Terica Whitsel, lead graphic designer at The Ladies Edge joins us for a Q&A case study. Learn about the different parts of their thriving online fitness community and their secrets for selling a lot of online merch.
Q: What is The Ladies Edge?
We’re a fitness community of over 8,000 women led by Michelle Bishop. We provide 23 minute at home workouts for women along with an EPIC private support community to help them achieve results. There’s a new workout 5 days a week, and every session is recorded so members can workout when it’s most convenient for them. You can learn more on our website - theladiesedge.com
Q: Tell us a little more about Michelle.
Michelle is a world class ISSA Certified personal trainer and ISSA Certified Nutritionist (CNC) located in Columbus, Ohio. She has been studying nutrition, supplementation, and the human body for almost a decade.
Michelle then went on to coach and mentor thousands of women to food freedom, self love and maximizing their time in a physical training aspect. Michelle founded The Ladies Edge in 2017.
Since then, Michelle and our team have helped over 15,000 women through her program helping women love themselves where they are RIGHT NOW in the process of finding their undeniable confidence.
Q: What do you do at The Ladies Edge, Terica?
I’m the lead graphic designer and brand manager. I joined the team in 2018. On a normal day, I might be creating a design for a new launch in our store, updating our website, sourcing new products, or more.
Q: Will you share some details about the different parts of the business?
Sure. As far as the membership, we have monthly and yearly subscription options. There’s all kinds of nutritional guidance on our site to help educate. We do a live workout on Saturdays via Zoom. There’s our DUOS program if you want to work out with a partner. And there’s our Favorites section where you can cycle through some of the community’s favorite past workouts.
We also do some community events. Obviously that’s been put on hold due to COVID-19. But we have women from all across the United States, and even overseas that come together once or twice a year. It’s awesome to actually meet all the people.
We also have our own line of merchandise that we sell online. That’s where Print My Threads fits into the picture.
Q: Tell us about your apparel sales and online merch shop.
Our store is at shoptheladiesedge.com. We’ve got a Shopify store setup where we sell branded merchandise, equipment, and other items to members of our community.
Our ladies love it. We usually average between 300 - 500 orders per launch. We sell through almost everything we launch on the site within minutes. The merchandise looks so great, members often get upset that they can’t get their hands on it.
Q: Wow, selling out of merch every launch is crushing it. Any secrets or advice you can share?
The biggest secret is our community, hands down.
We connect women together with our private Facebook community. It’s much easier to achieve results and become more confident when you have a whole team behind you. People who are on the same journey as you. They support each other, workout together on Zoom, form friendships, and more.
And naturally they want to show off their new confidence and feel like they are a part of something bigger. Our merchandise gives them a way to do that. Plus it looks damn good 😃
We’re also constantly sourcing new products. We launch anywhere from 6 to 15 new items every month. Most of them sell out. If there’s a ton of demand we may bring a piece back for a reorder. But we’re always trying to come up with new products that our members will love.
Q: How have you guys been affected by COVID-19?
It’s been crazy to say the least. We absolutely hate all the suffering it’s caused and continues to cause across the world.
Business has been great for us. People haven’t been able to do their normal routines like going to the gym. And we’re so proud to be able to provide a workout solution for all the women who aren’t willing to risk their health or their families health right now.
Q: When did you start printing your merch with Print My Threads?
We started printing a few items with Print My Threads in 2017, but we were sending most of our merchandise to other printers.
With the others, there were constant communication issues. Sometimes it would take days to get responses. I pride myself on providing print ready artwork, but their art department would tweak my designs without any real explanation.
And there were quality control issues. Embroidery that was sewn crooked, an entire order that looked like absolute 💩. We wondered if they were even looking at the final products before they shipped them to us
Last year, we ended that relationship and started sending almost all of our printing to Print My Threads. It’s been a game changer for us.
Q: How’s your experience with Print My Threads been?
Literally, I have no negative feedback about these guys.
They have the perfect pink. For a long time, we struggled to find the right pink ink for our merch. No other printers could match it. It would look faded or washed out. The team at Print My Threads nailed it from day one.
Plus they’re super fast and the communication is great.
Kyle and his team are always on it. Trying to improve our process and help us sell more. They’ve been a true partner for us. Basically our one-stop-shop.
We’ll send them the styles that we’re interested in plus our designs. They purchase all the blank stock for us. If there’s any stock issues they let us know and proactively offer some alternatives.
And their numbers are always right on the money. We have never ran into the “where’s our merch?” issue with Print My Threads.
There’s been a few times that we haven’t had the chance to count our actual merch. We were just too busy and didn’t have the manpower.
It’s so important to have a partner you can trust doing your printing. It’s one less thing we have to worry about as we grow our community.