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From 0 To $140M Selling Boutique Clothing - The Story Of PinkLily With Tori Gerbig

Published on: December 9 2022 by MyWifeQuitHerJob Ecommerce Channel

From 0 To $140M Selling Boutique Clothing - The Story Of PinkLily With Tori Gerbig

From 0 To $140M Selling Boutique Clothing - The Story Of PinkLily With Tori Gerbig

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00:00:00 00:00:05 14 15 16 we grew you know 4 to 12
00:00:03 00:00:07 million we kind of stayed at 12 million
00:00:05 00:00:09 for a year or two just because we kept
00:00:07 00:00:11 outgrowing our space and we it was just
00:00:09 00:00:13 my husband and I it was our money you
00:00:11 00:00:15 know so like welcome to the my wife
00:00:13 00:00:18 quarter job podcast today I have Tori
00:00:15 00:00:20 gerbig on the show and Tori and I were
00:00:18 00:00:22 recently featured on the Ashley Banfield
00:00:20 00:00:24 show where we shared some tips on how to
00:00:22 00:00:26 start an online business and Tori is the
00:00:24 00:00:29 founder of pinklily.com which is a nine
00:00:26 00:00:31 figure business that sells clothing and
00:00:29 00:00:33 boutique fashion now pink Lily hit the
00:00:31 00:00:36 multi-million dollar Mark and it's grown
00:00:33 00:00:38 to a business of over 200 employees and
00:00:36 00:00:40 what I actually admire more is that she
00:00:38 00:00:42 is a mother of three and she works with
00:00:40 00:00:44 her husband just like I do with my wife
00:00:42 00:00:47 and our business and in this episode
00:00:44 00:00:48 we're going to find out exactly how she
00:00:47 00:00:50 did it and without welcome to show Tori
00:00:48 00:00:52 how you doing Hi how are you thank you
00:00:50 00:00:55 so much for having me on today yeah you
00:00:52 00:00:57 know Tori so I actually teach a class on
00:00:55 00:00:59 e-commerce and what I always tell people
00:00:57 00:01:01 is that clothing is actually one of the
00:00:59 00:01:04 hardest types of products to sell online
00:01:01 00:01:05 so I'm just very curious how you got
00:01:04 00:01:08 started
00:01:05 00:01:10 it was by Act ing accent
00:01:08 00:01:12 um I went to school for marketing and
00:01:10 00:01:15 sales not
00:01:12 00:01:17 um come 2012 we were just really
00:01:15 00:01:20 struggling and could not make ends meet
00:01:17 00:01:23 so we started selling items on eBay and
00:01:20 00:01:26 Etsy and started out with very random
00:01:23 00:01:30 products I'm toking like golf clubs
00:01:26 00:01:32 um USB hard drives random stuff and
00:01:30 00:01:34 um it did pretty well we sold items on
00:01:32 00:01:36 eBay and Etsy for about a year a year
00:01:34 00:01:38 and a half and then fast forward to 2013
00:01:36 00:01:41 I was pregnant with my son looking over
00:01:38 00:01:44 my benefits my maternity leave options
00:01:41 00:01:46 and freaking out about having unpaid
00:01:44 00:01:48 maternity leave so that was something
00:01:46 00:01:50 that made me so nervous so once my son
00:01:48 00:01:52 was born we really were like look we've
00:01:50 00:01:56 got to pick up this online selling just
00:01:52 00:01:58 to supplement our income so I invested a
00:01:56 00:02:00 little bit of money I think maybe just a
00:01:58 00:02:02 couple hundred dollars and some little
00:02:00 00:02:04 girl Boutique clothing and some adult
00:02:02 00:02:05 boutique clothing and started a Facebook
00:02:04 00:02:08 group at that time
00:02:05 00:02:11 um the Facebook group was primarily just
00:02:08 00:02:13 local people from my town but it grew
00:02:11 00:02:15 pretty quickly and it grew from you know
00:02:13 00:02:18 a couple hundred girls to over 10 000
00:02:15 00:02:21 women by the by the time I started back
00:02:18 00:02:23 to after my maternity leave so I I
00:02:21 00:02:25 always started selling clothing on there
00:02:23 00:02:26 I didn't really sell clothing on eBay or
00:02:25 00:02:27 Etsy it was just mostly through the
00:02:26 00:02:30 Facebook group so I was showing the
00:02:27 00:02:32 items I was PayPal invoicing them I was
00:02:30 00:02:34 shipping the items all of this at night
00:02:32 00:02:36 time after I worked my full-time job and
00:02:34 00:02:38 after I got my son to bed
00:02:36 00:02:42 um so I really didn't sleep much at all
00:02:38 00:02:44 in 2013 like that last quarter and at
00:02:42 00:02:46 the end of about November my husband's
00:02:44 00:02:48 like we cannot continue doing it it's so
00:02:46 00:02:50 manual we have to start a website like
00:02:48 00:02:53 this is too manual you PayPal invoicing
00:02:50 00:02:55 people you going to stamps.com creating
00:02:53 00:02:57 the labels and it's just too much so we
00:02:55 00:02:58 are going to start a website we're going
00:02:57 00:03:01 to take the money that we've made the
00:02:58 00:03:03 profits from selling on online so far
00:03:01 00:03:08 and we're gonna just start this website
00:03:03 00:03:10 so December 31st January 1st of 2014 and
00:03:08 00:03:12 we kicked off pinkvilla.com it was
00:03:10 00:03:15 really a right out of the box horrible
00:03:12 00:03:18 website like it wasn't good at all so so
00:03:15 00:03:20 slow site speed everything we had no
00:03:18 00:03:23 prior experience but it was like just
00:03:20 00:03:25 him and and I who did it and we were
00:03:23 00:03:27 like okay our goal for the year is fifty
00:03:25 00:03:29 thousand dollars in Revenue that will
00:03:27 00:03:31 help pay off our credit card debt and
00:03:29 00:03:33 some of our student loans I'll still
00:03:31 00:03:35 work my full-time job he'll work his
00:03:33 00:03:39 full-time job it's just a side hustle
00:03:35 00:03:41 and by month two we had already hit the
00:03:39 00:03:44 50 000 and then by six months in we hit
00:03:41 00:03:46 a million dollars in Revenue so we I
00:03:44 00:03:49 walked away from my job in April of
00:03:46 00:03:51 2014. it was terrifying everybody was
00:03:49 00:03:52 like no you can't quit your your job
00:03:51 00:03:55 with benefits
00:03:52 00:03:57 um just for an online site and then my
00:03:55 00:03:59 husband walked away from his job in July
00:03:57 00:04:01 that same year and then rounding out in
00:03:59 00:04:02 December that year we hit four million
00:04:01 00:04:05 dollars in revenue and had seven
00:04:02 00:04:08 full-time employees so all from like
00:04:05 00:04:10 just this starting in our house and by
00:04:08 00:04:11 the end of year one having you know a
00:04:10 00:04:13 team of seven and hitting four million
00:04:11 00:04:15 in Revenue very quickly
00:04:13 00:04:17 um in the first seven months we actually
00:04:15 00:04:19 still were in our house too so we were
00:04:17 00:04:21 packaging the orders up to the very like
00:04:19 00:04:23 first million dollars of sales all on my
00:04:21 00:04:25 dining room table Tori what's funny is
00:04:23 00:04:27 your story is almost exactly like mine
00:04:25 00:04:29 we started on eBay we were just selling
00:04:27 00:04:31 some handkerchiefs and they were running
00:04:29 00:04:34 it all over my house and then my wife
00:04:31 00:04:35 she she didn't like her job and when we
00:04:34 00:04:37 had our kid we were like okay we want to
00:04:35 00:04:40 stay at home with the kids and we ran
00:04:37 00:04:42 everything out of the house and our goal
00:04:40 00:04:44 was actually fifty thousand dollars our
00:04:42 00:04:46 first year also hit it really quickly
00:04:44 00:04:47 and then my wife was like okay we got to
00:04:46 00:04:49 start a website because I was making the
00:04:47 00:04:52 rounds at this post office carrying like
00:04:49 00:04:54 a car full of boxes and they all knew me
00:04:52 00:04:57 and they actually hated me
00:04:54 00:05:00 I'd occupy the line for like a long time
00:04:57 00:05:01 right but it's funny let's take it back
00:05:00 00:05:02 to the beginning I'm very curious so
00:05:01 00:05:03 what did you Source those first clothes
00:05:02 00:05:06 for
00:05:03 00:05:07 uh for Etsy and eBay and that Facebook
00:05:06 00:05:10 group
00:05:07 00:05:12 yeah so we um I worked with some vendors
00:05:10 00:05:13 out of LA to get some products and
00:05:12 00:05:16 mostly
00:05:13 00:05:18 um for eBay I think one of the biggest
00:05:16 00:05:20 things we had that sold in 2013 were
00:05:18 00:05:23 bubble necklaces so a lot of jewelry
00:05:20 00:05:26 really did well on eBay same with Etsy
00:05:23 00:05:27 um so Etsy I also monogrammed on the
00:05:26 00:05:29 side like two I was like well I'm gonna
00:05:27 00:05:32 buy a monogram machine we do that too
00:05:29 00:05:34 yeah so
00:05:32 00:05:35 so very time consuming I realized that
00:05:34 00:05:37 was not the best use of my time I sold
00:05:35 00:05:39 that monogram machine
00:05:37 00:05:42 um so yeah it was just kind of like
00:05:39 00:05:46 scarves and jewelry mostly and I sourced
00:05:42 00:05:50 them from you know places uh La China or
00:05:46 00:05:53 duet fashion okay yeah yeah yeah cool
00:05:50 00:05:54 and then these were not with your brand
00:05:53 00:05:57 on them though right these were just
00:05:54 00:06:00 already made okay yes already the sale
00:05:57 00:06:02 uh TurnKey products yeah so how does one
00:06:00 00:06:04 grow a Facebook group so quickly
00:06:02 00:06:05 actually so you mentioned in the
00:06:04 00:06:08 beginning it was just Kentucky folks
00:06:05 00:06:11 right how did you attract other people
00:06:08 00:06:14 so I think at the time of course the
00:06:11 00:06:17 timing was great for Facebook and um it
00:06:14 00:06:19 was you know back before the it shifted
00:06:17 00:06:21 where now it's more paid placement it
00:06:19 00:06:24 was very organic back then so it was
00:06:21 00:06:26 easy but I also have a social media
00:06:24 00:06:28 um degree or I have a marketing degree
00:06:26 00:06:30 so social media was always something
00:06:28 00:06:33 that I loved and I learned it as quickly
00:06:30 00:06:35 as I can when a new platform comes out
00:06:33 00:06:39 so Facebook was something that I knew
00:06:35 00:06:41 very well and I knew certain strategies
00:06:39 00:06:43 of how to grow it you know build it as a
00:06:41 00:06:45 community you know do fun giveaways get
00:06:43 00:06:48 women excited about the product do the
00:06:45 00:06:50 live videos or the the photos you know
00:06:48 00:06:51 and and kind of just go off what works
00:06:50 00:06:54 well if you see that this photo is
00:06:51 00:06:56 getting a lot of response continue to do
00:06:54 00:06:59 photos similar to that style and and
00:06:56 00:07:01 just kind of like taking it it was very
00:06:59 00:07:03 Scrappy too and I think that people
00:07:01 00:07:03 loved it it wasn't like this put
00:07:03 00:07:06 together
00:07:03 00:07:08 beautiful photos literally like an
00:07:06 00:07:10 iPhone photo of me in my house wearing
00:07:08 00:07:12 the product and I think women just could
00:07:10 00:07:14 relate to that a little easier than just
00:07:12 00:07:16 that you know your typical models that
00:07:14 00:07:18 you see on Victoria Secret or places
00:07:16 00:07:20 like that type sites
00:07:18 00:07:21 so we're people just finding your group
00:07:20 00:07:23 through word of mouth or were you
00:07:21 00:07:25 advertising it's just Word of Mouth it
00:07:23 00:07:28 was a group so it wasn't you couldn't do
00:07:25 00:07:29 paid ads for a group at the time um so
00:07:28 00:07:31 it was really just like by having people
00:07:29 00:07:33 add more people to the group
00:07:31 00:07:35 so can you kind of walk me through like
00:07:33 00:07:37 how often were you posting and how did
00:07:35 00:07:39 you build a community
00:07:37 00:07:41 so I would post several times a day I
00:07:39 00:07:43 think that's the strategy too with uh
00:07:41 00:07:45 any good social media platform is to
00:07:43 00:07:46 make sure you're consistent with your
00:07:45 00:07:48 posting
00:07:46 00:07:49 um but building the community I was
00:07:48 00:07:51 always on there so even while I was
00:07:49 00:07:53 working my full-time job I was answering
00:07:51 00:07:54 girls questions and they felt like they
00:07:53 00:07:56 could ask me hey how would you style
00:07:54 00:07:59 this or what would you recommend size I
00:07:56 00:08:00 go with and really to like give them
00:07:59 00:08:03 that personal shopping experience almost
00:08:00 00:08:07 from the very beginning and um to also
00:08:03 00:08:08 like allow them to to tell me what they
00:08:07 00:08:10 wanted to buy and what they were looking
00:08:08 00:08:13 for for us to carry and such so really
00:08:10 00:08:15 to listen to them and always put them
00:08:13 00:08:17 first and really help to elevate it and
00:08:15 00:08:19 that's kind of been behind
00:08:17 00:08:21 um the brand since the very beginning as
00:08:19 00:08:23 we always put the customers first and
00:08:21 00:08:25 foremost so were you going live in your
00:08:23 00:08:27 group or was live available back then
00:08:25 00:08:29 probably not right live wasn't available
00:08:27 00:08:31 back when it very first started but it
00:08:29 00:08:33 quickly became available so yeah we
00:08:31 00:08:36 we've been doing live since the
00:08:33 00:08:37 beginning of live creation so is that
00:08:36 00:08:39 Facebook group still around are you
00:08:37 00:08:41 still active in the group or so that
00:08:39 00:08:42 group no
00:08:41 00:08:44 um I closed it down after we started
00:08:42 00:08:46 pink Lily and then we started a pink
00:08:44 00:08:49 Lily group right after and our Pink
00:08:46 00:08:52 Floyd group has I think 120 000 women in
00:08:49 00:08:53 in that private group nice so our sales
00:08:52 00:08:55 I imagine since you have a website now
00:08:53 00:08:57 you don't do sales directly into the
00:08:55 00:08:59 group but is that a way to like showcase
00:08:57 00:09:01 new products and get feedback
00:08:59 00:09:03 so we do it
00:09:01 00:09:05 um we show products but
00:09:03 00:09:07 um we also definitely get feedback on
00:09:05 00:09:09 like what are you wanting for us to buy
00:09:07 00:09:11 for fall or you know what kind of styles
00:09:09 00:09:13 would you like us to carry
00:09:11 00:09:17 um and really giving them more of that
00:09:13 00:09:19 um that inside behind the scenes feel
00:09:17 00:09:21 but also the biggest thing that does so
00:09:19 00:09:23 well in our group is we allow all of our
00:09:21 00:09:25 customers to post their own photos so
00:09:23 00:09:27 all of them are actually running the
00:09:25 00:09:29 group for us by posting content because
00:09:27 00:09:31 they're excited to share what the dress
00:09:29 00:09:32 looks like on them or their outfit and
00:09:31 00:09:35 then all these women are supportive on
00:09:32 00:09:36 them saying Oh you look great and how
00:09:35 00:09:38 does this fit and they're answering
00:09:36 00:09:40 questions and their Community they're
00:09:38 00:09:42 communicating together on this group and
00:09:40 00:09:44 and it works really well that way for us
00:09:42 00:09:46 cool so are the moderators of the group
00:09:44 00:09:50 just super fans of your brand
00:09:46 00:09:52 for the most part we actually have most
00:09:50 00:09:55 of them are workers here and then yes
00:09:52 00:09:57 anyone is allowed to post in the group
00:09:55 00:09:59 we approve it we approve it here
00:09:57 00:10:01 internally right nice okay so you go
00:09:59 00:10:02 from this Facebook group it gets out of
00:10:01 00:10:05 hand because you're manually invoicing
00:10:02 00:10:07 everyone you start this site it looks
00:10:05 00:10:08 bad it's slow how do you get your first
00:10:07 00:10:10 sales on your site is it just driving
00:10:08 00:10:12 through the group to the site
00:10:10 00:10:14 yeah so at that time right after we
00:10:12 00:10:17 launched the Facebook or the website we
00:10:14 00:10:20 launched a Facebook page and that's
00:10:17 00:10:22 where primarily most of the sales would
00:10:20 00:10:24 came through in year one was all through
00:10:22 00:10:26 Facebook so I did not have any knowledge
00:10:24 00:10:29 of Google ads I have no knowledge of
00:10:26 00:10:30 anything else Instagram really wasn't
00:10:29 00:10:32 big yet
00:10:30 00:10:34 um Pinterest probably some too actually
00:10:32 00:10:36 we did go viral on Pinterest a few times
00:10:34 00:10:38 our first year so Pinterest and Facebook
00:10:36 00:10:41 were those key drivers um the Facebook
00:10:38 00:10:45 page I did start doing paid ads on there
00:10:41 00:10:46 by the end of January 2014
00:10:45 00:10:48 um but again I kind of taught myself all
00:10:46 00:10:50 of that with not having background
00:10:48 00:10:53 knowledge on any like paid placement
00:10:50 00:10:56 paid social right right so but to go
00:10:53 00:10:58 from you say you hit 4 million in that
00:10:56 00:10:59 first year you said yeah okay so how
00:10:58 00:11:02 does one go from just a couple hundred
00:10:59 00:11:04 thousand to to four million is that is
00:11:02 00:11:06 that ads or is it just the size of your
00:11:04 00:11:10 group like how do you grow exponentially
00:11:06 00:11:14 like that so quickly so I do think ads
00:11:10 00:11:16 was a little bit of it but I think we
00:11:14 00:11:19 were very lucky on our timing too and to
00:11:16 00:11:21 have things go viral on Facebook and on
00:11:19 00:11:24 Pinterest that year so we had one photo
00:11:21 00:11:28 of a cardigan that had over 700 000
00:11:24 00:11:31 repins on it like after it launched and
00:11:28 00:11:33 we sold all 300 in a day and that was
00:11:31 00:11:35 just luck of the nature you know it's
00:11:33 00:11:37 really hard now to go viral and so I do
00:11:35 00:11:39 try to explain that because
00:11:37 00:11:41 eight years ago social media and today's
00:11:39 00:11:42 social media of course but you can you
00:11:41 00:11:44 still can go to tiktok and go viral
00:11:42 00:11:46 there still are opportunities
00:11:44 00:11:48 um so we just you know had those few
00:11:46 00:11:50 moments and then we kind of played off
00:11:48 00:11:52 of it from there you know we did spend a
00:11:50 00:11:54 little bit of money in ads and I don't
00:11:52 00:11:57 know the exact amount but it was very
00:11:54 00:11:59 little and it wasn't um it was really
00:11:57 00:12:01 just curating that community on the
00:11:59 00:12:04 Facebook group and being very consistent
00:12:01 00:12:06 with social media so most I would say
00:12:04 00:12:08 year one and two most of the sales were
00:12:06 00:12:11 organic sales okay and then in terms of
00:12:08 00:12:12 product sourcing uh did you have like a
00:12:11 00:12:14 steady Factory at that point were you
00:12:12 00:12:16 still just kind of sourcing stuff from
00:12:14 00:12:21 the Fashion District and whatnot so yeah
00:12:16 00:12:23 no years one through three all came from
00:12:21 00:12:25 La fashion to start it was not we did
00:12:23 00:12:26 not have any factories we still don't
00:12:25 00:12:28 have our own Factory we do work with
00:12:26 00:12:31 manufacturers Now versus
00:12:28 00:12:33 um you know paying as much wholesale
00:12:31 00:12:36 um we still work both ways but yeah we
00:12:33 00:12:39 um I would go to Fashion District up
00:12:36 00:12:41 until you know 2016 even I think 2017 we
00:12:39 00:12:42 it all came from there
00:12:41 00:12:44 so when you go to the Fashion District
00:12:42 00:12:45 you can say hey I want you to sew my
00:12:44 00:12:49 label on there right and make
00:12:45 00:12:50 adjustments yes correct yeah it's been a
00:12:49 00:12:52 while since I've been there I mean we we
00:12:50 00:12:54 did shop there also the minimum order
00:12:52 00:12:56 requirements are generally lower they're
00:12:54 00:12:59 also right depending on who you find
00:12:56 00:13:01 yeah and but we like to appoint quickly
00:12:59 00:13:03 about 2016 2017 that we were needing
00:13:01 00:13:06 three to four hundred per style that we
00:13:03 00:13:09 carry so we hit them very easily yes the
00:13:06 00:13:11 order requirements are very low but the
00:13:09 00:13:13 more you buy the more willing to work on
00:13:11 00:13:16 pricing with you yeah I mean one of the
00:13:13 00:13:17 challenges of clothing also is the
00:13:16 00:13:19 sizing and the return rate how do you
00:13:17 00:13:22 how'd you deal with that early on
00:13:19 00:13:24 so sizing will still always be the
00:13:22 00:13:25 biggest issue and we're still trying to
00:13:24 00:13:28 figure out the best way to overcome that
00:13:25 00:13:30 one of some of the couple recent changes
00:13:28 00:13:32 in the last two years have been um
00:13:30 00:13:34 having several different size models on
00:13:32 00:13:37 the site and then also doing videos that
00:13:34 00:13:39 explain how the item fits so this sizing
00:13:37 00:13:40 will always be the number one issue
00:13:39 00:13:43 because it's very hard to know your size
00:13:40 00:13:45 when you're shopping online
00:13:43 00:13:46 um but we definitely have implemented
00:13:45 00:13:49 new strategies the last two years by
00:13:46 00:13:51 having several size models and then also
00:13:49 00:13:52 to do videos on the site that try to
00:13:51 00:13:54 explain the fit so if they should size
00:13:52 00:13:55 up or size down or stik with their true
00:13:54 00:13:58 size
00:13:55 00:14:00 um in a size chart in the beginning I
00:13:58 00:14:02 will say it was probably the number one
00:14:00 00:14:05 reason of returns was this just didn't
00:14:02 00:14:07 fit me so and it's always going to be a
00:14:05 00:14:09 battle with clothing online but and
00:14:07 00:14:12 there's hopefully even in the near
00:14:09 00:14:15 future more things that come out on
00:14:12 00:14:16 helping women to admin to to really
00:14:15 00:14:19 understand what size that they should
00:14:16 00:14:21 buy before purchasing how much money did
00:14:19 00:14:23 you start with uh and did you invest
00:14:21 00:14:26 into pink Lily when it launched
00:14:23 00:14:29 so when we launched the site we had been
00:14:26 00:14:31 selling on eBay and Etsy for about
00:14:29 00:14:33 um in that Facebook group for about six
00:14:31 00:14:35 months and I think we had about ten
00:14:33 00:14:37 thousand dollars in our bank account
00:14:35 00:14:39 just saved aside from all of the the
00:14:37 00:14:41 profits to reinvest so we started very
00:14:39 00:14:43 little like a couple hundred dollars for
00:14:41 00:14:45 eBay and we'd always reinvest the money
00:14:43 00:14:47 and put a hundred percent of the profits
00:14:45 00:14:49 back into the account to to grow the
00:14:47 00:14:51 inventory so when we started
00:14:49 00:14:54 pinkfully.com we had about 10 000 we I
00:14:51 00:14:56 think spent 500 on the website and then
00:14:54 00:14:58 the remainder all went to
00:14:56 00:15:00 um inventory to launch so we had you
00:14:58 00:15:03 know a small selection of clothing to
00:15:00 00:15:06 you know I think 20 to 30 Styles when we
00:15:03 00:15:08 launched wow okay so 10 grand for 23
00:15:06 00:15:10 styles that means it's not that many
00:15:08 00:15:12 units of each no at the very beginning I
00:15:10 00:15:14 would get like one pack like maybe six
00:15:12 00:15:16 units per Style
00:15:14 00:15:18 and so it was basically up to you to to
00:15:16 00:15:20 understand and know what was going to
00:15:18 00:15:22 sell right or did you just buy that many
00:15:20 00:15:24 styles to see what would sell and then
00:15:22 00:15:25 focus on your winners what was your
00:15:24 00:15:28 strategy oh I didn't really have a
00:15:25 00:15:30 strategy I kind of just would buy what I
00:15:28 00:15:32 personally would wear and what I thought
00:15:30 00:15:35 would sell well and then go off Trend so
00:15:32 00:15:38 it back in the day in 2014 like Chevron
00:15:35 00:15:40 was huge so okay I sold a Chevron Maxi
00:15:38 00:15:42 it did really well it sold out so fast
00:15:40 00:15:43 so then I would turn around and used all
00:15:42 00:15:46 of the profits to buy five more Chevron
00:15:43 00:15:48 Maxis so I kind of played off what was
00:15:46 00:15:51 selling well to to turn around and buy
00:15:48 00:15:53 more product in that same area scope to
00:15:51 00:15:56 see if it continued to do well and when
00:15:53 00:15:57 did you start introducing models for
00:15:56 00:15:58 your clothes I mean that costs money
00:15:57 00:16:00 right
00:15:58 00:16:02 immediately so immediately okay yeah
00:16:00 00:16:05 when we launched we launched with models
00:16:02 00:16:07 and we did some flat lace but typically
00:16:05 00:16:09 the clothing for us sold better on a
00:16:07 00:16:12 Model yeah so where did you find the
00:16:09 00:16:13 talent and uh was that a huge investment
00:16:12 00:16:16 on your part to hire these models for
00:16:13 00:16:19 photo shoots no um we found the talent
00:16:16 00:16:20 we have a college here in town and um we
00:16:19 00:16:22 found the talent just by I actually
00:16:20 00:16:24 looked on Instagram and I was like I
00:16:22 00:16:26 want to DM a few girls see if they're
00:16:24 00:16:28 interested I did all the photography in
00:16:26 00:16:30 the beginning for about the first eight
00:16:28 00:16:33 months too
00:16:30 00:16:35 um it took most of my time doing every
00:16:33 00:16:37 single job but then we hired a full-time
00:16:35 00:16:39 photographer I think by August of our
00:16:37 00:16:41 first year and we've had now we have I
00:16:39 00:16:42 think three full-time photographers we
00:16:41 00:16:45 have like seven models that are here
00:16:42 00:16:47 most days and um yeah it is an expense
00:16:45 00:16:50 but for us it
00:16:47 00:16:53 it's necessary it was always worth it
00:16:50 00:16:55 that's amazing so you bootstrap with ten
00:16:53 00:16:58 thousand dollars that's amazing for
00:16:55 00:17:00 clothing yeah yeah um what does your
00:16:58 00:17:02 husband do okay it says I'm a husband
00:17:00 00:17:03 and wife team also and yeah yeah she's
00:17:02 00:17:05 kind of like the face of the company
00:17:03 00:17:07 because I I can't tok about
00:17:05 00:17:09 handkerchiefs or you know that sort of
00:17:07 00:17:11 thing what is what is his role so his
00:17:09 00:17:13 role is he is the president of the
00:17:11 00:17:16 company he oversees all of the
00:17:13 00:17:18 operations side the HR side and the
00:17:16 00:17:21 finance so he has a degree in finance
00:17:18 00:17:22 and his MBA so that's his specialty
00:17:21 00:17:25 um but he also did Logistiks at his
00:17:22 00:17:27 previous uh corporate world so he has a
00:17:25 00:17:28 lot more operation knowledge than I do
00:17:27 00:17:30 so we kind of split I'm over product
00:17:28 00:17:33 over customer service I'm over marketing
00:17:30 00:17:35 case of the brand he's on the back half
00:17:33 00:17:38 of it on the operation side and the HR
00:17:35 00:17:40 all the the harder stuff but um it's
00:17:38 00:17:41 it's all hard but it's stuff that it's
00:17:40 00:17:44 just like people don't always understand
00:17:41 00:17:46 like the back end of a business yeah no
00:17:44 00:17:47 that totally makes sense actually in the
00:17:46 00:17:49 beginning when my wife and I work
00:17:47 00:17:51 together uh closely we kind of
00:17:49 00:17:52 overlapped in our roles and we just kept
00:17:51 00:17:55 clashing and fighting and it wasn't
00:17:52 00:17:57 until we separated everything out uh and
00:17:55 00:17:59 things are good now but it took a while
00:17:57 00:18:00 for us to get there yeah we don't
00:17:59 00:18:03 overlap very much at all
00:18:00 00:18:05 there's really not a lot since I'm on
00:18:03 00:18:06 the the product development and
00:18:05 00:18:08 marketing set he has not much to do
00:18:06 00:18:10 other than money that's about it that's
00:18:08 00:18:12 really the only like okay here's your
00:18:10 00:18:13 marketing budget for the month and I'm
00:18:12 00:18:15 like no we need more and he's like no
00:18:13 00:18:18 you can't go over this amount so that's
00:18:15 00:18:20 about the only thing that we really have
00:18:18 00:18:21 a lot of like uh conversations on but we
00:18:20 00:18:24 have dominion planning and forecasters
00:18:21 00:18:25 now so he's out of that and budget you
00:18:24 00:18:27 know a finance team that sets the budget
00:18:25 00:18:29 so he's he just oversees them now it's
00:18:27 00:18:33 not him setting the budget right right
00:18:29 00:18:34 yeah so you're growing really fast and I
00:18:33 00:18:36 I know that when you grow fast it's
00:18:34 00:18:37 extremely uncomfortable you it seemed
00:18:36 00:18:40 like you were switching out warehouses
00:18:37 00:18:43 like every year or less
00:18:40 00:18:44 um walk me through that time if you will
00:18:43 00:18:45 um things were growing fast what were
00:18:44 00:18:47 the first things that you're
00:18:45 00:18:50 implementing in terms of infrastructure
00:18:47 00:18:53 during that growth period yeah so our
00:18:50 00:18:55 first Warehouse what we thought was a
00:18:53 00:18:58 warehouse we moved into in July of 2014.
00:18:55 00:18:59 it was 1500 square feet so we're like oh
00:18:58 00:19:02 yeah this is huge at least it's out of
00:18:59 00:19:04 our house and we quickly realized it was
00:19:02 00:19:08 way too small and
00:19:04 00:19:10 um by the November of 2014 we found a 3
00:19:08 00:19:12 000 square foot warehouse and we moved
00:19:10 00:19:14 the week before Black Friday
00:19:12 00:19:16 um so we did have uh we had a one-year
00:19:14 00:19:17 lease on the first one but we were like
00:19:16 00:19:19 you know what it makes sense just to go
00:19:17 00:19:20 ahead and move we need more space to
00:19:19 00:19:23 grow otherwise we're going to be stuck
00:19:20 00:19:27 at this smaller amount so we moved in by
00:19:23 00:19:29 2015 we were like we still need more
00:19:27 00:19:31 than 3 000 square feet so my husband and
00:19:29 00:19:34 I bought this the land right up the road
00:19:31 00:19:37 it was two acres and started uh building
00:19:34 00:19:40 our current Warehouse facility so we
00:19:37 00:19:42 bought it in 2015 we built 25 000 square
00:19:40 00:19:46 foot warehouse and completed that in
00:19:42 00:19:48 2016. we added on an additional 25 000
00:19:46 00:19:50 square feet by 2018
00:19:48 00:19:52 and then by 2019 we're like we have to
00:19:50 00:19:55 have another Warehouse so we bought or
00:19:52 00:19:58 we rent some lease on one right up the
00:19:55 00:20:02 road that's 160 000 square feet so last
00:19:58 00:20:04 year 2020 Black Friday we were actually
00:20:02 00:20:07 operating out of both and trying to like
00:20:04 00:20:09 makeshift up there just for more room
00:20:07 00:20:12 um but we currently are operating out of
00:20:09 00:20:14 both warehouses your your offices are in
00:20:12 00:20:16 Kentucky right correct yeah Bowling
00:20:14 00:20:18 Green Kentucky okay good in California
00:20:16 00:20:21 that would have been like 100 million
00:20:18 00:20:24 dollars oh my goodness yeah wow no I
00:20:21 00:20:25 gather Kentucky not much here that's
00:20:24 00:20:28 amazing
00:20:25 00:20:29 um so when you are scaling also uh so
00:20:28 00:20:31 the where how many skus are we toking
00:20:29 00:20:33 about when you moved into that first
00:20:31 00:20:35 1500 Warehouse like what was all the
00:20:33 00:20:36 room for was it just inventory were you
00:20:35 00:20:39 carrying inventory or was stuff made on
00:20:36 00:20:41 demand it was a lot of inventory for
00:20:39 00:20:42 girls to work at that time we were
00:20:41 00:20:44 hiring people to come in and package
00:20:42 00:20:46 orders so they're not doing it on my
00:20:44 00:20:48 dining room table so we had like
00:20:46 00:20:50 packaging stations and we also had all
00:20:48 00:20:53 the inventory stored there too oh wow
00:20:50 00:20:54 okay so you don't use a third-party
00:20:53 00:20:58 Logistiks firm or anything you're still
00:20:54 00:21:01 fulfilling all of your orders yeah we we
00:20:58 00:21:04 do not do three PLS we do um all of it
00:21:01 00:21:06 fulfillment too wow okay so that
00:21:04 00:21:08 can you just walk me through what your
00:21:06 00:21:10 facility looks like is there like
00:21:08 00:21:12 conveyor belts like amazon.com where
00:21:10 00:21:14 where boxes come down and you have these
00:21:12 00:21:16 automated stations or so they
00:21:16 00:21:20 went two million dollars to put in we're
00:21:18 00:21:22 not doing that
00:21:20 00:21:24 um so we do have
00:21:22 00:21:27 um some really cool things but we don't
00:21:24 00:21:28 have conveyor belts um we have like our
00:21:27 00:21:30 inbound you know they have they receive
00:21:28 00:21:33 the boxes they put the way the boxes we
00:21:30 00:21:34 have overflow we have really high
00:21:33 00:21:36 racking
00:21:34 00:21:37 um so we you know we have those little
00:21:36 00:21:38 things that they go up on the whatever
00:21:37 00:21:40 they're called and then
00:21:40 00:21:44 um we have about we have a day shift and
00:21:43 00:21:46 a night shift so we are operating seven
00:21:44 00:21:49 days a week out
00:21:46 00:21:51 um pretty much I think 20 20 something
00:21:49 00:21:55 hour their 10 hour shift so 20 hours a
00:21:51 00:21:57 day the warehouse is open and um I think
00:21:55 00:22:01 that the the SKU count currently is
00:21:57 00:22:03 about 13 000 excuse me wow okay can you
00:22:01 00:22:06 walk me through just like the
00:22:03 00:22:07 calculations and going 3pl versus owning
00:22:06 00:22:10 your own Warehouse
00:22:07 00:22:12 so I they're still doing a lot of deep
00:22:10 00:22:14 diving into that and it's not out of the
00:22:12 00:22:16 question in the future the hard part is
00:22:14 00:22:19 with 3pl's it works very well if you
00:22:16 00:22:21 have less cues the more excuse you have
00:22:19 00:22:24 especially being more of a fast fashion
00:22:21 00:22:26 brand it's a lot harder for them so for
00:22:24 00:22:28 us it makes I think in the long run
00:22:26 00:22:30 makes sense to keep our fulfillment
00:22:28 00:22:33 um but three PLS you know they work very
00:22:30 00:22:35 well when you have a limited SKU you
00:22:33 00:22:36 know if you're only selling 10 20 30
00:22:35 00:22:39 products and you're always replenishing
00:22:36 00:22:41 those makes sense but yeah if you're
00:22:39 00:22:43 changing out files every season it
00:22:41 00:22:44 doesn't really make that much sense yet
00:22:43 00:22:46 so actually yeah walk me through that
00:22:44 00:22:49 side of the business so once something
00:22:46 00:22:50 goes out of season are you stuck with
00:22:49 00:22:52 the inventory or what do you do with the
00:22:50 00:22:55 inventory when it goes out of style
00:22:52 00:22:57 yeah so one thing that especially with
00:22:55 00:22:59 our brand is we're not too trendy in
00:22:57 00:23:01 that we do that on that that reason if
00:22:59 00:23:03 there's a trend that hits the the market
00:23:01 00:23:05 now but in two months it could be gone
00:23:03 00:23:07 like that doesn't really resonate very
00:23:05 00:23:09 well with me because I don't want to
00:23:07 00:23:11 invest in something that I'm going to
00:23:09 00:23:13 just toss out of my closet two months
00:23:11 00:23:15 from now you know so like our pieces are
00:23:13 00:23:17 more stable that can last for years
00:23:15 00:23:19 versus it being so trendy we do
00:23:17 00:23:21 occasionally have some trends that we
00:23:19 00:23:22 want to test out
00:23:21 00:23:25 um but again if you go to our site it's
00:23:22 00:23:26 really a little bit for um we offer so
00:23:25 00:23:28 much for everyone but it's not super
00:23:26 00:23:31 super trendy it's just good classic
00:23:28 00:23:32 Styles but there is that case where we
00:23:31 00:23:35 do have inventory that you're sitting on
00:23:32 00:23:37 and the trend goes out say tie-dye 2020
00:23:35 00:23:40 was huge and then we didn't sell it all
00:23:37 00:23:43 the way through tie-dye and then the the
00:23:40 00:23:45 trend quickly died so at that point we
00:23:43 00:23:46 work really hard on you know what kind
00:23:45 00:23:48 of sales do we need to put it in what
00:23:46 00:23:50 kind of liquidation process do we need
00:23:48 00:23:52 we have once a year typically we do it
00:23:50 00:23:55 in person uh Warehouse sale where people
00:23:52 00:23:57 can come shop items very discounted and
00:23:55 00:23:59 then clearance as well so we do have a
00:23:57 00:24:00 clearance section on the site sales
00:23:59 00:24:03 section and those are typically for
00:24:00 00:24:05 styles that are um you know maybe
00:24:03 00:24:07 they're 20 or less left in stok or
00:24:05 00:24:08 they're just out of season and we are
00:24:07 00:24:10 not carrying them in the future so we
00:24:08 00:24:11 just want to discount them to get them
00:24:10 00:24:13 out the door
00:24:11 00:24:14 when did you start designing your own
00:24:13 00:24:16 clothes are you a designer clothing
00:24:14 00:24:19 designer I am not a designer I have
00:24:16 00:24:21 ideas but I am not like an actual
00:24:19 00:24:23 designer so
00:24:21 00:24:26 um we started working with our vendors
00:24:23 00:24:28 in LA and then some in China and Korea
00:24:26 00:24:33 back and I think about 2018
00:24:28 00:24:34 on our own ideas and so from there it's
00:24:33 00:24:38 transitioned very quickly with
00:24:34 00:24:39 manufacturing our own items and we're
00:24:38 00:24:42 currently actually hiring for a
00:24:39 00:24:44 full-time designer but um I'm not one
00:24:42 00:24:45 myself so what I mean you're the brains
00:24:44 00:24:47 though right I mean you know what's
00:24:45 00:24:50 trendy so walk me through like how do
00:24:47 00:24:52 you design without being a designer
00:24:50 00:24:55 so I'll look for Concepts I see things
00:24:52 00:24:57 that do well within again it goes back
00:24:55 00:24:59 to the very beginning like what sells
00:24:57 00:25:02 well on the site what are people loving
00:24:59 00:25:04 and keep continually playing off that if
00:25:02 00:25:07 there is something that they love let's
00:25:04 00:25:09 innovate it let's make it you know newer
00:25:07 00:25:10 for next year but let's keep the same
00:25:09 00:25:13 concept of it you know if there's an
00:25:10 00:25:14 animal print maxi dress that every
00:25:13 00:25:16 single time we restok it sells out
00:25:14 00:25:18 let's let's take that and let's come up
00:25:16 00:25:20 with three more animal print designs
00:25:18 00:25:22 let's work on that so I I see things
00:25:20 00:25:25 that I like and I put them together in
00:25:22 00:25:28 my head or on a horrible Photoshop like
00:25:25 00:25:30 here's the idea for the the swimsuit but
00:25:28 00:25:33 I cannot draw at all and I do not know
00:25:30 00:25:35 AutokAD at all so yeah yeah I do work
00:25:33 00:25:37 with our graphic designer here in still
00:25:35 00:25:39 draw Prince and and you know I do
00:25:37 00:25:43 oversee a lot of that with her
00:25:39 00:25:44 um but we also we um we know our
00:25:43 00:25:46 customer pretty well so it's like we
00:25:44 00:25:47 know what they love and we continue just
00:25:46 00:25:49 to play off what they want
00:25:47 00:25:51 and so if you're working with like a
00:25:49 00:25:53 designer I imagine it takes multiple
00:25:51 00:25:55 iterations before like the stitching and
00:25:53 00:25:56 this I mean there's only so much I can
00:25:55 00:25:59 do from a picture right
00:25:56 00:26:01 exactly yes okay and there's a lot of
00:25:59 00:26:03 different fit samples and a lot of like
00:26:01 00:26:04 Proto samples that it takes two or three
00:26:03 00:26:06 rounds
00:26:04 00:26:08 okay well wow this just sounds I mean
00:26:06 00:26:10 running a clothing business just sounds
00:26:08 00:26:12 so much more complicated it is very
00:26:10 00:26:14 complicated looking back I'm like maybe
00:26:12 00:26:16 I should have started something else but
00:26:14 00:26:18 it's okay I love that because I wear
00:26:16 00:26:21 clothes every day and so yes everybody
00:26:18 00:26:23 else so it is a necessity
00:26:21 00:26:24 um and the way of the world is you know
00:26:23 00:26:27 turning to shopping online which is
00:26:24 00:26:30 great for the future but yeah it is it
00:26:27 00:26:31 is very complicated of those 13 000 skus
00:26:30 00:26:33 how many would you say kind of turnover
00:26:31 00:26:35 in a given year
00:26:33 00:26:38 we need to do it four to five turns a
00:26:35 00:26:39 year on our complete inventory but in
00:26:38 00:26:43 terms of like the styles that kind of go
00:26:39 00:26:44 obsolete or that you you're taken down
00:26:43 00:26:46 um
00:26:44 00:26:48 you mentioned you had Staples and then
00:26:46 00:26:49 you had new styles of those 13 000 how
00:26:48 00:26:53 many of those are just kind of Staples
00:26:49 00:26:56 that that just lasted the test of time
00:26:53 00:26:58 so for our Staples we still don't always
00:26:56 00:26:59 keep them in stok we do let them run
00:26:58 00:27:01 out and then restok them at the season
00:26:59 00:27:03 that they are appropriate for there's
00:27:01 00:27:05 some Staples like body suits if they're
00:27:03 00:27:07 long sleeves we may not have them in
00:27:05 00:27:10 stok in May and June so we used to let
00:27:07 00:27:12 them sell out at times and so I would
00:27:10 00:27:15 say 90 of our business turns and it's
00:27:12 00:27:19 not a state level would be maybe getting
00:27:15 00:27:22 it to maybe 40 60 one day but yeah most
00:27:19 00:27:24 of our stuff is it it turns amazing okay
00:27:22 00:27:25 so okay so where we left off was you're
00:27:24 00:27:27 at four million dollars how do you go
00:27:25 00:27:31 from four to a hundred I mean so what
00:27:27 00:27:34 were the primary drivers for growing you
00:27:31 00:27:39 know past you know nine figures yeah so
00:27:34 00:27:41 for 14 15 16 we grew you know four to 12
00:27:39 00:27:43 million we kind of stayed at 12 million
00:27:41 00:27:45 for a year or two just because we kept
00:27:43 00:27:47 outgrowing our space and we it was just
00:27:45 00:27:49 my husband and I it was our money you
00:27:47 00:27:52 know so like we reinvested all the
00:27:49 00:27:54 profits but we didn't like it put
00:27:52 00:27:56 additional in to continue to scale fail
00:27:54 00:27:58 and so by 2016 we started working
00:27:56 00:28:00 outside of just Facebook and Instagram
00:27:58 00:28:03 we started doing more paid ads
00:28:00 00:28:05 influencers we introduced those
00:28:03 00:28:08 influencer Partnerships I think in 2018
00:28:05 00:28:11 which really helped Elevate and in 2019
00:28:08 00:28:13 we teamed up with a minority investor
00:28:11 00:28:16 company and they really helped Elevate
00:28:13 00:28:18 you know and scale we started building
00:28:16 00:28:20 out our teams and with director level
00:28:18 00:28:22 because at the time it was still my
00:28:20 00:28:24 husband and I doing most of the work so
00:28:22 00:28:27 they invested in um you know director
00:28:24 00:28:29 level positions and really
00:28:27 00:28:30 um those positions helped us Elevate
00:28:29 00:28:33 even faster you know our director of
00:28:30 00:28:36 Ecom our warehouse director our
00:28:33 00:28:37 marketing director and such so
00:28:36 00:28:39 um by you know getting a little bit of
00:28:37 00:28:42 expertise on board by 2019 that really
00:28:39 00:28:45 helped us go from you know 30 million to
00:28:42 00:28:47 100 million within two years
00:28:45 00:28:49 was that just all online or was that
00:28:47 00:28:51 dude are you in retail outlets we have
00:28:49 00:28:53 one retail store here in our town and it
00:28:51 00:28:55 is under a million a year so it's very
00:28:53 00:28:57 small since we are just a college town
00:28:55 00:28:59 it's not like a big city
00:28:57 00:29:01 um so it is it's a very small amount of
00:28:59 00:29:04 Revenue okay so it's it's all online
00:29:01 00:29:06 sales that you scaled and it was it
00:29:04 00:29:08 sounds like it was scaled through mostly
00:29:06 00:29:10 just paid advertising Facebook Instagram
00:29:08 00:29:13 I would imagine yeah paid advertising
00:29:10 00:29:15 and yeah pretty much what's uh are you
00:29:13 00:29:18 guys on tiktok we are yes how's that
00:29:15 00:29:20 how's that going for you guys so um tik
00:29:18 00:29:23 tok is
00:29:20 00:29:25 it's great to for like Legion but it's
00:29:23 00:29:27 not great for building the community so
00:29:25 00:29:30 we are consistent on there and I think
00:29:27 00:29:31 we have about 150 000 followers
00:29:30 00:29:33 um we were one of the first Brands to
00:29:31 00:29:36 jump on there quickly because anytime a
00:29:33 00:29:38 platform uh arises I'm very quick to
00:29:36 00:29:40 like make sure that our Brand's on there
00:29:38 00:29:43 and hat people are know about us and see
00:29:40 00:29:45 us um but people don't respond to Brands
00:29:43 00:29:47 as well on tiktok so we're still
00:29:45 00:29:49 trying to learn to navigate that but
00:29:47 00:29:51 yeah we do have 150 000 followers we
00:29:49 00:29:53 just try to get them over to Instagram
00:29:51 00:29:55 or get them to our email list you know
00:29:53 00:29:57 we've run some tiktok ads that you
00:29:55 00:29:58 know they go to it and it signs them up
00:29:57 00:30:01 for our email newsletter that's a key
00:29:58 00:30:03 driver to get them to actually shop
00:30:01 00:30:04 yeah speaking among my colleagues it
00:30:03 00:30:06 seems like people will find you on tik
00:30:04 00:30:08 tok but you have to drive them to
00:30:06 00:30:09 either your own site get their email or
00:30:08 00:30:12 Instagram to actually complete the sale
00:30:09 00:30:14 exactly yes it is a good for Lead Gym
00:30:12 00:30:16 but not really for conversion yeah are
00:30:14 00:30:18 you guys on YouTube also or is it just
00:30:16 00:30:19 yeah we have a YouTube we really pushed
00:30:18 00:30:21 it last year
00:30:19 00:30:24 um until it just bandwidth we couldn't
00:30:21 00:30:25 um keep up with keep making the videos
00:30:24 00:30:27 every single week it was really more
00:30:25 00:30:29 behind the scenes on the brand side
00:30:27 00:30:31 though than uh like product which people
00:30:29 00:30:33 love they love seeing you know the
00:30:31 00:30:34 behind the scenes of the brand yeah what
00:30:33 00:30:37 is your philosophy of you personally
00:30:34 00:30:39 being in the post are you still in a lot
00:30:37 00:30:42 of the posts that you're in other tik
00:30:39 00:30:43 tok or or Instagram so tiktok not
00:30:42 00:30:45 really
00:30:43 00:30:48 um or Instagram I mean they'll repost
00:30:45 00:30:49 photos that I get and share and stuff
00:30:48 00:30:51 but
00:30:49 00:30:53 um for sure YouTube behind the brand
00:30:51 00:30:56 more so and like behind the scenes stuff
00:30:53 00:30:58 but I'm not like the model you know we
00:30:56 00:31:00 do they do have tiktok models and and
00:30:58 00:31:02 photographers and such that and I
00:31:00 00:31:04 honestly just don't have the time to go
00:31:02 00:31:06 to all these photo shoots and do that
00:31:04 00:31:08 part of it too yeah no I was I was just
00:31:06 00:31:10 wondering so that transition probably
00:31:08 00:31:11 took place once you cross like eight
00:31:10 00:31:12 figures I would imagine right you could
00:31:11 00:31:15 hire a whole bunch more people to handle
00:31:12 00:31:17 everything right yeah we I did a lot of
00:31:15 00:31:19 the live videos for the first few years
00:31:17 00:31:21 and people really did
00:31:19 00:31:23 um enjoy you know seeing the CEO do the
00:31:21 00:31:24 videos and I would love to do more of
00:31:23 00:31:26 those live videos on Facebook but it's
00:31:24 00:31:28 just it right now I'll leave it to the
00:31:26 00:31:29 marketing team to do it
00:31:28 00:31:31 yeah so I want to switch gears a little
00:31:29 00:31:33 bit and I want to I know you're a mom
00:31:31 00:31:35 and you have three kids right so how
00:31:33 00:31:36 does one job I know we have some
00:31:35 00:31:38 problems doing this how does one juggle
00:31:36 00:31:40 three kids with running such a large
00:31:38 00:31:42 business
00:31:40 00:31:46 um with help for sure
00:31:42 00:31:48 um so my we have a uh our two or older
00:31:46 00:31:50 ones are in school but then my
00:31:48 00:31:51 two-year-old she has a babysitter that
00:31:50 00:31:53 comes during the day so we come into
00:31:51 00:31:54 work while she is at home with her
00:31:53 00:31:55 babysitter
00:31:54 00:31:57 um if we ever have to travel she'll stay
00:31:55 00:32:00 the night too she's great um but my
00:31:57 00:32:02 husband is really good too like we we
00:32:00 00:32:04 both are great parents versus it just
00:32:02 00:32:05 being like the mom's role or the dad's
00:32:04 00:32:08 role so
00:32:05 00:32:10 um we tag team a lot and if I have to
00:32:08 00:32:12 work late he'll go home at four and let
00:32:10 00:32:14 our babysitter go and like he'll cook
00:32:12 00:32:16 dinner and such so
00:32:14 00:32:17 um it is a lot at times and we're so
00:32:16 00:32:19 much at work and then you can't get your
00:32:17 00:32:22 work done and you have to do it but I
00:32:19 00:32:25 try really hard to you know four to
00:32:22 00:32:27 eight o'clock as kids time we play we do
00:32:25 00:32:28 math we do that and then if I have to
00:32:27 00:32:30 finish working I'll do that after I get
00:32:28 00:32:32 the kids to bed to to complete the
00:32:30 00:32:34 emails for the day
00:32:32 00:32:37 yeah so your kids are younger than mine
00:32:34 00:32:39 mine are um teenage years now and I feel
00:32:37 00:32:43 like I'm a full-time driver starting at
00:32:39 00:32:46 one o'clock on uh I can't even imagine
00:32:43 00:32:48 uh so so I I my work hours I work from
00:32:46 00:32:50 about seven until about noon or one
00:32:48 00:32:51 o'clock and then the whole afternoon is
00:32:50 00:32:53 just devoted to me being like a
00:32:51 00:32:54 glorified Uber driver like I go to all
00:32:53 00:32:57 their practikes I coach and that sort of
00:32:54 00:32:58 thing uh can you walk me through your
00:32:57 00:33:02 typical day actually I'm very curious
00:32:58 00:33:04 yeah so in the morning it is wake up get
00:33:02 00:33:07 the kids ready for uh school do my
00:33:04 00:33:08 daughter's hair and they're on the they
00:33:07 00:33:10 just started riding the bus like two
00:33:08 00:33:11 weeks ago they're super excited about it
00:33:10 00:33:13 because we moved into our district so
00:33:11 00:33:14 they could ride the bus I don't know why
00:33:13 00:33:16 they They begged to ride the bus I was
00:33:14 00:33:18 like I hated the bus when I was a kid I
00:33:16 00:33:19 did too actually and they ride the bus
00:33:18 00:33:22 and they like it so I'll get them out
00:33:19 00:33:24 the door my husband does too and then um
00:33:22 00:33:25 we play with our two-year-old for just a
00:33:24 00:33:27 little bit before her babysitter gets
00:33:25 00:33:29 there and then I will come into work I'm
00:33:27 00:33:31 still working on we just recently moved
00:33:29 00:33:32 I'm still working on getting my home
00:33:31 00:33:33 office so I can actually work at home
00:33:32 00:33:35 some
00:33:33 00:33:39 um but it looks nice
00:33:35 00:33:40 just a mile away so it's not hard to get
00:33:39 00:33:41 here
00:33:40 00:33:43 um so come in and I'm typically here
00:33:41 00:33:46 every day from eight to four or eight to
00:33:43 00:33:48 five depending on the day
00:33:46 00:33:50 and then go home we have right now this
00:33:48 00:33:52 is a crazy season we've got soccer we've
00:33:50 00:33:54 got cheerleading and baseball so every
00:33:52 00:33:56 single night there is an activity for a
00:33:54 00:33:58 kid to get to Yes
00:33:56 00:33:59 um and so spring especially it's a
00:33:58 00:34:01 little harder but that nights are
00:33:59 00:34:02 usually either driving one of them and
00:34:01 00:34:04 staying at a practike or staying home
00:34:02 00:34:06 with the other two kids and feeding them
00:34:04 00:34:09 dinner cooking them all that stuff
00:34:06 00:34:11 it's nuts so um for so from you said
00:34:09 00:34:13 nine to four you're at work
00:34:11 00:34:14 um what what are your primary duties at
00:34:13 00:34:20 work right now
00:34:14 00:34:22 I am over so many things so I basically
00:34:20 00:34:24 oversee all the products so I'm over the
00:34:22 00:34:26 buying team but we just recently hired a
00:34:24 00:34:28 director of merchandising so she's still
00:34:26 00:34:29 learning the ropes
00:34:28 00:34:31 um I have to work on with them and
00:34:29 00:34:33 demand planning to ensure we're hitting
00:34:31 00:34:35 the numbers that we need to hit on the
00:34:33 00:34:38 sell-through percentages on our
00:34:35 00:34:39 inventory coming in I also oversee the
00:34:38 00:34:42 marketing team so I work with them
00:34:39 00:34:44 directly the marketing director on just
00:34:42 00:34:46 strategies and overall implementation
00:34:44 00:34:49 for marketing also oversee the customer
00:34:46 00:34:51 service team to ensure the the csat
00:34:49 00:34:52 scores are going up and you know
00:34:51 00:34:54 everything that all customers are
00:34:52 00:34:57 satisfied and then from there if there's
00:34:54 00:34:59 other ever other issues that arise or
00:34:57 00:35:00 just things like today I'm this
00:34:59 00:35:02 afternoon going over to the warehouse
00:35:00 00:35:04 just to see new new things that we're
00:35:02 00:35:07 doing and I'm dealing with some issues
00:35:04 00:35:10 with new contracts for our ambassadors
00:35:07 00:35:12 and influencers Etc so hands in a lot of
00:35:10 00:35:14 different things at all times
00:35:12 00:35:16 Tori that that made me tired just
00:35:14 00:35:19 hearing you say all that stuff actually
00:35:16 00:35:22 yeah I do at night time I'm like okay
00:35:19 00:35:24 you probably sleep very well I do yes
00:35:22 00:35:25 yes okay so I want to kind of shift this
00:35:24 00:35:27 last part of the interview towards
00:35:25 00:35:29 people like so as I mentioned before I
00:35:27 00:35:32 run a class and and oftentimes people
00:35:29 00:35:34 want to sell apparel so I want I want
00:35:32 00:35:36 your advice here so whenever someone
00:35:34 00:35:38 asks me to to celebrate whether they
00:35:36 00:35:40 should sell apparel I usually say no
00:35:38 00:35:42 because I think it's just gonna be
00:35:40 00:35:45 extremely difficult but you clearly
00:35:42 00:35:46 pulled it off on a bootstrap budget what
00:35:45 00:35:49 advice would you give people who
00:35:46 00:35:52 actually want to go the apparel route
00:35:49 00:35:55 I would say at this time and age
00:35:52 00:35:57 eight years post when I started total
00:35:55 00:35:59 different world obviously now with
00:35:57 00:36:01 clothing and you know even things like
00:35:59 00:36:03 Amazon fashion was not a thing when I
00:36:01 00:36:05 started so
00:36:03 00:36:06 um I would say the only way for it to be
00:36:05 00:36:08 successful at this point in time would
00:36:06 00:36:11 Define a gap in the market of something
00:36:08 00:36:13 not being sold so that's going to be
00:36:11 00:36:15 like if there is an idea that you have
00:36:13 00:36:17 you know I've seen great Brands pop up
00:36:15 00:36:21 like fiori you know they sell
00:36:17 00:36:22 um really good Lounge wear and such and
00:36:21 00:36:24 they are huge brain that just popped up
00:36:22 00:36:26 you know a few years ago but they had
00:36:24 00:36:27 that Gap in the market and there wasn't
00:36:26 00:36:29 great loungewear and everybody who's
00:36:27 00:36:30 staying home and they wanted that stuff
00:36:29 00:36:32 so
00:36:30 00:36:37 um to really look to see what that Gap
00:36:32 00:36:39 is and um you know I agree on Trends
00:36:37 00:36:41 changing way too fast I think if you go
00:36:39 00:36:43 that route you may not be successful I
00:36:41 00:36:45 would think it's going to be much more
00:36:43 00:36:48 successful if you have classic styles
00:36:45 00:36:50 that work for people long term and also
00:36:48 00:36:51 even going into the the route that you
00:36:50 00:36:54 know we're trying to go in the future is
00:36:51 00:36:55 just having a sustainable clothing line
00:36:54 00:36:58 that can be something huge you know if
00:36:55 00:36:59 you wanted to start out that right now
00:36:58 00:37:00 have you guys had problems with
00:36:59 00:37:03 knockoffs
00:37:00 00:37:04 uh yes absolutely so we always have
00:37:03 00:37:06 issues with that and even as far as
00:37:04 00:37:08 graphic tees and graphic designs you
00:37:06 00:37:10 know that we do on our ours that our
00:37:08 00:37:13 graphic designer hand draws then we see
00:37:10 00:37:15 it all over Etsy a month later so
00:37:13 00:37:17 um yes we we always have issues with
00:37:15 00:37:18 that what would you say like a good
00:37:17 00:37:19 starting budget would be for someone new
00:37:18 00:37:21 who wants to go into apparel do you
00:37:19 00:37:23 think it's possible to bootstrap it just
00:37:21 00:37:26 like you guys did today yeah absolutely
00:37:23 00:37:28 yeah okay I think I'm always in favor of
00:37:26 00:37:30 walking before you run sure you know
00:37:28 00:37:32 that so and where would you start in
00:37:30 00:37:33 terms of marketing would you start with
00:37:32 00:37:35 influencers would you start on social
00:37:33 00:37:36 what would you do if you start all over
00:37:35 00:37:39 again
00:37:36 00:37:41 right now I would do both I would start
00:37:39 00:37:43 you know definitely with uh influencers
00:37:41 00:37:45 and you know tiktok and Instagram
00:37:43 00:37:48 social media I think that there's still
00:37:45 00:37:49 a lot of life left in some of those uh
00:37:48 00:37:52 platforms and there's also new platforms
00:37:49 00:37:54 always starting up so um a lot of women
00:37:52 00:37:56 have or a lot of Boutique owners that I
00:37:54 00:37:57 know have great success with both of
00:37:56 00:38:00 those especially tiktok right now
00:37:57 00:38:02 yeah yeah take some dance lessons throw
00:38:00 00:38:05 up some tikets yeah
00:38:02 00:38:07 we're gonna do great uh what's your
00:38:05 00:38:10 influencer strategy what do you find so
00:38:07 00:38:12 we work with a variety of influencers
00:38:10 00:38:15 and we really
00:38:12 00:38:18 we ensure that we're getting a good Roi
00:38:15 00:38:19 on them though so I mean it does
00:38:18 00:38:21 um take a lot of like after the fact
00:38:19 00:38:22 here's what they are posting here's what
00:38:21 00:38:24 this what's sold here's what their
00:38:22 00:38:26 coupon code brought in for us to be able
00:38:24 00:38:30 to rebook them you do have to bring in a
00:38:26 00:38:31 certain Roi but our strategy it's really
00:38:30 00:38:34 um it's ever changing because the
00:38:31 00:38:35 influencer world is always where do you
00:38:34 00:38:38 find them do you look on Instagram
00:38:35 00:38:39 primarily yeah so we were Instagram tik
00:38:38 00:38:41 tok YouTube we work with all
00:38:39 00:38:43 influencers on all those platforms so do
00:38:41 00:38:44 you give them like a trial like you
00:38:43 00:38:46 mentioned Roi but it's really hard to
00:38:44 00:38:48 figure out whether someone's going to be
00:38:46 00:38:50 Roi positive right so most influencers
00:38:48 00:38:53 don't do a trial it's just you know
00:38:50 00:38:55 they're so what I meant by that is do
00:38:53 00:38:57 you cast your net wide and then and
00:38:55 00:38:58 figure out who's who works and then just
00:38:57 00:39:00 focus on those things okay I think if
00:38:58 00:39:02 you're starting out now that's exactly
00:39:00 00:39:03 what I would do do you focus on the
00:39:02 00:39:05 smaller or are you guys looking at
00:39:03 00:39:08 bigger people or
00:39:05 00:39:10 uh so for us it's a it's a really good
00:39:08 00:39:12 mix the ones that really drive the
00:39:10 00:39:14 conversion and the sales are the bigger
00:39:12 00:39:16 girls
00:39:14 00:39:19 um but it's very hard to book larger
00:39:16 00:39:21 girls and it's also very expensive to
00:39:19 00:39:24 book larger girls so I think if you take
00:39:21 00:39:26 the money and split it um amongst
00:39:24 00:39:29 smaller ones you're going to get a whole
00:39:26 00:39:30 lot more new audiences and in the long
00:39:29 00:39:33 run it can be better for just that top
00:39:30 00:39:35 of funnel marketing so uh what do you
00:39:33 00:39:37 negotiate as like the deliverables I
00:39:35 00:39:39 mean obviously you're not sometimes one
00:39:37 00:39:41 post isn't enough right so what is your
00:39:39 00:39:43 typical like minimum book for them to
00:39:41 00:39:46 post for you
00:39:43 00:39:48 um usually it is just one post
00:39:46 00:39:49 a story session too I mean there's
00:39:48 00:39:52 definitely some that we do like okay two
00:39:49 00:39:54 posts a month and two story sessions but
00:39:52 00:39:56 um a lot of them like to have a variety
00:39:54 00:39:57 of things that they cover on their their
00:39:56 00:39:59 platforms and they don't want to just be
00:39:57 00:40:01 like only showing one brand all the time
00:39:59 00:40:04 interesting are you looking for Roi
00:40:01 00:40:06 positivity with influencers or do you I
00:40:04 00:40:07 would imagine your repeat customer rates
00:40:06 00:40:10 pretty pretty good right because you
00:40:07 00:40:12 have a closer we have about a 74
00:40:10 00:40:14 retention rate okay that's amazing yeah
00:40:12 00:40:16 that's amazing it's very above average
00:40:14 00:40:18 yeah that's amazing so that means you
00:40:16 00:40:20 can probably afford to lose money on
00:40:18 00:40:21 these influencers right just again yeah
00:40:20 00:40:24 we don't though we we make sure that we
00:40:21 00:40:26 do not lose money on any of our our um
00:40:24 00:40:28 Investments so we do a make sure that we
00:40:26 00:40:30 have a positive Roi okay so if you're
00:40:28 00:40:33 brand new would you just recommend going
00:40:30 00:40:34 after the small guys were you do you do
00:40:33 00:40:37 you actually just give away product for
00:40:34 00:40:39 the small people and in return for
00:40:37 00:40:42 in the past yes
00:40:39 00:40:43 the world has changed so much that very
00:40:42 00:40:45 little influencers do it for free
00:40:43 00:40:47 product these days everyone considers
00:40:45 00:40:49 this themselves an influencer I know
00:40:47 00:40:51 it's changed drastikally in the last
00:40:49 00:40:54 even two to three years The Way of the
00:40:51 00:40:55 World in 2018 with influencer world is
00:40:54 00:40:58 drastikally different than it is in
00:40:55 00:40:59 2022. yeah okay so that sounds like a
00:40:58 00:41:01 good overview so you could probably
00:40:59 00:41:03 bootstrap with like 10 grand if you were
00:41:01 00:41:05 doing it all over today focus on social
00:41:03 00:41:07 maybe tiktok the free organic methods
00:41:05 00:41:09 yeah and find some influencers find out
00:41:07 00:41:11 hopefully try to just give away the
00:41:09 00:41:13 product in return for some mentions yeah
00:41:11 00:41:16 especially social create a community
00:41:13 00:41:18 yeah I think the community is a really
00:41:16 00:41:20 big factor I think that that's just the
00:41:18 00:41:23 way of the future with online selling
00:41:20 00:41:24 overall and you know people want to feel
00:41:23 00:41:27 like they're my husband's in this
00:41:24 00:41:29 bourbon group community and he spends a
00:41:27 00:41:31 lot of money in there and he's like I
00:41:29 00:41:33 love it I'm addicted to it and I feel
00:41:31 00:41:35 like people actually do get addicted to
00:41:33 00:41:36 these groups and that they want to check
00:41:35 00:41:37 it every day and then they're like oh
00:41:36 00:41:39 well let me buy that and you know they
00:41:37 00:41:40 get excited and they want to fill a part
00:41:39 00:41:42 of a community you know people are
00:41:40 00:41:43 spending less and less real time
00:41:42 00:41:45 together so they want to have an
00:41:43 00:41:47 alternative and that's a community on
00:41:45 00:41:49 social media is Facebook still the best
00:41:47 00:41:50 place for communities or have you
00:41:49 00:41:52 branched out elsewhere
00:41:50 00:41:54 I think a Facebook group is probably
00:41:52 00:41:56 still the number one still number one
00:41:54 00:41:58 if you want to see more amazing
00:41:56 00:42:00 interviews with successful entrepreneurs
00:41:58 00:42:02 then check out this next interview right
00:42:00 00:42:05 here I think you'll enjoy it and you'll
00:42:02 00:42:05 definitely be inspired

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