Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Boardies Apparel® is swimwear brand from the UK inspired by the hedonistic party scene around the world. We first saw a gap in the market for quality mens swim shorts with cool designs, available at accessible prices, whilst spending time at the all-day pool parties and clubs in Ibiza. Our creative team design exclusive Boardies® prints and we work with state of the art printers and factories, manufacturing mostly in the far east.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Back at the end of 2014 we launched our Shopify website and quite quickly our first sales started coming through. We has some early success by being selected by ASOS.com who took quite a wide selection of Boardies® styles, which helped to generate quite a lot of traffic to our web store. Some strong press followed in some key fashion and mens magazines which primed customers to check out our website.
Instagram is also an effective tool to showcase our brand and products to a targeted audience and this helps drive sales. We have found that a combination of online activity and physical wholesale stores drive the most traffic. Boardies® is available in the Selfridges store London and also on their website, so we get a double effect.
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?
We have managed to integrate many of Boardies®’ systems with Shopify which drives many efficiencies. For example all our orders are processed via software like Stitchlabs and this feeds directly into Shopify, as well as with our accounts software. When we receive a sale, the notification goes straight to our warehouse and the shorts are picked, packed and shipped within 24 hours. The whole team at Boardies® uses Shopify and we have found it very intuitive and its constantly developing with new features.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
We advise new store owners to find a genuine gap in the market, doing something new or better than what’s been done before. Research the market thoroughly and build a firm understanding of who your customer is. There are new swimwear brands launching every day, but we believe that Boardies® offers a unique point of difference which sets us apart. Finally, make sure you make the best use out of Shopify webinars and videos as there is so much helpful information readily available.