Entrepreneur Steve Case’s company on Thursday announced a $20 million round of investment in a North Carolina-based business that processes 90% of its sales through social media.
Brandi Temple, founder of Lolly Wolly Doodle, began posting children’s clothing designs online, primarily through Facebook, in 2008. She virtually built a brand and multimillion dollar company through the social media platform.
“This is what the Internet is all about, and creative entrepreneurs like Brandi are all about. It’s about the idea,” Steve Case, co-founder of America Online, said Thursday on Morning Joe. He is also the founder of Revolution Growth.
In the traditional child clothing model, which includes brands like OshKosh B’gosh, companies design items then produce them a year later, he said. In the Digital Age, a designer can post an item to the Internet in the morning, and by mid-day begin processing and manufacturing hundreds of orders.
Temple is a model of the “rise of the rest,” Case’s belief that entrepreneurs are found around the country, not in one place.
Within two weeks of posting a few items to eBay in 2008, she started selling her items exclusively on Facebook. Sales boomed faster than Temple’s team—made up of family and friends—could produce clothing, which is all “Made in America.”
“It’s a brand that resonates with the parents. They know what we stand for, what we believe in, and we have an open dialogue with them. So it’s truly a community,” Temple told msnbc during an exclusive greenroom interview on Thursday.
Temple’s sewing hobby-turned-business allows customers to understand they are buying from her and her designers, not just another brand. Her customized products allow them to “know that what they’re getting is absolutely worth the wait,” she said.
The company now has more than 580,000 loyal fans and customers on Facebook, and ships 30,000 children’s garments each month from a 20,000 square-foot facility in Lexington, N.C.
Case said he thought using innovative platforms to stray from traditional models would happen sooner.
“It’s a new world, and leveraging these new technologies, these new platforms, these new distribution channels, these new ways to build awareness is the future of a lot of different industries,” Case said during the greenroom interview.
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