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Gem Retail Hotlist: I am Eva bares all

  • News
  • August 14, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gem Retail Hotlist: I am Eva bares all

When Michele Wilson and Kylie James launched their period-proof underwear business via Kickstarter at the end of 2018, they each applied lessons learned from their first businesses. James shared the secrets behind an effective launch with The Register.

A former social worker, James had previously founded Kai Carrier, which sells reusable food pouches. Wilson founded skincare company Frankie Apothecary. This experience meant the pair were able to hit the ground running with I am Eva.

“We knew what to do differently for this, and do it right,” James says.

James and Wilson chose to fundraise on Kickstarter before launching I am Eva’s ecommerce website. James says she and Wilson decided to use Kickstarter because it produced both funding and publicity, and allowed the pair to test their concept without much penalty if it failed.

“We thought, okay, let’s see if there’s a market for this,” James says.

Fortunately, the I am Eva Kickstarter hit its $27,000 target within 24 hours of launch. James and Wilson had engaged in additional publicity work with PR releases and media integration which meant that on the Kickstarter’s first day in action, it was featured on MediaWorks’ current affairs show The Project.

Off the back of The Project, I am Eva garnered more media, producing rolling momentum that continues to carry the business.

I am Eva sells its period-proof underwear online direct to consumers (D2C), and wholesales “a small portion” to retailers like Commonsense Organics. This is a deliberate decision, James says – I am Eva’s supply can only keep up with its D2C demand, so it’s better off selling its limited stock direct so it can collect a better margin and customer data.

“We’re literally approached every day by stores who want to stock our products,” James says.

There’s plenty in the pipeline for the next few months, with new styles and ‘teen packs’ coming out. I am Eva also sells a book – Ngahuia Murphy’s Waiwhero,which discusses Maori traditions around periods. 

James says the book is symbolic of the wider mission behind I am Eva, which is about destigmatising periods for the benefit of the next generation. She and Wilson collectively have four daughters, one of whom inspired I am Eva’s name.

Cultural attitudes about menstruation have changed significantly in the last two generations, says James as she recalls feelings of shame around periods as a child, but she says there’s still work to do – menstruation should be celebrated for its role in reproduction.

“It’s more than just us selling underwear, we’re trying to smash that taboo.”

That purpose-driven inspiration also feeds through to I am Eva’s marketing strategy. The company uses influencers – albeit those famous for their achievements rather than commercially-driven individuals – and doesn’t cosmetically alter the images of the women they use on banners and collateral. 

Consumers notice this and respond positively, says James. She says at a recent expo, a woman approached to say, “We use your brand because we see real women in your banners.”

I am Eva is one of three finalists for 'Hottest market entry or launch' in the Gem Retail Hotlist's Technology category. Voting is now open for the People's Choice award - click here to cast yours now!

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How do Kiwis do their Christmas shopping at Mighty Ape?

  • News
  • November 20, 2019
How do Kiwis do their Christmas shopping at Mighty Ape?

New Zealand e-tailer Mighty Ape surveyed 2,962 Kiwi shoppers post-Christmas last year. Among its findings are that Black Friday is officially bigger than Boxing Day among its audience, with almost four times as many products were sold on Black Friday compared to Boxing Day 2018. Cyber Monday, the online-only sale that falls on the Monday following Black Friday, has also proven to be popular with Kiwis. It now also outsells Boxing Day at Mighty Ape.​ ​It's presented further findings in a clever infographic.

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Introducing New World's 2019 Christmas ad

  • News
  • November 19, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Introducing New World's 2019 Christmas ad

New World and Colenso BBDO have unveiled this year’s Christmas ad, showing the generous Kiwi tradition of inviting every available Tom, Dick and Harry to Christmas lunch, resulting in many mouths to feed.

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Raglan Coconut Yoghurt's Latesha Randall reports back from the US on what's hip and happening

  • News
  • November 19, 2019
  • Latesha Randall
Raglan Coconut Yoghurt's Latesha Randall reports back from the US on what's hip and happening

Latesha Randall is ​the co-founder of Raglan Coconut Yoghurt, a delicious dairy-free yoghurt born out of a beautiful town two hours south of Auckland. She previously documented the adventures of her company when it was a start-up in a column in Idealog – you can read it here. Recently, Randall traveled to the 2019 Natural Products Expo in Baltimore, USA and observed the food trends that were happening abroad. New Zealand foodies, take note: here, she reports back on what she thinks will be big contenders in the future food space.

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Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
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Outdoor goods retailers Cactus Outdoor and Kathmandu collaborate

  • News
  • November 19, 2019
  • The Register team
Outdoor goods retailers Cactus Outdoor and Kathmandu collaborate

Two prominent Kiwi outdoor goods retailers, Kathmandu and Cactus Outdoor, have collaborated to produce a line of certified ‘Buy NZ Made’ products which will be launched in Kathmandu stores around New Zealand on Buy NZ Made Day this week.

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Casual brows

  • Opinion
  • November 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Casual brows

As competition hots up between internationals and local brands in the beauty category, NZ Retail and The Register editor and associate publisher Sarah Dunn considers what comes next.

Read more
 

How New Zealand businesses performed in China’s 11.11 shopping festival

  • News
  • November 15, 2019
  • The Register team
How New Zealand businesses performed in China’s 11.11 shopping festival

This week marked Singles’ Day - a Chinese holiday run by mega-retailer Alibaba that, while still relatively unknown in the western world, is surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in scale and sales. Alibaba reports it generated US$38.4 billion of gross merchandise volume this year.

Read more
 
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