Case Study: Maggie Smith

As the owner of Pintuck & Purl, a purveyor of fabrics, yarns, sewing and serging machines, Maggie Smith strives to re-capture a past where style, grace and creativity were the norms. She hopes to inspire others to take pride in handiwork and knows that the true creators of fashion are those who make it for themselves. Those folks are out there and she wants to be a resource for them. Maggie feels that working with your hands brings a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of independence, and the satisfaction of knowing what you make is uniquely yours.

She’s designed an environment to keep clients inspired, classes to sharpen their skills, a community to engage in, and offers the high-quality materials and tools customers need to create something amazing.

The Challenge

When Maggie started the store over five years ago, her social media strategy consisted of a post here, and a post there when she could find the time. 

Then, she hired a friend to do the same. They would take photos when they needed to post but with no real strategy. But the help was short-lived.

Because when COVID hit, and her friend had to stay home with her kids – it was back to grassroots social media.

But it wasn’t all bad news.

Maggie’s store was growing, and fast. 

“We just kind of blew up as far as sales and customers,” Maggie says. “And social media was still kind of lacking – customers in-store, online orders and phone orders, it was just too much. 

“And so we were sporadically posting. Literally, it would be like, ‘Oh, we have a class tomorrow. We should post about it today.’ So we were always kind of catching up. Then someone mentioned BELAY. 

“I knew we needed to put our energy somewhere else. I was happy to pay someone who had more experience doing [it].”

But while Maggie was confident she needed help, she was initially hesitant about BELAY’s matching process.

“I was like, ‘What if we don’t get along?’” Maggie admits. “[It was] a big concern of mine because obviously, I’m not part of the matching process.”

But Maggie was paired with BELAY Social Media Strategist Jessica Vaughn, and every concern melted away.

“Right off the bat, I was like, ‘I’d be friends with her. This is fine. We’re good!” 

The Solution

“It was a lot of communication in the beginning, but [Jessica] was an extremely quick study and really delved into our brand and figured out what kind of look we wanted, even though she doesn’t sew or knit. 

“[But] I didn’t need a sewing guru; I needed a social media specialist. We have people that are specialists with our products.

“So [Jessica] was pretty amazing.”

And it all came down to Jessica’s innate curiosity and drive to learn.

“I asked a lot of questions,” Jessica shares. “‘What does this machine do vs. that machine? How is this yarn different from that yarn? Oh, that’s a really pretty fabric. Is it this one? Or is it this one because the color looks a little different? How would you use it once you get it?’

“I asked a lot of questions to immerse myself in not only the brand but the work and the products themselves. That comes easily because I’m a learner. I want to absorb and I want to learn something that I don’t know.”

It also helped that Maggie filled any gaps with trust.

“Maggie trusted me way sooner than I expected her to trust me,” Jessica says. “And I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that. It communicated that I was getting something right. And that she knew that she could trust her brand to me earlier than I expected her to. That meant a lot.”

And that trust yielded some seriously extraordinary results for Maggie, including ads for BERNINA, a global maker of sewing, embroidery and quilting machines of which Pintuck & Purl’s a successful retailer.

I was tasked to come up with an ad campaign to reflect the brand and to communicate the sales,” Jessica says. “We got a lot of really meaningful information from those ads. [It was] a huge, successful BERNINA ad campaign.”

Loyal customers and new customers alike have become aware of Pintuck & Purl’s new-and-improved social media presence.

“I’m not a follower-chaser, but I want to see consistent growth,” Jessica says. “What matters more to me is meaningful engagement, meaningful content, and consistently growing impressions and reach – and we’ve had that.

“We’ve also had over 2,200 video views, which is a big deal because we’re doing videos now [because] when we first started, there was no video content. Now, it’s getting her brand out there in a really new, positive way.”

So with not only her social media presence growing and evolving, Maggie also started to see a windfall of sales from Jessica’s efforts.

“Jessica has had the ability to create sales,” Maggie shares. “We were able to launch this ‘12-Days of Christmas’ sale that we would’ve never done otherwise for sales generation.

“I could go through [my sales] and be like, ‘These are definitely sales from social media. These are sales definitely from coordinated marketing that Jessica has helped us do. The ‘Make It With Maggie’ [campaign] – we’ve sold four or five machines on that. The ‘Fall In Love With Your Serger’ [campaign] – we’ve sold three $6,000 sergers over the past week. 

“It’s great to have more engagement and more customers, but really when it comes down to it, the bottom line is, ‘Is it going to actually help my bottom line?’ And [the SMS service] absolutely is paying for itself. It’s kind of an investment, and I’m willing to do it if it’s going to help us grow in the long run. And it definitely has, for sure.”

"I'm not a follower-chaser, but I want to see consistent growth."

Instagram Analytics

Post Reach
Nov. 2020: 13,698   –   Jan. 8 – Feb. 8: 69,553
% Growth: 408%

Post Impressions
Nov. 2020: 15,503   –   Jan. 8 – Feb. 8: 74,451
% Growth: 380%

Overall Engagement
Nov. 2020: 1032   –   Jan. 8 – Feb. 8: 4429
% Growth: 329%

Followers
Nov. 12: 2908   –   Feb. 8: 3203
% Growth overall: 10.1%
– Starting net follower growth, 30-day average: 0.6%
– Current net follower growth, 30-day average: 4.9%

Profile Visits (number of unique users intentionally visiting their grid)
Nov. 2020: 531   –   Jan. 8 – Feb. 8: 1489
% Growth: 180.4%

They also had one post on Jan. 16 go micro-viral with over 11.2k views, which is a jump over their previous best reach by over 4.3x.

The Results

Always music to our ears, Maggie’s BELAY partnership has given her back her most precious commodity: time. 

“It’s just given us the ability to focus on the things that we need to focus on to grow the store,” Maggie adds. “I don’t know if I could work any other way. It’s been honestly so helpful as far as being able to focus on bigger things that need my attention.”

Jessica couldn’t agree more. 

“This has just been a dream engagement for me,” Jessica adds. “It really has. I can’t say enough about how glad I am that I got matched with Maggie and Pintuck & Purl.

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