SITTING PRETTY: The Motley, online purveyor of all things for the well-groomed male, plans to expand to South Korea and China later this year.
The Los Angeles-based company, run by a brother and sister, sells its own line of products along with those from brands such as Jack Black, Ursa Major and Malin + Goetz.
The expansion to Asia comes via a distribution deal that takes the company’s three product lines — Buckler’s, Port Products and The Motley Cologne Collection — to stores in South Korea and China, according to Matthew Ruggieri, who founded the company five years ago with his sister Madison Ruggieri.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about for a couple years and particularly South Korea is a great market for men’s cosmetics,” Madison said. “But doing it ourselves wasn’t something we were prepared for.”
Most of The Motley’s sales — which the Ruggieris declined to disclose, though they say they became profitable last year — come from the Web site, but it’s seen a boost from the wholesale channel more recently as a result of accounts such as Urban Outfitters and Lou & Grey. The company’s brands are in about 70 doors.
The Motley online store, which has about 325 stockkeeping units, began outsourcing its fulfillment to a third-party logistics company this year and now ships orders from a warehouse in Nevada and Pennsylvania.
Matthew said he expects sales to be about split between the direct and wholesale businesses by next year.
The Motley’s average transaction is $62 with the site frequented mostly by customers in their 30s and 40s, a much older group than the two founders originally thought they’d attract.
The Ruggieris said they’ve considered bringing on institutional investors in the past, but aren’t aggressively looking for outside funding.
About a year and a half ago, the company brought on Darren Criss, formerly of “Glee,” as a strategic partner.
“It was really important to us that we were bringing on a partner and that we weren’t bringing on an endorsement deal,” Matthew said of Criss’ involvement.