LOVELUVO, a social enterprise retailer stocking eco-friendly, locally sourced, and fair-trade home and body products, is located in Seddon Village just across the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne’s west.
Jessica Sims, the store’s manager, describes Seddon as just like a small country town.
“It is so community centred, and the locals support all the businesses here,” Jessica said.
“LoveLuvo has been open for ten years, and a lot of our customers say they love the smell of the store and can’t resist the scent, so they have to drop in.”
Westgate Community Initiatives Group Ltd, a not-for-profit employment services provider, dedicated to upholding the right of every individual to a meaningful role in society, created the shop and had it certified as a social trader.
Jessica said the profits made in the store return to WCIG to help fund training programs and supporting its disability employment services.
“About 50 per cent of our team are part-timers who have re-entered the workforce through the opportunities provided by WCIG,” she said.
“It is wonderful seeing the change in our team members after learning new skills.
“I see a significant change in their confidence levels, their pride and their self-sufficiency.
“They approach me with ideas rather than me suggesting something.”
This commitment to the community stems from LoveLuvo’s central ethos, ‘The good you do comes back to you.’
Over the past ten years, the business has flourished, providing compassionate social responsibility coupled with a premium retail experience for the local community.
Two of the drivers for its success are all the products are natural, organic and paraffin free plus the customer’s love to return their empty bottles to purchase refills of their favourite products.
Jacinta Manivong, the brand’s marketing manager, said the refill service was always the big focus in LoveLuvo’s genesis.
“In the past financial year, we saved 2,345 bottles from landfill by refilling 4,690 litres of home and body products,” Jacinta said.
“Alongside our unique and distinctive product offering and empathy towards people with barriers to employment, we’ve developed a strong and loyal customer base.”
LoveLuvo’s recent rebranding of its in-house range furnishes it with a solid platform to continue building and improving the business.
Jessica explained the team members spend considerable time engaging with their customers.
“While the staff refill the customer’s containers, there is always lots of chat,” she said.
“Customer feedback on bottle shapes and the information contained on the labels has helped with our rebranding.
“We offer a premium brand, and I think our customers get a clean conscience when they shop here.”
As a social enterprise, LoveLuvo has successfully developed a business that retails its in-house eco range alongside other curated locally-made products that are environmentally friendly.
The core range rebrand will also focus on developing relationships and partnerships with other ethical businesses and products from around the country.
Carol Saffer is an award-winning journalist enthusiastic about creating copy that engages audiences. She is curious by nature, possesses a growth mindset and thrives on new and unusual challenges.
Carol has experience as a reporter for various regional Victorian newspapers and writing for Business Day in The Age. Her previous career was in the fashion industry, and she holds post-graduate degrees in business and journalism.