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How Supply Chain Agility Grew Little Poppy from Startup to Multimillion-Dollar Brand

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Since its launch in 2015, monthly baby bow subscription startup Little Poppy Co. has blossomed into a multimillion-dollar brand. In the past three years alone, Little Poppy has grown by 589 percent, and the brand is currently number 805 in Inc.’s top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America.

What is the secret to Little Poppy’s success? Highly developed manufacturing and an expertly managed supply chain.

When fashionable moms Lindie Royall and Becca Grider founded Little Poppy Co. five years ago, they began by sewing and packaging product themselves. But as their business expanded, home production soon became insufficient. Even after hiring several local seamstresses, their subscribers quickly outpaced production capacity, and product quality began to suffer. They realized they needed to find a cost-effective factory that could handle large orders with agility while maintaining a high level of quality, but they did not know where to start.

In 2016, Little Poppy began working with global supply chain management company Blacksmith International.

Through Blacksmith’s extensive network of trusted overseas factory partnerships, Little Poppy was matched with an experienced hairbow-making factory in Asia. This factory was capable of handling high-volume orders and allowed Little Poppy to keep up with its steadily increasing demand. Working closely with Blacksmith’s quality-control specialists on the ground in Asia, Little Poppy was also able to improve the quality of its bows and ensure that quality remained consistent.

“We met Blacksmith International at the perfect time because we knew we needed large-scale production, but finding a trustworthy factory overseas seemed a bit daunting,” said Royall. “As we grew, the factory has been able to scale with us, which has been vital. Our highly developed manufacturing and professionally managed supply chain is one of the biggest reasons other bow companies have not been able to compete with us.”

Originally, Grider and Royall were making their bows out of stock fabrics that they meticulously sourced themselves. By utilizing Blacksmith’s relationships with fabric mills, Little Poppy was able to design its own fabrics exclusive to the brand. This gave them a big advantage over their growing list of copycat competitors. Once Blacksmith stepped in to handle fabric sourcing, Grider and Royall were able to re-focus their time and attention on product design and growing their sales channels.

After a period of steady growth, Blacksmith’s brand management team helped Little Poppy expand its product line while remaining consistent to its established brand. Starting in 2017, Little Poppy introduced toddler dresses with matching bows, followed by an expanding collection of bow sizes and accessory add-ons: mini and oversized sets in addition to the original sets, monthly limited-edition add-on bows, headbands, scrunchies, snap clips, clear elastics, bandana scarves, and even matching special occasion bowties. The expanding product line has been met with enthusiasm by Little Poppy’s subscribers and supports the main subscription line with little additional effort.

Managing on-time delivery for thousands of units every single month is a massive job. By outsourcing manufacturing and supply chain to Blacksmith, Little Poppy could use its resources and time to design new products, expand its sales channels, and scale its brand. Working with Blacksmith also meant Little Poppy did not have the added expense of an in-house team to manage production. A seasoned supply chain manager, quality control expert, and a professional brand manager would have cost Little Poppy roughly $709,179 in salaries over the past three years.

Working with a third-party supply chain management company has also helped Little Poppy navigate disruption. When the global pandemic struck, Blacksmith’s team on the ground in Asia ensured that Little Poppy’s production remained on-schedule by working with the factory to send sewing machines home to quarantined factory workers. They also pulled strings to get Little Poppy’s products coveted space on cargo planes for on-time delivery.

Whether you’re a startup or an established brand, Blacksmith offers you an international team of product and supply chain experts committed to growing your brand while saving you valuable time and money. Regardless of natural disasters, pandemics, or other catastrophic events, Blacksmith ensures your products are always delivered on time. Contact Blacksmith International for a free consultation from one of our product and sourcing experts today.

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