masks!
I started using Ampjar in September 2020, so I’ve been using the platform for 14 months. Wow, time has flown! I’ve loved working with Ampjar on a few campaigns. I have a ‘small biz’ account too (@topknotgirlmarketplace) which hosts events like online markets and gift guides. Ampjar teamed up with me and we offered a live webinar to my tribe. It was great. We also ran a ‘shout-out-a-thon’ together. I enjoyed finding new brands.
MEET: Jess from Cookie Doh Co
Cookie Doh Co is a family-owned business selling tubs of edible cookie dough. “..we’re serious – don’t bake, just eat.”
We have been using Ampjar since it was still called Postie! I guess that means we have been with them since the start back in 2019. We love Ampjar due to the ease of reaching other audiences via a trusted voice. The curated community that has developed allows small businesses to support each other and share like-minded brands that align with their audience. The use of shout-outs (promoting other businesses) lets you share the brands you like, and think will resonate with your followers creating an alliance between your audiences and brands. We love finding new and fun businesses, with the best part being when new people discover us through the Ampjar community and can share in our love of cookie dough!
Be a part of the #strongertogether revolution
Share and be shared by incredible brands whose customers will love you.
Join Ampjar Now