From one Etsy store to selling $millions with a fashion empire – Jordan West from Little & Lively (episode 343)

Jordan West is the co-founder of Little and Lively, a baby clothes business founded in 2015 that does over a million a year. And which has been the spring board to much, much more….

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About Jordan And Little & Lively’s Beginnings

In 2011, Jordan wanted to get into business. He bought a restaurant that was part of a chain, ended up losing money and about 5 years, but gained a lot in terms of knowing how to run a business.

Throughout that experience, he had his first child. His wife, who’s a fashion designer, did cloth diapering and found that there were no leggings that fit over cloth diapers. Her solution was to design their own leggings.

She did that and brought them to some markets that liked them. She also went on Etsy, and their products sold out. Then they got their first wholesale order and got into a store about 3 hours away from them.

Soon after, they used Facebook ads and saw a ROAS of about $80 for every dollar they put in. 

Little & Lively was a homebased business for quite a while, but they eventually moved out of the house and into a 1000-square foot warehouse with a retail space in front.

With their continued success, they outgrew that space as well and now have an 8000-square foot warehouse. They are hoping to reach an 8-figure income this year.

Going The Design Route First

Since Jordan’s wife is a fashion designer, the decision to go the design route first was easy.

They have since gone out and acquired brands, including one in the US that’s mission-focused.

With 3 more acquisitions lined up for later this year, the business is fast becoming a mega house of multiple brands.

The Kindred Studio

The company’s 3 brands are housed under The Kindred Studio, and also share the same website.

Though it was a difficult decision, Jordan says it came down to serving the customer. He covers SEO issues with Google Ads such that searching for Little & Lively will immediately direct the customer to The Kindred Studio site.

For Jordan, there are 2 schools of thought when it comes to rolling out brands: 

  • A branded house, similar to Google
  • A house of brands, similar to P&G

The latter is what they’re going for in The Kindred Studio.

Deciding To Go Overseas

In the fall, they’re adding to The Kindred Studio with an acquisition of a US bow brand to get into the United States. They are going with this strategy instead of spending money on marketing, which is better for them since the bow brand already has a following. 

Aside from this, they also recently purchased a mission-driven company called Keep Nature Wild that is completely separate from The Kindred Studio.

About The Kindred Studio

  • Based in Canada
  • Runs on Shopify Plus
  • Ships almost anywhere worldwide

The Team

Across the brands, Trevor says they have about 50 employees with 3 directly reporting to him. 

They outsource web development to an agency and leave the marketing side to be handled by Jordan’s own agency, Mindful Marketing.

Jordan also shares that fulfillment (from customer service to fulfilling orders) is done in-house for the main reason that they want to own the entire customer experience.

What’s At The Core Of Their Success

We really care especially in customer service, Jordan says.

Even though customers may have ridiculous demands and are not always right, they do what they can to make the situation right. As a long term play, this works for the company.

Succeeding As A Husband And Wife Team

On The Kindred side, where his wife is the CEO, Jordan says he treads lightly and lets his wife make the decisions on that end.

Everywhere else, he laughs and says he gets to be the boss.

Jordan also mentions that even if it’s hard to avoid, they try to keep their work separate from their family life as much as possible.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • VIP groups – utilize Facebook groups, Slack, or Discord or wherever you can gather people together, depending on your industry. What’s important is that there’s going to be interaction between customers.

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

  • First focus on performance marketing, and then brand. 
    • In addition to Facebook Ads and Google Ads, make use of Snapchat and TikTok.
    • For Tiktok, get access to Creator Marketplace for brand and creator collaborations.

Interview Links

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  • The Pyjama Store’s James Riggs discusses website migration, outsourcing, and brand

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