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.