Boring stuff first! Name, Age and position with Sevenly.org
Dale Partridge, 26, CEO at Sevenly.org
For those of us that aren’t completely familiar with Sevenly, could you give us a quick breakdown?
Sevenly is a co-profit company founded in June 2011 to raise capital and awareness for the world’s greatest causes. Each week Sevenly partners with one qualified nonprofit to sell a shirt specifically designed for that week’s campaign, with seven dollars from each shirt sale going to the charity. The company’s goal is to provide support to charities through increased awareness, funding and following.
What was the initial inspiration for starting Sevenly and is this the first clothing company you have started?
Honestly, it was a God thing. I was already making six figures and seven figure revenues. But I really felt called to use my communication skills, and online abilities to make more than profits. I must say, it has been far less stressful and much more rewarding.
Other than your charitable mission is there anything else that makes Sevenly.org different than other clothing lines out there?
In terms of the business model, yes, lot’s of things. For one, we don’t have inventory. Secondly, we have a crazy repeat buyer percentage. In terms of the clothing itself, maybe, we print on super high quality poly-cotton shirts, with all water-based inks. Also, all shirts are limited edition, if you don’t buy them that week, you’ll never get it again.
How do you go about choosing the charities that are involved with Sevenly and can individual charities apply to be involved with your company?
We have a charity application form that gets some good initial information. If they fit our criteria (social media scale, level of influence, powerful cause, etc.) then we schedule a phone interview where much deeper questions come into play (legal stuff, geographics, etc.).
Since Sevenly’s launch your site has absolutely exploded garnering posts on Mashable.com and Yahoo.com. How did you go about getting the attention of such high profile media outlets?
We have some friends with giant social media fan bases. Our total facebook reach is almost 10 million and our Twitter reach is around 1.5 million. We are working everyday to grow these numbers into the hundreds of millions. These people range from musicians, celebrities, journalists, authors, etc.
I was also reading about a marketing campaign that you had involving YouTube, could you explain what your strategy was and the eventual outcome?
We learned that YouTube stars have a really high engagement rate. Higher than facebook and twitter. So we made friends with YouTube stars, paid some big bucks too, but it seems to be paying off. Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth…
I have read articles and opinions of people whom criticize companies are for pushing a charitable cause claiming that they are doing it as a marketing ploy to gain attention that they would not otherwise gain. How would you respond to those people and have you come across any companies that you believe are “gaming” the charity angle just to raise sales?
I would tell them, “My for-profit company gave $40,000+ in 10 weeks to qualified charities that change lives. What does your company do?” If they can beat that then I might turn my ear.
Are there any plans of expanding into new items on Sevenly such as hoodies, tank tops or kid’s sizes?
Absolutely. We have some pretty big plans (backed with investment) to take Sevenly to a bright future. Keep and eye on us.
Any last minute advice you could offer individuals looking at starting a business or clothing company?
I follow an interesting start-up model. It’s a major component to my success. Identity>Idea>Research> Decision >Plan>Network>Pitch More information on that HERE