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How Dawson Denim Got Back to What They Love

This couple hired a Mailchimp partner, so they could get back to making pants, not marketing them.

In 2012 Dawson Denim opened in Hove, England, with a single sewing machine and a roll of selvedge denim imported from Japan. The company quickly became known for its traditional manufacturing techniques and stylish, built-to-last garments and gained a loyal following with an impressively large Mailchimp mailing list (3,000 Dawson diehards!). There was one problem: Owners Kelly Dawson and Scott Ogden were spending too much time on marketing efforts for too little return. Right before launching their first-ever women’s collection in October 2020, Kelly and Scott decided it was time to get marketing help, so they hired Kim Darragon, a London-based Mailchimp partner. Here’s how Kim helped Kelly and Scott get back to what they love: making jeans.

Before hiring a Mailchimp partner, you managed your marketing yourselves. What was it like?

Scott: We were doing things really ineffectively. We were spending hours and days working on our marketing. Posting stupid amounts of content every day, just chucking whatever at the wall to see if it would stick. But we didn’t know what we were doing. We were at our wits’ end.

Before Kim, you had never hired a Mailchimp partner, but you had previously sought out help. How’d that go?

Scott: Yes, we did. We’d had a couple days’ worth of business advice, but everyone we hired before Kim always just stated the obvious. These business consultants weren’t well informed, and they cost a lot of money. It was hard to try and go down that road again. We didn’t want to pay someone to give us common sense again, but we knew we needed help. Kim has been an absolute revelation.

You’d been carrying your company’s marketing load for 8 years—why did you decide it was finally time to get help?

Kelly: Motivated by the fact that we recently created a womenswear collection, we decided to rebrand and relaunch Dawson Denim. We knew we couldn’t do the marketing ourselves. We had already been using Mailchimp, but knew there was so much more it could do for us.

“We have a total passion for what we do, and we must have that passion, because we put every hour of every day into it. To be good at marketing, you have to do that as well. You have to really love it.”

- Kelly Dawson, Co-owner of Dawson Denim

Out of all the marketing professionals out there, why did you decide to hire Kim?

Kelly: When it comes to business and marketing, it’s hard to find someone who talks the same language as you. Someone who’s on the same page as you. Someone who understands your brand. For us, that was Kim.

Kim, your business, Kim Does Marketing, just turned 1 (happy birthday!). Can you tell us a bit about your marketing background?

Kim: Striking out on my own is all very fresh! Before launching my consultancy—which specializes in helping solo entrepreneurs and small business founders, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds—I worked as a corporate in-house marketer for 12 years.

So, Kim, when it came to tackling Dawson Denim’s marketing, how did you help?

Kim: Dawson is a premium brand, and I wanted their digital platforms and content to showcase that. To help, I worked on a number of marketing processes: I created a social media strategy and content calendar, revised their website, and managed their SEO. I also showed them how having an effective email strategy would help strengthen their relationship with existing clients and create a community around the brand. People want to own Dawson Denim products and be part of their club, so we make sure that all newsletter subscribers feel this by offering them great perks and dedicated content.

“The week of the launch, we had a 221% increase in website traffic and a 57% increase in returning customers.

- Kim Darragon, Owner of Kim Does Marketing

This is a fairly new partnership. How has your Mailchimp partner, Kim, helped your business?

Scott: Since Kim started working with Dawson Denim in September, we’ve sent out 2 newsletters and have had a huge increase in sales. She also created some automated emails for us. We are busier than ever: making, sewing and cutting to fulfill all the orders we received thanks to our new marketing.

Are the results from this partnership in? How long did you have to wait to see improvement?

Kelly: We saw results immediately! Absolutely everything from day 1 has made a drastic difference. It was brilliant. We’d been banging our heads against the wall for 8 years. But when our website relaunched in October, the stars aligned. It was all there in place.

Did hiring a partner free up your time to focus on other things?

Scott: Kim has given us days of the week back. Weeks of the month back. But I don’t think we’ve clawed any time back for ourselves—we’re not on the beach just chilling out. Because of Kim, we had a huge increase in sales. We’re busier than ever.

Now that your relaunch has been successful, do you plan to keep working with Kim?

Kelly: She works for us 1 day a week right now. If I’d known marketing help could work this way 8 years ago, we’d have hired Kim 8 years ago. We have a total passion for what we do, and we must have that passion, because we put every hour of every day into it. To be good at marketing, you have to have that as well. You have to really love it. And Kim loves it.

Want to find the Kim for your business? Explore our Mailchimp partner directory to find your marketing match, so you can get back to what you love.

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