Online business from small country town is talk of fashion industry
Success story a reminder to Swan Hill, Echuca and Mildura small businesses that digital channels contribute to business growth
Here's an uplifting story about a fast growing small business in the New South Wales country town of Belmont, south of Newcastle, population 6,400.
Not so long ago, 16-year-old year 9 student Paris Marchant dropped out of school with clinical depression and went to work at McDonalds. In December 2014, with only one box of stock, she began selling bikinis to friends via Facebook and once sold out started selling clothing at Glebe markets. With things looking up, Paris started the Generation Outcast Clothing company with her boyfriend, 20-year-old Laurence Lees, a dropout in year 8 who had also worked at McDonalds.
Fast-forward less than one year to the present day and Generation Outcast Clothing has grown its profile via Instagram to over 160,000 followers and is reportedly turning over $50,000 of stock a month. Given its popularity on Instagram it's incredible to note that the brand has only 1,000 fans on Facebook . It goes to show it can be prudent to concentrate and excel on one social network than to have a diluted presence across several.
Last month the pair received an unexpected PR coup after Paris took to Instagram to share a news article about her unusual and inspiring path to success and tagging Kylie Jenner in her post. Incredibly, Jenner (40 million followers) and her mother Kris (9 million followers) re-posted Paris' post, adding: “This is so inspiring and you are so amazing.”
Kylie's post received more than 230,000 likes on Instagram within four hours and while it is an extreme example, it demonstrates to businesses of all sizes the power of influencers and word of mouth marketing on social media.
It's a heart-warming success story of two young entrepreneurs leveraging digital platforms to grow their business rapidly and successfully. Let's hope they enjoy sustained success.
Do you know of any small businesses doing exceptional things in digital? If so, please get in contact with us. We'd love to tell their story for the benefit of other small businesses who are on their own digital journey.