Route One Apparel

Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?

I made a support jersey for the bar I worked for. It was forced to shut down but had a huge following. I marketed my idea on social media and people kept requesting a way to order online. I launched my store and overnight made $12,000 in sales. I was a junior in college at the time, first generation college student. I designed all products myself for over 3.5 years. Manufacturing is all over the world but we pride ourselves in keeping about 80% of our manufacturing in the USA.

How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?

Through a Facebook event I created to let my friends know, which ended up having over 3,000 requests. Facebook is our largest with about 85%. Also reddit.

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?

ShipStation was a lifestyle change for me. I used to pack orders every day in my basement until 2-4 AM. I would have to manually type in each tracking number and scan each package at USPS individually. I went to Austin TX to meet the ShipStation team and they were amazing and helped me setup my account. I used to fulfill out of my parents house and would ship at least 100-300 orders weekly. Instead of moving out, I invested in an office space around this time last year. We have a great fulfillment team and we encourage them to get creative with the packing process (they write cute notes, give promo cards, freebies).

What are your top recommendations for new store owners?

Have as close of a relationship you can get with your customers. Encourage feedback and recommendations at all times and reward them for doing so. As a community brand, we make sure to treat our customers like family. We now have over 200,000 followers in social media and the most insane engagement rates by doing so.

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