Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Christina DuVarney and I am the founder and co-owner of Beautiful Disaster Clothing. Our mission is to empower the beautifully broken and the perfectly imperfect with the clothing that we wear. I created this brand to empower women by giving them confidence in their closet.
But Beautiful Disaster is more than just clothing - we are a tribe of women who support each other through our trials and triumphs. We are a huge group of women that have connected across the world, by lifting one another up and inspiring kindness, acceptance, and self-love.
The main products that Beautiful Disaster sells are women’s clothing; from hoodies, tees, tanks, leggings, yoga pants, socks, hats, jewelry and more, we have something for everyone.
Our customers are women of all ages who have faced adversity at some point in their life and have come through their struggle as a stronger person. Our customers are from all over the United States and around the world. We are now making over 4M in revenue per year, and growing every day!
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
The Beautiful Disaster brand was built to inspire women to move closer to happiness and further from pain. We have failed more times than we can count, much like the women in this tribe! Through years of ups and downs, we were able to create the brand we always wanted.
Being able to make a positive impact on someone makes all the hard work worth it!
I wanted to create a brand that was like no other and had a purpose behind it. Before starting the brand, I worked as a personal stylist for VH1 reality shows, such as Rock of Love, Daisy of Love & Charm School. I had extensive job experience and an eye for fashion but had no idea how to run a clothing company but I didn’t let that stop me. I believe in life you have to start right where you are and figure it out as you go.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
The start of every piece of Beautiful Disaster Clothing comes from the needs and wants of the customer. We listen to what they have gone through, what they feel and what they love to wear. We incorporate badass designs with meaningful quotes and phrases for a one-of-a-kind look.
Our designer and co-owner Jamie Vine creates our ideas into works of art, and as a team, we decide which type of garments will go best with each design. We custom produce almost every single garment and do our very best to offer a wide variety of sizes. We have expanded our clothing line to fit all shapes and sizes, with sizes 2 - 24 available in almost every item. We do our very best to reduce errors in production and printing, as we personally check each and every piece of clothing and fold and package all of our items with care.
From our pink tissue paper and unique stickers and packaging, our customer knows that we put tremendous thought into every single piece of clothing that we create and ship out.
We have encountered many issues along the way with production - from manufacturer defects to legality problems. We work hard with our vendors to reduce mistakes from mass amounts of production of our items, and we spend months perfecting items for the fit, feel, color and design before they are sent to be printed.
Our legal team also works daily to protect our brand and our designs from trademark infringement. We have had countless reports of our designs being stolen and sold, so we have worked hard to trademark as much of our brand as possible.
Procrastination is the enemy, there will always be reasons to wait and all of a sudden years will go by.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Our website and social media have transformed and expanded as we have grown as a company.
We are proud to say we have over 230K followers on Facebook, Facebook groups totaling over 80K members, over 60K followers on Instagram, and an average of 5K visits to our website daily. We have a great social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and are building our Podcast as we speak.
We are able to connect with our Beautiful Disaster tribe and offer a personalized touch to all of our content.
We do our very best to respond to each and every person that reaches out to us on social media. Whether it is a personal message or a comment on a post, we believe it is so important to connect with customers on a personal level, so that each and every one of them feels like they are truly a part of our tribe.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
What we have learned from growing our brand is to produce content daily on all social media platforms and to interact as much as possible with our customers and followers. We pride ourselves on offering exceptional Customer Service with immediate responses and making sure that our customers are 100% satisfied with their overall experience with our company. We listen to what our customer wants to see in our brand and try to incorporate those ideas as much as we possibly can.
Most of our online traffic from our brand comes from Facebook ads, and from targeting the right group of people. We do have our ads on Instagram, YouTube and Google Ads, but Facebook has shown to be the most effective.
We have also seen great return with using the Recart app to send out direct messenger campaigns - these messages are sent instantly to someone’s FB Messenger and lead them directly to our site.
We have seen a decrease in the effectiveness in email campaigns as email is being used less and less, so we limit the number of emails we send out to a couple of times a week. We also limit the number of messenger campaigns we do to about once a week, to preserve its effectiveness.
We have decided to keep our products exclusive to our website (besides our wholesale accounts that carry our brand in small amounts in their local business). This is so we can create brand exclusivity, and our customers learn that we are the direct source for anything Beautiful Disaster. At this time we don’t want to have our products available on Amazon as we want to keep our customers returning to our website and our website only.
The difference between what we have done with Beautiful Disaster and what so many other companies have tried to do is that we never gave up when things got tough.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today Beautiful Disaster is thriving and growing by the minute. We operate everything under our 8000 square foot office/warehouse in Oxnard, CA with 4 full-time employees working in-house. We are partnered with a media company that helps us develop content, ads and marketing ideas that have changed our brand for the better.
Our daily operations include myself and the other 2 owners developing and creating new products and designs, marketing the brand, and analyzing our ROI and ROAS. Our employees work 5 days a week to inspect new items that come in from production, ship orders, resolve all customer service issues and manage all social media accounts.
We have high hopes to expand our brand into more realms of the marketplace, but more so, leave an incredible impact on everyone who encounters our brand with our powerful mission.
We are currently working on developing Beautiful Disaster Cosmetics, and the Beautiful Disaster Foundation, which will launch in 2020. We are extremely excited to enter into these areas and be able to give back to our tribe in a meaningful way.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
The biggest takeaway point that I have learned from this whole process is to never give up. The difference between what we have done with Beautiful Disaster and what so many other companies have tried to do is that we never gave up when things got tough. We pushed through, adjusted, learned, adapted, accepted criticism and worked hard to improve how we were operating.
We don’t settle for mediocre - we want to be the best brand possible. We know we can achieve that with our message, our customers and our drive to work hard every day.
There were many obstacles that I faced when growing this brand - financial, personal, legal. But I didn’t let any of those things stop me from seeing the end goal and result that I wanted to accomplish. This brand was made out of failure, and it is now our mission to inspire each and every person who wears Beautiful Disaster that they can succeed from the hardships and failures that they face - no matter how daunting they seem.
A personal skill that has helped me along the way is my attitude - I stay positive in every situation that I am in. I refuse to take “No” for an answer. Instead of being deterred from setbacks, I simply work harder to find a solution. I also love to help others better themselves, so I share this positive outlook with others as much as possible.
This is why the work we do at Beautiful Disaster means so much - there is a purpose and important meaning behind our clothing and our message. The people behind this brand want to see the women who wear it succeed and improve their lives through the positivity that we spread on our platform. We hope to empower the beautifully broken and perfectly imperfect with the clothing and messages we create. Being able to make a positive impact on someone makes all the hard work worth it!
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We use Shopify to run our online store - it has proved to be an incredible system for us. We use a lot of different Shopify Apps as well. We use Affiliatly to manage our brand affiliates, Route Shipping Insurance to offer our customers insurance on every package they order, Shippo to create our shipping labels and we use Recart to do our Facebook Messenger campaigns and retargeting.
Our main source of communication with our customers is of course through social media, with Facebook and Instagram being our greatest platforms. We also use email marketing to share news of new product launches, blog posts, and product launches.
Recently I have developed my own app which is the world’s first interactive pay it forward eCommerce solution. This is proving to be an incredible way for our customers to pay it forward to the next person without it costing a dime, the pay it forwards comes from us as a company. This has allowed us to make coupon codes and waiting for a sale obsolete. This app will be launched in the Shopify app store soon and we expect it will be a huge success in cultivating giving and receiving at the same time.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I had the pleasure of training with Gary Vaynerchuk and his team, who have helped us tremendously in marketing and been an incredible influence for me and the brand.
The book that started it all for me on my path of positivity and self-development was Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Another favorite is the book titled 3 Feet From Gold by Sharon Lechter & Greg Reid. I reference these books every single day in my work and in my life.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Start now, figure it out as you go. Procrastination is the enemy, there will always be reasons to wait and all of a sudden years will go by. Don’t wait, start now - right where you are.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are not currently looking to hire but as our brand grows we will definitely be expanding our staff. There will be seasonal employment opportunities during Black Friday and Holiday season to help in our warehouse, as our number of orders will double during that time.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
Get our 5-minute email newsletter packed with business ideas and money-making opportunities, backed by real-life case studies.
- 4,818 founder case studies
- Access to our founder directory
- Live events, courses and recordings
- 8,628 business ideas
- $1M in software savings