What are the secrets to EVEREVE's nationwide growth?
National clothing and fashion brand EVEREVE started with an unpleasant shopping experience that spurred a desire for something innovative. According to EVEREVE, the journey “began when Megan went shopping as a new mom and ended up in the dressing room feeling overwhelmed and all alone. That moment inspired her to reimagine the retail experience—how it could be everything that day wasn’t—and eventually became the foundation for EVEREVE…”
EVEREVE co-founders Megan and Mike Tamte shared their business story and secrets behind their rapid growth at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Annual Legislator Breakfast. The event brought together nearly 300 Minnesota business leaders and state legislators and introduced them to policies impacting the business community. Attendees also heard about EVEREVE’s humble beginnings as an idea that created a national brand.
Here’s a look at EVEREVE’s growth, by the numbers:
15 years in business. The first location opened in Edina.
27 states where EVEREVE now has a store.
90 locations nationwide.
1 million customers served.
How has EVEREVE sustained this growth since its first store in 2004? Mike and Megan offered five keys to their success.
1. Create a culture.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast," said Megan. “We have a very strong culture at EVEREVE. It’s actually a culture built out of our love for humanity and our love for people. At EVEREVE we like to say, ‘We love fashion, but we love people more.’ At EVEREVE, we call it the ‘heart culture…’ They are the values of humility, empathy, authenticity, relationships and tenacity. The culture of EVEREVE is because we treat our customers, our business partners and each other with heart.”
2. Know your customer.
EVEREVE has found the perfect niche of “modern and versatile clothing with just the right amount of edge.”
“We know our customer really well and what kind of product she wants to wear,” said Mike. “Through 15 years of experience and countless customer focus groups and surveys, we’ve learned that she doesn’t want to dress like her mom and she doesn’t want to dress like her child.”
3. Create a unique customer experience.
“Our customer experience, which we call our ‘heart experience.’ The vision that I had 22 years ago, it’s fully alive today,” said Megan. “Our team members, our managers, as they understand the vision for what that experience could look like, and they deliver it... we are going to want to get to know you. We’re going to want to understand who you are. We’re going to want to know your lifestyle, your body type, your sense of style and we want to guide you to pieces that will fit who you are.”
The focus on an innovative, warm customer experience has helped create a loyal following.
“The one thing that I think about when I want a mini vacation is going into EVEREVE,” said Grey Search + Strategy co-president and Women in Business sponsor, Alissa Henriksen, at the event.
4. Invest in e-commerce.
Mike mentioned that an early investment in e-commerce took time to gain traction but now represents 25% of its total sales. In 2014, they jumped into online personal styling with a service called Trendsend.
5. Focus on profit-driven growth.
“At the beginning, we researched what it would take to be profitable… We created an economic model and we have not strayed from that,” said Mike. “As we’ve tried to pursue a company that’s not only profitable but also purposeful, I think we’ve done that.”
While other retailers struggle, EVEREVE continues to grow.
“We have plans to open 10 more stores every single year,” said Mike. “Our brick and mortar store sales grew 21%.”
Mark your calendars
Don’t miss our next Women in Business event on April 16 at the Best Buy headquarters for the first-ever Women in Business Conference. This half-day conference builds on our highly successful quarterly series to dive deeper into topics of interest to women business leaders and continue the conversation of engaging these leaders in public policy. It’s an excellent opportunity for women and men to network with their peers while learning the importance of issues critical to growing their companies and the state’s economy.