Earlier this year the CEA Fashion Accelerator hosted a workshop on how to grow a brand in global markets. The workshop was facilitated by Edward Baker, CEO and co-founder of Pared Eyewear – someone who has had A LOT of experience doing exactly that.
As a long time friend of Pared Eyewear, we asked Ed to share the key elements of his presentation with us – knowing that it would be an invaluable opportunity for everyone to learn from his insights and experiences on the strategies that helped successfully launch the brand into international markets.
“THINK LOCAL – ACT GLOBAL”
WHO IS PARED?
- Pared is a boutique eyewear brand with a fashion focus. The brand is known for its design detail and quirkier frame shapes.
- Pared is desirable to a customer that appreciates design and fashion.
- Pared eyewear represents quality, innovation and wearability.
WHAT DOES THE NAME PARED MEAN?
To pare something back is to cut into it, shave or refine it. This action is what inspires the cut out detailing and design features of each frame. The word plays on a “pair” of something which inspires the names of each frame.
Pared eyewear is true to its name – a collection of handmade sunglasses grounded in the fundamentals of clean lines, smooth shapes and lasting comfort.
Pared’s design philosophy is based on symbiosis – the idea that contrasting influences can combine to create truly unique experiences. Each Pared style balances a sense of old and new, masculine and feminine, classic and modern. Distinct yet cohesive materials, from metals and crystals to leather and stones, add depth and detail to sculpted acetate frames.
Creative director Samantha Stevenson’s organic, sensory approach to design takes cues from travel, art and architecture. Collections are inspired by places, memories and eras that evoke endless summers and eternal blue skies.
THE PARED TAGLINE – A DIFFERENT VIEW
Eyewear design and shapes can be repetitive as well as the imagery and story behind it. The pared tagline sets the tone to push innovation from a fashion perspective with fresh shapes and manufacturing techniques. Campaign imagery is shot in locations out of the ordinary with ambassadors and models who embody a different look or voice. Social media and digital influencers reinforce this message.
THE PARED STORY
Pared was founded by Samantha Stevenson and Edward Baker in 2011. Then in the early days of their relationship, Sam and Ed decided to start a brand together to capture the design potential of Samantha and her dream to create her own sunglass brand. The brand launched in January 2012 with a limited number of boutique stores in Australia and selling online.
For the first 3 years, Sam worked independently on the brand full time. Ed came on board full-time in 2015 to drive the international business with a focus in the US. They are a perfect partnership of a unique and creative design aesthetic, as well as clear and marketable commercial vision.
Sam and Ed were married in April 2016 in Palm Springs – the home of the first ever Pared Collection and famous Pared style “Pools & Palms”. They now run the business together with their team between Brisbane and Bali with annual trips to the US, Europe, Asia and The Middle East.
Unisex brand with a stronger female audience
- Women – 70%
- Men – 30%
USING EVENTS TO GROW YOUR BRAND
- 2018 – AUSSIE KIOSK – LA POP UP
- 2018 – MBFWA – CLIENT LIAISON RUNWAY
- 2018 – VAMFF – MELBOURNE FASHION FESTIVAL
- 2018 – DALLAWAY TERRACE BRUNCH – LONDON FASHION WEEK
- 2018 – SHOP THE RUNWAY AT VAMFF
- 2017 – AUSTRALIAN FASHION CHAMBER IN NYC
- 2017 – MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK – THE SUITES SHOWROOM
- 2017 – FASHION MAMA’S MIRAGE EVENT IN PALM SPRINGS
- 2017 – SYDNEY FASHION WEEK BLOGGER LUNCH
- 2017 – EUROPEAN BLOGGER LUNCH #BOLLARExCPH
- 2017 – LA POOLSIDE PARADISE BOLLARE LA
- 2017 – SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS, BYRON BAY
- 2017 – COACHELLA COACH X BEAUTY
- 2016 – RACKED WELLNESS EVENT @COACHELLA – LINK HERE
- 2016 – THE ACE HOTEL POP UP @COACHELLA – LINK HERE
- 2016 – W BRUNCH @CABANA (MIAMI SWIM WEEK)
- 2015/2016 – CABANA TRADE SHOW EYEWEAR SPONSOR FOR MIAMI SWIM WEEK
- 2015/2016 – BOLLARE BLOGGER EVENTS @MIAMI SWIM WEEK
- 2015 – THE SURF LODGE @WATSONS BAY HOTEL – LINK HERE
- 2015 – LOLLI SWIM & AMUSE RUNWAY SHOW – MIAMI SWIM WEEK
SALES & BUYERS IN A FOREIGN MARKET
10 TIPS ON HOW TO SECURE A BUYER/PURCHASE ORDER
- Be ready
- Have high-quality images & content
- Email – Introduction to brand
- Press – Have 1-2 strong press features
- Social – Ensure your social is ready and active
- Make it easy for the buyer
- Don’t be desperate
- Move fast and close the deal quickly
- Fund your order
- DELIVER DELIVER DELIVER – you only get one chance
CRITICAL OVERSEAS SALES CHECKLIST
- Where do you ship from?
- Who pays for freight?
- What is your markup?
- What is your USD pricing?
- Invest in a wholesale portal [~$6K]
BUILD FINANCE INTO YOUR COSTINGS
- 5-15% finance coset on COGS
- Build freight into COGS
- Agency VS Direct selling
IS SOMEONE IN YOUR TEAM FOCUSSED ON SALES
- 15% commission
- Monthly showroom fee
- Tradeshow expenses
- 25-40% commission
- Handles press and sales
- Great for foreign language markets
SALES PLAN 2017
USA TRADE SHOWS
US Trade Shows continue to be the most successful way to meet key stores and grow retailer relationships. These are invitation only for key buyers and have limited inclusion for top 5-10 premium fashion eyewear brands.
- LA Market Week (February & September)
- Cabana – Miami Swim Week July
- NY Fashion Week (February & September)
- Project Womens Las Vegas
- Coterie (NY)
- Silmo Optical show
KEY USA SALES PARTNERSHIPS
- Bloomingdales – New addition
- Nordstrom – Established major department store in USA and Canada
- Neiman Marcus – Premium US department store
- Intermix – Premium ‘bricks and mortar’ store in the US
- Moda Operandi – Premium US online retailer
- Farfetch – Premium global online retailer
- Free People – Youth focussed US Online and ‘bricks and mortar’ store
- Goop – Premium boutique online retailer run by celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow
- David Jones – Premium Australian department store
- The Iconic Room – Leading Australian online retailer
- Amazon – Leading US and International online retailer
- Revolve – Premium West Coast US online retailer
EY SALES ACHIEVEMENTS AND GOALS
- Successful overseas expansion on limited investment sets a solid foundation for further growth.
- New markets developing in Taiwan, Israel and China in 2017 through distribution and direct selling.
- Major growth opportunities in Europe from 2017 -2020 through targeted sales.
- Continued growth opportunities in the USA as we are only in first year of expansion.
FINANCE AND FUNDING
EXPORT MARKET DEVELOPMENT GRANTS (EMDG)
The EMDG scheme is a key Australian Government financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters. Administered by Austrade, the scheme supports a wide range of industries.
The EMDG scheme encourages small- and medium-sized Australian businesses to develop export markets, reimburses up to 50 per cent of eligible export promotion expenses above $5,000 provided that the total expenses are at least $15,000 and provides up to eight grants to each eligible applicant.
Pared used EMDG to help with;
- Trade Shows
- Free samples
- Per Diem
- Marking consultants
- Overseas photoshoots
HOW TO FUND ONGOING EXPORT GROWTH?
EFIC is Australia’s export credit agency and provides Australian exporters with a range of specialist finance solutions to help them take on the world. The system is designed to support growing export businesses and Pared is one of the first Fashion Clients to work with them.
Based on the below terms we should be able to work with EFIC to fund production and operations for all export orders.
Pared has received two Small Business Export Loans to date.
- Loan facility funding up to 80% of stock value from Purchase Orders from overseas clients such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales or ASOS, as well as licensing opportunities.
- SBEL option at 13% over 13 months
- ELOC option 6-9% over 12 months [Renewable]
- Ongoing support as the business grows beyond $3million gross sales
MARKETING / PRESS IN FOREIGN MARKETS
Pared recognises the need to target both bloggers and celebrities to reach a wide audience and to boost the brand profile and has successfully established a cult following amongst style influencers, artists and celebrities across the globe. Known for balancing a commitment to wearability with pushing the boundaries of conventional design, Pared collections are always anticipated for their quality and individuality. The brand is currently worn by Beyonce and Solange Knowles, Suki Waterhouse, Cara Delevingne, Kaia Gerber and Helena Christensen.
Each season Pared aligns with a fashion or jewellery house, personality, artist or musician to create a coveted limited edition capsule range which challenges the boundaries of eyewear design. These collaborations open Pared to new markets and customer bases which create a hype around the brand.
Notable collaborations this season include influencer Rocky Barnes and Danish Supermodel Helena Christensen and her business partner New York Stylist Camilla Staerk launching for Summer 18.
PARED PRINT & ONLINE PRESS
Pared engages key PR agencies in Sydney, LA & NY which focus on top-tier mainstream, boutique and publications (both print & digital), in addition to using Flaunter – a digital platform that shares all images, samples and releases with media, stylists and retailers.
CHECKLIST OF KEY CONTACTS
USA TRADE SHOWS