Hello and welcome back to Premium Sellers! My name is Blair and I hope you’re getting value from our inspirational, real-life content because we want to show YOU that having an online business isn’t just for other people. With dedication and drive, YOU can have a thriving online business and gain the freedom & flexibility you deserve.
Meet Tori Gerbig, founder & CEO of Pink Lily, an online women’s clothing store that generated $141 million in gross sales last year. So how did she get her start? Her story is like so many others, she was working a dead-end job and not making much money. So..she started to look for side hustles to make ends meet.
Tori loved shopping online for clothes so she decided to start her own Ebay store. Her and her husband made an initial investment of $300 and bought clothes & accessories from a wholesaler. Now, they didn’t have a pricing strategy or really know what they were doing, but they worked out of their home and had very little overhead. For the first few years, they profited $300 to $1000 per month. She used that money to pay off her student loans and expand the business.
Think about it: you start your business small, as a side hustle, and get the feel for how it works, see what people like and then expand from there. How would an extra $500 month from your online business help you right now? Just like Tori, you start small and see what the customer likes and build relationships with your suppliers.
She started placing more & more product orders, traveling to trade shows. A few years into her business, they started advertising on Facebook and raised enough money to launch their official website. After 3 years of running Pink Lily as a side hustle, Tori and her husband were both able to quit their day jobs and run it full time.
Currently they sell over 11,000 products on their website every day, have a brick & mortar store in and are one of the biggest employers in their city. It’s such an amazing story that I bet she had no idea it would end up being such a success!
But she took a chance, picked a platform and she started small.
Her top 3 tips for starting a business:
1. Find a gap in the market. Don’t just sell what everyone else is selling.What do you see not being offered currently? Think about your own expertise or passions, what products in that genre do you wish existed or could improve upon?
2. Reinvest your profits. When you’re first starting, you have to put that money right back into the business so grow it. Live as frugal as possible and put in the hours. If you can be disciplined, it’ll pay off for your business
3. Find unique ways to engage with social media followers Pink Lily likes to post designs they’re considering adding to their store BUT they ask for the input of their followers first. It’s created an amazing connection and makes their customers feel truly cared about.
4. Empower customers to be brand ambassadors: People love sharing information about products or companies they’re passionate about so it makes sense to reward loyal customers with commissions! This is a huge part of Pink Lily’s marketing strategy and people love it!
5. Find something you can truly own. Tori’s advice for entrepreneurs is to carve out a niche or product line that you own as a company. She wants you to ask yourself....what will come to mind when consumers hear the name of your brand?
She said her company will often buy out a vendor’s entire inventory when they find a special product, for example, no other retailer can access it. This way, they end up with curated collections that can only be found at Pink Lily.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for you today. I hope you found inspiration in this real-life story of a woman, who needed to make ends meet and started an ebay store....and now has a booming business with over 250 employees! Until next time, wishing you all the best with your online success!