Meet the Aussie start-up putting their profits towards a positive purpose
When British-born Andonis Sakatis quit his 9-5 job three years ago and relocated to Australia, the go-getter took his move Down Under as an opportunity to create a business that not only pulled in a profit, but also made a positive difference at the same time.
Harnessing his background in the financial markets, Andonis launched Zenify, a business with one core mission: to support causes close to the hearts of countless Australians through the products they purchase.
Split into two brands – Zenify Earth (which sells eco-friendly products, such as reusable straws) and Zenify Pets (which sells everything from dog toys to leads) – they donate an ongoing portion of products produced to charitable causes aligned to the brands. One of the main beneficiaries of Zenify Pets are animal shelters, such as Sydney Dogs and Cats Home and Australian K9 Rescue in Victoria.
“We worked with the shelters to create an adoption pack with everything a new dog owner could need, in addition to donating 500 collapsible dog bowls for a fundraiser,” Andonis explains. “We have purposely steered our development towards these products, so we are able to donate a surplus on an increasingly regular basis. We would rather sell products to our customers that are also needed by the causes we support.”
To ensure his business model could work, Andonis knew that he needed a strong online partner. And after seeing firsthand the popularity of Amazon.co.uk, he decided that Amazon Australia would help give his business the boost it needed.
“I knew that partnering with Amazon Australia was going to enable us to do two things,” he says. “First, to reach a much wider audience than we ever could alone; second, to sell more products than we could ourselves. These two are essential to making as big an impact as possible in our social enterprise mission.”
Amazon’s suite of services support small businesses in their crucial everyday decision making. “Every seller can tap into their own unique invaluable performance data on Amazon, which tells them what they’re doing well and what they need to improve,” Andonis explains. “We then use Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing to number crunch all our information on a daily basis and help us to plan stock inventory precisely, spend our advertising budget wisely and forecast manufacturing from our sales patterns.”
Zenify’s success was also boosted by being part of Amazon’s Launchpad program, Amazon.com.au’s program to help Aussie startups and entrepreneurs bring innovative products to shoppers. “Since we launched three years ago, our business has grown rapidly,” says Andonis, proudly. “We threw ourselves in at the deep end with Zenify. And we’re living proof to others that this model can work. We hope we’re an example to help inspire other startups of the success that Amazon can help bring to small businesses.”
Amazon.com.au is putting small Australian businesses front and centre through their ‘Shop Local’ store in the run up to the massive shopping event, Prime Day and beyond. Head to www.Amazon.com.au/shoplocal to shop products from hundreds of Australian small businesses.