10 years ago, after struggling to find a sustainable clothing brand for children, Emily Gray founded Gray Label, who create organic apparel for ‘the little minimalist’.
Gray Label has timeless, minimalistic and comfortable collections in which the little ones can be their true selves. No teddies or prints, just soft-tone coloured essentials made from the best organic cotton available. Their starting point was to produce high quality items that last for multiple life cycles, while always putting children first.
After a number of years focusing on their wholesale presence, Gray Label took a new strategic direction to focus on their own eCommerce store and growth beyond the Netherlands.
Although it started small, they went from strength to strength. It was clear that customers loved their brand and had become their greatest ambassadors.
As they were growing so fast, cash flow soon became a challenge.
Wijnand Mirandolle (the CFO of Gray Label) knew that the money was coming in, but that it was arriving in two to four months. They needed the money to buy inventory now, not in a couple of months when it was too late.
Wijnand began to look for funding and found that he was at odds with the traditional finance options available to him. Banks just didn’t recognise Gray Label’s growth or potential. Wijnand also felt that they were incredibly difficult to work with and understand, especially when it came to contracts.
Giving up their equity to private investment also wasn’t on the cards as it was against their overall strategy. The team at Gray Label are in it for the little ones and their planet - the last thing they wanted to do was put this at risk by giving up control of their direction and how they approach their business.
“Finding the right partner is really difficult”
The solution: Funding and Insights with Wayflyer
It was at this time that Gray Label found Wayflyer.
As specialists in funding for eCommerce business, the Wayflyer team quickly understood the challenge Gray Label was facing. With Wayflyer, Gray Label could get the funding they needed to grow while avoiding “the difficulties in dealing with a bank”. It also enabled them to follow their own strategic direction, and not give up any equity for funding.
Gray Label saw that it had very little risk and with their turnover, they could easily repay the funding with a percentage of their daily sales.
“The whole process was so easy and the communication was fast - unlike the normal way with a bank...the Wayflyer way (if you can call it that!) is perfect”.
Gray Label is also using Wayflyer Insights to help run their business, in particular with their weekly reporting.
“While looking for funding I was also exploring dashboard tools… you will pay 200, 300, 500 euros a month for a dashboard... with Wayflyer it was free, and that was really great”.
Wayflyer’s Analytics team are also helping Gray Label to improve their marketing performance.
“It’s not only the funding but also the support.. I’m really happy with it”
Getting access to funding, Wayflyer Insights, and experts in marketing analytics are helping Gray Label to achieve their growth goals. They have finally found the right funding partner.
“If you have the money, you can do more, and that’s why it working for us”
Since working with Wayflyer, Gray Label has grown their eCommerce revenue by 40% in just 3 months.
Gray Label strives to be a front runner in sustainable clothing and continues to minimize their impact on the environment.
Today, each item carries the GOTS certification label. They also started their hugely successful rented collection, where customers pay to wear instead of to own.
The future for Gray Label is about discovering new ways to be sustainable and becoming one of the most sustainable brands in the world.
“We’re in it for the little ones. Their purity, their comfort, their planet.”