Product Development – How to create a vertically integrated brand

Alicia Kenworthy – Product Development – How to create a vertically integrated brand.

So we actually made the decision early on to be a vertically integrated brand, which means we’re designing and manufacturing ourselves. So that’s a capital intensive business. Cash flow and inventory are incredibly crucial, so a lot of our money will be going into the design and production of bras. Which men sometimes don’t realize, but is actually an expensive and length and technically complicated process. There’s up to 40 components that go into a bra, it can take six months to develop just one design.

There’s a lot of technical fitting that goes into the bra. So, our center of innovation is kind of around the grading process and around our design process that we’re working on with our bra maker that we believe results in a better fit. So the majority of the money that we’re seeking right now is just to complete development of that line.  To get our first six styles out, to produce enough samples to get them on women, get feedback, and go back to investors and say these women love these bras, it’s going to be a huge success, this is the feedback we’ve gotten, these are the preorders we have on our customer list and get more money at that point.

So the majority of the money we’re seeking right now will go into development. There will be money going into branding, packaging, everything getting ready for launch, because when you’re doing a vertically integrated brand, you can’t count on wholesalers or other retailers to push your brand for you. You really have to create this unique experience, and I would argue that the story and the experience and everything that goes with the bras is almost more important that the product itself. So there’s going to be a lot of work that we’ll be putting into landing pages, website experience, and our marketing materials and our look books and the photography and everything that brings the product to life and getting us ready for that launch date.

The money we’re seeking now will get us straight to launch, and we’ll continue fundraising throughout that process, that’s what you have to realize when you choose to go the venture capital route, is often times you’re constantly fundraising. So we’ll also be fundraising throughout that and fundraising for our first production runs and our launch.