This is a follow up story for Beautiful Disaster. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 3 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Excited to be back on the Starter Story platform! I am Christina DuVarney founder of Beautiful Disaster Clothing, which is a brand on a mission to empower the beautifully broken and perfectly imperfect with every fiber of clothing from our collection! Our brand of clothing provides confidence hanging in your closet and tells a little bit of your story without saying a word.
Our customers (or Tribe Members as we prefer to call them) are women from all walks of life, all ages, all shapes and sizes that have one thing in common. They have been through hell and back and have a story to tell. These women are survivors and warriors and they are the stars of our brand.
The last time I was here on Starter Story we were roughly a 3 million dollars a year brand and I am excited to share that this year we will reach a huge milestone with our first ever 8 million dollar year. We are blessed and honored to have been doubling our numbers year over year for the last 5 years. And believe me, when I tell you - we are just getting started.
While the sales figures are exciting, it is the expansion of our tribe and the awareness of the power of self-acceptance that is the real win.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
With the expansion of our powerful collections and nearly doubling our ad spend we have seen major upward momentum. We have also implemented what I like to call a Ninja Trick and that is a Shopify app called Zing. It has really changed the game for us, our email list has exploded and our conversion rate has been bonkers ever since installing that app. It is a Pay It Forward feature and has been a game-changer. It fits right in line with the culture that we are cultivating and everyone gets to give and receive money without it costing them a penny, it's brilliant.
Start right where you are. You do NOT need to have everything ready and all of your proverbial ducks in a row to get started!
The revenue that we have recovered from traditional coupon codes has allowed us to expand our warehouse, invest in inventory, and hire an additional 4 employees!
We have also implemented GlobalE into our store which is allowing us to expand internationally which we expect to be a huge contributor to exponential growth. There are Beautiful Disasters world-wide and it is our honor and privilege to serve them.
With the explosion of our email list (using Zing) our email marketing, text campaigns, and Facebook Messenger campaigns have skyrocketed!
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Covid blindsided all of us that is for sure! We were not sure what was going to happen, we had to shut down our business for a short time, thank god we are not in retail or it really would have made a huge impact. I believe that our brand mission and empowerment saved us big time. With more people not having to go to work, loungewear and comfy clothing was the go-to work from home attire!
One of the decisions we made that was scary, as we decided NOT to make face masks. Our customers requested them from us but it did not feel right. We just could not see ourselves jumping on the bandwagon and profiting from this global pandemic. Some of the leaders in my company probably thought I was nuts for digging my heels into the ground over this decision but it just did not feel ethical. Could we have sold hundreds of thousands of masks? Probably! But if it does not feel right in my heart - I just don’t do it.
One thing that we did this year that really gave us a boost and that was our Jeep Giveaway! We gave away my very own personal Hot Pink leopard Print Jeep!
I am what you might call “ballsy” I am not afraid to take risks and so far they have paid off! When I first told my team and partners that I wanted to give away my Jeep they looked at me like I had two heads. Now - after the fact- they trust my crazy ideas even more now!
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
2021 Is going to be our biggest and best year yet! Next up we are giving away an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to gamble and have fun with myself and my co-owner Jamie PLUS we’re giving away yet another Jeep in the summer - but this time the prize is even bigger and better as it is a 2020 Jeep Gladiator, and yes, of course, it is Hot Pink Leopard! Besides the fun giveaways, we are doubling down on our collection and expanding into very exciting categories that we have been cooking up for years! I’ll give you one hint, we will be launching our first ever EXCLUSIVE subscription box!
When I imagine where we will be 5 years from now I see multiple buildings and an expansion of our team and see us being in even more categories but the most exciting part about looking 5 years into the future is how many more women will be a part of the Beautiful Disaster Tribe and wearing a few their stories and empowering themselves with a little confidence hanging in their closets.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I am a podcast junkie because I just don’t have the time to sit and read anymore, the podcasts I am obsessed with right now are the following:
- The Joe Rogan Experience
- The Skinny Confidential
- The GaryVee Audio Experience
- Billy Gene Is Marketing
- Real AF with Andy Frisella
- The Ed Mylett Show
- Short Story Long
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Start right where you are. You do NOT need to have everything ready and all of your proverbial ducks in a row to get started! In fact, I believe that if you wait until you are ready you will never be ready. Figure it out as you go - you don’t know what you don’t know and you won’t know it until you know it!
You Know? I had to figure out every single thing as I went, that is the best way to learn! Fail Forward! You will fail and those failures will be the bricks that build the foundation to your success. And - importantly, make sure you have the chops for it - being a business owner and entrepreneur is not for everyone!
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are fully staffed at the moment but that can change at any moment!
Where can we go to learn more?
Beautiful Disaster has provided an update on their business!
4 months ago, we followed up with Beautiful Disaster to see how they've been doing since we published this article.
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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