Since 2009, I’ve worked with and in support of D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) retail brands, witnessing the emergence and growth of an entirely new category of commerce, formerly the territory of micro-brands and local, “indie” designers.
My career started in this space with Parade, an organic baby clothing brand based in Vancouver. I was hired on to help Parade move away from a business strategy focused almost entirely on wholesale clientele, and to build a stronger direct-to-consumer foundation through ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail. Before that, as a student, I worked in the wedding space, and had the opportunity to work closely in a vertical retail model that had its roots outside my formerly North American-centric views and perceptions of retail. Here I became familiar with a one-stop service business model.
While this was happening, I was becoming discontent with the business malpractices and perpetuation of mindless consumption spurred on by fast fashion brands that were representative of the primary fashion ethos and buying habits of my generation. Eager to bring more diversity and discovery into the space, I launched a now long-defunct blog, called The Distillerist, which focused on sustainable fashion and beauty, primarily D2C startups and independent designers. I created a space where independent designers could live next to well-funded startups, and the inclusion of both in one space felt both progressive at the time, but also natural.
As the blog grew, I hired on writers and managed and editorial team of 5. Eventually, I felt that, in the pursuit of vanity metrics, the blog became a bit removed from the simplicity of my original message, and I shut it down to work on other projects.
In 2015, I joined Shopify, a company dedicated to empowering the independence that I believe will drive the future retail economy. I coached entrepreneurs on product usage, marketing, and technical support, and eventually led a team amplifying support of the next generation of retail using Shopify’s social media channels.
I’ve also experimented with building my own independent brands with a D2C growth strategy, focusing on social media marketing, influencer marketing, and content marketing. These brands include a beauty collection, a vintage loungewear shop, a subscription box, and of course, I can’t forget, my very first foray: a fashion line.
I’ve been a heavy supporter of the D2C business model, as a consumer, product lover, editor, maker, and team lead at Shopify. Today, I’m mostly a passionate consumer and occasional writer.