2 Chainz is a multi-platinum selling rapper from College Park, Georgia with several singles and albums that have charted in the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100. At 38-years old, he has been very successful not just with his music sales, but also by selling apparel and other merchandise.
Charlie Jabaley, co-founder of a firm called Street Execs, manages 2 Chainz’s merchandise marketing and sales. “[At first], we just didn’t have a good track record selling merchandise like t-shirts,” he says. “We’re always trying to be creative and wanted to apply that to the way we merchandise. We just really needed to find a way to crack the code on ecommerce.”
And then this happened…
Jabaley decided to use Shopify.com to start running experiments.
“I was laying in bed one morning thinking about how people love Christmas sweaters,” Jabaley says. “I called the designer, put him to work, and told him the Dabbing Santa sweater was going to be my first big hit.”
By 1 o’clock that afternoon Jabaley had a design up on the web and for sale, despite not having a shred of inventory. His hunch turned out to be correct as demand for the line of Dabbing Santa sweaters instantly became blockbuster:
The sweaters generated $20,000 that day. They did $30,000 the following day, and they went on to do $2.1 million in 30 days
“The push notifications on my Shopify smartphone app were going crazy,” Jabaley recalls. “It was incredible, an extreme high to see two or three sales notifications every minute. In just a week we were doing in revenue what some of the biggest artists do in an entire month”
“People fail with merchandise because of poor design,” Jabaley says. “You can’t just take an artist’s face, put it on a shirt, and expect people to buy it anymore.”
Even with Grammy-nominated talent like 2 Chainz, Jabaley suggests there simply aren’t enough superfans willing to purchase shirts housing little more than an artist’s face. Today’s hip hop lovers want something more, Jabaley insists.
“People today want to buy something that represents them,” he says. “They want to be part of a movement.”