Learn how Zulily’s Factory Direct program for scalable, on-demand production helped launch and accelerate Millie Loves Lily’s apparel brand for kids.
Millie Loves Lily’s motto is simple: Love it, wear it, share it. As moms themselves, Millie Loves Lily founders and designers Deborah “Deb” Schoch and LeeAnn Stover know how important it is to have comfort and versatility in every garment they design. That’s why their clothing line combines artful styling and playful prints with wearability, to allow kids to be kids – whether on the playground or while celebrating life’s milestones. But when it came time to launch their business, Zulily’s expertise with direct overseas manufacturing and e-commerce made it happen and helped Millie Loves Lily achieve and exceed their goals.
Zulily Provides an Ideal Platform
Up until 2018, Millie Loves Lily was just an idea for Schoch and Stover. They were looking to turn that idea into a business, but doing so required not only the right platform, but also guidance on working in e-commerce.
The duo selected mom-focused online retailer Zulily as the platform of their choice to accomplish these goals. With a shared passion for helping moms find high-quality, fresh styles for their children – Zulily was a perfect match.
Zulily’s Factory Direct Program Provides Direct Oversees Manufacturing
Zulily saw an opportunity to leverage its dynamic Factory Direct program to bring Schoch and Stover’s vision to life: a clothing line for kids, exclusive to Zulily. The program provides scalable, on-demand production of goods, generated by direct manufacturing from overseas – exactly what was required to develop the brand’s line.
In addition to manufacturing Millie Loves Lily products, Factory Direct helped put effective systems in place for production and cost negotiation, to ensure their operations ran smoothly.
Celebrating Success: Selling More, Selling Faster
Once Schoch and Stover’s designs were created, Zulily showcased their new brand offerings to millions of moms, using its personalization technology which ensured their products were being shown to the customers most likely to buy them.
Zulily is committed to helping its vendors thrive by offering industry know-how, helpful guidance, selling tips and more. The Zulily team was there to lend vendor support every step of the way, from curating special events to easy sharing of real-time sales data and information, as well as providing expert advice, marketing opportunities and creative support through its user-friendly vendor portal. As a result, Millie Loves Lilly more than doubled its sales from 2018 to 2019.
“With Zulily, it’s like having a new storefront every week to create a completely new shopping experience,” say Schoch and Stover. “This allows us to get quick, real-time selling feedback – which we then use to create new collections that we know our customers really want.”
Fostering Continued Growth to Reach Millions of Engaged Moms
Flash forward to today: in addition to kids’ apparel, Zulily and Millie Loves Lily together have launched apparel lines for infants, toddlers, and adults – as well as accessories, swimwear and sleepwear. New styles are featured every week on Zulily’s site and mobile app through a dedicated brand page (originally launched in 2021) due to an overwhelming interest from Zulily’s primary customer base: millennial moms.
In fact, Millie Loves Lily is one of the most popular kids’ apparel brands on Zulily today.
“Working with Zulily offers us the opportunity to reach a broad audience, more than any other online sales venue,” add Schoch and Stover. “At Zulily we are part of the team, always working together to achieve our goals and beyond.”