How swimwear cofounders turned $30,000 loan into million-dollar brand

  • Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman cofounded Monday Swimwear in 2014 with a $30,000 loan. Now, the corporate is on monitor to do $20 million in annual income earlier than 2022. 
  • With no enterprise capital funding, the corporate has doubled income yearly since its founding. 
  • Oakley credit social media advertising and their distinctive imaginative and prescient with the brand’s success, and shares the methods she and Brugman utilized to get to the place they’re. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

In 2014, a niche within the swimwear market meant alternative for Monday Swimwear cofounders Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman. 

After the launch of their “A Bikini A Day” weblog in 2012 — a ardour venture for the pair previous to their swimwear brand — Oakley and Brugman realized that the 1000’s of bikinis they examined, usually in partnership with advertisers, have been by no means fairly as much as par.  

Seeing a niche available in the market for high-quality, on-trend swimwear that might cater to bigger cup sizes and accommodate a various vary of physique sorts, they determined to fill the demand themselves. 

Starting out with a $30,000 loan, Oakley and Brugman produced the primary Monday Swimwear assortment and fulfilled orders out of their shared two-bedroom house in Los Angeles. With the precise market publicity they’d want given their in depth swimwear-loving, largely feminine social media following — which now tops 4 million — gross sales took off instantly. “Our first collection sold out within two weeks of launch,” Oakley stated. 

Now, nonetheless working out of Los Angeles however with a small staff of eight staff, Monday’s product line has expanded to a few seasonal collections and a year-round best-selling signature assortment. Adamant concerning the firm’s construction as a direct-to-consumer firm, the cofounders have grown to promoting over 20,000 fits a month, that are shipped via the staff’s logistics companions in Southern California, Sydney, and London. 

Monday was worthwhile in yr one, and has remained so ever since, doubling income every year.

“We have never pitched the brand to any venture capital firms or sought after any external investment,” Oakley advised Business Insider, saying that she and Brugman have rejected alternatives to promote. “It’s always been important for us to have total control over the business’ decisions and direction.”

Now rating as one of many largest swimwear manufacturers within the business, Monday steadily seems on celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Khloe Kardashian, and Jennifer Lopez, and the cofounders stated it is on monitor to do $20 million in annual income earlier than 2022. 

Using the savvy the pair have acquired from years of entrepreneurship and trial and error, Oakley and Brugman’s  success comes as the results of a perfected strategy that makes use of flexibility, market perception, buyer suggestions, and an entire lot of social media. 

They shared the methods behind their success with Business Insider. 

A versatile marketing strategy

Anticipating buyer engagement and anticipated revenues is crucial, in keeping with Oakley.

“In the practical sense, we use a pretty straightforward approach. We project revenue goals about 18 months out and work backward from there to ensure we have the product, marketing budget, and ideas to support those goals,” Oakley stated.

“We try to remain as fluid and reactive as possible, which can be challenging as a retail company,” she added. “We plan our frameworks far in advance but reanalyze goals, budgets and marketing initiatives on a biweekly and sometimes weekly basis to ensure we are being sensitive to our customers needs and experiences.” 

Perfect your social media advertising 

With just a few million followers amassed between their blogs, Oakley acknowledged that she and Brugman have been in a “unique and fortunate position,” having began their brand with little to no promoting or advertising funds.

“Most of our early customers came from our followers over at A Bikini A Day and our personal Instagram pages, so obviously social media — particularly Instagram — is a huge focus for us,” Oakley stated.

“We see Instagram as a tool to communicate directly with customers and customers-to-be and so we work hard to keep our Instagram both informative and exciting.”

At its easiest, she stated, social media is visible. “We’re intentional about the imagery we create and share, making sure it feels on-brand, unique, and showcases different body types and skin tones so everyone feels seen.” On the paid social facet, she stated they see direct return on promoting spend or round 15x-20x every year. “We credit a lot of this with our imagery and understanding our customers and potential customers. We know who they are and what they want to see.”

Quality merchandise for a focused market 

“With no formal training in fashion design or production, perfecting our design and fit was an initial challenge,” Oakley stated, however via trial and error and a “rigorous fit strategy,” they have been in a position to streamline provide and success channels.

“It sounds simple, but creating quality products that we love and that will help make our customers feel their most confident is at the core of everything we do,” Oakley stated, including that dedication to their product stays an important a part of their enterprise, and that the pair have catered whole collections to followers primarily based on suggestions acquired via social media.

Being in contact with clients has been important to Monday’s success and development, Oakley stated, giving them a singular perspective in the marketplace as each influencers and entrepreneurs.

Careful staff development 

“Devin and I have a very hands-on approach to running and managing our company and like to be involved in every aspect of the business,” Oakley stated.

In order to scale up and concentrate on development, she stated they needed to study to delegate and rent the best folks. “We purposely have a small team with each team member being highly involved with and passionate about the brand. Like Devin and myself, we all wear a lot of hats and have a very good understanding of the brands ethics, voice, and goals.”

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