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EXECUTION Made my first sale yesterday

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windchaser

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Hi fellowfastlaners,

I have not visited the forum for a while (was very busy executing :)) but everything is starting to payoff now.

After months of work, dealing with manufacturers and supplier, among other things, my website is finally live and have already made several sales, all organic, I haven't starting with paid traffic yet.

I just wanted to share such an exciting feeling with you guys :)

Now I am focusing on improving my sales channel and experiment with paid traffic to see what yields the best results.

My business is an online kids fashion brand selling mainly in Spain and rest of EU (for now). Looking forward to expanding to Latam and US but I am focusing on building a brand in my home market at this point.

I will keep posting my progress here!

If anyone is also in the process of starting in the fashion industry I am happy to connect and advise to the best of my experience!

Have a great day!
 

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Walter Hay

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Nothing can quite beat that first rush of excitement. It's great to see it happening and I hope it continues to grow.

The fact that you have done it with organic traffic. That's excellent. Congratulations.

Walter
 

PapaGang

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Congratulations, this sounds great. There is nothing like the feeling of getting a sale. I'm glad that your ideas are being validated. Would love to hear more and look forward to seeing your progress. Sounds like a hard-earned success. Best of luck!
 
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windchaser

windchaser

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Many thanks for your messages and support! :)

Agree, it was a wonderful feeling, also I am receiving photos and messages from happy customers and many people writing just to say how much they like the products. That part is the best! :)

I wanted to post an update on the status of the business after two intense weeks.

Momentum keeps growing, most of my sales are coming through Instagram organically (and few through posts and story promotions, the truth is I have not spend a lot of money on paid traffic and the one I spent has been fruitful). I got several unsolicited (and unpaid) reposts and recommendations from Instagram bloggers on my niche and that has helped.

I am also focusing on providing superior client service to all clients and potential clients, and that has paid off, I have closed several sales that way.

I am also in the process of closing a collaboration with a kind of influencer (not crazy amount of followers but very good quality and 90% of them are my target) and she is very sincere with her recommendations. So let´t see how that goes.

My main concern right now is inventory on 2 fronts:
1) I had a delay on one of the products that I will receive next week (3 weeks late) but what I did was opening a reservations list and have big part of original inventory sold (and took the opportunnity to produce more).
2) I am already out of stock on several products and sizes. I am already restocking, hopefully will be fastest this time. My main challenge is that I have a lot of SKUs (as I need to have many different sizes). The good part is that I have some control on what sales more. I realized how certain photos and ways of presenting the products boost sales, so I can use that to my advantage to draw the attention to products with more inventory.

I will catch up with another update soon :) Thanks for listening!
 
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windchaser

windchaser

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Nothing can quite beat that first rush of excitement. It's great to see it happening and I hope it continues to grow.

The fact that you have done it with organic traffic. That's excellent. Congratulations.

Walter
Absolutely! Yes, I am feeling quite well, actually performance is better than I expected and organic is always good news :)

That is awesome both the execution and that feeling.

I am always wondering about the conversion rate of the Fashion website side banner ad in Yahoo mail that is there every single day it seems. :)
Haha, I wonder the same thing. Haven´t tried banners yet but will let you know if I do! At least in my case Instagram is by far the best source right now (it is true that I haven´t tried a lot of differnet things yet)

Hooray! I love that feeling! Congratulations :)

It's almost like you've created something special and the sales are the validation of trusting your gut and hard work. Keep the momentum going! Onwards and upwards :)
Many thanks for your kidn words, it is excatly like that! I will do my best to build up on that momentum.

Congratulations, this sounds great. There is nothing like the feeling of getting a sale. I'm glad that your ideas are being validated. Would love to hear more and look forward to seeing your progress. Sounds like a hard-earned success. Best of luck!
Thanks!! I will keep you posted
 

Ernman

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Awesome - enjoy the feeling and all the best to your future!
 

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EN_VY

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Ahh yes, the first sale has got to be one of the BEST feelings in the world. Congrats!
 

dauntless

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Oct 26, 2019
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Congratulations, it sounds like you are getting some good traction going. And, I can imagine that restocking product is usually one of the first issues businesses go through when it comes to e-commerce.
I haven't done any fashion e-commerce myself, so I am interested in knowing more. Would appreciate it if you could answer these questions:

-Did you start as a private label?
-Are you manufacturing your products?
-How do you distribute? top you dropship or you rent a warehouse to store goods?
-How did you start with advertising in Instagram? paid ads? lots of marketing collateral?

Thank you!
 
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windchaser

windchaser

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May 24, 2017
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Congratulations, it sounds like you are getting some good traction going. And, I can imagine that restocking product is usually one of the first issues businesses go through when it comes to e-commerce.
I haven't done any fashion e-commerce myself, so I am interested in knowing more. Would appreciate it if you could answer these questions:

-Did you start as a private label?
-Are you manufacturing your products?
-How do you distribute? top you dropship or you rent a warehouse to store goods?
-How did you start with advertising in Instagram? paid ads? lots of marketing collateral?

Thank you!
Absolutely! Happy to share.

1) Yes, I started my own private label together with a childhood friend who has been doing taylored clothes for kids for over 10 years.

2) We make the designs, patterns and prototypes and outsource manufacturing to a couple of local small batch producers but we have a lot of control of production, the main issue is timing, as we are not the only clients and are the smaller, so obviously not top priority.
I have talked with plenty of fashion entrepreneurs and all of them had the same issues and even worse ones.
As soon as it makes sense in terms of production, we will consider hiring people to do our production exclusively, but it is tricky as in my country employment costs are very high and has other associated costs.
We try to minimize inventory issues by splitting production between 2 manufactures, the main issue is that it has to be with different products for now, as our production per sku is not big enough to be split and take advantage of economies of scale.

3) At this point I do distribution myself, I have most inventory at my place (in the guest room) and my former room at my parents place (they live very close). Good thing about children clothes is that you can stire a lot in very little room :) At this point I can manage, when volume grows to the point I can't handle it, I will outsource storage and shipping to a logistics provider a couple of entrepreneurs who work with them have recommended me.

4) On Instagram I started organically posting content every other day and complementing with stories. First followers came from personal network and friends of friends (who posted in their respective accounts and shared with relevant friends) and also fron a mailing list I created a couple months ago. I created a survey and gave away 3 gift cards among thebpeople who responded and subscribed to my newsletter. From that mailing list I got 3 sales, many followers and the collaboration I menrioned in my post (it is one of the people who won the gift card).
I am also getting more proposals of collaboration from other influencers but only accepted this one.
This is something that I am eager to explore more deeply as my gut tells me it will have a good ROI.

I started with paid traffic last week, only thing I tried so far is promoting posts with very low budget (less than €15 per post) with different targetting criteria. My posts got very good engagement, I am getting a lot of new followers and sales.
I am in the process of creating paid adds (I am preparing different versions to test the waters) and after that I will put some money into google ads and display. I will make and update with those results.
Another interesting organic source has been the grandmothers of some of the kids I used as models, they saw the pictures and liked the clothes so much they bought them for all their grandchildren :) i need to find another way to target grandmothers as they are amazing potential customers, but despite they buy online they are difficult to target thorugh online marketing. (I am also exploring some offline options like popup kids fashion markets)
Of course, any suggestions are welcome!
 

dauntless

Contributor
Oct 26, 2019
25
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Absolutely! Happy to share.

1) Yes, I started my own private label together with a childhood friend who has been doing taylored clothes for kids for over 10 years.

2) We make the designs, patterns and prototypes and outsource manufacturing to a couple of local small batch producers but we have a lot of control of production, the main issue is timing, as we are not the only clients and are the smaller, so obviously not top priority.
I have talked with plenty of fashion entrepreneurs and all of them had the same issues and even worse ones.
As soon as it makes sense in terms of production, we will consider hiring people to do our production exclusively, but it is tricky as in my country employment costs are very high and has other associated costs.
We try to minimize inventory issues by splitting production between 2 manufactures, the main issue is that it has to be with different products for now, as our production per sku is not big enough to be split and take advantage of economies of scale.

3) At this point I do distribution myself, I have most inventory at my place (in the guest room) and my former room at my parents place (they live very close). Good thing about children clothes is that you can stire a lot in very little room :) At this point I can manage, when volume grows to the point I can't handle it, I will outsource storage and shipping to a logistics provider a couple of entrepreneurs who work with them have recommended me.

4) On Instagram I started organically posting content every other day and complementing with stories. First followers came from personal network and friends of friends (who posted in their respective accounts and shared with relevant friends) and also fron a mailing list I created a couple months ago. I created a survey and gave away 3 gift cards among thebpeople who responded and subscribed to my newsletter. From that mailing list I got 3 sales, many followers and the collaboration I menrioned in my post (it is one of the people who won the gift card).
I am also getting more proposals of collaboration from other influencers but only accepted this one.
This is something that I am eager to explore more deeply as my gut tells me it will have a good ROI.

I started with paid traffic last week, only thing I tried so far is promoting posts with very low budget (less than €15 per post) with different targetting criteria. My posts got very good engagement, I am getting a lot of new followers and sales.
I am in the process of creating paid adds (I am preparing different versions to test the waters) and after that I will put some money into google ads and display. I will make and update with those results.
Another interesting organic source has been the grandmothers of some of the kids I used as models, they saw the pictures and liked the clothes so much they bought them for all their grandchildren :) i need to find another way to target grandmothers as they are amazing potential customers, but despite they buy online they are difficult to target thorugh online marketing. (I am also exploring some offline options like popup kids fashion markets)
Of course, any suggestions are welcome!
Amazing response, thanks for sharing.
I think you're doing great by exploring new methods and learning from past issues/mistakes, then adapting new changes to minimize errors.
I'm still learning about the e-commerce world and posts like yours are always very insightful. Thank You!.
 
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windchaser

windchaser

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May 24, 2017
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Spain
Amazing response, thanks for sharing.
I think you're doing great by exploring new methods and learning from past issues/mistakes, then adapting new changes to minimize errors.
I'm still learning about the e-commerce world and posts like yours are always very insightful. Thank You!.
Happy to hear you found it helpful!
 
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OP
windchaser

windchaser

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May 24, 2017
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Spain
Hi there,
It's been a while since my last post, been extremely busy with my business and some family issues I had to deal with.

Just wanted to post an update:
Things are going better than expected, actually my main problem has been dealing with inventory to keep up with demand and to do so I started to open presales while products were being produced and it went quite well, by the time I received them they werr almost all of them sold :)

I also went to a couple of popup markets during Christmas and sold a lot, and also managed to get new customers who didnt know my brand and make some networking with fellow entrepreneurs in the sinikar industries (fond a couple of collaborations with brands making complementary products).

I received several queries from multibrand stores who want to sell my products but I am only considering theur offer on markets in which I have a difficult access to.

I also received an partnership offer to sell my products in China but declined because I dodnt like the terms of the proposal.

On the marketing side, Instagram has been my goldmine, we have grown explosively, mainly organically, and got several unsolicited posts and stories from customers who happenned to be influencers and brought us many followers and sales.
Facebook brought me a lot of traffic but very few sales, so I kept focusing my efforts on Instagram.
Recently, I started with Pinterest as well, it is bringing me some organic traffic but it is early to tell, however, it looks promising. Next advertising effort I want to make is with influencers as the unsolicited experience I had worked very good (although it is not exactly the same as unsolicited is definitely more powerful).
Regarfing sales, I decided not to dump proces and only do small discounts and offer reduced shipping costs and the strategy worked quite well. I am attracting the right type of customer.

I am also very happy with customer satisfaction. So far we only had one return (despite being completely free), few change of sizes (I was actually expecting more), many messages and photos from happy customers, and around 8% of recurring customers (which I believe that for a new brand with barely 3 months of operations and only one small collection is quite good)

Right now I am in the process of looking for some small office space werr we can also have the stock and hire someone for a few hours to assist with packaging, as the volume is starting to grow to a point that takes several hours to prepare daily orders.

Regarding the new collection, as soon as I have the photos with the prototypes I will open a presale with a small discount of 10%, I didn't do it last time and I regret it, especially after seeing the results of my presale of additional units with no discount :)

Thanks for reading! I hope to be posting more updates soon.
 

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