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Ask An Entrepreneur: How I Grew My Startup To Six Figures In The First Year

Andrea Weinberg took her waterproof collapsible bag cover idea from concept to six figures in revenue in 12 months. She gives you how-tos on making your idea profitable.

Every morning, when Andrea Weinberg wakes up, she works towards three goals, “To spread joy, to love and be loved, and to adventure.” This spirit of generosity and daring helped Weinberg found The ANDI Brand, a line of bags for every occasion, weather condition and need. Weinberg conceptualized the idea in 2010 while studying toward her degree in New York City and keeping up with her busy schedule and social life.  “The original decision was to pursue an idea that I had (a waterproof collapsible cover for another bag),” Weinberg said.

But her original idea grew beyond her wildest dreams. Just one year after founding the company in 2015, Weinberg saw The ANDI Brand bring in six figures in revenue. The ANDI Brand now enjoys global sales and is available in big-name retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Carbon38 and the Equinox gym chain. Here are Weinberg’s tips for growing her company to six figures in just the first year.

Know what you want to accomplish 

Weinberg’s description of her product is clear and succinct. “We have built The ANDI Brand with purpose. We strive to be a force of good,” Weinberg said. The ANDI Brand adheres to a clearly set out ethos that informs all of their decisions.

This ethos includes sustainability and reducing the company’s carbon footprint as much as possible and providing excellent working conditions.  The company also operates by the mantra, BGTY, which means, simply, “Be Good To Yourself,” inside and outside. “Beyond functional fashion, we are also mindfully manufactured,” Weinberg said.

Create communities 

A huge part of Weinberg’s marketing strategy relies on reaching out to the communities around her to engage them in ANDI’s progressive mission. “We love to think outside of the box while staying true to our brand values,” Weinberg said.

ANDI partners with influencers who identify with the company’s mission towards altruism, and the target demographic–busy people on the go. ANDI is also starting a college ambassador program this year.

Ask an Entrepreneur:  How I Grew My Startup To Six Figures In The First Year - Lioness Magazijne
Weinberg has donated 300 bags filled with necessities to Sanctuary for Families, which provides shelter, services and advocacy for survivors of domestic abuse and related forms of gender violence in New York.

Pound the pavement

Weinberg was never shy about going out to meet prospective clients. “Trunk shows–were a great way–to interact directly with customers,” she recalled.

One of the most telling and impactful pieces of ANDI messaging is inside every bag a customer buys or the company displays. “We created small (business card-sized) cards that say ‘you are a beautiful human–’You never know when someone will pick up this card and it will change his [or] her entire outlook.”

Details (like money) matter 

Even with her rapid success, Weinberg doesn’t neglect the logistical parts of running a business. This includes keeping track of financials.

Weinberg noted that every incremental cost needs to count. Weinberg also believes in the power of collaboration and isn’t afraid to call in reinforcements. “If you aren’t able to do this yourself, having someone else who can help you here is very important,” she said.

Align yourself with causes that matter to you

Today, many companies are incorporating social good elements into their product. This serves as a way to attract customers who want to buy responsibly and highlight a company’s values. Weinberg and The ANDI Brand are walking their talk when it comes to sustainability. The company recently began incorporating recycled materials into their bags. ANDI also recently joined 1% For The Planet, an organization that encourages companies to donate 1 percent of total sales to their environmental non-profit partners. “I am very proud of the movement we are making in the sustainability arena,” Weinberg said.

About the author

Jorie Goins

Jorie is a writer based out of Chicago, Ill. A journalist by day and dancer by night, Jorie is also the founder and blogger-in-chief of DanceTopia, which she hopes will serve as a digital dance hub where knowledge and passion collide. When she isn't writing or taking dance classes Jorie can be found reading, binge watching documentaries on Youtube ("Behind the Music" and "E! True Hollywood Story" are among her favorites), or trying out a new recipe from Pinterest.

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