Double Your Shopify Sales every Year with Story and Product – SOLIOS watches’ Samuel Leroux (episode 403)

Samuel Leroux is the co-founder at SOLIOS Watches a disruptive DTC brand selling high-quality, elegant, and eco-friendly solar powered watches. Founded in 2018 they were the first watch company to become a B Corp, and have been at least doubling every year which is super impressive when you consider they’re bootstrapping, that means they now have over 10,000 customers and this year should hit over $2million via their Shopify store.

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The SOLIOS Watches Founder Story

Sam met his business partner Alex at university. Both of them wanted to start a business, with a product that was eco-friendly and sustainable. They wanted to offer an alternative product to something that already exists in the market, and that would also influence consumers to have better habits.

Being huge watch fans, Sam and Alex noticed that there were no watches anchored on sustainability and durability. That’s how they came up with the idea of creating a watch that’s not only fashionable, but sustainable, accessible, and would last a long time.

SOLIOS watches – powered by solar technology – were born after years of research, development, and discovery.

How SOLIOS Built Their Team

Sam shares that it’s a challenge to budget for manpower, especially if you’re bootstrapped, but they know they have to grow their team since there’s so much they want to achieve.

When SOLIOS started out, what helped was that Sam and Alex didn’t pay themselves for the first two years. When they hired their first employee – who’s still with the company today – they paid him a percentage of each sale until they were able to pay him a real salary.

There are now seven on the team, and Sam says it’s not easy to find good talent. They have about 6 roles they’re hiring for, and they’re looking to get more senior people with experience.

They tell prospective employees that it’s good to work with a company that’s trying to make a positive impact, and this is how they market themselves as employers.

The Importance of Sustainability at SOLIOS

It was Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary Before the Flood that got Sam and Alex thinking about life habits and the impact they were having on the environment.

Solutions are there for the majority of the environmental problems present today, but people are not aware of them. What Sam and Alex decided to do was raise awareness about their solution for the watch industry.

Their hope is that wearers of SOLIOS watches will be reminded of the impact their actions have on the environment while remaining fashionable and sustainable at the same time.

How SOLIOS Doubles Sales Each Year

Sam says the sustainability piece plays a major role in bringing in new customers. He also feels they did a great job of combining sustainability and accessibility and creating a product their target audience actually wants.

Still, they continue looking for ways to improve their product and make SOLIOS watches even more sustainable and more durable. This message, and the story of why and how SOLIOS started out, is what they’re trying to get across in their campaigns, and what Sam believes resonates with their audience.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

*Chloe also recommends Great by Choice, which is the follow-up book to Good to Great.

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Focus on your product and your story because it will help you gain the media’s attention and attract new customers.
  • Having good customer service, together with a good product and giving your customers a good experience, will also create word-of-mouth marketing that will help in customer acquisition.

Tool Top Tip

  • Shopify
  • Good OMS and IMS to manage inventory

Growth Top Tip

  • Sam mentions PR and specifically, putting in that personal touch when doing PR. Writing and talking personally to people about your brand, your product, and your story will take time, but the results will also come.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • 398: How to get to $25m in 5 years AND care about the planet with Ekster Wallets’ Olivier Momma
  • 392: Embedding ethics and sustainability into luxury brand Elvis & Kresse – super inspiring story
  • 363: JGS Ian Bentley put sustainability at the heart of Parker Clay – and they’ve doubled sales every year

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