Married at just 19, Erin Hooley began her entrepreneurial journey early by starting a humble hair accessories side business. Little did Erin know, 12 years later her company would become a multi-million dollar children’s fashion brand.
But Erin experienced a few bumps in the road on the path to success. While the initial intention of her company, Bailey’s Blossoms, was to provide affordable and stylish hair accessories to young girls, she quickly discovered there was a wider gap in the children’s clothing market for inexpensive yet fashionable clothing items.
And with six kids, Erin understood this dilemma more than anyone.
Despite having no formal training in either fashion or business, Erin was determined to move forward with her business idea. Fast forward to today, and Bailey’s Blossoms now offers an extended clothing line for both young boys and girls, as well as apparel for girls ages 6 and up with their sister brand, Peyton Bre.
Now, Bailey’s Blossoms has reached a monthly sales revenue of $750,000, and Peyton Bre celebrates its fourth year on the Inc’s list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the United States.
The Birth of Bailey’s Blossoms
In 2009, the business idea for Bailey’s Blossoms was born at a kitchen table in Arizona. However, the real inspiration behind the venture came from the birth of Bailey Hooley, Erin Hooley’s first daughter.
“Every mom dreams of a sweet daughter, a little girl who will grow up to someday be her best friend. To dress her up, make her laugh, and spoil her rotten (then teach her to be kind, grateful and full of love and respect,” writes Erin on the Our Story page of the Bailey’s Blossoms website.
“Bailey was that daughter for me.”
Erin originally intended Bailey’s Blossoms to be a fun little side business and a means to provide financial relief after her husband graduated from school. But as the debt started piling up, the Hooley’s were forced to do quickly sell their home.
As Erin started designing tutus and other small clothing items to increase the company’s revenue stream, she saw the company had more potential than she initially realized. “I never fully understood what I was doing or what it had the potential to become,” Erin plainly tells Starter Story.
After deciding to outsource clothing production entirely, the Hooley’s relocated Bailey’s Blossoms to a 25,000 square foot warehouse to more effectively conduct business operations and establish the company as an official brand.
Launching the Business
After going on a 2-year hiatus in Brazil, Erin and her husband moved their family to North Texas and used $35,000 in savings to relaunch Bailey’s Blossoms in 2013 as a “DIY destination source.”
“The concept was I would teach others to make what I had. They would save money, I would save time, it was a win-win,” explains Erin. “The success was instantaneous and the feedback came pouring in!”
Since Erin has no sewing experience herself, she turned to hire artists to help illustrate, design, and create certain clothing pieces and ideas. After drafting designs for the first product, customers quickly demanded an extended clothing line of ready-made outfits.
Now, with five additional kids later, Erin continues to design girls’ and boys’ clothes with both affordability, quality, and style in mind.
Gaining Customer Loyalty
Erin attributes much of her company’s success to her ability to stay in touch with customers and put their needs first. “The journey was about people more than money and because of that, we built a community of moms who just wanted to be seen and heard.”
In 2016, Bailey’s Blossoms closed its online Etsy store and decided to take advantage of social media’s widening reach. Within just two days, the company saw a sudden increase in sales three times what they were receiving on Etsy.
As people continued to purchase Bailey’s Blossoms products, customers began posting, tagging, and hash-tagging the brand, only adding to the businesses rising status in the e-commerce clothing market.
And while the company certainly thrives on social media advertising, they’ve also accumulated a loyal email and SMS subscription list. Now, customers receive regular updates of new clothing drops and sales within the company.
Learning How to More Effectively Manage Inventory
When asked what the most advantageous aspect the company has learned since its relaunch, Erin cited inventory management as one of the key players in Bailey’s Blossoms and Peyton Bre’s current and ongoing success.
When the Hooleys first launched Peyton Bre, the company’s team initially made poor inventory projects, which resulted in a significant period of revenue loss — so much so, the Hooleys almost had to shut down the business entirely.
Since then, Erin and her team have made an effort to focus on accurate inventory projects and needs for the company. This experience has allowed the brand to create a KPI for the cost of sold goods to help them maintain responsibility in this area.
“Ultimately, the better we manage our inventory, the less we have need to discount and the healthier our profit margin becomes,” explains Erin.
The Future of Bailey’s Blossoms and Peyton Bre
Despite facing its fair share of challenges along the way, Bailey’s Blossoms (and Peyton Bre) have persevered and established itself as a reliable and reputable children’s clothing brand. And while the company has certainly become a financial, success, Erin explains that the motivation behind Bailey’s Blossoms was never about the money, but rather, the people.
“A product without a person is just a product. If you can manage to connect with people on a personal level, you will have a fan for life. And a fan is a thousand times more valuable (and rewarding) than yet another customer,” advises Erin.
Pairing quality products, affordable prices, and an emphasis on customer loyalty and trust, Bailey’s Blossoms brings blooming originality and reliability to the table — and they’ll contain to do so.