Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I listened carefully to everyone around me for over a year, learning about their problems with brands, pricing, personal stuff, lifestyle issues, etc. I forgot to listen to myself until it came time to buy more boxer briefs. I looked online. My first choice was Amazon.com and found Calvin Klein underwear for $28. I said, ok, that's better than buying it at $31 plus tax on Nordstrom. I added 1 to my cart, and then proceeded to change the quantity to 7. Total was $196 with free prime shipping (yay for free shipping!). But heck, $200 on underwear? I might as well make my own, right? Ding!
Sourcing is the most expensive portion of the process. Because you don't want to stock up on inventory that's not guaranteed to be sold, you'll want to partner with someone that will sit with you throughout the process. Most factories want quick orders and deliveries and then you'll never hear from them again. Others, however, care about what they deliver to you, and make sure you're ordering at a time when you can and are able to. Finding the right factory requires time, a bit of traveling, and some swift negotiating on a friendly manner. Look for a factory that cares about you, and I mean this in a business sense. The higher your chances of success, the higher their chances of a repeat order. I gathered a team of known associates in the textile industry to source the best possible factory for my boxer briefs. I ordered samples, trials, prototypes, tests, and then repeated until we reached our current version. This can get quite expensive, but if you're sure you're making a great product, you won't have a problem spending the dough.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Getting to this point took 12 months since the idea was born, and 6 months since the last prototype was built. It takes time and patience, something most people can't afford to have. But what if I told you that I did all this while on a full time job? I quit just last month to get the ball rolling on the PR. The samples that were sent to bloggers and influencers are currently being reviewed. With our first feature on Valet Magazine from valetmag.com, we got out first wave of sales! We started off on Kickstarter and are now 100% online based.</>
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and Fulfillment?
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
I have 0 equity partners and 0 employees. I handle purchasing, procurement, graphics design, video editing, marketing, social media, systems, accounting, banking, payments, sales, quotes, wholesale, and customer service. You can too if you organize yourself.