Shopify Ecosystem

Best of 2019: Bold Stories Honorees

We asked our merchants to share their 2019 stories with us, and the responses were amazing. We hope these twenty stories inspire you to achieve some amazing goals in 2020 and beyond.

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At Bold, we’re truly invested in our merchant community. We love hearing your success stories and how our apps help your business grow. 

This year, we invited our merchants to share their stories with us — specifically, we asked them to tell us how 2019 went, from obstacles they overcame to giant leaps forward in their businesses. 

Merchants from around the world, of all sizes, and from all kinds of industries shared their stories for a chance at our Bigger, Better, Bolder package, which included free apps for a year and some other cool perks.

After a long deliberation over hundreds of submissions, our selection committee identified twenty merchants whose missions, milestones, and achievements made for truly amazing stories.

We hope these inspire you to set and achieve some amazing goals to kick off the new decade.

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Blue Moon Fabrics

Blue Moon had already fashioned an impressive business, supplying Hollywood costumers and LA designers with high-couture textiles for over 20 years, but they still hadn’t stitched together the ecommerce presence they wanted.

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While they had an online store for six years, 2019 was the year they made the change to Shopify. The platform, along with the help of Bold apps, allowed them to create an experience that more closely reflected the services they provided in store.

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Thanks to their new online store, they closed off the decade by making their first international sale and creating a 30% increase in revenue. 

“With the use of Bold Custom Pricing we were able to offer the whole world the same tiered pricing we offer to our walk-in wholesale clients.”

With their new seamless online experience, Blue Moon is set to help designers realize their dreams in style.

Bigger Bolder Baking

Giving people the recipes and instructions they need to bake delicious treats — even if they don’t own an oven — is why Gemma Stafford quit her job.

Five years ago, she left her catering career to start an online cooking show. Her hard work paid off: Bigger Bolder Baking collectively has over 5 million followers across various social platforms, including over 2 million YouTube subscribers.

Gemma Stafford Bigger Bolder Baking Host Eating Cake best of 2019

In addition to recipes for oven-baked cakes and other pastries, Bigger Bolder Baking is known for its microwave Mug Meals. Whether you’re a trucker on the go, or a resident in a personal care home, these recipes give people the power to cook almost anywhere.

In 2019, she finally opened an ecommerce store, and one of the first products she offered was a mug specifically designed for cooking those Mug Meals. It even came with a spork that fits right in the handle so Bold Bakers can mix, microwave, and enjoy their homemade concoctions all in one easy-to-clean mug.

She also served up a bakeware line and downloadable cookbooks full of her signature recipes.

“The product bundles in particular were a hit because people enjoyed buying not just one mug but a soft bundle.”

The Bigger Bolder Baking team used Bold Bundles to pair their mugs with other products, helping to boost average order value.

With plans to continue sharing great recipes and launch new products, we’re excited to see what Bigger Bolder Baking will cook up in the future.

Brightbox

Whether you’re celebrating, saying thank you, or just wanting to make someone’s day a little brighter, a care package can give them the boost they need.

Brightbox sells compact, affordable gift boxes to help do just that. They started their business to make being thoughtful easy and affordable.

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And in 2019, they unboxed some pretty big initiatives.

They created a shiny new user experience, including building more product options into the shopping flow, and being more deliberate with their marketing plan. 

It brought them some glowing results.

“The ability to offer add-ons for an extra charge has met a demand from customers and increased our average order value every month this year.”

From February to December, Brightbox saw a 50% increase in AOV — in part thanks to Bold Product Options — contributing to a 165% increase in annual revenue.

In the year ahead, this merchant is sure to help people make loved ones’ days a little brighter with out-of-the-box thinking.

Browluxe

What do you see when you’re staring at eyebrows all day? For one small microblading studio, a big gap in the market.

At Brows by G, they noticed that many people had trouble finding eyebrow pencils that complemented their skintone, so they set out give those people a perfect match.

Building off momentum from a deal they scored on Dragon’s Den (Canada’s Shark Tank), they launched a new, separate cosmetics brand, ecommerce store, and their first product: a signature eyebrow pencil. 

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Soon they were in over 100 retailers (including iHerb and Neiman Marcus), got shoutouts from celebrity makeup artists, and generated enough revenue to recoup their original investment. 

“Our biggest success of all is hearing from our amazing consumers who have finally found a brow pencil that matches their complexions.”

As they grow, they’ll depend on Bold Multi-Currency to sell around the world, helping people of all skintones get the match they need.

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Callia 

Callia is uprooting the way people order flowers, and this year they really blossomed. 

The company secured a $400k investment on Canada’s Dragon Den, giving them the ability to grow into 13 Canadian cities.

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Part of their success was thanks to optimizing their shopping experience to increase average order value. Using Bold Product Options, they gave customers the ability to easily add a vase, candy, and other giftable upsell items to their orders.

“We gave shoppers a really great experience, thanks in part to our Bold apps, which cleaned up the upsell process for us!”

2019 also saw Callia launch a sister brand, Ivie, which delivers Insta-worthy houseplants to your door. callia-flower-bouquet-and-woman

With an innovative service, subscription offerings, and a sprouting new brand, Callia’s growth potential is enormous.

The Contract Shop

Every creative knows it’s the little details that count… which happens to be something they have in common with lawyers like Christina Scalera, the mastermind behind The Contract Shop.

Selling legal templates customized to the unique needs of different types of independent creative contractors and business owners, The Contract Shop makes expert legal advice and protection accessible to all. 

Bold Upsell’s clean and very organic feeling have helped me to achieve new financial goals in my business. When I found it, I wish I’d known about it sooner!

In 2019, The Contract Shop was excited to shift their focus from a digital product store to more of an ecommerce model. 

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Taking cues from ecommerce giants, they revised their user experience and sales strategies, using apps like Bold Upsell to ensure their customers fully understood what they should be purchasing to cover off their legal needs. 

Christina Scalera Contract Shop

The ruling for The Contract Shop was in their favor: They consistently had five or six-figure revenue months this past year, breaking their own sales records.

Crema Joe

True story: The inventor of the coffee pod has stated he regrets his creation, in large part because of the waste they create. 

Luckily, there are innovators like the team at Crema Joe who provide green-minded solutions — like reusable, washable coffee capsules for virtually any single cup brewer — so you can enjoy your cup of joe, guilt-free. 

“We were driven to make an impact with our sustainable products,” explained company founder Kayla. 

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That impact stacked up in 2019, to the tune of 12 million coffee pods diverted from landfills. Not only that, but Crema Joe crossed $1 million in revenue this year, in part thanks to local businesses buying into their refillable coffee capsule program, increasing AOV through Bold Upsell, and being stocked by more than 80 retailers. 

Crema Joe’s 2019 also included new product launches and an expanding team, with a priority on creating flexible roles for new mothers. Here’s to continued growth for Crema Joe as they shrink the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills!

Dr. Seeds

If you’ve ever wished you had a doctor on your shoulder when navigating the overwhelming vitamins and supplements aisle of the grocery store, you’re not alone. 

Enter Dr. William Seeds, an experienced orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert. With all the confusion around which brands — or even which supplement types — were the best to take, Dr. Seeds took matters into his own hands.

He created his dream supplement line to provide his patients (and the avid fan base he’s rapidly built up) with the support they need to live healthier lives. 

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After soft launching in 2018, the team behind Dr. Seeds’ supplements had a goal of growing their subscriber base on Bold Subscriptions to 500 users by the end of 2019. 

The results were even more amazing than they could have anticipated — increasing their subscriber numbers by 8900% and generating an additional $400,000 in revenue to help them generate a healthy $1 million in their first full year of business.

Family Dinner

Why drive to the supermarket to buy imported food when you can get locally produced groceries delivered right to your door?

Family Dinner strives to make just that more accessible in their region.

They run a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share subscription service that sources 100% of their products — including meat, fish, and dairy — from local farms. 

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And once they get those local farms’ products to happy diners, they pay back half of their revenue to those family farms in New England

“We love your suite of apps! It’s one of the main reasons that we chose Shopify over Squarespace or other ecommerce solutions.”

For Family Dinner, it’s about more than turning a profit, it’s about helping people eat better, celebrate great food, and build a community around the folks who make it.

And with Bold Subscriptions, they’re accomplishing just that. They more than doubled their business over 2019, and now serve over 200 families every week in the Boston area.

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This success was thanks in part to a more focused effort on marketing and automating and optimizing their delivery logistics.

“All of Bold’s apps help us deliver at the highest level, while operating efficiently and with confidence that everything is working smoothly.”

With environmentally conscious consumers sure to grow even more in the new decade, it will be exciting to see what Family Dinner cooks up next.

Hanna Sillitoe

Hanna Sillitoe’s journey to clear skin also cleared the way for a burgeoning skincare brand that gives people control over how they treat their skin issues. 

Sillitoe’s journey resonated with her audience: the interest in her best-selling book inspired her to start a line of skincare products, and even earned her the opportunity to pitch her business to investors on UK’s Dragon’s Den.

Hanna Sillitoe Sitting Outdoors

There, on national television, she got offers from all five investors.

“I’m so proud to have created something that genuinely offers hope to people who have felt stuck in a hopeless situation for a very long time.”

Since then, her audience has doubled, and so have her sales, thanks in part to some of the packages she sells on her store using Bold Bundles.

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In the year ahead, she plans to expand into more retail locations and keep offering solutions for people to live their lives with healthy skin.

Lit Cosmetics

Lit Cosmetics has been dazzling customers with their glitter products since 2002, but 2019 was the year the little make up company shined brighter than ever. 

Despite being a smaller fish in the gigantic cosmetics pond, Lit says they’re looked at as “authorities on glitter,” and are sought out by top makeup artists.

Our ability of offer unique combinations or products with help from our Bold apps and now the bundles which allowed us to really launch new colors in seasonal combinations.

This is evidenced by the fact in 2019 their glitter was sported by the likes of Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, and Kesha — and even got an endorsement from Oprah Magazine.

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Another big achievement was expanding to India, which has quickly emerged as a massive market for the brand. Lit Cosmetics should be set to sparkle across the world in the coming decade.

LittleSizzle

In 2017, two Dutch sisters discovered they had quit their jobs a day apart – without even knowing each other’s plans!

So, they planned to start a business: LittleSizzle. They sell printable stationery templates, originally specializing in baby shower games and invitations.

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Their huge selection of products makes it easy to find something that’s right for you, but it was also a challenge to show shoppers everything they’re looking for — or to get eyes on new products. That’s where Bold Upsell came in.

The sisters added upsell and cross-sell offers to every product on their store, which helped get eyes on their new bridal shower templates they launched, while also driving impressive increases in average order value.

We added an upsell or a cross-sell to every single product we had. It definitely paid off. In 2019, we saw an increase in revenue of over 30%! The Bold Upsell app has helped us to have more multi-product orders.

The success from increasing their product range has inspired them to start developing templates to help people celebrate even more events.

Jowissa Watches

Swiss watches have become synonymous with quality, and Jowissa is no exception. The family behind Jowissa has been making watches for three generations, but their ecommerce story just began recently.

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They already had a strong wholesale operation, but wanted to be able to sell directly to customers as well. After opening their Shopify store in 2018, they finished their first full year of direct-to-consumer sales in 2019, making an additional $100,000 like clockwork.

“It was exciting to enter ecommerce and discover tools like Bold and many others that help SME scale fast and at low cost.”

Through Shopify, they share out their product feed to Amazon and other ecommerce platforms. And with Bold Multi-Currency, they are able to automatically display prices on their storefront in shoppers’ native currencies so people can enjoy a Swiss timepiece no matter what country they live in.

Pixel Empire

This designer marketplace was started by Dylan West, a graphic artist who was selling on Etsy, but wanted more control over his business. Dylan soon found like-minded creatives to join him; those looking to retain the right to their designs and the majority of profits selling pop-culture influenced swag.

Pixel Empire Travel Posters

The shop now has a cult following and is home to dozens of independent artists around the world who sell posters, t-shirts, phone cases, and even exclusive VHS cassettes.

In 2019, Pixel Empire teamed up with YouTube influencer Scott the Woz to raise nearly $70,000 for two Children’s Charities: Critical Care Comics and Children’s Miracle Network.

Out of the $70,000 that we raised for charities in 2019, over $4,000 was attributed just from Bold Upsell!

Helping out other people paid off, because in 2019 they broke their monthly revenue records two months in a row.

Pixel Empire Dylan West and Scott the Woz Presenting Check to Critical Care ComicsIn 2020 Pixel Empire will focus on another charity drive as well as driving more customers and artists to their marketplace, in part by offering new limited edition products each month.

Pointe Studio

Sanity over vanity is Pointe Studio’s motto, but that doesn’t mean their socks don’t look great — and it also doesn’t hurt that they’re specifically designed for the active people this brand serves.

Pointe Studio socks Dance 2

Their wide variety of athletic socks — toeless, ankle, full foot, and beyond — are perfect for dancers and fitness enthusiasts.

And this year they took their first steps on a few big new things. They used Bold to launch a subscription service they’d been discussing for over a year, which now makes up over 10% of their revenue. 

“We have more than doubled sales year over year and it would not have been possible without Bold.”

And it doesn’t stop there. They also ran a holiday campaign with planned paid media ads, launched new accessories, doubled sales, and got distribution from Net-A-Porter, Nordstrom, and Free People. 

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In 2020 they’ll dance their way to more successes, with Bold keeping time every step of the way forward.

Pura

What if you could come home to the fresh scent of Yuzu Citron, Vanilla Chiffon, Moroccan Amber, or dozens of other designer-crafted fragrances from the likes of Nest and capri BLUE? 

It’s now possible thanks to Pura. You can control their smart home fragrance devices right from your smartphone, and you can even switch between two different scents.

Pura has gotten use to the smell of success in 2019. Not only did they launch a subscription service using Bold Subscriptions, they also got on the shelves of Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and Ulta Beauty.

They also got some major media attention from Cosmopolitan, Vogue, USA Today, Forbes, QVC and CBS’ The Talk.

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And all that exposure paid off.  In 2019 they saw an increase in revenue of over 1000%, an increase from Q3 to Q4 revenue of over 700%, an initial seed round of funding, and regularly sold out their core products.

But when Pura make dollars with scents, they also give back. In 2019 they donated funds to a children’s hospital and helped raise awareness for child abuse.

Robin McGraw Revelation

Launched in 2017, Robin McGraw wanted to share her beauty products with all of her fans. Robin is married to Dr. Phil, and if you’ve ever watched his program, you’ve probably seen her in the front row.

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She also likes to cheer on other women, with the purpose behind her beauty line to help women embrace the beauty and fun of aging, live their lives freely, and feel empowered.

“Bold is a huge part of the reason our average order value is much higher this year. We are looking forward to improving our sales with Bold Subscriptions.

Providing a great customer experience is important to McGraw, and the brand tries to always go the extra mile for their customers, like hiding a motivational quote from Robin under the lid in each package.

Robin McGraw sitting on a stool answering the phone

In 2019 they improved service and released new products, which got a big response from their customers. Avid fans bought more products than ever and helped McGraw Revelation make $1 million in sales solely in the month of November. 

Smart Sips Coffee

This Brick, New Jersey business was founded by Lara Nikola, who sought to quit her job and spend more time with her family. Created in 2013, Smart Sips Coffee sells a gourmet coffee subscription box with dessert-inspired flavors.

Lara Nikola smart sipsSource.

In 2019, Nikola took her business to the next level, starting off with an appearance on Good Morning America, where she got to pitch her product to some of the Shark Tank Sharks and earning ringing endorsements along the way. Even skeptical Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, called her brews “damn good.” 

This once in a lifetime moment lead to even more media attention from the likes of Money Magazine, iHeartRadio, and Fox & Friends, as well as getting featured in Us Weekly’s gift guide. 

That media attention paid off. Smart Sips saw a 300% YOY increase in sales and did more business in January of 2019 than they did in all of 2018, attributed in part to subscribers she serves with Bold Subscriptions.

Smart Sips Coffee is proudly women-owned, and Nikola’s success story was recognized by national news outlets as inspirational for any aspiring entrepreneur.

Stonemaier Games

Stonemaier Games wasn’t playing around in 2019. Not only did they win the prestigious Kennerspiel des Jahres Game of the Year award, they also tripled their membership base of loyal fans.wingspan-stonemaier-gameWingspan, Stonemaier’s award winning 2019 game, source.

They leveraged their reputation as a well-known game publisher to offer a program with Bold Memberships that now has thousands of members. For an annual fee, devotees get early access to games and insider insights on the development process

“Thanks to Bold, the number of members (who frequently buy directly from our webstore) more than tripled to over 6,500 people.”

But memberships aren’t the only thing driving revenue: Customers also bought over 45,000 copies of Stonemaier’s acclaimed tabletop strategy games.

Wynwood Dog Food Co.

You are what you eat, and that’s just as true for dogs as it is for humans. That’s why the folks a Wynwood Dog Food strive to give pet owners healthy options for their furry friends. 

Wynwood Dog Food two people two dogs

They wanted to bring transparency to the dog food industry with a fully open kitchen and factory where customers could see the whole manufacturing process from start to finish.

In 2019, Wynwood opened their second location in Miami, including expanding one location so they could make more products right before your eyes. With your pets’ health always top of mind, they also launched a new line of cardiac support food they developed with veterinarians.

But what’s more impressive is that now they can serve the world through a new online store — one they built from scratch without outside help.

“Because of Shopify’s versatility and apps like Bold, I was able to add subscriptions, a store locator, various shipping options (in-store pick up, local delivery, shipping) with complicated rules depending on product type/quantity without the help of any developer.”

Thanks to a custom ecommerce presence they have full control over and double the bricks and mortar locations, they’ve also more than doubled business from the previous year — all while helping canine companions live healthier lives.

Your goals are within reach

All of these merchants’ stories show that achieving ecommerce success is possible when you put your mind to it and get the right functionality for your store.

We hope their experiences inspire you to take action and start working toward your goals. If you need support along the way, we’re here to help.

What are you goals for 2020 and beyond? Let us know in the comments below; we’ll reply back with advice that can help you get there.

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This article was originally published by our friends at Bold Commerce.

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