Fae Founder Bianca Bennetts On How Instagram Can Launch Your Brand
The rules of retail have drastically changed in the past few years. Gone are the days when brands rely on brick and mortar stores to make their brand the next big thing. These days, a well-curated Instagram and small, passionate team can get a brand off the ground.
Take Australian swimwear label Fae, for example: founder Bianca Bennetts launched the line through Instagram and digital word-of-mouth, and now the brand has over 300 thousand dedicated fans and plans to expand into ready-to-wear and beyond.
Keep reading to hear Bianca’s insights on starting a brand in the social media age.
SIMPLY: Tell us about your startup story.
BIANCA BENNETTS: Fae started on the island of Bali where I met my now husband Adam. Swimwear design started as a hobby. I was wearing bikinis every day in Bali, but I always felt like there was a little gap in the market for a certain type of cut, so I started working with a friend of mine who was a designer, giving him my ideas and rough drawings and asked him to help me create my dream bikini.
From there I started wearing the suits every day, posting some photos on my personal social media. I started getting direct messages and comments from strangers asking where my bikinis were from.
So Adam and I decided to take a risk and do a small production order of the minimum quantity of 300 units, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing or what to expect. From there we started a social media account for Fae, using photos that Adam had taken of me. The account started growing super organically and we had roughly 10k-15k followers in our first 6 weeks pre-launch. We sold out of all 300 pieces in our first week of launching so we re-ordered. Every order doubled in size. I think we got to about order 3 when I remember saying to Adam...wow, we are actually doing this!
That was just two short years ago. Since then our following has grown to 335k and we have reached so many amazing milestones. Having seen Fae on my favourite models and celebrities, and shooting in beautiful locations all around the world still feels so surreal!
What role did social media play in building FAE as a brand?
We owe most of our success to social media. We started Fae with barely any business experience at all. We created an Instagram account on our iPhone and that’s how Fae was born. Even today almost all of our sales are made by social media click throughs.
Why do you think social media is such an important marketing tool for up-and-coming brands to utilize?
Social media is important in so so many ways.
Every time you post on Instagram, you are posting to your followers/fans of the brand, potential buyers with direct click thoughts to your website. It’s such an easy way for customers to purchase. It’s 2018 everyone shops online and people like things to be easy. They can search the brand on social media, and see hundreds of images they can relate to.
If the brand understands the importance of the content they post, and they post unique beautiful content then these images could be reposted over and over again, this is the multiplying effect, where your content can go viral and be seen by millions.
It’s also a great tool to communicate with your customers. It gives customers the feeling they can be more involved with the brand by commenting and asking questions and getting direct responses from the account itself, makes them feel like they have a voice which is super important.
How does FAE set itself apart from other swimwear brands?
Fae makes tiny cuts designed for all body types. We want all woman to feel like they can wear a tiny string bikini and own it and feel sexy and confident in it.
We are also a sustainable label which is one of things that I am the most proud of. We teamed up with aquafil group called Econyl using 100% regenerated fibre made from post consumer materials such as fishing nets. So woman can know they are leaving a lighter footprint on the planet, and still feel sexy at the same time.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to start their own business?
Study your market and find a gap in it. Find out what makes your brand unique and really push that. Do not be afraid to take risks ever. Realize the importance of great content, the more amazing, jaw dropping content you have to market your brand the better and the more likely it is to be seen.
Want to learn more about Fae? You can shop the brand here!