- Avg. revenue /month$10,557
- Avg. sessions /month6,204
- Avg. profit /month$1,600
Why this business was started
My idea for Vacay began to form back in 2008 when my husband and I took a break from our careers to sail halfway around the world on a 38-foot boat. As I packed for that trip, I had to think about what I would need for an entire year at sea, all stored in a teeny, tiny space without giving up my sense of style! Out of necessity I created the perfect versatile & wrinkle-free vacation wardrobe and the idea for Vacay Style was born. I knew that many women struggled with planning outfits and packing smart for vacation, so I created Vacay to solve those problems. Women hate packing for vacation. They want to look their best, have everything they will need; however, space is limited: the ultimate challenge. In fact, upcoming vacations is a huge motivation for women to shop for new clothing. Surveys show that the average woman in the US spends $380 on new clothing for vacation and 74% buy something new for an upcoming trip. Furthermore, women need help packing smart as the research shows 79% of women report over-packing for vacation, leaving 2/3rds of what they bring unworn! Thus, there is need for a new way to shop for a smart vacation wardrobe. Vacay was created to offer women a one-stop-shop for everything they need for vacation perfectly curated into easy mix and match 5-piece collections or 3-piece mini capsules. Vacay shows their customers how to intermix the pieces with wardrobe staples already in their own closet to create multiple looks for their trip within a very small amount of clothing.
The reason of selling this business
For the second time in my life, I am traveling the world on a sailboat. This time as a family, including my three young sons (ages 10, 9, and 7). After running Vacay from afar for almost 2 years, I have decided the time has come to step away and focus on my trip and my children’s education. Vacay is like my fourth child so this was a difficult decision and I really hope I can get the business into the right hands to continue what I started and help women around the world smart pack and look amazing!
What's involved in running this business
Business Overview: Vacay offers women a smart and easy way to create capsule wardrobes for vacation. Each Vacay 5-Piece Collection shows customers how to mix and match the Vacay pieces with 2 wardrobe staples already in their closet (typically a simple white top, white jeans, or denim shorts) to create 15-18 outfits and each Vacay 3-Piece Mini Capsule offers at least 12 outfits in the same way. Collections cost @$500 and Mini Capsules @$300. Customers are offered a 20% discount when they purchase the entire set. About 35% of customers purchase a set and most customers order at least 2 items as the entire concept is about mixing and matching and versatility. This unique offering promotes high UPT (3 units per transaction), very high AT ($254 average transaction), strong repeat customer rate (37% vs. Shopify’s good baseline of 27%), and outstanding customer reviews (81% of online reviews are 5-STAR).
Time Commitment: The business has a strong seasonality cycle (busiest in Spring and early Summer and Black Friday) as well as a product pipeline workload. Therefore the amount of time needed each week will vary depending on the time of the year and the timing of the product development. The hours per week could vary between 20- 40 hours per week.
Fulfillment: For the first 3 years of the business, I held my inventory at home and fulfilled my own orders. This is the most cost-effective way to fulfill orders and would add to the bottom line. If you decide to outsource, I recommend TRG in Los Angeles.
Product: Vacay styles have been specifically designed with versatility and packability in mind and is exclusive to the website. More details in the section around skills needed. We also worked with wholesalers in order to offer accessories (bags, hats, and jewelry to complete the looks).
Photo Shoots: Vacay needs in-studio and on location shots of all product in order to offer it online. This involves hiring a model and a photographer. You can act as your own stylist. To save money, I always have the models do their own HMU (hair and make-up). You will use the samples for these shoots and only do the actual production when you are ready to sell the product.
Marketing: There is a detailed marketing plan in the next five years section.
Customer Service: The Vacay email inbox needs to be checked and all customer inquires need to be answered within 24 hours. Most inquiries are around sizing questions or requests to return or exchange orders.
Traffic and Performance
- Avg. revenue /month$10,557Verified
- Avg. sessions /month6,204Verified
- Avg. profit /month$1,600
- Profit Margin15%
- Avg. sales /month67
- Shopify plan
- Shopify Apps, Insurance, Email, Website
- Facebook/ AdRoll/ Influencers/ Affilate Marketing
- Affinity Software, Microsoft Office
- Cost of Goods Sold
Physical inventoryNot Included
Logo and branding assetsVacay logos in various sizes, colors, and layouts. (Logo is uploaded into Shopify store. Additional logos can be sent via Dropbox post sale) Label artwork. (jpeg files of all main labels, wash labels, and hangtags can be sent via Dropbox post sale) Wardrobe card templates (affinity photo file can be sent via Dropbox post sale) Email templates (Mailchimp- mailing list and all email templates and results are in Mailchimp account which will be transferred with the store) All website templates (homepages, buy the set, collections will be sent via Dropbox post sale) Vacay and VacayStyle trademark (permission to use our trademarked names will be granted post sale) Email exchange- I-page (option to take over ownership of our current email platform post sale) Electronic and paper patterns, $29,000 value (electronic files will be sent via Dropbox and paper patterns can be sent via USPS post sale) Advertising graphics for Facebook and Share-A-Sale and AdRoll (all have been loaded into these websites and can. be accessed post sale as you take over the accounts)
Personal support after saleI am happy to answer all your questions, share my experiences, and introduce you to my contacts. I can offer one initial phone conversation to go over everything and answer any questions plus I can answer all questions or give advise via email for up to 6 months post sale.
Product photosI am happy to share all product photography through Dropbox. Most is already uploaded to Shopify, Mailchimp, and social media.
SuppliersSuppliers that I can recommend and introduce you to include: 1. Factory owner (San Francisco, amazing but expensive) 2. Pattern Maker (San Francisco) 3. Part time consultant (Walnut Creek) 4. Fulfillment Center (Los Angeles) 5. Tax Accountant (UpWorks) 6. Fabric sourcing options in Los Angeles (various) 7. Advertise Purple (affiliate network agency) 8. Top catalog company 9. AdRoll (retargeting)
How to grow this business
Vacay is uniquely position for huge growth post the COVID travel restrictions. By the time, women can travel for vacation again, there will be a huge pent-up demand for women’s clothing (no more sitting around the house in sweatpants) and clothing designed for vacation travel. Although no one can predict exactly when this might happen, all signs point to next Spring. This would be perfect timing for a new founder to develop their own Vacay pieces and be ready to launch big early in 2022.
After launching and growing this business for six years, I have a lot of ideas of how to grow the business post relaunch. The marketing strategy should be multifaceted and depending on budget, the business could explode. In order of investment and potential growth, starting with the least aggressive here are my recommendations. 1. Continue working with influencers across social media and blogs (I can share all the information about who I have worked with and results. This can be a small marketing investment depending on reach of the influencer. Best results are seen by influencers who not only have a social media presence but also a blog or vlog) 2. Reactivate the contract or negotiate a new contract with Advertise Purple for support growing and maximizing Vacay’s affiliate network through ShareASale. Much of Vacay’s sales and traffic are driven by affiliates off ShareASale. Right before COVID hit I was working with this agency to drive my business to triple sales within 180 days. I can share the deck and projections. I see this as a major part of the growth strategy. 3. Vacay sent out a catalog in 2017. Although we broke even on the $50,000 investment there were 2 key factors that held us back to making real money on it. The first issue is an easy fix, we sent the catalog way too late in the season. The book hit homes in June instead of late Fab/ early March. Secondarily, we did not have enough actual customers and data for the company to create a list specific to our target market (we only had 828 current customers at that time). Currently Vacay has 2280 customers that have made a purchase, you will need to get that list to 3000. I think mailing a catalog at the right time with the right list will skyrocket Vacay and be the long-term strategy for DTC growth. I can share with you the catalog company information and introduce you to my contacts. 4. Lastly, I think Vacay pop-up shops in vacation destinations during high traffic seasons would be a fantastic way for customers to discover Vacay. 5. Product category extensions: children and men. End use extensions: Business Trip capsule wardrobes, Winter Vacation capsule wardrobes, Everyday capsule wardrobes, etc.
Skills to have
The perfect person to take over this business would be a business-minded fashion designer. To relaunch the business with the current UVP (unique value proposition) the Vacay product needs to be designed with versatility in mind. Product development is a huge part of the job. I have contacts in the Bay Area that I can share for pattern development, samples, and production. I am also able to include all my current and past patterns in the sale that can be remade in the same or different fabrics. The development of these patterns cost $29,000 total. I also can share with you my vast learnings on fabric sourcing in Los Angeles and all my fabric contacts.
The other half of the job is all the business aspects of running a e-commerce store. The website is already developed on Shopify (I have saved themes of the store that you can use to start and add to. Adding new collections and products is a bit time consuming but easy to learn). In addition, you will need to manage the product pipeline (I can share mine with you), create a marketing plan (my ideas are in the 5 year plan), and set up distribution.
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