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DAI is on mission to empower ladies by means of comfort-driven efficiency, fashion and group. They’re a efficiency womenswear attire model utilizing modern sportswear materials and sustainable supplies to ship versatile, useful design.
DAI’s story began at 30,000ft when the founder Joanna Dai labored in funding banking. After lengthy hours, her workwear turned uncomfortable, she requested herself – “Can I make this really feel like yoga, and appear like an influence swimsuit?” Quickly after DAI was born!
Now elevating on Seedrs, we sat down with Joanna Dai get to achieve insights on her path to creating DAI and her plans for DAI sooner or later.
We’d like to learn about your profession earlier than DAI and the place you first discovered that entrepreneurial spark.
I labored in funding banking at J.P.Morgan for eight yr previous to beginning DAI, however I believe my entrepreneurial spark began in major college after I ran for Publicity Officer. Within the US, we had an elected pupil physique authorities to plan enjoyable occasions for all college students, and I did that during to being President of the Class of 2008 at Cornell College. The primary trace into trend was after I sourced 5 completely different black glitter night clothes with tailoring for the 5 homecoming princesses to swimsuit their completely different physique shapes.
What motivated you to begin DAI and what drawback are you fixing?
I began my profession in funding banking, working actually lengthy hours, 12-16 hours a day, operating across the buying and selling flooring or operating to conferences. And I at all times felt that garments have been extremely uncomfortable and restrictive.
It hit me someday. I had a 4am cab pick-up, a day of conferences operating round Stockholm, and on the 8pm flight coming again, my waistband was digging in and all may take into consideration was how uncomfortable I felt. I wanted I have been in my yoga leggings, and that’s after I thought to myself, “may this really feel like yoga, and appear like an influence swimsuit? Why was it so exhausting to seek out manufacturers designing snug workwear for girls?”
I imagined a world the place garments didn’t prohibit us, however slightly empowered us, the place efficiency of our garments empowered the efficiency of the girl.
What are you able to inform us in regards to the market and the way DAI is positioning itself for fulfillment?
We’re not a trend enterprise. In a $292bn world ladies’s wear-to-work attire market, we’re a digitally native, ecommerce-first disruptor model delivering comfort-empowered efficiency utilizing a tech-enabled, data-driven method, together with our proprietary on-line Trouser Match Finder Software, coupled with real-time buyer suggestions to ship the right product expertise for each physique form. Past our digital development technique, we’ve confirmed our diversified omnichannel method by means of retail, group, print advertising and press. We’re main with authenticity and objective, as a result of at our core, we wish ladies to succeed. We’re additionally a Licensed B Corp with one of many highest scores within the world attire trade, and we’re main by instance of what’s higher, extra accountable.
What does your aggressive panorama appear like and the way does DAI differentiate itself?
It’s a massive market and there are numerous choices, worth factors, design aesthetics, materials. Our imaginative and prescient for our merchandise and consumer expertise is “appears like yoga, appears to be like like enterprise”. We’re taking modern efficiency supplies developed by the sportswear trade, and designing them for the on a regular basis, the sustainable method. Our key metrics paint the image of our sticky differentiation and success to this point: a single class of trousers drives 55% of our income, an astoundingly sturdy metric displaying a transparent gateway into our model and robust buyer loyalty: repeat prospects make up 50% of our income, that means they love our merchandise and are coming again.
May you inform us about a few of your greatest achievements up to now?
Inside two months of our delicate launch, The Occasions featured us as “the right trousers”. Our Energy Transfer™ Trousers took off and we reordered 300 models the subsequent week.
Holly Willoughby, Trinny Woodall and a complete host of high-profile trailblazing ladies carrying Dai.
We’re backed by Redrice Ventures, Closed Loop Companions, and Rianta Capital with an unimaginable board and advisors round us.
We not solely survived however thrived for the reason that pandemic; Q1 gross sales are +151% vs final yr*.
Opening shops in Seven Dials, Marylebone Excessive Avenue, King’s Highway and Spitalfields.
*Based mostly on unaudited administration accounts.
What are some objectives you hope to see DAI accomplish within the subsequent few years?
Scale within the UK understanding our profitable traction and channels, increase into the USA, launch our B2B division, develop our crew, proceed to innovate on sustainable supplies and proceed to empower ladies all over the world.
How do you propose to create a scalable and worthwhile enterprise mannequin?
The dry reply is on a spreadsheet. We all know our channels, they’re able to scale and we anticipate to attain profitability within the subsequent few years. However the true secret sauce is model objective, mission, authenticity. We would like ladies to succeed and we need to do higher for our planet.
Why do you assume proper now could be the most effective time for DAI to develop?
The time is now. After two years of pandemic, it’s again to life however consolation is right here to remain. Private model and feeling assured will perpetually be essential for girls. And sustainability is not elective however the necessary method of the long run for all of us. We’re a forward-thinking, trailblazing model that represents the way forward for our trade, and our time is now.
What do you propose to do with the cash you elevate?
Scale our confirmed channels of development, together with v2.0 tech and data-driven dev and customisation of Trouser Match Finder, develop our crew and operations (a a lot wanted increase ASAP given our tempo of development now) and increase internationally, beginning with the USA.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Working, biking, not too long ago rising our personal produce in our backyard by means of composting our meals scraps in a worm farm.
Should you weren’t constructing DAI, what do you assume you’d be doing?
Becoming a member of a physique on the UN or the subsequent local weather tech startup to combat local weather change, or constructing my very own absolutely regenerative farm.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt to this point constructing DAI?
You’re extra resilient than you’ll be able to ever think about, if you understand your objective and that objective is larger than you.
What recommendation do you want somebody instructed you earlier than beginning DAI?
They did inform me to not do it, that womenswear was extremely difficult (“make a Put up-It as a substitute”), however I went forward and began DAI anyway.
DAI is a B Corp licensed model, empowering ladies by means of comfort-driven efficiency, fashion and group. They’ve raised over £1.5m and are closing to funding quickly. Should you’d wish to get the total story, try their marketing campaign right here.