It's the little sister making big moves. 

It's clocked 98% sell-through on Revolve, has launched into 25 Myer locations and has now secured 41 new independent retailers in New Zealand. 

And it's done it all in six months. 

It's Sol Sana's little sister brand, St. Sana. 

St. Sana brand manager Chris Perkins sits down with Ragtrader to chat through strategy, successes and challenges. 

What were the driving factors for launching St. Sana?

The inception of St. Sana came from the in-depth market intel we collected from its big sister, Sol Sana.

We are always listening and learning from our customers to identify markets that are undervalued in the industry.

We wanted the ability to fill a gap in the market but didn’t want to confuse our loyal customers by incorporating the designs into the Sol Sana brand.

We wanted to cast a net to a new and more diverse customer base, those who were demanding consciously made and stylish footwear.

As the consumer has access to endless information and content, the notion and impact of fast fashion and its affect on both the environment and labourers is common knowledge.

This made us realise the idea of repurposing existing plastic rather than create new materials is how we can evolve with our customers.

We noted many of the current players do not use recycled or repurposed materials, including off-cuts or leftovers and saw this as our opportunity to embody the ideals of the modern conscious consumer.


What successful strategies has the business rolled out? 

We take a tactical approach to partnering with leading eCommerce retailers such as Revolve which has been a driving force to our success.

We undertook a pre-sale approach with Revolve, securing 100% sell through rate resulting in Revolve repeat orders.

We are committed to producing three times the units ordered to ensure we can fulfill demand.

In addition to this we will also utilise this stock across our own digital platform, marketplace and dropship partnerships.

We are also proud to announce we have secured 41 new independent retailers in the New Zealand market which is parallel with the current retailer count Sol Sana holds.

This is a part of our international expansion, and we attribute this success to the strong brand presence Sol Sana has created in New Zealand over the past several years, along with St Sana’s vigour and energy of youth while being consciously created and sustainable. 

What challenges did you encounter when starting the brand? How did you overcome them?

Establishing a point of different in a saturated market.

Initially we were concerned retailers were not taking on brands in the PU market because they were over extended.

We took the time to communicate the brand essence in order for retailers to understand St Sana was different with the recycled repurposed materials being the point of difference that consumers were actively seeking.

This allowed us to successfully secure retailers.

This approach was instrumental to our success with the added challenge of COVID-19, the industry needed to take a conservative approach to buying, however our streamlined communication relationship strategy allowed us to thrive through these unprecedented times. 

The only development alteration we had to review was the fact that were unable to physically go to the production offices in China.

This meant we were unable to be there for the initial sampling process ahead of the season.

However, in saying that, we were able to quickly adapt by doing the process remotely.

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