Hope & Henry logo

An organic clothing brand launches its ecommerce business with Amazon

"It actually seemed to have a halo effect on the overall brand."
Matt McCauley
Founder, Hope & Henry

A retail CEO considers new ways to sell online

It all started with The True Cost, a 2015 documentary that dives into the effects fast-fashion has on factory workers and our planet.

Matt McCauley had spent his entire career in retail, becoming CEO and chairman of a large publicly traded retail company before age 35. He retired after the company was sold to a private equity firm and lived in quiet contentment with his wife, Marina and their family. After watching The True Cost, the couple were stricken by the amount of waste caused by the fashion industry. They wanted to show the world a kinder way to do business—using high-quality organic materials, reducing waste, and sharing profits with employees.

They came out of retirement to create Hope & Henry.

On choosing sites for selling

As the McCauleys decided where to launch their brand, a major retailer proposed an order that would’ve set them up for success. It came with a caveat: they wouldn’t be able to sell online using Amazon. They had something else in mind entirely: to build an online store exclusively on Amazon. Matt remembers being nervous about the decision to be a “born-on-Amazon brand,” but now that some time has passed, he has no regrets: “It was absolutely the best decision that we could have made.”

Amazon’s enthusiasm to help tell Hope & Henry’s story helped sway the duo. Account managers guided the McCauleys through the process. Matt appreciated their follow-through: “We were both surprised at how helpful Amazon has been. Not just in launching, but after we went live, they helped us along the way.”

Hope & Henry’s customers were already shopping on Amazon. “They love the convenience, the shipping—they're already there. So it was just a matter of introducing them to our brand,” Marina said. Everyone involved wanted to ensure a strong brand experience, injecting the Hope & Henry personality into an Amazon Store to sell products online. They found loyal customers faster than anticipated.
They love the convenience, the shipping—they're already there. So it was just a matter of introducing them to our brand.
Matt McCauleyFounder, Hope & Henry

FBA – time saver for the online seller

Thanks to FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), Hope & Henry launched without a distribution center or people dedicated to fulfilling inventory. And partly because they were exclusively an online seller, they were able to scale quickly to meet the influx of demands.

They operated this way for nearly a year, with products going straight from production to Amazon fulfillment centers. This allowed them to operate on smaller margins because of reduced headcount, payroll, and a physical presence. Amazon took care of the logistics: shipping, returns, and any issues with deliveries. This helped Hope & Henry get up and running while laying the groundwork for a successful future.

Discoverability and selling websites

It’s one thing to sell items online, but getting customers to discover your products can be a challenge. Hope & Henry leveraged Amazon’s pay-per-click ads to drive that discoverability.

“We use Sponsored Products when launching a new collection,” Matt says. Hope & Henry uses the tool heavily at product launch, then pulls back as the reviews build traction. It’s a simple strategy they’ve used to drive discovery—and ultimately sales—of new and seasonal products.
We use Sponsored Products any time we launch a new collection.

More than ecommerce business

“I’ve actually been really impressed—and kind of surprised, quite frankly—at how much Amazon has helped us build the brand; not just on Amazon, but outside of Amazon.”

From their “born-on-Amazon” beginnings, the McCauleys made strides. After a year, they launched their own website. Six months after that, Hope & Henry and Amazon collaborated to open a physical pop-up store. Meeting customers face-to-face at the pop-up was a success, and—bonus—it contributed to sales on Amazon.
I’ve actually been really impressed—and kind of surprised, quite frankly—at how much Amazon has helped us build the brand; not just on Amazon, but outside of Amazon.

A Prime Day to sell online

Hope & Henry makes sure their clothing’s always fairly priced, generally choosing to compete on a pricing level instead of using promotions. But they still gave Prime Day a shot because it’s one of the year’s biggest days to sell things online.

For their first Prime Day, Hope & Henry had the opportunity to do some Amazon-exclusive sales. They were weary of going, but the proof was in the numbers. Says Matt: “What happened was not just those items on Amazon going through the roof, but it actually seemed to have a halo effect on the overall brand.”

Sell things online, sell things offline

Hope & Henry have opened brick and mortar stores across the United States. They’re continuing to grow both in the physical world and on Amazon, but they haven’t let go of their ambition to make an impact on the world through retail.

“If we can really influence others—if somebody says, ‘Wow, there's an example of a profitable company that maximizes the use of organic cotton and recycled fibers, and does a quality product.’ I think that's a huge success.”
Hope & Henry logo
LOCATION
El Dorado Hills, CA, USA
INDUSTRY
Fashion
EST. ON AMAZON
2019

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