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

EPISODE 326 59 mins

How Getting a Grasp of Critical Metrics Accelerated Kindred Bravely’s Growth

About the guests

Garret Akerson

Kunle Campbell

Garret Akerson is the co-founder of Kindred Bravely, maternity and breastfeeding apparel brand, which Garret co-owns with his wife, Deeanne. In 2019, Kindred Bravely was named #20 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest- growing, privately-held US companies and they also won the Shopify Build a Bigger Business Competition in 2017 as one of the eight fastest-growing online retailers on Shopify’s platform. The company is staffed by a remote team of mostly work-from-home moms and bringing in over $9.6 Million in 2018.

On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Garret Akerson, Co-Founder of Kindred Bravely, a maternity and breastfeeding apparel brand founded in 2016 along with his wife Deeanne. Kindred Bravely is a case study in female entrepreneurship and innovation which is a testament of achieving a three-year revenue growth of 8,544%.


Running a profitable business is a challenge at the best of times. But if you don’t have a handle on your numbers, this challenge can become insurmountable. It’s fair to say that almost every business owner already recognises the power of data, and many spend a lot of money on analytics tools as well. But simply having your numbers on hand is very different from truly understanding them. Herein lies the difference between the truly profitable businesses and the rest of the pack.


In this episode, Kunle and Garret talk about scaling a business with typically low-LTV products to over $30 million in revenue. You will get to hear about what it takes to deleverage from Amazon, knowing which metrics to track, why using spreadsheets still works and tips on running a business with your partner. This is a great episode for business owners and operators.


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

    • Great content is the base of paid social
    • Instagram is now a more effective acquisition channel than facebook
    • Not knowing your metrics can lead to poor decisions
    • You don’t need a fancy software to have an effective dashboard
    • It is important to understand your metrics and not just fill them in
    • CAC and AOV are the key metrics affecting profitability
    • Free shipping thresholds and bundles are a great way to boost AOV
    • Facebook ROAS as a metric has lost it’s importance post iOS14

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview Kunle and Garret discuss,

  • Garret’s Backstory
  • GTM Strategy
  • Deleveraging from Amazon
  • Acquisition Strategies
  • Solving Cash Flow Challenges
  • Managing Dashboards Manually
  • Maximising AOV
  • Taking on Funding
  • Running a business with your life partner


  • 09:40 – Garret’s backstory:
    • Ran a B2B Design and Development company
    • Started Kindred Bravely with 1 SKU over 6 years ago
  • 12:30 – Going to Market
    • Launched simultaneously on Amazon and Shopify
    • The first order was 400 units of which 250 units were giveaways
    • Focus was getting reviews on Amazon
    • Products were designed totally from need
    • Had 3 core products at the end of Year 1
    • Currently Amazon accounts for 25-30% of Sales
  • 16:20 – Deleveraging from Amazon:
    • Starts with the team – they didn’t want to hire generalists
    • Hired specialists for IG, Pinterest, Email and Facebook
    • “Great content is the base of paid social”
    • Team, Content and Paid Social were the main pillars
  • 19:50 – Current Acquisition strategy:
    • Still rely on paid social for customer acquisition
    • IG is now the main channel
    • Also work with influencers and affiliates
    • Also sponsor podcasts in the mom space
    • Also dabbling in Tiktok
  • 22:50 – Cash Flow issues:
    • Lost money for 5 months in a row in 2018
    • Had too much tied up in inventory
    • Didn’t know any of the key metrics
    • Had huge overhead costs
  • 29:00 – Solving Cash Flow Challenges:
    • Switched to a agency for managing ad spend
    • Attended a 4-day MBA by Keith Cunningham
    • Got a grip on all key metrics
  • 32:10 – Cleaning up their data:
    • Switched away from an automated Dashboard to spreadsheets
    • Use that spreadsheet till date
    • Stopped focusing on LTV, instead tried to maximise AOV
  • 35:00 – Getting Mothers into the funnel early
  • 36:40 – Managing Dashboards Manually while doing 30 Mil+
    • Team members enter numbers manually every week
    • It is important to understand your numbers rather than have an API fill it in
  • 38:30 – Key Metrics over time
    • Key metrics shift at each stage
    • AOV is still the north star
    • CAC and AOV are the key metrics
  • 40:30 – Maximising AOV
    • Hired a Shopify manager to boost AOV
    • Utilising In-cart Upsells
    • Using Free shipping thresholds
    • Bundling is also effective
    • Merchandising better
    • Offering bundles on category pages and emails
    • Be diligent about testing and be intentional
  • 45:00 – Other Key Metrics:
    • Looking at ad spend as a % of sale
    • So Facebook spend as a percentage of Shopify sales
    • Facebook ROAS, but it has lost it’s importance post iOS14
    • Track Influencer spend
  • 47:15 – Taking on Funding
    • They were bootstrapped till earlier this year
    • Raised funds as a strategic decision more than as a need
  • 49:00 – Building a Team:
    • Have always been a distributed and remote team
    • Have a team of 60 people
    • Do one in-person event each year
  • 53:00 – Running a business with your life partner:
    • Have a 3rd party arbitrator or therapist
    • Have a solid base to fall back on
    • Be easy on yourself because you will end up talking about work all the time
    • Important to set a “do not work” time
  • 56:00 – Lightning Round

Lightning Round:

  • Q: Are you a morning person?
    A: Yes
  • Q: What is your morning routine?
    A: Meditate and hit the gym, take a cold shower and get the kids ready for school
  • Q: What book are you currently reading?
    A: Snowcrash
  • Q: What are your 3 indispensable tools for managing your business?
    A: Slack, Zoom, Google sheets
  • Q: What’s been your best mistake till date? A set back that’s given you the biggest feedback
    A: Losing money in 2018, made 2020 a lot easier
  • Q: Recommended resource for building a business?
    A: A Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham


  • Getting Reviews is critical for new DTC businesses
  • Monitoring Facebook spend as a percentage of Shopify sales is important
  • It is crucial to have “Not working” hours when running a business with your partner

Links & Resources

Tweetable Quotes:

“Be diligent about testing and be intentional about increasing AOV.”

Facebook Group • Continue the Conversation

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✔️ for founders and experts passionately involved in eCommerce
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Here is where to apply to join the Facebook group



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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.

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