Yesterday, I sent out an article talking about Southern Tide and their e-commerce business. In that article, I compared Southern Tide to Fair Harbor Clothing.
In July, Fair Harbor received just over 47,000 orders and with an estimated average order value of $75, their estimated revenue for the month was $3.5M. I also noted the relatively low social following numbers for Fair Harbor compared to their revenue level.
So the question was asked: How are they generating that level of business?
With some research this morning, I was able to determine how they are driving those sales. However, first, let me give a quick background on exactly what is Fair Harbor Clothing is and how it got to where they are now.
What is Fair Harbor Clothing? Who Are They?
They make swimsuits from recycled plastic bottles. The company was founded by a brother and sister duo, Jake and Caroline Danehy. They grew up vacationing in a small town on Long Island New York called Fair Harbor.
How Fair Harbor Was Started
In 2014 the brother and sister duo pitched the concept of Fair Harbor at a Shark Tank style pitch competition at Colgate University. Judges of the competition included Jessica Alba, MC Hammer, Neil Blumenthal, Jennifer Hyman, and more.
Here is the pitch:
They won the $20,000 prize.
In 2016 they launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $11,000. They surpassed their goal and raised a total of $25K.
Fast Forward to 2021
Fair Harbor sold $3.5M in one month. So how did they get here? Well, it is pretty well summed up in this interview they did with Forbes magazine earlier this year:
You can read that but I will also give a quick summary. In 2019 they generated $2.3M in sales. In 2020 they generated $18.1M in sales. They attribute this growth to their environment-driven mission and old-school marketing such as radio ads and mail catalogs.
Specifically, Sirius XM and the Howard Stern show were cited as one of their main advertising channels. Already in 2021, they have sent out over 2 million catalogs to prospective customers.
Other advertising included their logo behind the New York Yankees home plate and flying banners behind planes.
In the first 5 months of 2021, they have generated $23 million in sales. This checks out to my revenue estimates for them in July.
Forbes is not the only company to write about them. In fact, they have been featured in Business Insider, Fast Company, Today, People, Barron’s, CBS News, Medium, and more.
Fair Harbor has a feel-good story that people want to write about. And it’s very possible that their radio ads also help get the attention of these writers.
Over the years it appears Fair Harbor has done a few collaborations that help drive interest in the brand. In 2019 Fair Harbor partnered with actress Bonnie Wright (from Harry Potter) and released a line in collaboration with her.
Also in 2019, Fair Harbor collaborated with Untucket to release a line of swimshorts. This line can still be seen on Untucket’s website.
A story and a community I want to be part of
In my article yesterday about Southern Tide, I mentioned that they had no real draw that made me want to buy their product and be part of their community. They have nice clothing but did not give me a reason to actually purchase.
After researching Fair Harbor, I feel compelled to support them and go buy some product from them. I have to imagine I am not the only one that gets that feeling about this brand. It makes people feel good to be part of something and Fair Harbor has that “it” factor.