Our Ecomm Brand Continues To Go Viral – 6X Growth to $300K/Month [Update]

Published: January 12th, 2024
Tom, Joe, & Jaron
Founder, Bro Glo
Bro Glo
started March 2021
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hey everyone, my name is Tom, one of the three founders of Bro Glo and we started a brand that makes self-tanning products specifically designed for men. We launched the brand during the pandemic, in March of 2021.

We started our business by selling one product - a men's face tanner. We had a crazy idea of making a self-tanner for men since everything on the market was geared towards women.

Despite most people laughing at our idea, our face tanner turned out to be a pretty big hit. Over a few short months, demand kept growing, so we expanded our product line to include a body tanner and other self-tanning accessories.

If something doesn’t work, you can kill it quickly and move on, but make sure you learn from the experience and have some takeaways.

Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

Since our last Starter Story interview about a year ago, we’ve experienced pretty substantial growth - monthly revenues have grown around 5-6x (averaging $250k to $300k per month) and we’re ending 2023 with over 6x YoY revenue growth.

During our peak months, our revenues are in the mid-to-high six figures, which is crazy to say out loud honestly. But, what we’re most proud of is that we have been a profitable, bootstrapped company since almost day one - we have never taken any investment or debt to finance our growth.


As a reminder, we started this business with a $974 investment, which is mind-blowing looking back on it now.


We have done a lot to realize this growth. One of the easier items for us was to increase the budget for our paid social. Toward the beginning of 2023, we began to scale our ad strategy. This was easy for us because one of our founders, Jaron, had made a lot of great content (and still continues to do so). Because of this, we had a lot of organic viral videos to turn into paid ads. It was fairly easy to scale these viral videos because the “testing” was done for us on the organic side.

Another milestone for us in the past year was hiring a Google consultant to implement a Google Shopping/Google Ads strategy for us. Up until this year we hadn’t done much with Google. Implementing this has brought in substantial revenues for both our Shopify site as well as for our Amazon business.

Operationally, we are very lean. One of the issues that we faced this year was simply outgrowing our warehouse space and not being able to fulfill all the orders in a timely manner. We had to hire our first employee to help us on the fulfillment side.

So, we were faced with an issue: Do we find a new warehouse to lease and hire more people? Or, do we look for a 3PL (third-party logistics) to warehouse and fulfill for us? Coincidentally, just as we were starting to discuss this internally, we had a local 3PL reach out to us. Long story short, after meeting with the 3PL, we decided to go with them as they're a family-owned business that is local to us, which means we can visit the warehouse whenever we want or need to.

We migrated to them starting in June of 2023, which we have found to be a good decision as this allows the founders to focus primarily on growing Bro Glo rather than operational aspects

One other thing that we started to explore is strategic partnerships. We had a few very well-known companies reach out to us this past year, which is mind-blowing to me in itself. We’ve discussed potential partnerships with these brands and are still in the early discussions. We have never done partnerships like these to date, so we’re excited to potentially introduce Bro Glo to a wider audience via these partnerships with large, well-known brands.

My biggest piece of advice is to just start. I’ve started a bunch of failed brands before, but they were all learning experiences. Bro Glo is a culmination of those experiences.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

In 2022, our big focus was on diversifying our customer acquisition strategies and expanding into other sales channels and ad platforms. To achieve this, we hired a digital marketing agency at the beginning of 2022 to help us launch and manage our paid social ads. Additionally, we launched on Amazon toward the end of 2022 to capture new customers/sales.

In 2023, all of the challenges we faced/are facing stemmed from the growth we've experienced. One of the main challenges was fulfillment. Up until June of 2023, we were storing and shipping in-house with a small team of two or three people.

We ran into a problem where we were:

  1. outgrowing our current space and
  2. the daily volume of orders we needed to ship out was becoming too much for our small team.

So, we weighed the options of finding a larger space and hiring more people versus outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL. After a lot of thought and discussions, we decided to hand over our fulfillment to a local 3PL that we thought could not only store more inventory but could also ship out our packages faster and more efficiently. We onboarded with the new 3PL in June of this year.

The other large challenge that we are still in the process of solving is content creation. Up to this point, we've only utilized our one founder, Jaron, as the face of our brand and he is in charge of all of our content. He's great at what he does, however, he's only one person.

As our brand grows, we have found that we need more people to help us produce content. So, we've begun to search for additional content creators to help us with our video content for our social media. As a brand that was launched with entertaining content, this is an important step for us as it will give us much more content to post organically and also use for our paid ads.


What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

This past year, we've made some mistakes and we could have done things better. However, we look at these as learning experiences and we are in a much better position to not make them again this coming year.

One major lesson learned for us this past year was that there is some seasonality to our product. This, in turn, translated into us overspending on marketing when there just wasn't enough demand to justify it. This year was the first year we've spent real marketing dollars on advertising so now that we have real data, we can make sure we don't overspend next year and spend a lot when there is high demand for our products. We are still a lean group so we can pivot pretty quickly, when needed.

To coincide with this, we experienced selling out of inventory during our peak season, so we had to turn down our ad spend. Selling out may seem like a good problem to have, but it’s a problem nonetheless. Because we had to turn down ad spend for about a month, we weren’t able to increase ad spend like we wanted and capture more sales and customers. Now that we’ve been through this, we are making sure that we are fully stocked for our peak season this coming year.

On the other side of the spectrum, we discovered that launching on Amazon was a very good decision. Amazon, as an additional sales channel for us, has experienced crazy growth and now accounts for a sizable portion of our revenues. Since we’ve launched on Amazon, they have featured us on their social media channels and they are currently in the process of making a case study on our brand, which is cool given where we were just a year ago.

On the operational side, switching over to a 3PL has been a great decision for us. As I said earlier, we hired a local, family-owned 3PL that has been a great partner. They've been able to get our orders out to customers faster and more efficiently; much better than what we could have done if we kept fulfillment in-house. Now, the founders can focus on growing the business.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?.

As we continue scaling our brand, our goals are to become THE brand for men's self-tanner as well as a prominent men's grooming brand in general. We are always improving our current self-tanner and will continue to do so as well as work on new self-tanning products/lines.

Additionally, We just launched one of our first non-self-tanning products (a face moisturizer) and we plan to expand into other product lines that are not directly self-tanning products and will help men feel good and look good.


We also want to expand into different channels. One of those channels is retail. Retail/wholesaling is a whole new business that we haven't begun to actively tap into as we aren't quite ready for it operationally. We get a lot of inquiries about wholesaling Bro Glo so we know there is demand, but we have not begun to venture into it... yet.

Expanding into new channels will help Bro Glo's brand recognition and awareness as well as scale our business from a revenue perspective.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

To be honest, I’m too busy to read very much so I don’t read books. However, I will say that I do love getting on X/Twitter at night and reading tweets from other founders and marketing agencies. “DTC Twitter” is an overall great space and most of the tweets I read are helpful and informative. I’ve gotten a lot of good info from tweets in the past year.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

My biggest piece of advice is to just start. I’ve started a bunch of failed brands before, but they were all learning experiences. Bro Glo is a culmination of those experiences.

I’ve always suffered from “analysis paralysis” - Bro Glo was the first brand I launched that we just did it and figured stuff out along the way. To this day, there are still things that we do like this instead of overanalyzing.

If something doesn’t work, you can kill it quickly and move on, but make sure you learn from the experience and have some takeaways.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re looking for a content creator. Someone who will film video content for us - much like the videos that can be seen on our TikTok. We don’t want any fancy cameras or sound equipment - we just want someone with a phone and knowledge of how to edit and post on Instagram and TikTok.

This person will become the face of our brand and appear across our socials. If someone would be interested, you can email me directly at [email protected].


Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!