- Welcome to “Founder Finances,” a new Insider series discussing founders’ monthly budgets.
- In this story, the founder of a luxury loungewear product line shares her $2,000 monthly budget.
- She attributes much of her business growth to her investments in PR and social-media marketing.
After Diandra Harvin spent countless hours working from home in loungewear during the pandemic, she decided to create a clothing line that would help her and other women feel confident, beautiful, and productive.
“The pandemic put things into perspective as to what I care about,” Harvin said. “I realized that there is something bigger in me that I wanted to share.”
In October 2021, the 30-year-old Harvin launched Noite Rose, which sells satin garments like rompers and robes that cost between $80 and $160. Harvin used $14,000 in personal savings to start her business, allowing her to partner with a clothing designer from the freelance marketplace Fiverr to turn her sketches into viable designs, purchase samples and materials, and attend a 90-day intensive course for fashion entrepreneurs.
Noite Rose brought in more than $11,000 in sales between October and December of last year. Today, Noite Rose has hit nearly $25,000 in lifetime sales.
Harvin said a key component to her success has been allocating $2,000 a month for the marketing and promotion of her business, especially since she runs the company as a side hustle to her corporate-marketing job. That includes social-media collaborations, experiential marketing, and hiring a public-relations firm.
Insider has verified the founder’s sales, revenue, and budget with documentation.
Here’s the budget breakdown
This table reflects Noite Rose’s April 2022 budget. Harvin said she has slightly increased the business budget since its first month and plans to expand it further as her business grows.
Harvin’s average monthly budget hovers around $2,000. Every four to six months, Noite Rose releases new products that can increase her costs by about $2,500 per style.
The importance of investing in PR
Harvin allocates $1,000 a month to the public-relations firm she hired, something she says is necessary for the company’s growth.
Harvin understands how to build social-media strategies and marketing campaigns. But as a side hustler, she doesn’t have enough time to complete many of the tasks the PR firm does for her. For example, Harvin said her PR agency turns her founder story into media pitches and opportunities.
Harvin said her mentor suggested that she invest in PR. “She made me realize there was a lot that I couldn’t do on my own just because I didn’t have the connections.”
Harvin encourages entrepreneurs from all industries to budget for PR because of the ability to grow a brand’s customer base and audience, she added.
“I would definitely recommend it for somebody who is comfortable sharing their story,” Harvin said. “You have to be willing to be vulnerable, open, expressive, and share your story as well as the company’s.”
Social media and pop-ups bring new audiences
Harvin added that her marketing plan includes social-media strategies and pop-up shops.
“Whenever I have a feature on one of these platforms, I’ll see an influx of followers coming in, people reaching out via direct message,” Harvin said.
Harvin said Instagram has been most effective for sales, but partnering with influencers on platforms like TikTok also grows brand awareness. She recently spent a total of $225 on a Mother’s Day promotion where she partnered with a site for moms, a video for a site targeting married millennials, and a collaboration with a business page to connect with followers interested in supporting local brands.
Pop-up shops are another investment Harvin makes to grow Noite Rose. A successful pop-up shop will typically yield four figures in sales and connect her with customers who may not have known her brand before, she said.
Harvin determines whether a specific pop-up shop will be worth the time and money based on factors like the season, the pop-up’s theme, location, and expected volume of foot traffic. She typically spends around $100 monthly on hosting pop-up events.
“There needs to be hundreds of people walking around for me to get my sales minimum,” Harvin said, adding that her minimum means selling more than the cost of attending the pop-up.
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