Designer and stylist Perri Furbert, founder of Gold, The Label, went on Instagram Live to express her gratitude after sales for her new Zion sunglass collection came pouring in through her Shopify store. Within 10 minutes, she says she received over 100 orders. By the 20-minute mark, she crossed $10,000 in sales and by the 40-minute mark, she surpassed $20,000.
From media personality Charlamagne Tha God wearing one of her “Girlfriends” tees on The Breakfast Club to Ayesha Curry cooking in one of her hoodies, Furbert’s brand has been catching the eyes of many celebrities. Gold, The Label has been doing incredibly well and many in the industry are starting to take notice. On the outside looking in, however, it’s easy to assess Furbert’s success as an overnight sensation. This, however, could not be further from the truth.
It’s Called A Come-Up For A Reason
As a self-proclaimed, “ratchet, righteous, dreamer and doer,” the 30-year-old Bermuda-born designer has been grinding hard for over a decade. Born and raised on the Caribbean island known for its beautiful pink sand, Furbert has taken advantage of unique opportunities not often in the grasp of a small island girl.
“I used to customize just about everything growing up, which used to get me into a lot of trouble because I would cut up brand new things. But in an effort to express myself and be unique, I would alter the way things looked. So naturally, when I went to college I did the same thing with shoes. When you’re in a university, you don’t have a whole lot of money to be purchasing. So I would buy cheap shoes and revamp them. One day I decided to make a Facebook album and the response was insane, and so the business started just like that.”
Furbert started revamping shoes for every occasion from birthdays and proms to weddings. Out of her Toronto college apartment at 19 years of age, Gold, The Label was born.
“Who we are is who we’ve always been. I just learned not to fight that early on.”, Perri shared.
Find Your Unique Edge
Furbert’s creative touch isn’t replicable because she pours her unique culture and upbringing into everything that she does. The Bermuda island life married with the fast-paced city living that Toronto provides set the founder apart from others.
“[Bermuda] is very warm — and not just in climate. The people are very warm there. Our homes are very colorful and I feel like that inspiration has really been embedded in me. That warmth, I’m very inspired by it. That’s home. And then the city is completely on the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s fast-paced, it’s very diverse. It’s a melting pot, so you don’t necessarily have to travel the whole world to meet all different kinds of people…being exposed to all of those different cultures at the age of 18 really did inspire me. Having that coupled with the colorfulness of home really was like an amalgamation of something that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with at the time, but it really did come across in the way that I expressed myself and I’m grateful for that experience.”
The city taught Furbert how to hustle, recalling, “Everything’s fast-paced, people are on the move.”
Furbert moved to Toronto to study marketing and found herself styling and designing on the side. “I’m a creative…I’m also a wardrobe stylist, a creative director, literally hashtag etcetera, but designer definitely comes first.”
Launching Sunglasses Isn’t All Sunshine
Furbert has now successfully launched two styles of frames, with her new collection Exodus, launching this Fall. The first of the three to drop was her Judah collection. Unique large D-shaped frames in “Wild Tort” (a brown turquoise shell) and “Cool Frame” (an icy blue), both which had a blue-tinted UV lens.
Her most recent drop was the Zion collection, a mid-sized retro square-framed lens that came in three dope color options—Everyday Onyx (black), Canyon (a rusty brown), and Poolscicle (aqua). After some stellar launch marketing, as soon as they went live, orders poured in, selling out the collection almost immediately. This accomplishment though, wasn’t without it’s trials.
“With the last product drop with the Zion sunglasses, the first samples were completely wrong. The Poolsicle shade, which is an aqua blue with a duck egg temple over the ear…the blue was completely off. They looked like tourist sunglasses…but you have to pay for each sample and that’s a process.”, Furbert recalls.
It doesn’t end at designing though. Furbert shared that once the samples are perfected and you have a finalized product in your hand, there is still more work to do. “You have shoots, the marketing and customer service to focus on,” she noted.
Successfully Launching Products During COVID-19
There’s no denying that we’re living in a new normal, but we don’t often stop to reflect on how this is impacting our favorite brands.
“I’ve had to just take a minute to step back and regroup…It has changed the way I’ve looked at deadlines. I used to set a deadline and work backwards from that deadline, knowing this all has to be done from that date. But with this, I don’t even know. We are now set back so much with COVID and the hiccups we’re facing. This is going to come about when it’s going to come about…so it’s also about learning how to pivot and reposition in those times that really give you peace when you are facing hardships within your process.”
COVID may be slowing down the launch, but it certainly has not reduced Furbert’s creative output. Not only will her Exodus collection be launching this Fall, but the creator has also shared sneak peeks of her coming handbags, boots and mules.
When asked how she continues to work through the challenges manufacturing brings in addition to dealing with the pandemic Furbert shared, “The main thing is to not stop. You can pause for a bit to catch your breath and regroup, but never stop, because then the thing has defeated you and that was never its purpose. Its purpose was to grow you.”
You may have noticed that Gold, The Label’s collections have biblical names. If so, it’ll come as no surprise that one of Furbert’s pillars for success is prayer.
“I pray about everything. I start my day with that. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I pray. God is an integral part, if not the key moving thing in this operation for me. It’s how I stay level-headed. It’s where I get my advice from. I always say that God is the CEO of my business and I just work for him. He’s it for me.”
When Furbert saw $10,000 in 20 minutes come through her Shopify account, she was filled with gratitude.
“It was amazing…I’ve been at this for ten years so of course the business makes money, but never that much, that quick. To see ten grand hit the account in twenty minutes was insane. And I know of course other businesses have a different growth strategy and have seen the same sort of thing tenfold, but that was a first for Gold, The Label in this sort of way. And it was a moment of gratitude to be honest because all of the time and effort and precision and meticulousness, it all makes sense in that moment.”
Connection Over Coin
The money, while a close second, isn’t Furbert’s primary driver, connection with her #GoldGang is. “When the end-user, the one that you’re connecting with, loves the work, that’s the point. Of course, there’s the money aspect and the financial gain in that which is a byproduct of it but the connection is really what it is for me. Because, of course, I feel like every gift that we have and everything that we are given is a vehicle for something else…I’m not driven just by money.”
When Furbert was asked what does she think it was that made this launch so successful, she shared, “There are so many technical things that go into making a rollout successful, but I think with this one, it’s really just the time I’ve had with my consumers. Some people I know personally—they got shoes customized and they’re still buying from me. So 10 years later, people who got things for their weddings and their proms, bought sunglasses. So we’ve spent time together and I’ve learned them very well to give them what they want. We have this really good relationship.”
Trust The Timing of Your Life
Everything is flowing right now for Furbert’s Gold, The Label brand and it’s this lack of resistance that lets her know that now is the time to release her shoe line. Something she has been wanting to do for years. “You have to trust the timing of your life. If you force something to happen before it’s suppose to be in your business, it may cost you way more and it can take years to get yourself out of that kind of debt if you do something before it’s makes sense.”