During the holiday season, there is little rest for this sleepwear maker. In addition to her side job, Katey Kaiser runs Colorado-based sleepwear brand, Violet Hour Fashion. Katey describes her label as “slow fashion”, foregoing of-the-moment prints to create more timeless collections that women of all ages can wear.
With a background in fashion, Katey started the business when she noticed a gap in the market for classic sleepwear.
“We take pride in choosing what we wear everyday, and when we come home we want to be comfortable, but most pajamas don’t make us feel like our innate selves,” Katey explains.
“Just a small act of putting something on that makes you feel good about yourself is good for confidence and self awareness.”
Her second holiday season in business, Katey has learned a thing or two about running a business during what is the busiest time of year for most businesses.
Test and learn
Despite having an ecommerce business, Katey likes to get involved in the local community and sell her wares in person. Last year, she went to a handful of holiday markets. After they didn’t go as she planned, she reassessed her approach this year.
“Three out of five of the holiday markets underperformed and were not worth my time,” Katey explained. “So I thought, ‘where am I going to put my resources this year?’.”
Instead, Katey opted for more intimate events, like pop-ups, where she could talk to the customer.
“People don’t feel overwhelmed at these smaller events and are able to have a conversation,” Katey said. “I like the exposure, but I have an intimate sleepwear collection and want to go to events that reflect that and align with similar local companies.”
This year, Katey says she has spent a lot of time looking at what the holiday season’s numbers would look like, including sales and marketing.
“I used Xero to look at all of last year,” Katey said. “Seventy-five percent of my sales were from October to December, and that was clear from being able to pull the report in Xero. I was able to see what my growth was, and get a conservative estimate of what my growth could be.”
“With an intuitive system like Xero, I can decide better tactics on where to put my money and sales. I have used it in all of my forecasting for the holidays this year.”
Look at your customer base
With a largely repeat customer base, Katey has chosen to base her marketing tactics on this knowledge – marketing to them and offering them exclusive discounts.
“My customer base is repeat, it’s my biggest focus this year,” said Katey. “Taking care of my current customers and letting them know that I appreciate their business.”
Images courtesy of Mackenzie Frank.