The Fashionisto: Hawkers Dominates the Sunglasses Scene
Starting with just a dream and $300, the Hawkers sunglasses company began life as a small startup. Like many startup companies it had its ups and downs, but Hawkers continued to grow because they provided the two things customers want most — quality and value. Eventually, the problem for the company wasn’t that things were going poorly, rather that they were going almost too well. The demand for Hawkers far exceeded the available supply, which increased the length of time between when a customer placed and received their order. Hawkers feared that their loyal customers would start cancelling orders.
So, Hawkers did what any reasonable company would have done in that situation. They found the right people to handle operations and teamed up with international supply chains to ship their sunglasses to customers all over the world. In 2016, Hawkers was still self-financed but had outgrown its humble beginnings. Due to losses and changes in the sunglasses and fashion industries, Hawkers began struggling to make things work as well as they used to. However, their desire to succeed was strong and in November of that year, Hawkers tapped Alejandro Betancourt Lopez to become president which changed course for the small company.
Hawkers is now an internationally recognized fashion brand and is among the top ten sunglasses manufacturers in the industry. The popular brand has kept true to their roots and continues to sell sunglasses that everyone can afford. Instead of just focusing on the wealthy, Hawkers sunglasses only cost between $20 and $40 per pair on average. At this price point, Hawkers has created a loyal customer base which keeps the volume of orders strong. The affordability of the sunglasses, along with their high-end quality, remains of the biggest reasons continues to grow and develop.
From Startup to $60M+ in Just Four Years
By 2018 Alejandro Betancourt had become the company’s biggest shareholder. He continued to invest capital into the business and increase its strength and viability in the market. He currently controls 50 percent of the company and continues to work to ensure that there is plenty of financial and commercial expertise for the company to take itself to the next level. Steering the company in the right direction for additional success, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez developed Hawkers into a household name and a well-respected company among people who are looking for sunglasses with value for money.
It wasn’t long before the demand for Hawkers began to exceed supply and wait times started to grow. That’s when an international commerce specialist was brought on board and Hawkers started selling their product through Shopify. Additionally, the company took that time to choose international suppliers they could rely on, which reduced the wait time for customer orders. However, one of the biggest things Hawkers did was focus on social media and online marketing.
Hawkers co-founder Alex Moreno understood the value of starting out modestly and wanted to make a good product at a fair price. By choosing a simple product that most people want and almost everyone could buy, Moreno found a profitable market niche.
Social Media is a Powerful Sales Tool
Among the value that Alejandro Betancourt Lopez brought to Hawkers was his appreciation for the way the company was using social media. By choosing to help the company expand and further develop that presence online, he helped Hawkers remain a low-price, high-quality leader in the sunglasses market. As a distribution and marketing channel, social media costs far less than traditional options. The lower cost of that marketing can be passed on to the customers, helping Hawkers reach more customers in the future.
Hawkers does more than 90 percent of their sales through social media and other online advertising. Alejandro Betancourt didn’t start this program for the company, but he vigorously encouraged it and helped it develop through the years. As the internet became more viable as a sales platform and a way to reach out to customers, Hawkers continued to expand their presence beginning with Facebook ads. While they advertise in other ways, Facebook remains their most-used medium for interacting with customers, showcasing their products and bringing more people to their site to purchase their quality sunglasses.
Over 4.5 million pairs of sunglasses have now been sold by a company that was started with just $300, thanks to Alejandro Betancourt Lopez. Coupled with the dedication of the company’s founders and their desire to use social media to market what they could offer, it’s easy to see how strong leadership and guidance played a role in their success. Not only did Alejandro Betancourt see the value of the company at the time he made his investment in it, but he also saw what that the company could become. Since his initial investment, he’s worked hard to make sure the company developed and has grown through social media marketing and a focus on a quality product that’s affordable.
Originally published at https://www.thefashionisto.com on May 7, 2020.