Today is our birthday!
KaPow is now 4 years old! We started in 2013 with a trip to spotlight to purchase some fabric and a domestic sewing machine, now here we are today with over 60K followers on social media, many stockists in Australia, New Zealand and Dubai and a very funky brand that customers just love.
Wow, what a ride it has been. There's been ups and downs and lots of interesting surprises. We've been copied by big department stores, we've been accused of copying, we've had exact copies being sold on Ali Express, and we've had a few design fails. But on the upside we have an amazing network of like-minded friends from running this business, designs that sell out in a flash, a super loyal customer base that just go crazy for our brand, and many wins along the way.
At times I have thought that I want my biz to take over the world, but you know what - I have realised now that I actually want to stay small, it is more manageable, less stress and I can control things much better. It is what suits me and my family and my lifestyle. So no plans for KaPow to expand anytime soon, especially while our children are still so young and need me so much. Don't get me wrong, its is definitely growing at a rapid pace. My ordering has doubled from last year. But I will have to cap it somehow soon, otherwise Ill move into the next bracket of having to get a warehouse, staff etc and I'm not ready for that.
Overall it has been a fun and perfect job for me, and I am super passionate about my business. I love the fact that 99% of the time I am working in my pyjamas. I love that my work time is flexible, so I can work around my kids. I absolutely love children's fashion, so much so, that most of the time this doesn't even feel like real work.
Of course running a fashion biz is a lot of work too. It takes time, it doesn't happen overnight. I would like to share some of my tips for running a successful kids clothing business:
Be prepared to work long hours if you want to have a successful business online. Respond to customers in a timely manner, they really appreciate it and will become a return customer. I am constantly researching fashion, whether it be on pinterest or out on the street, you always need to be one step ahead!
2. Master Social Media
Instagram results in about 80% of our sales online. Its important to master Facebook too, they are different. Here are my top tips to master instagram - I get asked this question a lot - How did you get to 54,000 followers - well its actually a lot of work. If you really want a big following, prepare to put in the hours. Here you go:
- Be passionate about your brand, your story. Be a real person, show your personality through your posts, add a little humour, some behind the scenes into your day to day life. Make your descriptions pop! If you're excited, it will show through your posts.
- Only post beautiful photos. People will unfollow you if you post a blurry, unedited pic. I just use the editing functions within instagram. I brighten, add contrast and crop. All pics should have good lighting. Also make sure your entire feed as a whole is beautiful too.
- Hashtag within the first post, not in comments or it wont be effective. Change up your hashtags from post to post. Check out what hashtags some of your fellow brands are using in your industry.
- Brand reps and enthusiasts are an amazing way to promote your brand. We have about 5 or 6 each range. The create content for us to repost, plus they create awareness of our brand to their followers. Having lots of pics to post on instagram is so helpful. We really appreciate our little reps.
- Post regularly. A good time to post is after 7pm as thats when most kids are starting to go to bed and parents are scrolling on their phones. Try to post each day, followers like consistency.
- Network with other instagram accounts. Be social, comment and like pics that you feel you genuinely like and align yourself with. In that way, you are supporting them, creating a friendship hopefully, and they may return your support. Not everyone will reciprocate, but its good to be commenting on pics as others will see you, may give you a follow, or at least you will gain exposure. I have made many true friends by engaging with them. Some are direct competitors, but it doesn't matter one bit to me - we help each other out and ask each other questions. Working from home can be isolating, its so important to network. Not everyone will be your friend too, I am pretty sure some other brands hate my guts!
- Giveaways are a quick way to gain followers - you could do a giveaway with a whole bunch of other brands, or just 1 or 2 brands, or by yourself. Make the prize decent, say a $100 gift voucher to your store.
You need to spend money to make money. When you first start out, of course its fine to just grow via word of mouth organically and not pay for any advertising. But if you truly want to grow, you need to invest in clever marketing. Some of my most successful marketing strategies would be: Brand reps and enthusiasts on Instagram, Facebook and Instagram ads, blog features, markets, giveaways and email marketing. I have found that being featured in print magazines not that successful. You need to try each avenue out yourself and measure which ones work best for your biz.
4. Get a mentor
My background is Architecture, not fashion, so I wanted to learn more about the fashion biz - I enlisted mentor Elizabeth from Fashion Equipped and she taught me so much. The things she has taught me have allowed my biz to grow in leaps and bounds. She taught me about wholesale and how to take my manufacturing offshore. Recently I have worked with biz coach Catherine Langman, you can read what we achieved here. It really pays off to get help!
But you could do all of these things above and still get nowhere - ultimately you need to create a product that rocks! Something different to whats already out there. You need to be creative, it will show through your designs. When I design my range I like to create clothes that when a kid wears it, people go WOW! Don't create something that's already been done, the market is saturated. Be unique, be yourself and I think you will flourish!
So whats next for KaPow? We have a brand new range launching at the end of August, our Spring/Summer range. To make room for the range our current winter range is on sale (selected designs). Here are some sneak peeks of summer below:
Soon we are doing a photo shoot for our AW18 range! Its quite a big collection this time, and we are showing the range for wholesale ordering at HELLO KID FAIR in August. We are expanding our knitwear range and also doing some new styles like kids backpacks! These will be available to buy February 2018 to customers.
Something for you!
Thank you to all our amazing friends and fans for your love and support, to celebrate our birthday we are offering 40% our Pom Pom Beanie range! Use code: BIRTHDAY at checkout. Ends Sunday 2.7.2017 at midnight.