Doubling Sales in a Year as a Fashion Brand with Stacey Grant-Canham, Black & Beech (episode 458)

Stacey Grant-Canham is the creative director and founder of Black & Beech, a feminist fashion brand. Founded in 2016 they sell via their Shopify site. Black & Beech is a 6-figure retailer and is currently doing double last year’s sales.

Stacey Grant-Canham Black & Beech on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in:

[06:48] Develop, sell, and expand product range consciously.
[11:03] Black & Beech’s success after mindset shift.
[15:43] Taking business seriously and scaling with good people.
[19:02] Challenges with Royal Mail strikes and growth.
[22:32] Campaigning for International Women’s Day drove traffic.

About Stacey Grant-Canham

Stacey got into eCommerce during her maternity leave in 2016. She noticed teething jewelry worn by her friends but found the designs unappealing, so she started making her own. With her husband’s help, she set up a basic WooCommerce website. Demand grew, but she struggled to keep up.

Around 2017, amidst political events like Brexit and the Women’s March, her feminist and political views intensified. She wanted to create a slogan t-shirt fusing motherhood and feminism. She designed one with an illustrator, featuring the slogan “A mother’s place is in the resistance.” Stacey decided to donate £5 from each sale to a UK charity supporting abortion rights. The response was positive, inspiring her to expand her clothing line. She transitioned to Shopify and shifted focus from teething jewelry to feminist slogan t-shirts, solidifying her path in eCommerce.

About Black & Beech

Stacey’s journey at Black & Beech involves diverse product development. She enjoys creating products and expanding the range using proceeds from sales. The range spans from mugs and blankets to certified organic cotton t-shirts and knitwear. The common thread is conscious, purposeful, feminist-informed fashion. Ethical and sustainable considerations are central, driven by Stacey’s desire to offer meaningful products in contrast to shallow high street offerings.

Mindset Shift and Full-Time Commitment

Shifting from a side hustle to a full-time business took time and a change in mindset. Stacey’s background influenced her desire for financial security, but burnout and health concerns led to a change in perspective. She shifted her mindset to a more positive and optimistic outlook and made the commitment to Black & Beech full-time.

Stacey’s dedication, mental space, and increased focus on marketing contributed to the doubling of sales growth year-on-year. The decision was driven by a combination of timing, mindset, and improved capacity to manage and grow the business.

Building a Team and Process Improvement

Transitioning from a part-time side hustle to a full-time business required a more serious approach and a focus on sustainable growth. Recognizing the need for a team to avoid burnout and scale operations, Stacey emphasized the significance of good people in business growth. 

The realization that scaling involves efficient systems also led her to reconsider using a fulfillment center. Amid COVID, Stacey moved away from it and engaged her husband and a freelancer for order packing. Stacey eventually hired the latter as a permanent employee.

As the team solidified, they expanded by hiring two more flexible warehouse assistants for the upcoming busy season.

Preparing for a Smooth Q4

Gearing up for the upcoming Q4, Stacey is focused on refining systems and processes to prevent challenges faced during previous years.

The holiday season accounts for a significant portion of their business, and they want to ensure a smooth customer experience. Learning from past experiences, they’re planning improvements and closely monitoring growth trends. It starts with their upcoming October launch, which Stacey hopes can provide crucial data for informed decision-making.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • One campaign that worked well for Black & Beech was for International Women’s Day. They made special gift packages for their top customers, including famous people and influencers they’d worked with. Customers could also send a card to another woman for a penny, and the money went to charity. This initiative resonated with their audience and cut through the noise surrounding International Women’s Day. The campaign’s success in driving significant traffic illustrated the power of genuine, purpose-driven initiatives in marketing, differentiating them from more generic approaches.

Tool Top Tip

  • Stacey mentioned that their main tech tool is Asana, but she wants to highlight the effectiveness of using Post-it notes for planning. At the start of the year, she covers a wall with post-its containing ideas for the year’s developments, organizing them by categories. This visual approach helps her map out thoughts and ideas, allowing her to easily identify what needs attention.

Carbon Top Tip

  • Stacey’s top tip for reducing carbon footprint is to cycle to work. She recently acquired an e-bike through the cycle-to-work scheme offered by Black & Beech, and she finds it a more eco-friendly and efficient way to commute.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • Bootstrapping an illustrated homewares brand with Hepsie Goddin from Martha and Hepsie (episode 361)
  • The power of tapping into an under-served market with Startup Tiwani Heritage (episode 413)
  • Scaling a Slow Fashion Business with Kristian Hansen (episode 445)

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