People Matter. The simple rallying cry for a new kind of enterprise. A hybrid company with a stated goal no less ambitious than creating World Change.
Sevenly is a for-profit business with an unusual model. It exists to serve non-profits. The company donates a large percentage of profits to designated charities around the world. Dale Partridge and Aaron Chavez founded the organization in June of 2011 and began to change things rather quickly. The basic concept was to design a T-shirt for a partner charity, to launch a flash sale for seven days and donate seven dollars from every sale to the charity. The company has raised over $5 million dollars for charities in four and a half years and along the way, succeeded as few others have in activating social media to engage with its partner charities’ constituents and together impact untold thousands of people’s lives.
Sevenly has been named Mashable’s Most Social Business and one of Facebook’s Top Ten Stories of It’s First Ten Years. But, Sevenly did more than sell shirts. Sevenly unabashedly looked every visitor right in the eye and urged them to be part of something bigger; to champion world change, to tap into a societal trend to focus on giving rather than getting, especially among Millennials. Sure, you got a great shirt and the cause you love got money, but you also joined a movement to “Give your life away,” as a sign in the Sevenly offices exhorted with a signature flourish.
In the beginning, Sevenly relied on Facebook for almost 100% of traffic. When Facebook changed its algorithm such that only about 6% of likers of a page saw an individual post, the business ground to a halt. Additionally, sevenly.org was built on a Magento platform that was difficult for front line associates to use. After the founders departed, the site had lost much of its heart. It was basically an e-com site for tshirts, and not a very good one.
HEILBrice worked with ownership to re-evaluate the brand, restructure the product offering so that profitability was possible and then rebuild the signature web site on a Shopify platform that would be easier to edit and easier to navigate.
HEILBrice essentially resurrected Sevenly:
- We improved findabillty by renaming and redesigning product categories. Previously hundreds of products simply lumped in one continuing page with no filtration or categorization. We created product verticals and designed architecture and a product filter to make them easier to find.
- We restaged the way stories were told and charity partners were supported.
- We changed the basic business model from donating $7 from every product sold to the charity of the week, to continuing to give that number to the specific products tied to the charity and donating 7% from all other sales.
- The site had been built on Magento but was proving to be too complex and unwieldy for the team charged with operating it. To simplify and to reduce back of house costs, we shifted to a Shopify platform, which has been performing well and delivering excellent analytics.
- We also enabled shopping directly from instagram by integrating a system called FourSixty, which gives Sevenly a “shop now” capability on every post.
Today, Sevenly is back. The organization was recently named to Internet Retailers Hot 100 e-tailers of 2017. And the website is operating more effectively and for a lower cost than it ever has. The project was a total success for everyone involved and inspired our entire team to help make a difference, because people matter.
- Brand Definition and Research
- UX-UI Exploration
- E-Commerce platform exploration; move to Shopify
- Product Segmentation and Naming
- Business Model Evaluation
- Web Design
- User Testing
IS FLOURISHING AGAIN
"As our brand continues to attract global attention as a niche market leader, and to rebound from a period of time during which we went off course, I often wonder what we would be were it not for our friends at HEILBrice. My personal opinion is that Sevenly might not exist without HB’s creative inspiration, support and direction. We deeply value HB’s input and advice in shaping the DNA of our brand, our marketing models, the ethos of our culture, and our vision for the future."
Jim Van Eerden
Cofounder + Chairman