Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Tori Gerbig, co-founder and CEO of Pink Lily, explains how this image represents her business.
While I was in college, I studied marketing with a concentration in sales. I remember becoming intrigued with the concept of branding and marketing items to consumers. After graduation, I went into insurance sales, which gave me a sales-minded attitude and skillset. I wanted to be self-employed one day, and I knew that I could combine my love of fashion and social media with my experience in sales and marketing to start a side project.
I initially created Pink Lily as an eBay shop in 2011, which turned into a maternity leave project two years later. With a dedicated local Facebook following and fast-growing demand for our products, the business took off. On January 1, 2014, we launched Pink Lily's official website; and within six months, both my husband Chris and I left our jobs to focus on the shop full-time.
Pink Lily is an online boutique that offers an affordable assortment of women's shoes, clothing and accessories with a fun, vibrant style influenced by the latest trends. Collections include colorful prints, lively florals, upbeat patterns, classic stripes and custom monogramming with dozens of new products launched daily on the website. Chris and I take great pride in retailing thousands of products that are made in the U.S. while maintaining dedication to socially responsible sourcing and manufacturing practices.
In the three years since we launched the website, we have reached over $30 million in sales, have more than 40 employees, moved into a 25,000-square foot warehouse and opened our first brick and mortar, all while being entirely self-funded. We are proud to say that Pink Lily is now considered one of the fastest-growing online boutiques in the U.S.
The rapid growth we have seen with Pink Lily has presented challenges for us, like managing stress, struggling with inventory issues, focusing on employee relations and keeping up with the latest fashion trends. It certainly hasn't been all smooth sailing to get to where we are today, but we have taken each of these challenges in stride and continue to work toward our goals.
This photo of me, Chris and our two children was taken at our first brick and mortar opening this past May. It represents the foundation of Pink Lily and a big milestone achieved for us in our business. Pink Lily was started as a maternity leave side project and now is a way for Chris and I to provide for our family.
We will continue to focus on the growth of our business. In the next year, we aim to reach $20 million in annual sales and grow our social media following to 2 million.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Sammi Caramela.