The Hustle

Building an 8-figure swag brand in less than 3 years

SwagUp’s swag bag won’t leave you with a headache


March 15, 2020

In 2017, Michael Martocci saw a gap in the market: creating high-quality swag for fast-growing companies.

Businesses buy swag for all sorts of reasons: to win prospects, serve clients, and engage their employees. But they have to work directly with vendors, which can be a pain.

Martocci created SwagUp as a simpler alternative — helping teams get their swag where and when they want it, without the headache.

Looking to run lean, they got off the ground using no-code software for $100/month, through a Wix page, Typeform, Zapier, and Trello. Trello featured SwagUp’s processes in a case study, and even now, SwagUp says its in-house operations are its biggest competitive advantage.

SwagUp stands out from its competition — which mainly manufactures in China — by offering up top brands, including Patagonia, Everlane, and Allbirds. The company ships to 97 countries, and packs on average go for $50 apiece.

Martocci says SwagUp’s early success allowed them to lean heavily on inbound demand and word of mouth. To this day, marketing spend remains at 1-2% of revenue.

Half of that is allocated to sending tester packs to prospective customers. And it’s working… they hit $168k in 2017, $3.4m in 2018, and $7.1m in 2019, with plans to hit $15m this year.

Now they’re ramping up their tech even more, having recently processed their first fully automated order.

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