Hey there, my name is Julian and I am 1/2 of the team behind DULO. Our first product is a dress shirt made from performance fabrics. We believe in using modern materials to drastically reduce the efforts in taking care of and wearing a dress shirt.
We (me and my co-founder) are based in Amsterdam, but originally from Bulgaria. Our products are made from European sourced materials and manufactured in our home country.
The idea for DULO was born on the 1st of September 2016 and after about 1 year in product development (numerous rounds of prototyping), we launched our webshop on the 1st of November 2017. Our current average monthly revenue is about 1k EUR.
During the launch phase, did you maintain a full-time job? (or even currently)
The company is completely bootstrapped and self-funded from savings we used to finance the first production batch. We also still currently have a full-time job, both of us as programmers, which allows us to patiently reinvest any profits/savings back into the company.
How did you acquire customers/subscribers/users?
We’ve been documenting the journey of building the company from day 1. This has been enormously fruitful and enabled us to create a small audience of people that are invested in the process, previous to launch, as well as folks we’ve sent out shirts to during the prototyping phase. Many of those people became our first customers and created a boost of confidence upon launching, having a validation that people who have interacted with the product are willing to buy it.
What software / platforms / tools have you utilized since launch?
Our webshop is based on Shopify. Even though we are both programmers, having such a great e-commerce platform, it didn’t even make sense to make one on our own. We use MailChimp for any email related functionalities and Sumo for our email capturing mechanisms.
Regarding online communities, we spend quite a lot of time on Indie Hackers, it’s a great community for people building products and I find it fun and useful to interact with other makers on there.
We have a blog, vlog, as well as a podcast, so all the text content goes on our website, as well as Medium. All of the video content goes on Facebook and YouTube, and the podcast is published on SoundCloud from where it propagates to all the main podcasting platforms.
Instagram and Vero are the places we use to promote our content, stay in touch and talk to the community as well as for any networking with other businesses, or guests for the podcast.
How did you fund your startup and how do you make money/revenue?
For now, the only place we sell our products is through our webshop, hence it being the only revenue channel. We are exploring some options in talking to wholesalers and multi-brand stores, as well as concept stores, where the more technical nature of our product might be a good fit.
To date, what have been your biggest challenges as a company? What have you done to overcome them?
I wouldn’t classify any activity when building a business as “hard”, but in general things do take time and the balance of having a large long-term goal and a vision, is important to be balanced with a lot of patience and understanding in the short term, to avoid any friction that may take out the fun out of building a business as well as prevent any short-term decision making.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? What would you do differently?
We did 3 DIY product shoots (check out our blog about it here), with a total budget of around $150 for all three of them. You can imagine we didn’t win any photography awards 🙂 There are not many things that I would change if I could go back, but one would definitely be to invest in a PROPER product shoot as one of the first steps. I would also leverage that photo shoot to create a significant amount of visual content that can be used on social media.
Lastly, if anyone reading this wants to know more about your company… where do we send them?
Check out weardulo.com and especially weardulo.com/pages/media for all the platforms, mediums and content pillars we are using while building the business.
For the most recent daily updates, follow us on Instagram @weardulo!