In 2018, when Glow by Daye amassed over $1 million in sales, Ranay Orton knew she'd tapped into the proverbial honey pot for her premium satin bonnets. Since then, using Amazon, her brand has continued to grow. Today, Glow by Daye is amongst the most popular satin bonnet lines owned by African-American women.
Ranay sat down with Mogul Millennial to discuss her company, her career journey, and what advice she has for those aspiring to be in the haircare industry.
Who is Ranay Orton? Tell me more about yourself and your career journey.
Currently, I am the owner of Glow by Daye. More importantly, I am a mom of two little boys, a three-year-old and a 14-month old. I am also a wife. I started my career in Corporate America and worked for fabulous companies for about eight years. I had the pleasure of never working in a place I hated. I was a sales professional in the medical sales industry for my entire professional career. I knew I always wanted to be an entrepreneur from a very young age. It was just always something embedded in me. I always offered and created some service or product to the market and my community.
Where this idea come from to create your company, Glow by Daye?
About three or four years ago, I was introduced to Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon, which is a program that allows you to closely work with Amazon to help offer products to their buyers. I jumped on it. I released bath bombs but did not feel a connection to the product. My husband presented the idea of focusing on something I have a connection with that delivers a solution to a problem I know firsthand or something I have an interest in.
My "aha" moment was when I had to tie a bonnet on my head. I had braids, had just given birth to my first child, and I had these long braids, so I had to tie the bonnet together with a hair tie to hold my braids in. I have never had a bonnet that lasted longer than a few months. They were always sagging and falling off my head, so that's when I thought, you know what? I'm going to create a bonnet I want that works with all the different hairstyles that I would wear, of quality, lasts a long time, is cute and still functional. And, I wanted a bonnet that looks better than the big ruffles you see at the beauty supply store.
I wanted to create a brand to provide functional solutions for women like myself, who had challenges of trying to preserve their natural hair and do different hairstyles. The hair bonnet was the second product that I launched on Amazon. It became a success from the start.
What marketing strategies did you use to gain exposure in the early stages?
In the early stages, I was exclusively using Amazon. They have a lot of different algorithms embedded in their technology: sponsor ads, keywords, etc. to get in front of the right buyers. [Seeing as] Amazon is a search engine, keywords are important. Using different phrases to make sure the product is seen by people that are interested is key for authenticity.
It was important to talk to my community. It was a pivotal point in my success because I was one of the first to do it. Being able to speak authentically to my audience and plugging in the right keywords to be ranked highly on Amazon was key. I was exclusively available on Amazon for the first two years of having Glow by Daye, so I did not work on marketing strategies until last year.
Since launching and scaling your company, how has your marketing evolved? What specific marketing tool software technology are using now that used to be helpful?
I am still early on in my marketing efforts. I am still in a stage where I am testing a lot of things and seeing what works and converts to have a high customer acquisition. What I have done in the past years is work with influencers, which has been great for the most part for getting true and honest feedback outside the world of Amazon.
I directly targeted my community and received wonderful reception of the product. Amazon has so much data that supports finding the right people. I have gotten a lot of feedback from loyal customers. Digital marketing seems to be the best way to get in front of a large mass of people very easily. A strong strategy of ours the next year is digital marketing, and social media marketing, because we find that to be the most effective for us.
What metrics as it relates to marketing should founders focus on? What would you say is most important?
The metrics that are most important are knowing the numbers of your product. There are different types of margins. there is the bottom-line margin, and then there is the margin, just the cost of goods sold. You want to make sure that you have a really good idea of how much you're spending to make the product, how much you're spending to get the product to the customer, how much you're spending if you're working through Amazon, what percentage do they take out, etc. And then, also think about marketing and how much it costs to acquire a new customer. You must think about the customer lifetime value.
What tips do you have for creating a social media strategy that has engaged followers?
Engage with your followers through relatable and consistent content. Pay attention to what your followers are engaging with and what they respond to. It is important to focus on social media because we find that it is the easiest way to help see if something is a good fit for our followers. Talk to your followers and deliver value to them.
Glow by Daye recently added a quiz to our site to help people learn their hair porosity type. We have learned in our journey how important it is to know your porosity so you know what products to use, how you should care for your hair and plan your hair routine. We encourage our customers to complete the quiz. You want to deliver value. You also want to give information about what you do, and what products can help the customer. This is how you acquire a customer and hopefully, a long-term customer.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to break into the haircare industry?
I would say determine who you want to talk to and find your place. Find the [audience] you want to serve in the market. From talking to customers, what I found is that they are just like me. They want super easy solutions work and are effective. Find your tribe. Find the people you resonate with and speak to them. Don't ever be discouraged by the new brand popping up. You have to go with your vision because nobody can be you. There are a lot of people out there looking to connect with something that you probably have to offer.
What makes you a Mogul Millennial?
The world has shifted what becoming a mogul looked like for me. With leveraging the power of information, technology, and logistics we have available today, it doesn't take a staff of hundreds to be considered a mogul like I once believed. It's about bringing your gifts, ideas, and value to the forefront consistently and done well while leading the charge on the improvement of the culture and the world. I believe staying true to that vs. all the "glitz" makes me a millennial mogul.