Online sleep toy retailer, Riff Raff & Co, has been nominated in Australia Post's Online Retailer Industry Awards (ORIAs) in the People's Choice (small retailer) category.


The category is the only one in the line up of awards that is voted on by consumers, and sees thousands of retailers enter to be in the running to win the award.


Riff Raff & Co found its feet in 2015 with its sleep comforters, which are equipped with two sound options – white noise with a heartbeat that plays out of one ear, and a lullaby that plays out of the other – to get little ones to form a positive sleep association.


Emma Kruger, founder, creator and creative director of Riff Raff & Co told Toy & Hobby Retailer that the light bulb moment came when she looked at all the items packed for her young children in a suitcase for a holiday.


“There were about six items in the suitcase – the favourite teddy – and other toys, and I thought what happens if I combine these and made it washable?”


And so came the Riff Raff & Co sleep comforters.


Since then, the business has sold 30,000 units and counting.


Kruger says that the choice to remain an online-only store has helped foster the success of the business.


“I had no design experience and I felt that online was a simple way to access and communicate with the customer – [especially] because new parents and heavily pregnant women are online a lot.


“I have fallen in love with e-commerce. We get to be a part of the customer's journey and this is a connection I don't think we could maintain in a bricks-and-mortar,” Kruger said.


The nomination for an ORIA has boosted morale for the team, who will make a work trip out of the affair.


“It's been so cool [to be nominated], I didn't realise how big and special it was. We don't expect to win, but it'll be fun either way.”


The Box For Monkeys business – which sends families a a curated, tech-free, activity box for children – has also been nominated for an ORIA in the Best Bootstrapped Growth Initiative category.


The awards ceremony takes place on 26 July in Sydney.


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