Meet Michell – we’re on a first name basis – owner and brainchild of the local Hey Casey! phenomenon. She’s a wife and mom and oh yeah, runs one of the coolest businesses around at the moment.
What is Hey Casey?
“Well, officially we’re about customised and novelty phone cases but I like to think that we are much more than that. Yes, we produce printed phone cases but Hey Casey! (HC) also provides jobs and learning opportunities for all of us involved.”
Where are you based?
“Based in the Western Cape, we are an online business and are technically based online which means 24-hour shopping ya’all!”
I understand you’re a team of women?
“Yes we are! I have a phenomenal team and without them, Hey Casey! would not be where it is today.
“Our office manager, Tharien, is the heart of the business. Nothing happens at HC without her – from dealing with logistics to answering phone calls. There is so many things that she does every day, it is impossible to list them all. Let’s just say she is Mission Control and without her we won’t have lift off…
“Zandrie is our Senior Production Technician and a technical Wizz. We are still waiting for one of our UV printers to throw a tantrum that she can not handle. From changing encoder strips to adjusting printing profiles – she is our Printing Queen. When you walk into our Production room chances are great that you will find her dressed in surgical cloves and covered in ink, busy making art.
“Rynette also works in production as junior technician. She used to be our casual over crazy busy times like Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) and the festive season, but the business has grown so much that we are able to have her around on a full time basis now. She assists with the case printing and is a whizz at sublimation and a phone skin making boss!
“Narina is our design and media guru. Our beautiful Instagram feed is all thanks to her, and most of the designs you see on our website is her work. She is the creative brain of our Hey Casey! family.
“Our shipping department is handled by Loveness. Packing orders and creating delivery waybills is her forte. She makes sure our stock levels are up to date and that we never run out of the important things like personal thank you cards for our awesome customers.”
How did Hey Casey start? Where did you come up with the concept? What inspired you to do this business?
“I started Hey Casey! when I upgraded my phone on contract and I could not find a case that I absolutely loved. Here I had this swanky new phone, and it almost made me sad that the only cases available where really ugly run-of-the-mill ones. I started importing some cases that I loved and before long I got orders from friends and family. Soon I had to import much larger numbers and more regulary.
“I started a website and when customers started asking me if I can print their picture I realised I have a legit business model. I did a lot of research into printing on phone cases, did a few courses and eventually imported a printing machine. I had no clue how the printer worked but I was determined to make it happen and I did!”
Is this your only business?
“This started out as a side-hustle but it turned into a legit business. At the beginning of the year I made the very difficult decision to sell my original e-commerce business and to concentrate on Hey Casey! only. We were approached by the distributors of Pop Sockets and pretty soon you will see our cases in major retail chains.
How long have you been going for?
Proudly South African since 2015!
What is your favourite thing about selling online?
“I love the convenience of online shopping. From a buyer and seller’s perspective. Thanks to e-commerce, it has never been easier to start a profitable business with next to nothing. All you need is dedication and a willingness to learn and the possibilities are endless!”
Who are your clients mainly?
“Most of our shoppers are trendy South Africans, but we also export our product to Europe. We adore our customers, and we make sure they know it by sending a hand written personal note with every order.”
Any anecdotes, hiccups or funny stories to tell?
“Uh, a few come to mind. We have one customer that placed over 30 orders with us, and most of the cases are of her furkids, specifically four kitties. We are always so excited to see new photos when she places an order and we know the cats names by heart -Tiger, Gigi, Mousy and Meow. They feel like they are part of our family, and they are all over our Instagram feed!”
What’s been your favourite experience with Hey Casey? What event sticks out for you?
“BFCM is usually a very stressful time for us. We start prepping months ahead and things in the office and in production can get very tense. One morning last year, during all of this, we received an order from a guy for a customised phone case. The picture he uploaded to his order was an almost-nude selfie, with the phone strategically but barely covering enough of his man-bits.
“We have a strict profanity clause and we were definitely NOT going to print that image, but at the same time I did not want the customer to feel like we were judging him.”
The only option left to the team of Hey Casey! To re-design the pic in a more appropriate manner:
Anything else you need to mention?
“Yes please! A special shout out to our social influencers – we have an amazing group of people that believe in our brand, love our cases as much as we do. Thanks to them we get added exposure on social media – they are all part of the Hey Casey! family and we adore them!”
If you’re in the market for a new cover check out Hey Casey!
and use my discount code: HEYCLARE
Check out my Hey Casey! phone covers for my Galaxy S9 above and tell me which one is your favourite. You could win any cover in the Hey Casey! store for yourself.
Rules: You must subscribe to the blog and post your answers in the comment section below. Following Gadget Gal and Hey Casey! on IG gets you extra entries, as well as tagging friends.
Closing date is Monday, 28th May and the winner will be announced that same week.