When Alex Zimmerman saw a need for functional and comfortable house dresses, she got straight to work creating the perfect product for new and expecting mothers. Accompanied by her baby boy and plenty of Coke Zero, she was determined to deliver. “I just felt like there wasn’t much out there that was nursing friendly, maternity friendly, long enough, etc.” Nesting Olive was launched, and with those house dresses came a treasure trove of lessons to be learned and experiences to be had in the world of eCommerce and digital marketing for Zimmerman.
Social Media is Key
When it came to expanding her audience and customer base, Zimmerman found that Instagram was a must for getting the word out and growing her business. She’s found that “staying engaged with followers and posting what brings value to the audience” has brought her an enormous amount of success on her Instagram account. Nesting Olive features house dresses and robes, and is geared mainly toward expectant women and mothers. In addition to featuring her products, she makes it a point to post content that is relevant and useful to her audience. For example, she will feature prenatal vitamins, tips for nursing, pregnancy cravings, what to pack in your hospital bag, etc.
Another social media tactic Zimmerman has found to be extremely beneficial is participating in giveaways with other eCommerce businesses on Instagram. Not only has it helped her build rapport with other businesses in the industry, but it has significantly helped increase her following and expand her customer base.
Ultimately, Zimmerman understands that she has to put in the effort to set Nesting Olive apart from some of the other house dress shops on the market. Focusing on what makes her unique and helping her audience “know the feeling of what they’re buying” has made a world of difference. “They’re purchasing comfort, convenience, and feeling beautiful.”
Instagram is an ever-changing platform, with a recent decline in organic and story reach. Zimmerman continues to build her audience by staying consistent and posting valuable content. “People will find you.” Persistence in working with other businesses, influencers, and utilizing giveaways has proven to bring her success in spite of the fluctuation in Instagram’s platform and algorithm.
When Zimmerman was brainstorming the concept for her house dress, she was very particular about how she wanted it to turn out. In the first year, there was a lot of tweaking and adjusting to get it just right and to replicate the vision she had in her head. She wanted the sleeves to be a bit more fitted than other house dresses on the market and had a preference for the length of the dresses.
However, she has ended up adjusting the design and making changes to the dresses five times since starting Nesting Olive. As she received more and more feedback from her customers, she was able to see what the demand was and made changes according to what her clientele was telling her they wanted. “Some wanted longer house dresses, so I made another style that was longer. I wanted them to be appealing to all different body types.” Zimmerman has made it a priority to take their feedback and use it to create the best products. This has been absolutely essential to her success.
Meeting the Demand
Zimmerman has had incredible success selling from her website and has also had opportunities to work with other stores and retailers. “I love doing wholesale because it helps me to reach a new range of customers I wouldn’t have been able to reach myself.” Selling through additional retailers, such as Nordstrom, has helped her broaden her horizons and reach customers that are devoted to those specific stores.
Meeting manufacturing needs is something that definitely needed to be considered as she grew and expanded. “It’s one of the hardest parts of the business. You want to have enough product, but you don’t want to grow too quickly and lose quality.” She has gotten to the point in her business where she can confidently order in bulk while maintaining the balance between keeping a healthy stock and preserving expectations for quality.
It has been extremely important for Zimmerman to build a team that works hard and maintains the same vision to deliver excellence. “I do a lot, but I’ve hired out a lot of freelance stuff and I have one employee that handles a lot of what I can’t do anymore.” She advises to do what you do best and hire out the rest- acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses and having the right team has been essential to her success at Nesting Olive.
At STRYDE, we have extensive knowledge doing digital marketing for fashion and apparel brands using paid social, SEO and paid search. If you are struggling to gain traction in the fashion space let’s chat. We’d be happy to analyze the competition and build a plan for online marketing.