Brayola wants to be the go-to source for bras.
To do that, the company, which already sells more than 160 brands through its online boutique, is now making a push to cover another end of the spectrum: the small business, DIYers who cater to customers shopping from Etsy and other marketplaces featuring independent lines.
“When I started Brayola, I wanted to find [a] technological innovation…to get women to buy new bras online,” said founder and chief executive officer Orit Hashay.
The company — which counts 20 employees spread across three offices in Israel, New York and the U.K. — has launched the Etsy-like Brayola Boutique for small intimates lines, currently counting seven so far. The company will select about 10 brands quarterly to refresh the product offering, replacing slow movers while retaining those brands that do well on the site. Hashay envisions the indie boutique, which lives within the larger Brayola online site, growing to hundreds of brands.
Hashay is looking at independent designers, some of whom are not looking to expand much and others with aspirations of becoming the next Victoria’s Secret.
Brayola serves the U.S. market with an inventory of brands that ranges from Hanes and Maidenform to La Perla and Free People, with bras going from cup sizes A through N and bands of 28 to 58. Last year, the company generated $2.5 million in sales with this year expected to end with $10 million. The growth was largely driven by the addition of new brands to the online shop. Although the vision for Brayola was created four years ago by Hashay, whose background is in software engineering, it wasn’t until last year that the business actually began selling product and making money with the launch of the online marketplace. The initial set of years was spent developing the algorithm that helps women find their correct size and to make smart product suggestions based on sizing and personal style preferences of each consumer.
“I thought, if this is going to work, I need to target all the brands,” Hashay said of the site’s current inventory mix.
Next year the business is expected to generate $30 million in sales with the rollout in the back half of the year of an automatic delivery option.
“We know what women want with bras and panties and shapewear,” Hashay said. “The next thing is for Brayola to know when they want it. It’s…logistics. The vision is we know before you that you are going to want it this month.”
Growth will also depend on the buildout of the underwear and shapewear categories, which the company already sells, but it’s now looking at expanding with smarter product recommendations and an offering into mobile.
Hashay also sees brick-and-mortar eventually in the cards but said the brand needs to grow more before it gets to the point where a physical presence would be justified.
Brayola, closed on a $2.5 million Series A round in February, but Hashay wants to scale quickly in order to make the biggest splash and maintain momentum in a marketplace that already includes digital upstarts such as True & Co. and ThirdLove along with established players in the vein of Victoria’s Secret. She’s anticipating going out for a second raise next year to funnel into marketing efforts.
“We have enough to get to [profitability] in 2017….We want to get to our goal faster,” Hashay said. “The thing about Brayola is we showed it works. To build a brand with big competitors, you need capital.”