GracedByGrit has omnichannel down, even if the strategy happened organically rather than strategically.
The self-funded activewear line, in its second year of business, opened its first store in Solana Beach, Calif., this month and was recently featured on digital shopping network Evine Live.
GracedByGrit is headquartered in Solana Beach, where it produces all of its clothes and was founded by Kate Nowlan and Kimberly Caccavo while the two were running together. The athletic brand for women, ages 28 to 45, makes $46 tanks, $96 half-zip pullovers and $76 capris among other items designed for sports on land or in the water. It did one production run in Asia at the company’s launch before shifting manufacturing to the U.S. in a move to be more nimble.
The 700-square-foot store, adjacent to its headquarters, was financed through crowdfunding site Plum Alley. The company set a goal of raising $20,000, which was realized last week.
“We are growing so quickly we know we have to get institutional investors but we weren’t really ready yet,” Caccavo said of the decision to crowdfund. “One of the things we realized was we really needed to get the word out about the store and get the publicity.”
The company’s product was also featured on a one-hour segment of Evine Live last week, which the two business owners viewed as another vehicle to test consumer appetite via the Minnesota-based network’s reach of some 87 million households. GracedByGrit product will continue selling on Evine’s online shop through July 1.
The company’s been direct-to-consumer from the start, initially beginning with trunk shows or visits to gyms. “What we found from those sales is that a lot of our customers became really loyal customers and we had a lot of repeat buying because they felt like they were part of the brand so opening the store was natural,” Caccavo said.
The start-up hopes to close this year with about $1 million in sales. The majority of revenue since launching has come from in-person events, but online sales are growing and will likely eclipse the trunk shows by the fourth quarter, according to Caccavo.
The company’s also slowly growing its wholesale business, with the brand now in about 25 doors.