As a growing brand with international roots, Tolu Australia needed a way to connect with the right people in the fashion industry. Since joining Flaunter, they’ve scored coverage in some of Australia and New Zealand’s leading publications and connected with media faster than ever before. We caught up with Tolu founder, Liliana Rubiano, to chat PR wins and effective strategies for an emerging brand.
About Tolu Australia
My husband and I created Tolu Australia in 2013 to bring Latin American resort wear to the Asia Pacific.
We started by offering Panama hats in the Australian market and expanded our portfolio in 2016, adding unique beachwear products such as colourful men’s swim shorts, bikinis, and accessories.
All our products are designed and manufactured in Colombia, South America. Despite the huge distance between Colombia and Australia, the two countries have outstanding similarities. Colombia is a country with a wide offering of talented young designers and emerging brands. Medellin, the town where all our products are manufactured, is globally recognized for its high-quality textile industry and the people are inspired by the exotic fauna and flora of their homeland.
Similarly, Australia is a country where the sun and the sea play a big role in people’s lives. Australia’s diversity of cultures and open-minded attitudes make means that they are keen to experiment with new brands and trends.
At Tolu, we connect the unique and sophisticated offering from Latin American brands with the inquisitive demand of Australian resort wear buyers.
Why Tolu needed a solution like Flaunter
Lack of time, money and the right connections.
Our main PR challenge was finding a cost and time effective solution to connect with editors in the fashion industry.
My background in international logistics and sales meant that I didn’t know many people in the fashion sector – so I needed to find someone who could connect me with the right people in this industry.
We understand PR is a crucial part of the business especially in fashion, but being a small company we couldn’t allocate much budget to it. I’m sure all growing businesses can relate to the challenge of balancing spending across all the essentials such as more stock or investing in marketing. Finding Flaunter allowed us to do both.
What criteria did you have in mind for a solution?
- The right experience and connections in the fashion industry.
- An easy to use system.
- Up to date with industry news and events.
- Personal support!
I met Flaunter via LinkedIn at the beginning of 2018 when I started to connect with people in the Fashion industry and I found Margot Reid. I absolutely loved her blogs and I learnt a lot from them. I began to follow Flaunter across their socials and found that the Flaunter CEO, Gaby Howard, was well connected in the Industry.
In May 2018 I gained some experience working at Prada. It was here that I had the opportunity to understand the importance of having an excellent PR company. This is what prompted me to call Flaunter! I have to admit I was fascinated with the way Flaunter worked: an easy to use platform where I can upload and organize my own photo albums to efficiently connect with the editors and achieve sales growth.
On the PR strategy before Flaunter
I invested in advertorial campaigns but didn’t have much ROI. I used to (and still do) participate in various industry events meeting people and networking. I tried to connect with some editors via social media, but again, it wasn’t as effective as Flaunter.
On favourite features
I love that it is an unconventional way to connect with editors in the industry.
The team is well connected with fashion editors and have wide experience working in the industry. In addition, I receive the excellent guidance and from Aimee Hood, my Account Executive about how to get the most out of the platform, what media looks for and interesting articles about PR.
Who in your company uses Flaunter – and how?
At the moment I use it almost exclusively. From uploading the collection photos, and connecting with journalists and stylists, to responding to media story call outs.
Some of the biggest wins from Flaunter
In our first week, a Fashion Editor from NW Magazine downloaded some of our photos and I was able to connect with her via email and LinkedIn. This wouldn’t be possible to achieve this fast without Flaunter.
Tolu Australia has been featured twice at Gekkan NZ, a Japanese Magazine in New Zealand. So the potential with Flaunter is huge, not only in Australia but in other countries targeting further markets.
My biggest achievement so far was being featured at the SMH Sun Herald Traveller section in December 2018 (pictured below). This editorial allowed me to sell 11 swim shorts in only 5 hours via our website, and 3 more swim shorts in the following days. Due to this article, my website page views rate increased by 70% in one day (I had 1,700 page views on that day when I usually have a total of 2200 page views in a month!).
On the benefits experienced from working with Flaunter
- I’ve seen a boost in sales as a result of my photos being downloaded from Flaunter, and published in recognized online and physical magazines and newspapers in Australia and New Zealand.
- Timely responses and assistance from the team when needed.
- Useful reports about who is downloading my photos. Flaunter provides me with the email, name and company of who downloaded my photos, giving me the possibility to proactively contact and connect with the respective editors.
On Flaunter in 3 words
Efficient, affordable, connected