Getting your first 400 wholesale accounts with Bare Kind’s Lucy Jeffrey (episode 402)

Lucy Jeffrey is the Founder and CEO at Bare Kind – seller of bamboo socks that save endangered animals. Bare Kind is based in the UK and sells globally via Shopify and wholesale platform Faire. Founded in 2018, last year they hit £200,000.

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Starting Bare Kind

Lucy was in the banking industry when she first thought of going into the sustainable product space.

She started by selling reusable straws coming from China through a drop-shipping method. After realizing it wasn’t a sustainable process, she bought her own stock and shipped the straws from her place. She moved on to other products before finally starting Bare Kind and leaving her job at the bank.

Focusing on Bamboo Socks

Lucy says she decided to focus on bamboo socks and drop the reusable straws and other products she tested because of the data she was able to gather.

When she began to sell the socks, the data showed that they were selling better than the straws and other products she previously sold.

Additionally, 10% of the profits are donated to the charity of the animal that’s on the sock, so you can choose any animal on Bare Kind’s list and have that printed on your pair. Lucy says she couldn’t do this for any of the other products she previously had, which made her stay with the bamboo socks.

The Bare Kind Team

Lucy brought on her first team member only last year through the UK’s Kickstart Scheme. She initially worked 25 hours per week, but by the end of the program, Lucy decided to keep her and she now works full-time for Bare Kind.

She has since added more team members, and Lucy says she’s lucky that there have been different programs she can use to bring them on. There are now four full-time people on her team and they all work remotely.

Asked how she’s been able to make this work, Lucy says the key is to have good communication. They’ve also had meet-ups, where they did team bonding and brainstorming, which Lucy appreciates.

Growing wholesale channel via Faire

For Lucy, getting on Faire to do wholesale is something she should have done earlier in the business.

Lucy explains that Faire is almost like the wholesale version of Amazon, where retailers search for wholesale products to sell in their shops. She also says that as a brand selling on Faire, she builds her presence on the marketplace by bringing in more retailers on the platform.

She has found her niche with podiatrists, and most of her orders are from them. Bare Kind now has nearly 400 retailers stocking their socks, and she’s looking forward to serving their needs this Christmas as repeat buyers.

More on Lucy’s Faire strategy in this YouTube video

Accounting Challenges

At the time Lucy started Bare Kind, she did the accounting all by herself.

Last year, she had a massive spreadsheet where she recorded everything but because it was manual, it took up a lot of her time.

She upgraded to Osome when she realized they were struggling to do accounting as an eCommerce business. Lucy’s tip for eCommerce brands is to get an accountant with an eCommerce background because there’s a difference between the accounting of regular businesses and eCommerce ones.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

Tool Top Tip

  • Planoly social media and content planner

*Chloë also recommends AppSumo

Growth Top Tip

  • Make sure you manage bottlenecks at every growth stage, and then outsource them or hire someone to do them.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • 373: How Sustainability and Community are super-powering this fashion brand with Katie McCourt from Pantee
  • 385: Building a sustainable loungewear brand with PR and Community – it’s Krisha Kotak from Tula+Tye
  • 391: Should “sustainability” be your number 1 marketing message? With Hugo & Thomas from Greenr

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