Producing Heirloom, Artisan-Inspired Items at Scale
The American consumer is tired of mass-produced, foreign sourced gifts and home decor available in big box retail stores, and the rise of handcrafted quality sites like Etsy and Amazon Handmade reflect these changing consumer preferences.
But the individual artisans and makers selling their goods on those platforms often are single practitioners or hobbyists that can't produce their unique items in quantity or have difficulty repeating the quality and specification of an item previously produced.
Bourbon & Boots was founded to fill this niche: handcraft heirloom quality gifts and home decor for the person that wants a USA handcrafted quality item that has a story to tell and in itself is rich in history.
Our in-house production maker space and team of highly-skilled artisans allows us to use domestically sourced materials to produce rare and unique items at scale, ensuring that repeat orders are the exact same design and feel, even if they're made months apart.
Built a $4M Business Selling Direct to Consumers
The original Bourbon & Boots concept, founded in 2012 was an Etsy-like peer-to-peer marketplace, connecting buyers with sellers; but stocking and making nothing.
In May 2015, xCelerate Capital, led by serial entrepreneur Rod Ford purchased the entirety of the brand.
Rod loved the brand, the cult-like following of customers, and his extensive research on the American consumer's fatigue with foreign-sourced goods as well as the explosive growth of the Handmade movement led him to acquire the brand and pivot the business model to a lifestyle brand that designs, creates, warehouses, and distributes its own line of rare, unique handcrafted goods and home decor.
In 2014, Bourbon & Boots had $150,000 in annual sales and 35% gross margin. Now, three years after Rod purchased the brand and changed the business model to designing, producing, stocking, and fulfilling the vast majority of the rare & unique items, we're on track for $4 million sales in 2018 and 75% gross margin.
Now We're Expanding Sales with Wholesale & Alternate Distribution
For our first 3 years, we grew to $4M in sales through 98% direct to consumer sales through our website; fulfilling 90,000 consumer orders directly from our website.
With a key hire of a new CMO previously employed by Hayneedle and Jet.Com, the company added its products to major lifestyle marketplaces, niche catalogers and third-party alternative distribution partners interested in promoting and selling our rare & unique handcrafted quality goods.
Our best selling products are now live on marketplaces (Hayneedle, Wayfair, Overstock, Touch of Modern, Zulily); we are selling products directly to prominent gifting catalog companies (800Flowers, Wine Enthusiast, UncommonGoods); and have curated product sets to sell on national media sites (Hearst Magazines, The Bourbon Review, Whiskey Advocate).
Our Progress So Far
Bourbon & Boots Launched
Founded as a peer-to-peer marketplace for handcrafted gifts and merchandise. In first 3 years: sold 6k products to 25k customers from 500 artisans.
Company Commences Warehouse & Fulfillment Operations
Inc Magazine Recognizes Company as 16th Fastest Growing Private Brand
Finalist for Best in Class Award