What started as an e-commerce company founded by two teenage sisters making bracelets in 2009 is now growing into a full-fledged millennial and Gen Z mainstay. In the last seven months, Stoney Clover Lane opened its first two brick-and-mortar locations.
The brand’s first store opened in Palm Beach in November 2018. In May, it opened an East Hampton location. Stoney Clover Lane has also worked with retailers including Nordstrom and Target to sell products online and in stores — leveraging those partnerships to gain brand awareness and fuel DTC and store growth.
As a company that caters to Gen Z, as well as millennials, Stoney Clover Lane’s push into physical retail is a smart one for the e-commerce-first company. Ran Ben-Yair, CEO and co-founder at location intelligence company Ubimo, said DTC brands need to consider Gen Z almost more than millennials when it comes to physical retail.
“Gen Z should be a much bigger part of brand’s strategies as they think about how they go about ecommerce, retail and the relationship between both. Millennials, they want the immediacy of ordering online and getting it in two days or going to the closest store. Gen Z’s approach wants experience based retail versus convenience based retail,” said Ben-Yair.
A recent study from Ubimo supported this: 80% of Gen Z shoppers look forward to shopping in store, while 38% struggle to find what they want shopping online.
Stoney Clover co-founder and creative director Kendall Glazer said both have been “more successful than we could have ever anticipated.” The initial success in retail has led Stoney Clover Lane to look at more destination locations versus metro cities for future shops the brand plans to open. Sales both online and in stores for 2019 already exceed those from 2018. A spokesperson for the brand said sales are expected to be in the high seven figures by year end, increasing, on average, about 200% year over year.
Glazer credits the success in retail to the brand’s ability to target all age ranges with its signature, customizable pouches and bags. Customers can, in stores or online, pick their desired bag color and add an array of patches like a cactus, a cat, champagne bottles, ice cream cones and more. For those unsure of what they want to create, the brand features sample ideas (or pre-made pouches) in the stores and on its growing Instagram account, which its now has nearly 84,000 followers.
“The products are totally customizable; we’re able to target different age groups depending on what we use,” said Glazer. “Millennials are into muted colors, and Gen Z is into brighter colors, and we can cater our products to what interests those groups.”
Glazer and her sister and co-founder Libby Glazer focus on one-on-one conversations with customers via direct message on Instagram and in the store to learn what customers like and what they want to see next –from new patches to new colors. The duo then typically browse that shopper’s Instagram feeds to learn more about her: how old she is, what she’s into and how she’s living her life, Glazer said. They then use that information to add new products to the mix and find inspiration for new pre-made designs that are then featured as inspiration on the brand’s Instagram page.
“We get a lot of feedback from Instagram, and then meeting our guests in person,” she said. “We’re always in the store talking to people, getting to know them. Then we use that to help create videos and sneak peeks to engage and to show how a 27-year-old on the weekend going to the Hamptons [might be] using the product.”