Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 265 60 mins

Scaling DTC Mens Grooming Brand Tiege Hanley to 8-figures+ in 2 Years

About the guests

Kelley Thornton

Kunle Campbell

Kelley Thornton, CEO/Founder of Tiege Hanley, has built a successful men’s skin care company in four short years. Tiege Hanley has shifted that sales balance with a direct to consumer e-Commerce approach, reaching profitability just five months into its inception in 2016.

Kelley is the catalyst behind the brand that’s changing the face of men’s skin health. With 20+ years of experience in consumer goods, he is a veteran of creating new and innovative ways to connect consumer packaged goods to customers, boasting annual sales in the multi-millions.

On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Kelley Thornton, Co-Founder & CEO of Tiege Hanley, a Chicago-based self-funded men’s grooming DTC brand. Kelley is a 20+ year veteran in the consumer goods industry and has led Tiege Hanley to being a 8-figure company within 2 years of launching in 2016.


What does it take to grow a truly niche product? A product where you don’t just have to become a part of the narrative, but you must help build up the narrative. Tiege Hanley has achieved tremendous success in this very situation and can be a great case study for new and upcoming consumer brands. They have cracked the code of the men’s grooming market by having a robust team, choosing the right platform to market on and working with influencers that truly embody what their brand stands for. A 95% user subscription rate is testament to this fact.


In today’s episode, Kunle and Kelley go through the awesome growth story of Tiege Hanley. You will get great insight on growing with influencers and tenets of building a successful subscription model. Whether you’re a business owner or marketer, this is a great episode for you!


Here is a summary of some of the most important points made,

  • The format of your content should be based on market research
  • One-off deals with Influencers are not as productive as longer engagements
  • Choose influencers basis their follower’s demographics
  • Always provide more value to members than to prospects
  • Agencies can help in finding the right influencers
  • Focus on building as much in-house expertise as possible

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview Kunle and Kelley discuss,

  • Product Packaging and Bundling
  • Leveraging YouTube Influencers
  • Metrics for choosing Influencers
  • Cracking the Subscription formula


  • 02:05 – Tiege Hanley’s growth stats:
    • Creative subscription model with very high opt-in rates of 95%
    • Youtube + Influencer driven marketing leading to 40-50% Y-o-Y growth
    • Profitable from month 5 of launch
    • Shipping to 100+ countries every month
  • 11:20 – Product strategy: Easy and simple monthly box of grooming products
  • 14:20 – Kelley’s background
    • Retail strategy and consumer research expertise
  • 19:45 – Why Tiege Hanley chose YouTube as their platform of choice
  • 22:05 – Year-1 content strategy:
  • 90% influencer content
    • Using an agency to connect with other influencers
    • Leveraged influencers that embodied their brand’s story and with active and engaged followings
    • Chose health and lifestyle influencers
  • 25:30 – Tips for influencer marketing:
    • Track performance metrics for each influencer
    • Never sign up influencers for one off engagements
    • Work closely with influencers to tailor the content
    • “Go deeper rather than wider”
    • Select influencers with Global audiences
  • 31:00 – Learnings from Influencer marketing
    • Don’t be afraid to spend on the right influencers
    • There are no “off-the-shelf” metrics to track success
    • Work with mini-influencers as well
  • 33:10 – Top factors for picking influencers:
    • Video engagements levels
    • Location and demographics of their audience
    • Trajectory of their channel and niche
  • 38:00 – The “hard yards” of achieving 95% subscription
    • Engagement with audience drives subscription
    • Provide more value to members than to prospects
    • Launch to members first, better prices for new products
  • 43:10 – Tiege Hanley’s most popular products:
    • Tier 1 – Basic care
    • Tier 3 – Anti aging
  • 44:00 – Subscription Stack
    • Recharge
    • Shopify
  • 46:00 – Team Philosophy:
    • Built to become a $100 million company in 5 years
    • Focus on having In-house expertise
    • Create systems with an “Amazon mindset”
  • 48:00 – Under what conditions would you consider selling the company?
  • 50:30 – Impact of COVID:
    • Net strong positive
    • Challenge is the level of uncertainty in the consumers mind
  • 53:10 – Subscription stats
    • Approx 35 reorder cycle
    • Total of 90-day window
  • 56:01 – Lightning Round

Lightning Round:

  1. Q: What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?
    A: Fire myself and shutdown my previous company
  2. Q: Are you a morning person?
    A: I’m a 24-hour person
  3. Q: What are 2 things you can’t live without?
    A: My family and a good glass of wine
  4. Q: What book are you currently reading?
    A: Clean by Hamblin and a book on Wealth Creation
  5. Q: What are your 3 indispensable tools for managing Tiege Hanley?
    A: Execution and Focus
  6. Q: What’s been your best mistake till date? A set back that’s given you the biggest feedback.
    A: Not fire people faster


  • One-off deals with Influencers are not as productive as longer engagements
  • Always provide more value to members than to prospects
  • Focus on building as much in-house expertise as possible

Links & Resources

Tweetable Quotes:

“Go deeper rather than wider.”

Facebook Group • Continue the Conversation

The eCommerce GrowthAccelerator Mastermind Facebook Group has just launched.
It is a community…

✔️ for founders and experts passionately involved in eCommerce
✔️ for the truly ambitious wanting to make an impact in the markets they serve
✔️ for those willing and open to help and share with other members

Here is where to apply to join the Facebook group



This episode is brought to you by:

This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo – a growth marketing platform that powers over 25,000 online businesses.
Direct-to-Consumer brands like ColourPop, Huckberry, and Custom Ink rely on Klaviyo.

Klaviyo helps you own customer experience and  grow high-value customer relationships right from a shopper’s first impression through to each subsequent purchase, Klaviyo understands every single customer interaction,  and empowers brands to create more personalized marketing moments.

Find out more on klaviyo.com/2x.

This episode is brought to you by Rewind – the #1 Backup and Recovery App for Shopify and BigCommerce stores that powers over 25,000 online businesses.
Direct-to-Consumer brands like Gymshark and Movement Watches rely on Rewind.

Cloud based ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce do not have automatic backup features. Rewind protects your store against human error, misbehaving apps, or collaborators gone bad with Automatic backups!

For a free 30-day trial, Go to Rewind.io,
reach out to the Rewind team via chat or email and mention ‘2x ecommerce’

This episode is brought to you by Bolt.

The fastest ecommerce checkout in the industry. Bolt loads 10x faster than native checkouts, with an average checkout duration of over 30 seconds.

Bolt is mobile-native with no scroll on mobile screens. It offers a zero-fraud guarantee and has 42% fewer fields than native checkouts. Bolt supports Stripe, Apple pay, Paypal and several more payment gateways and providers.

Bolt is offering a completely free checkout audit to 2x listeners. Head Over to Bolt.com/2x to get your free checkout audit now!

About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

Learn from eCommerce Entrepreneurs & Marketing Experts

Get Free Email Updates by Signing Up Below:

Podcasts you might like