Today, the ecommerce industry is booming like never before. Statistics from UN Trade show that e-commerce sales rose to $26.7m in 2020 making up 19% of retail sales thanks to the pandemic. Never before has it been easier to buy and sell online than today. One woman who has mastered the art of selling online and growing a successful brand is Ranay Orton. This BAUCE who is the founder of Glow by Daye (a premium hair care accessory brand) found her niche on the Amazon platform and was able to amass $1M in sales. Today Glow by Daye is amongst the most popular satin bonnet lines owned by African American women. Not only is the brand emerging in popularity, but they have managed to increase their revenue by 100% since the onset of COVID -19. Ranay has a wealth of knowledge in marketing, social media, and branding that she’s used to help grow her brand and has been featured by Essence, ELLE, CEO Mom, Byrdie, Oprah Mag and more!
She recounts her journey to starting this premium hair care brand: “Glow by Daye started with me looking in the mirror one day with my faithfully worn $2.99 “satin” bonnet from my local beauty supply store and noticing my disheveled braids hanging completely out of the bonnet and the elastic of the thin cap hanging on for dear life serving no purpose. Wasn’t this “black woman staple” supposed to help my hair stay looking flawless? This led me to research what other options were on the market and found that most of them made with versatility and a larger fit were custom made on platforms such as Etsy and had lead times of weeks, if not, months. This led me to design my ideal satin hair bonnet which later turned out to be the dream bonnet for so many others. My focus was to create something that would meet the unique needs of those with natural or versatile hair while also making it readily available and could ship out same day. At the time (about 4 years ago), I had just been introduced to Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) and I thought that would be a great platform to reach potential customers while leveraging their logistics systems to ship and deliver quickly. After launching successfully on Amazon and receiving such positive feedback, I knew I wanted to build a brand with other intentionally designed hair accessories found traditionally in our healthy hair regimen. Since then, Glow by Daye has grown into a brand that provides not only great products to help maintain a healthy hair care routine for those with curls and kinks, but also a great overall customer experience.”
Ranay has experienced many blessings as well as challenges like every other entrepreneur. She states her biggest blessing has been: “being able to add value to thousands of people that share some of my pain points with managing their natural hair and ultimately making their experience better while caring for their hair. As for her biggest challenge, she says: “navigating through unforeseen setbacks such as major issues with our suppliers that have been very costly for us or adapting to finding new office space/warehouse space during the height of the pandemic because the community working space we used, unfortunately, went out of business.”
One of the many things Ranay did well in terms of selling online was being able to find her space on the Amazon platform and take full advantage of it. She shares with us what inspired her to start on the platform as well as what the early stages were like: “I was introduced to Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon program which allowed 3rd party sellers to sell on Amazon.com but Amazon would handle the logistics to the end consumer while I could focus on product development and marketing. Amazon would handle the quick shipping to customers, process any returns, even handle most customer service. It was a great option for me when starting out because I had very limited time like so many other 9-5 entrepreneurs as I was still working as a medical sales rep, traveling a lot and just having a newborn at the time. Amazon was continuously growing very fast with the number of buyers on their site, which allowed it to be a powerful search engine in many sorts. Early on, it was a challenge navigating through the different nuances of the platform. I spent a lot of time trying to understand how to advertise on it , setting up my account and setting my product up for success on the platform. I relied on resources from sellers that had previously been successful through podcasts and research online. I started with the free stuff lol Glow by Daye was able to see early success as we were usually the first high quality option for many of the products we sold on the platform.”
Now, you may be wondering what it takes to build a successful business using Amazon. Ranay shares the essentials:
- Identify a market or segment of people that would have similar problems or needs that you feel like you would want to serve and speak to on a consistent basis such as moms, caretakers, men with beards etc.
- Whether you have your first product offering in mind for that market or not, make sure that your product(s) has a distinct differentiation OR just better in some way than what is on the market. Think through what your Unique Selling Proposition will be.
- Invest in your sales copy, images, listing, etc which all are very important while selling digitally. Remember, people won’t be able to pick up and feel before they buy and probably would just be seeing you for the first time there.
And we all know, it’s one thing to start a business and it’s another thing to successfully scale. Ranay shares some advice for women who feel stuck and are struggling with the growth of their business: “You don’t have to do it alone. There are many resources out there that connect you with other like minded business owners so that you can lessen the learning curve. Many times when I have felt stuck, reaching out to someone has helped me feel not so alone and many times has helped me to “brainstorm” my way out of that stuck feeling. Being a sole founder can have it’s challenges and so you must learn to find support in many different ways especially in the beginning before you have a team. I belong to a mastermind group of other black women founders called Launch and Grow spearheaded by Gina Woods, founder/COO of Donna’s Recipe by Tabitha Brown. It is phenomenal because we will share resources, best practices, and inspiration/motivation when needed. That really helps to stay the course when you feel like you might be struggling in a particular area of your business. There are other amazing networks out there that support female founders and have been able to speak to our unique needs and challenges such as the New Voices Family and 1863 Ventures,both which I am proudly a member of. I recommend to stay tapped into these resources as much as possible as they were designed with a mission to help you scale your business.”
Nonetheless, we know running a business in today’s climate with the pandemic is a different ballgame. Ranay sympathises with this reality and shares that it was hectic for her: “With not only our business needs shifting, my home life needs shifted as my two sons were home with us again full time, so finding a way to manage both was challenging but it did at one point just become our new normal. With the increased demand of at-home hair care support and e-commerce sales in general, we did see a boost in sales and were able to meet the demand by adding additional support on our team in the last year. We were able to meet the needs of our customers on the front end with additional customer support and on the back end with bringing on our operations manager to help streamline our supply chain.”
Nevertheless, Ranay has found a way to successfully conquer all these curveballs and still thrive during this period. She shares what to expect from Glow by Daye in the next couple of years: “You can expect to find us in more retail 0spaces. We are now available in TJ Maxx stores across the country and in Canada. We are looking to expand our wholesale business and become available in more retail across the county so our customers have access to Glow by Daye locally.”
To support this hair care brand, visit GlowbyDaye.com or @glowbydaye on Facebook and Instagram.