World famous socks brand uses fund box for retailers to delight
World famous socks brand uses fund box for retailers to delight
The name is too much Gumball Poodle is an online brand that specializes in unique and innovative socks. Founded by Erica Easley in Los Angeles, CA, in 2008, Gumball Poodle socks were featured on The View, Live! With Kelly and Michael, The TODAY Show, Rachel Maddow, Meet the Press and MTV. They count celebrities like Beyoncé, Madonna, Snoop Dogg and Cara Delevingne among their fans.
If you’ve visited any of the modern independent clothing stores or gift shops recently, you’ve likely come across Gumball Poodle merchandise. They offer over 100 creative, funny, and pop-culture-inspired knitwear designs, all made in the USA, including what Erica says are the “OBAMA” knee socks. world’s first (in 2008) and more recently a series of socks -art in tribute to the infamous drag artist God.
Beyoncé wears Gumball Poodle socks in her music video, “Pretty Hurts”
Erica and her team clearly enjoy creating wearable art, and customers around the world have responded, making the Gumball Poodle a best-selling success in the novelty socks world. However, for any independent business there are challenges.
Small brand, big risk
A common challenge the Gumball Poodle team has to deal with is working with dozens of independent retailers that sell their products. If a retailer is interested in stocking Gumball Poodle products, they are often also interested in trade credit, in the form of delayed payment terms.
Offering trade credit is a common practice among merchants and brands like Gumball Poodle, who use credit to give their retailers more purchasing power. Unfortunately for brands, retail buyers often take longer than agreed deadlines to pay their bills.
In the past, Gumball Poodles often offered the industry-standard Net-30 to approved buyers, but this led to some operational headaches. For example, approving a new retailer for net terms requires a credit check, which can take up to two weeks to complete, requires staff to manage and track approvals, and slows orders. row. Any delay in the ordering process can jeopardize the order and the relationship with new retail customers, especially in a trending world of new gift shops and socks. strange.
While offering longer terms, like Net-60, will make her customers happier and potentially increase order volume, says Erica, the financial risk and hole in her cash flow It would be very serious: “Being able to offer Net-60 would be great but we’re not big enough to even consider doing that kind of thing. “
That’s a big reason why Erica turned to Fundbox as a solution to offer credit as a service to her retail customers.
Erica Easley, founder of Gumball Poodle.
Tackling the trade credit challenge
Erica first learned about Fundbox through a recommendation from a trusted friend, also in the gift and homeware retail industry: Missy Livingston, owner of Torsion device. Like Erica, Missy wanted a technology provider that offered credit as a service to her retailers while maintaining control over her key customer relationships. Twisted Wares found that fintech partner in Fundbox, and Erica thinks it will work for her business, too.
The Fundbox team takes a highly customized and attentive approach to working with brands like Twisted Wares and Gumball Poodle. Brands that use Fundbox to provide terms for their buyers work with dedicated account reps and custom marketing assets to ensure that referring new buyers is as simple as possible. Offer co-branded assets (such as brochures and website landing pages) that help explain the new offer to retail buyers, helping to build trust and usage of the service.
“One of the things you did very early on was create a branded landing page,” says Erica. “When people filled out that Fundbox app, it said, ‘Gumball Poodle, powered by Fundbox.’ I think that helped a lot.”
Erica’s team has also been proactive when it comes to launching partnerships. Since Gumball Poodle is scheduled to exhibit at Las Vegas Market During the summer right after signing up for Fundbox, they launched a quick ad, along with their friend, Twisted Wares. At the exhibition, they distributed a leaflet advertising the new provisions of Net-60. Those more generous payment terms impressed customers from the start, and partnering with Fundbox helped streamline the brand’s business.
“Providing Net-60 to our customers is what really benefits them, and that helps us,” says Erica. “It helps our cash flow because we get the money instantly. Fundbox has certainly simplified our A/R. ”
Since signing up nearly a year ago, Erica said she has made it the default process for offering Net-60 terms through Fundbox. “Anyone asking for permissions now, is it a new account or new asking for permissions,” says Erica, “We give them the Fundbox link: this is how you get the Net,” says Erica. -60.”
In addition to enrolling their new buyers, Gumball Poodle also offers Net-60 terms to previous buyers who have been approved for their typical 30-day payment terms.
“Some of our previous customers at Net-30, when they found out that they could get Net-60, [chosen to go through the new process] and signed up for Fundbox,” Erica said.
For some of their long-time customers, the 30-day extra is a significant draw. In less than a year, Gumball Poodle contracted more than 20 active retail customers to the platform. Those customers can now take advantage of a 60-day payment period, while the Gumball Poodle gets paid for their order instantly, dramatically speeding up their cash flow.
Result: How Fundbox helped Gumball Poodle grow
Since signing up with Fundbox as a trade credit partner, Gumball Poodle has realized a number of significant benefits.
On the operational front, using Fundbox has reduced complexity and saved staff time in managing credit checks and other tasks related to their internal credit program. The brand has an employee dedicated to collecting money, sending payment reminders, and managing credit checks. With fewer credit checks for new customers to manage and faster, more reliable payments on new bills through Fundbox, collection and bookkeeping is simpler and less time consuming.
With fewer struggles in pursuit of payouts and the ability to offer more desirable payment terms, the Gumball Poodle team has also seen an improvement in customer relationships.
That makes sense given that many of the brand’s customers are independent retailers with their own cash flow challenges to conquer. With more flexibility offered to them on Net-60 terms, smaller retailers have more time to sell, which means they can write larger orders with sellers. like the Gumball Poodle.
When it comes to her experience working with Fundbox, Erica emphasizes the importance of having a caring team to work with her every step of the way, including facilitating engagement with merchants. odd. “Overall, your team is great to work with and helpful,” she said. “[Account representative] Nick was amazing talking to clients and working with us. I feel like you listen to us. ”