Little Extra Lifestyle (L.E.L) is an Australian women’s fashion retailer that opened as a bricks-and-mortar store in Forbes Australia, in 2005. The owner, Leigh Bartholomaeus, acquired the business in 2012 and has since built the brand into an international fashion retailer.
Ms. Bartholomaeus’ grew up on the land in regional New South Wales, Australia. With a passion for fashion from an early age, Ms. Bartholomaeus snapped at the chance to fulfill a dream when the original founder of L.E.L put it up for sale in 2012. However, with only 15,000 people in the Forbes addressable market, Ms. Bartholomaeus knew that expansion would be difficult.
So, in 2017, Ms. Bartholomaeus kicked off L.E.L’s e-commerce store. It was initially intended to allow the brand’s existing customer base to shop online. But, with the ability to reach an Australia-wide customer base, the e-commerce offering quickly outgrew the offline store’s sales. Fast forward to 2021, and the e-commerce store has allowed the brand to get through challenging times as Australia faced droughts, floods and now COVID19.
Ms. Bartholomaeus says that “with the ability to sell beyond our regional town, we unlocked an entirely new customer base and needed to change and diversify our product offering”.
Learning quickly, Ms. Bartholomaeus decided to expand the online services and offer a range of sustainable labels which are ethically produced and delivered. The L.E.L team also provided customers with excellent and personalised customer service which was the key to online (and offline) success and allowed the business to grow beyond its regional boundaries.
Today, L.E.L’s entire staff share a passion to make women feel happy within themselves, and the company strives to uphold this whether it’s in-store or online, always wanting customers to leave L.E.L feeling comfortable and confident. With this the brand now delivers women’s fashion all over Australia and New Zealand with plans to expand the business globally.
Ms. Bartholomaeus is described by peers as innovative, ethical and hard-working. L.E.L’s story is truly inspiring about the transformation of a quiet country town’s bricks-and-mortar retailer into an international e-commerce fashion retailer.
For more information about L.E.L’s products visit them at LittleExtrasLifestyle.com.au