Fashion startup leveraging social media: Teyxo
Achieving success with your own fashion line is the result of working hard and working smart. We have the pointers to help you do both.
Lara Roxana Popa started her Etsy storefront in 2013, Teyxo, and has already achieved over 5,000 sales! She has over 500 fashions available broken into a variety of lines like: “Urban Muse”, “Jazz Up”, and more traditional categories such as “Tops and Tunics” and “Jumpsuits”.
Lara hails from Bucharest, Romania and she has done two things that directly resulted in her astounding sales numbers: grown her fashion line by listening to customer feedback and marketing effectively.
Listening and learning:
Like others we have interviewed, Lara is a member of several groups on Etsy where she has learned invaluable information. Some of the groups she has joined include:
We asked Lara how she learned to run a clothing business and she stated:
“We live in a time when everything changes so fast, we develop every day new solutions and new means of making our life easier, making things more accessible, communicate faster and in the end, dissolving borders and walls. So, I believe, I need to keep up with all these changes and constantly learn and adapt. I definitely learned a lot from my mistakes. I didn’t know a lot when I first started this.
At the end of 2013, I have discovered Etsy and opened my first boutique there – TEYXO. But the first couple of months were almost like a training, as despite the fact that the Internet is full of information, I needed to find out what works for me and to discover the unique pattern for my business, to find my niche, my customers and in the end to build the identity of the brand. These are not easy things and while there are so many wonderful and successful people who share their experiences, you need to try things on your own, to fail, try again and so on until your business starts to become successful.”
Learning to listen to your customers and the marketplace is key to achieving good sales:
“…before I start to create a new collection, I do a lot of research. I study the fashion news, the trends, I ask my customers what would they like to wear next, as I want to create clothes that people will wear on a daily basis. Then, after I gathered all this data, I sit in my workshop and I let myself inspired by music, films, paintings, muses of The Roaring Twenties, as I am so in love with that era and I let myself go and I start drawing sketches and creating the concept which the new collection is based on. After I have these, I create the patterns which I use in production, along with my specialized team. Having custom made clothing, I use individual patterns for most of the products, which are all handmade.”
Using customer feedback and her own intuition Lara created her own niche: comfortable daily-wear clothes that still look gorgeous.
“I have always wanted to do something different, at the edge of elegance and urban, with a touch of retro, a sparkle of theater and street. I want to create clothes that are stylish, yet comfortable, that feel great, that empower women and in which women feel perfect. I have asked one time in a group which piece of clothing do they love the most and surprisingly, a lot of them said their pajamas because, well, it’s true, they feel so comfortable.
But why shouldn’t we feel as comfortable in our daily clothes? I believe we should feel perfect in all our pieces from our wardrobe and still look gorgeous and fabulous. And this I think is another important aspect, which I try to achieve with TEYXO. I have always had problems when buying clothes from malls or different affordable brands with the sleeve length or the pants length.
I do have long legs, but I am just 5’9” and I could almost never find the right pants, so I had to offer this service for free: customization on the customer’s measurements. Our bodies are unique and we do not fit in standard sizes, so I always ask my customers for their measurements and thus, I try to offer them the best fit as possible. This, I believe, is the key of feeling comfortable in your clothes.”
Focus on Marketing
But having amazing products that nobody finds is like a tree falling in the forest – if no one is around, no one hears it. You have to work on marketing every day of the year. If you checkout Lara’s social networks, you’ll see she has put tremendous effort into cultivating a following.
On Facebook she has almost 70,000 followers, and she updates her page with new posts and interactions on an almost daily basis. Reviewing her posts also shows that she never fails to respond to comments or reactions from her followers.
Her Twitter account has over 2,600 followers and is updated every couple of days. Same thing goes for her Instagram account (1,400 followers) and Pinterest page (517 followers).
Futhermore, she has worked to get media exposure that fueled her growth of followers:
- Featured in Glamour UK 2016
- VaiVai magazine May 2016
- The Clothes Maiden magazine May 2016
- Manik Mag Feb 2015 interview and writeup
- VMH magazine Nov 2015
When we asked Lara about her greatest challenges, she identified marketing as something she strives to stay on top of:
“I face challenges every day, as I always think of what to create next, what collection should I make, what would my customers want. But the biggest challenges I think are in terms of exposure, of being seen, of creating exciting campaigns and exciting promotions, as the market is very competitive.
So, how can you be amongst the best? I personally feel that having a very good product is key and I fight for high quality in everything that I do from customer service to fast shipping to the best fabrics and the best production. But this may not be enough, as we need to reach out for customers, so conquering social media and networking is the next step that one needs to fulfill and this may be quite challenging, as new things come up every day, so as I said previously, you need to keep up with this fast changing digital world.”
So how can you get to thousands of followers on the different social media platforms? It takes hard work and a bit of luck. Here’s what we have found works: trickle marketing, or the concept of constantly updating your marketing channels through the day.
Let’s take a look at how this could work on the different platforms.
The nosiest of all the social media platforms, Twitter requires constant interaction to be successful. In looking at Lara’s feed, we can see that she needs to increase her level of engagement to grow her followers.
Several times per hour, you need spend 60 seconds to search, like, then retweet whatever you see that is engaging. This way, you’ll maximize the possibility of being seen by the most people who might like what you offer.
Aim for 40-50 interactions per day on Twitter. Some people are great at multi-tasking and have no problems whipping out their phone whenever there is a slice of available time – in the bathroom, while you dial a client, in the car, or while walking to a meeting.
Other people prefer to sit uninterrupted at a task for a couple hours. If you fall into the latter category you have a few options. You can hire someone remotely at as low a rate as possible to handle your social media engagement, or you can use a tool that will let you aggregate your actions and then post them throughout the day on a timed schedule.
Unlike Twitter, you won’t need the same level of constant engagement on Facebook, but you will need to be prompt in responding to comments, likes, or shares of your content.
Preferably you should post at least a couple times per day, and then check for responses hourly to ensure a timely reply. Content that you post on Facebook can include links to your blog articles, images that you are also posting to Instagram, and content that is relevant to your industry.
Reach out to influencers on Facebook and offer free products or discounts in exchange for a posting on their page that includes links to your website and Facebook page.
Again, if don’t have time, find a remote worker who can research influencers and make the initial contact, then you can focus on only the leads that pan out. Set a monthly budget of how much you are willing spend on giveaways and then make sure that you fulfill your budget.
Lara has done an excellent job on Facebook and she’s incorporated an email signup form, her Pinterest feed, and her Instagram feed. Her response time is rated by Facebook as “Very responsive”. It’s easy to see why she has such a massive following.
Checkout Lara’s urban yet comfortable fitting fashions below: