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YouTube stars Alisha Marie and Ashley Nichole break down the process of launching their first clothing collection and their future ambitions


Parallel Apparel

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YouTube star Alisha Marie McDonald and her sister, Ashley Nichole McDonald, are launching a new business that they hope can reach beyond what they’ve built on social media. 

Alisha Marie (who has 8 million YouTube subscribers) and Ashley Nichole (who has 1 million subscribers) are launching a direct-to-consumer clothing line, Parallel Apparel. Alisha Marie told Insider that the company name was inspired by her and Ashley’s relationship.

“We are both so different, but our lives coexist in parallel next to each other,” she said. 

The collection was made in Los Angeles, and offers sizes ranging from XS-XXXL. The products include leggings, hoodies, joggers, t-shirts, and bike shorts. They launch June 10 and range from $35 to $118. The products will be sold directly on the company’s website.

Alisha Marie and Ashley Nichole are each cofounders and coCEOs of the company, which they self-funded, Alisha Marie said.

But they didn’t go about the process alone. 

They’ve hired a team of people, from production to marketing. They’ve also worked closely with their talent manager, Evegail Andal, who is the CEO and founder of Matter Media Group, on executing the launch. 

Developing consumer products to sell directly to followers has become one of the trending ways influencers are profiting off their digital brands. This revenue stream has also shown how the creator economy has grown beyond its sponsored-post roots, with influencers no longer relying solely on ads. 

Alisha Marie and Ashley Nichole shared details on the process of creating an influencer-led product, and their ambitions for Parallel Apparel, like to eventually raise funding and partner with a retailer.

The process behind creating an influencer-led product 

Alisha Marie, who launched her YouTube channel in 2008, quickly rose to fame from her popular lifestyle, beauty, and fashion videos. Since then, the sisters have each attracted a massive audience across YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

When it came to the collection, they wanted to be as hands-on as possible with the development process, which they started in 2019 and originally planned to launch in fall 2020, Alisha Marie said. 

Throughout the process, they were focused on creating a product that expanded beyond their social-media stardom. Alisha Marie said they don’t want to be the face of the brand, and instead, want this to be its own standalone business. 

In preparation for development, they met with influencer Patrick Starrr, who founded the beauty brand One/Size. During the meeting, Starrr outlined strategies like who to hire, and how to advertise the brand, including buying ads to display on YouTube, Alisha Marie said. 

“That’s something this industry needs more of,” Alisha Marie said. “People being willing to share what they’ve learned.” 

They started meeting with clothing production companies in LA starting November 2019. 

There were multiple iterations of products, and several rounds of potential products with different fabric options that they tested, and fits, which led them to the final version of the 2021 Spring/Summer collection.

They also worked with a number of influencers, like their friend Lexi Donato, a curve model, for feedback on plus-sized pieces.

“It was …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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