Jeremy Cai - Manufacturer to Customer – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 33]
Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy
My guest today is Jeremy Cai, founder, and CEO of Italic, a subscription marketplace for consumer goods that works directly with manufacturers. I was introduced to Jeremy by my friend Blake Robbins and was dying to better understand the Italic business model. In our conversation, we discuss the Italic business model, the evolving role of manufacturers in supply chains, and the concept of building the next generation “everything store.” I love learning and discovering new business models, and this was fun to dig into. Please enjoy my conversation with Jeremy Cai. For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here. ----- This episode is brought to by Dell Technologies. Dell Technologies and Windows can help you upgrade your business tech with its Small Business Month specials. Save up to 45% on PCs with Windows 10 Pro— plus business docks, monitors & more. To learn more, call a Dell Technologies Advisor at 877-ASK-DELL or check out the deals at dell.com/en-us/work/shop/deals. ----- This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep. Eight Sleep's new Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at your perfect temperature. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. To embrace the future of sleep and get $150 off your new mattress, go to eightsleep.com/patrick or use code "Patrick." ----- Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes. Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus Show Notes [00:02:45] - [First question] - Overview of Italic’s business model [00:04:51] - Why comparing Italic to Costco isn’t completely accurate [00:10:06] - His initial experience with manufacturers and how that world works [00:15:21] - Direct to consumer commerce and the power of a brand’s story [00:20:06] - Where manufacturers find the cash to effectively manage their inventory [00:25:26] - How design and R & D are handled by manufacturers in the current era [00:29:36] - Educated consumers and emotional versus rational buying decisions [00:31:12] - Analyzing Italic’s five-step master plan and what needed to be built first [00:35:42] - Becoming more than just an aggregator and a platform [00:38:01] - Lessons learned from building Italic so far [00:39:02] - Other modern business models he finds interesting [00:43:26] - What Not Pot is and lessons learned from building it [00:44:51] - Observations about consumer behavior in his managed marketplace [00:48:07] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him
48. Jeremy Cai | Italic (affordable luxury shopping club)
Jeremy Cai is the Founder & CEO of Italic.Italic is positioned to disrupt the traditional retail value chain by giving consumers access to high-end products at cost. That means you only pay what it costs the manufacturer to make and deliver it to you – no markups for branding or retail middlemen. Imagine getting access to products from Burberry, Prada, Alexander Wang, Tumi and All Clad for 80% off the traditional retail price! [Italic has officially entered the chat]How do they do it? Italic built relationships with the same manufacturers that make the raw goods for your favorite luxury brands. Instead of pushing manufacturers to drive prices down, Italic realigns incentives by paying manufacturers more and passing the traditional brand mark-up margin onto customers as savings. Instead of making a large profit on each item, Italic charges an annual membership fee of $120 for members to access all of their products. It's the members only shopping club you've always dreamed of.And because Italic’s founder Jeremy is a friend, he’s offering 30% off your first year of the membership to join the club. Visit italic.com/founder to take advantage of the offer!Tune in to hear Jeremy’s story!Watch this episode on YouTube – here Italic – italic.comFollow Italic on Instagram // TwitterFollow Jeremy Cai on Twitter // InstagramJeremy’s content and learning recommendations The Founder - www.thefounderpod.com Follow The Founder (@founderpodcast) on Twitter // Instagram // NewsletterFollow Kallaway on Twitter Don't have time to listen to the full episode? Read the 5-minute version here
Jeremy Cai is the founder and CEO of Italic, an online retailer on a mission to reinvent the way we shop. They currently offer hundreds of quality products ranging from clothing to cookware from the same manufacturers as top brands, such as Alo, Rag & Bone, and Armani, for up to 80% less.We had a blast getting to know Jeremy and talking about his upbringing and early career, why he started Italic and the long-term vision for the company, some of his observations growing up around manufacturing, and much more.If you want to check it out, the team at Italic was kind enough to extend a unique offer for our listeners - get 30% off your first year of membership when you sign up at italic.com/founderhour!SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & STAY UPDATED > http://bit.ly/tfh-newsletterFOLLOW TFH ON INSTAGRAM > http://www.instagram.com/thefounderhourFOLLOW TFH ON TWITTER > http://www.twitter.com/thefounderhourINTERESTED IN BECOMING A SPONSOR? EMAIL US > firstname.lastname@example.org
Square One: Conversations with the Best in Business
This week we went deep into e-commerce. E-comm has been all the rage throughout COVID and it makes sense why: we’re all at home now and brands are able to get to us in more and more ways. A company I’ve been keeping an eye on in the e-comm space is Italic, a marketplace for luxury goods; in this episode I chatted with Italic’s Founder/CEO Jeremy Cai. Lux goods are interesting - they’re desired but super expensive. What I didn’t know originally was how much of that money is kept by the brand vs. the actual manufacturer. Italic has flipped the model and unlocked manufacturers ability to sell directly to consumers. So now you can buy products from the factories that make Prada, Gucci, Tumi, etc. at factory price. A win for the manufacturer and a win for the consumer. Jeremy walked me through the way he thinks about e-comm, what the US can learn from China, where the value is trapped in this space and how to build a world class consumer experience.
Have you ever wondered why brands mark up the price of items so much over what they pay manufacturers? On this episode, we dive into the world of ecommerce and Italic's innovative membership based business model. Jeremy Cai, the CEO and founder, shares how his C2M approach results in premium products at astoundingly low prices. You'll learn how he came up with the idea and how his earlier startup experience gave him clarity on what kind of company he wanted to build.
When building enterprise software for HR departments didn’t satisfy young programmer Jeremy Cai’s ambition, he returned to the decades old family manufacturing business, but with a new twist to ignite his passion. Now just 25 years old, Cai is the founder and CEO of the international online retailer Italic, bringing high end luxury consumer goods straight from the manufacturer to the customer at a fraction of the cost, while still retaining high quality products and services. With a subscription-based membership style, asking $10 a month or $120 a year, Italic provides consumers with access to exclusive deals and low-cost products, that will save them countless dollars in the end.The high middle groundFor Cai and Italic, the secret to success is tapping into the consumers that the other big online retailers miss. There are numerous stores that sell direct-to-consumer goods at a cut rate from in-store brands, such as Ali Baba and Wish, but with little to no quality control or assurance, making every purchase a gamble for the consumer. Likewise, on the other side are name-brands, known for their quality and service, who carry an enormous markup by the time the product hits the shelves. That middle ground, where the consumer gets the quality they pay for without breaking the bank on brand names, is where Italic excels.Bypass the brand, build it yourselfTo a manufacturer, it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day who they are selling their products to, only that there is a satisfied client and a completed sale, high or low end. They have their manufacturing costs to build an item, and a relatively low markup that they pass along to whatever company is next down the line, who pass that cost on to their clients, and so on until you reach the frontline consumer, who pays a ridiculous mark up. Remove the brand name from the product they make, be it athletic wear, kitchen accessories, or tech, and it’s still the same highend, high selling goods, but now at a dramatic fraction of the cost.Mutually beneficial businessSelling high-quality products to a consumer is the easy part of online retail. The real challenge is selling services like Italic to retailers, and for Cai that means empowering those manufacturers to become merchants themselves, to make the factory itself the brand. While these companies have been around for years, few if any own the product they manufacture, building a set number of products for a contract, and shipping them out. By choosing a selection of products they could manufacture for their own inventory, they can sell directly to customers, with all profit flowing directly back to that manufacturer.Seize the means of consumptionWith no brand names to interfere with direct sales, the manufacturer themselves become the brand, and Italic capitalizes on this by selling the factories themselves to the consumer as businesses they want to buy from. With details of ISO certifications, environmental profiles, product or labour histories, consumers feel more engaged in the mercantile process on a personal level, choosing to buy from manufacturers who meet their own personal standards.Passing costs, savings and information onto the consumerThe key to that level of involvement, explains Cai, is honest transparency with savvy, well educated customers about the products. While price comparisons are old hate for any market, Italic provides not only the price a consumer would pay at another retailer, fully marked up, but also the actual factory cost to build the product, along side the asking price. This empowers consumer to make an informed choice of who to support, and gives them a more realistic idea of the entire factory economy. Italic is likewise upfront with members that the subscriber fee covers their operating costs, allowing them to interact with the manufacturer on behalf of the consumer, and vise verse, for maximum ease of transaction and assured high quality products.SponsorsRolled Up is presented by Shogun, if you want to explore Headless Commerce, you can learn how Nomad Goods increased conversions and revenue per session 25%.
EP. 17 - Jeremy Cai - Reinventing For Luxury for New Generation
Mallama Presents Take Care Podcast
✅ Hey guys! Enjoy this EPIC interview w/ My good Friend, Jeremy Cai ! Jeremy takes us all the way back to his early days as entrepreneurs and shares with us his backstory which ultimately shaped his career and his future!🙌 Jeremy shares TONS of gems in this one! What is your favorite lesson from this interview?! Let us know in the comment section below! This episode is brought to you by Mallama Skincare! Mallama is a brand-new Skincare brand that is Eco-Conscious, All Natural, and Cruelty-Free. Your skin will look so good after using Mallama. It’s also Paraben-free, Sulfate-free, Vegan friendly, Talc-Free, and Alcohol-Free. And it’s Amazing! It comes in your favorite, traditional skincare products like Cleansers, Moisturizer, Toners, Serums, and Scrubs. Our listeners—that’s you—get free shipping and a 100% happiness guarantee when you visit Mallama.com and use code TAKECARE20. If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests. For show notes and past guests, please visit Mallama.com/Podcast Sign up for Rish's email newsletter (“Take Care Newsletter”) at Mallama.com/Newsletter Follow Mallama Skincare Twitter: Twitter.com/Mallamaskincare Instagram: instagram.com/Mallamaskincare Facebook: facebook.com/Mallamaskincare YouTube: youtube.com/MallamaSkincare--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/takecare/message
#143 with Jeremy Cai of Italic - Influencer Coffee Making Millions, What Cold Chain Is and Why It's Booming, And Tons of Ideas
My First Million
Shaan Puri (@ShaanVP) and Sam Parr (@TheSamParr) discuss: - Is Sam Parr Time Person of the Year? - Jeremy introduces himself - Idea: subscription box for bread (and the millions in subscription boxes) - The big business of selling to middle America (aspirational branding) - Boring DTC products that crush it - Ideas for niche software (ex: trust fund SaaS) - Huge homeschooling opportunities - Millions to be made creating products for influencers - How one guy took a local brand national - Why cold chain storage is booming Thank you to our sponsor this episode, Flatfile! Spend less time on Excel and more time building your business by easily importing data using Flatfile. Check them out at flatfile.io/hustle. Have you joined our private FB group yet? It's a page where people share each others million dollar ideas or what they're already working on: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ourfirstmillion. Editing thanks to Jonathan Gallegos (@jjonthan) See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Founder Stories: Jeremy Cai, Founder & CEO of Italic (a luxury goods membership brand)
DTC POD: A Podcast for eCommerce and DTC Brands
“In consumer commerce, you always have to be chasing your next customer.” @jjeremycai #DTCPOD“Even with the introduction of direct to consumer, the product quality and the product price points haven’t really changed much for consumers.” @jjeremycai #DTCPOD“The challenge with DTC is that once you saturate your core market, you see a big jump in customer acquisition.” @jjeremycai #DTCPOD“Sometimes your best customer might not convert immediately, they might be receiving your content for a while before converting.” @jjeremycai #DTCPOD“If you don’t have brand right, you’re going to be starting with a rocky foundation. Make sure to do this in-house and don’t outsource it.” @jjeremycai #DTCPODWe speak about:[00:50] About Italic [02:30] Jeremy’s experience as an entrepreneur [06:20] The buildup to Italic [09:10] The transition to direct-to-consumer [13:00] How Italic’s model approaches marketing [20:00] The importance of recall for your brand [22:30] Advice for founders Jeremy Cai currently serves as the CEO of Italic and helps his SO Kati with Not Pot. The Entrepreneurial Journey To ItalicIn this episode, Jeremy dives into his entrepreneurial journey. First, Jeremy dropped out of school to build an enterprise software company. However, Jeremy sought to do something more innovative that no one else was doing. The inspiration for Italic came from marketplace enabled companies like Uber and Airbnb. Neither company takes inventory. Instead, they empower the individual hosts to monetize their own places.In the same lens, Italic doesn’t sell marked-up goods to its customer. Instead, they replace the brand and take the retailer out of the supply chain. They then provide the savings to the customer and offer a higher yield per unit to the manufacturer.Italic is not incentivized to sell their products; they are incentivized to sell their membership. They had to spend a long time developing their product assortment. There are over 1,000 SKUs on their website that they have created themselves.To help build Italic, Jeremy spent time living in China and Italy to make relationships with manufacturers. Italic doesn’t buy their inventory; their manufacturers float the inventory for a higher yield per unit.Focus On Your Brand’s ValueWhen you sell products and monetize the markup, you always have to be chasing the next customer - with this model, you aren’t incentivized with loyalty. When Italic sells a subscription product, their payback is not immediate. Italic is profitable when a consumer first buys their membership. Asa result, they are much more focused on engagement metrics and how to change their merchandising strategy. Similar to Spotify, they focus on continually delivering value to their customer to ensure they come back.Jeremy talks about how recall is critical for your brand. Sometimes, your best customers won’t convert immediately. There are many ways to make a sale; it depends on your brand, what you stand for, and what your customer gets out of you.Stay tuned as Jeremey gives his advice for founders and he reveals what is coming next for Italic. If you’d like to learn more about Trend and our influencer marketing platform for influencers and brands visit trend.io. You can also follow us for tips on growing your following and running successful campaigns on Instagram and LinkedIn.Mentioned Links:Website: https://jeremycai.comItalic: http://italic.com/Twitter: https://twitter.com/jjeremycaiInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/italic/
Italic's Jeremy Cai: Today's DTC brands 'price high, but still use the narrative of cutting out the middleman’
The Glossy Podcast
The direct-to-consumer brands that have sprung up in the last decade have promised to deliver quality at a better price by cutting out the middlemen: retailers.Italic wants to do the same, but is taking a different approach by working with multiple manufacturers that supply top brands. Its result is a lineup of quality products, without brand names or premium price tags.The company launched in 2018 with a different membership than the model it recently adopted -- the annual cost is now $100, which can quickly pay for itself in savings, according to founder and CEO Jeremy Cai. The company sells products ranging from leather jackets to handbags to cookware. For each one, Italic's site specifies which companies its manufacturer supplies (like Hugo Boss, Armani and Longchamp, in the case of backpacks)."Italic is actually a very easy math exercise to just do in your head: 'Hey, am I going to make my money back on $100, if I purchase one time?' And over 90% of the time, that is correct," Cai said on the Glossy Podcast.Cost-consciousness might not be the first value someone identifies with, but Cai says it's an evergreen one. "There are millions of Costco shoppers, there are millions of people who really love Spotify instead of purchasing music outright," Cai said. "The shopping mindset of, ‘I want to buy things that’ll be a great deal; I want to be smart about my purchases,’ accelerated our desire to actually go to market" with the new membership pricing.