Greats Brand, aspiring to be the Warby Parker of mens’ footwear, has revealed that the company broke $100,000 in sales in June, with a projected $1.6 million run rate for the year. Following a $1.5 million financing round, the shoe brand will, for the first time, have three different models of their shoes available at once.
Historically, the brand has sold only one or two versions of a shoe at a time.
Greats was started by Ryan Babenzien and Jon Buscemi, both of whom combined have 20 years of experience in the footwear industry. In August 2013, the duo decided to apply that experience in an effort to save money for the end consumer. The end-result is Greats, which Babenzien describes more as a brand than a business.
The team has spent $0 in marketing and still continues to show strong growth both in sales and in a following. On Instagram, for example, where the company actively posts man-centric imagery (maybe 20 percent are shoes), Greats Brand has more than 32,000 followers.
And of all the people who purchase Greats Brand shoes, 40 percent of them share that purchase decision on a social network. Luckily, it’s not just everyday Joe’s sharing Greats Brand style on their social feeds — even Kevin Durant is showing off his Greats.
Yet even with a focus on brand over business, the company seems to be doing well in terms of sales. The $100k revenue in June came from a single shoe, The Bab. Since launch 11 months ago, sneaker sales are up 250 percent, with revenue up 134 percent. This is thanks in large part to the fact that Greats Brand doesn’t involve any other retailers. They handle design, buy the product wholesale, and market it through social channels for online sale.
On the weekends, the team runs a 100 square-foot pop-up out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn but there are plans to get a legitimate retail space up and running.
The company also plans to get 10 models available on the site at any given time. Currently, they’re transitioning from one to three, but they’ll reach their 10-model goal by first quarter of next year. Babenzien says this has nothing to do with capital, but rather a more cautious (and still user friendly) way to test what works as they grow.
If you want to check out Greats Brand, you’ll find the website here.