Jackson Cunningham and Josh Bluman are the founders of JJ Suspenders, a business with one mission: fitting both men and women with high quality, well-designed suspenders. They use TradeGecko, with its Xero integration as a centralized hub for business operations and accounting support.
We had a chat with these co-founders about their style-defining suspenders to find out how it all came about. Based in Canada, this specialty eCommerce store offers a range of suspenders from everyday wear to special occasion needs. Whether you’re looking to dress up for a formal occasion or want to make an original fashion statement, JJ Suspenders has got you covered. Co-founders Jackson and Josh came up with the idea for the business while looking for a pair of suspenders of their own. On a search for a really remarkable pair, they just couldn’t find one.
“My co-founder and I were at a friend’s wedding, and we saw someone with this really amazing pair of suspenders. Everyone at the wedding was complimenting them. I tried to find something equivalent for myself but had no luck. The only place I could find them was directly from England.”
At a loss for eye-catching suspenders, they saw a serious business opportunity for waistbands everywhere: an eCommerce store that would specialize in superior suspenders with impressive design. Gathering expertise from the USA and UK, they would sell unique suspenders produced by manufacturers and designers with a combined 20 years of suspender experience.
Their main barrier to start the business? Neither of the two co-founders could commit to a full-time gig. Like wearing a belt and suspenders, there was simply too much going on for both of them to do the job properly. They each had full time jobs with other projects on the side. Dealing with a third-party warehouse, salespeople, accounting, and manufacturers manually would take up too much of their already stretched time.
A good solution? Finding an inventory management system that would automate as many of their processes as possible, allowing them to run their business with a smaller time investment. TradeGecko, with its add-ons and integrations solves most of their automation issues.
“TradeGecko has played an integral role in achieving the goal of making our business as automated as possible. All orders from our sales channels get pushed into TradeGecko, which then pushes the data to our 3rd party warehouse to fulfil the orders automatically. Additionally, TradeGecko pushes the data to Xero so that our accounting is mostly automated."
JJ Suspenders has been able to use a TradeGecko custom integration to automate their warehouse processes. They use a third-party warehouse in the United States: eFulfillment Service. Jackson is happy with their current warehouse solution: being able to continue to use this warehouse with TradeGecko allows them to save money on monthly fixed costs like storage. They can pass this savings on to their customers, and offer flat-rate or free shipping with with shorter waiting times.
Another major challenge for them was accounting. In particular, they needed answers to accounting questions that would take a lot of time to analyze - was the business making money month on month? And which items were profitable for them to keep selling versus which were selling at a loss?
TradeGecko’s Xero integration solved that problem for them. Xero’s accounting software takes care of their advanced accounting needs, while TradeGecko’s Inventory Management system gave them a platform to organize and track stock levels.
Their business has been up and running for several months and they’ve already seen advantages to automating a lot of their processes. Best part of TradeGecko for these guys? That there is a centralized hub for all their integrations.
“TradeGecko is amazing because it keeps all of our sales data in one place vs having all these disconnected channels. The things we like the best are sales channel integrations, the ability to create formatted purchase orders from directly within TradeGecko, and integration with third party tools like Lokad inventory forecasting.”
Jackson saves precious time on automated processes that he uses to develop other parts of the business:
“TradeGecko has easily saved me about 5 hours per week which is huge. I've used that time to be able to grow the business consistently by 30% YoY.”
What’s in the future for the strapping gentlemen at JJ Suspenders? Expanding into the wholesale market with their most popular designs and to begin working on expanding their retail sales to their major market in the USA and to groomsmen in particular.
With a blog that gives style advice and for men and women about how to wear suspenders, and awesome designs that fit any occasion, JJ Suspenders is ready for expansion into the global eCommerce marketplace. In the end, they’re just two stylish guys, defying gravity and saving the best of us from sagging trousers, one pair of suspenders at a time.
Find out more and grab a pair yourself here.