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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a Forbes article featured a young LDS couple and their incredible success bootstrapping their clothing brand. To read the full article, click here.
Ryan Beck probably didn’t know what was in store for him when he started his internship quest this summer — but he hit the jackpot when the luxury direct-to-consumer startup, Taft Clothing, gave him the thumbs up. Beck, an MBA Candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Business, was now to able to get visibility into building a startup and extract priceless bootstrapping lessons as a result. Said Beck:
“It was an average weekday in early 2017 when I visited the global headquarters of Taft, a men’s shoe company based in Provo, Utah. Taft founders Mallory and Kory Stevens were camped out on in their living room, surrounded by shoe boxes and toys, responding to the daily deluge of customer inquiries – their months-old daughter napping between them. Looks can be deceiving. This little family business the Stevens run from a small, rented apartment is now valued at over $15M. No employees. No office. No VCs. Just Kory, Mallory, and their two kids making it all happen on a shoe string.”
Silicon Valley is obsessed with the ethos of bootstrapping. Yet, even in an Eric Ries-inspired lean startup world, the Stevens’ story is unique. How exactly did a married couple with no e-commerce expertise get to 30K+ customers and $5M+ in annual revenue from their living room? As a result of Beck’s internship, these essential bootstrapping rules were extracted from the Taft playbook — and you should consider adding them to yours.
Rule 1: Market Where You Have Advantage – Go Social
In most established industries, upstarts are never going to win on SEO or Google AdWords. Many of the most effective marketers find their initial footing on social platforms.
To read the full article on Forbes, click here.