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Getting Out of the Way of Your eCommerce Brand’s Growth With Selene Dior of Vitae Apparel

Selene Dior

Selene Dior is the Owner of Attribute Agency and the Founder and CEO of Vitae Apparel, an activewear and swimwear company empowering women to live their best lives and be the best versions of themselves regardless of body type, size, or age.

She’s a Canadian-based entrepreneur who has been in the ecommerce scene for a long time. Selene started her business in 2016 when she was just 18 years old. Selene was a competitive swimmer for 17 years before founding Vitae Apparel to make functional yet fashionable bikinis and swimwear.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [3:12] Why Selene Dior decided to start an agency
  • [5:05] The challenge of managing teams for two brands
  • [7:10] How Selene became a lifeguard at 16
  • [11:35] Getting unfiltered feedback and discovering your leadership qualities
  • [16:12] The dilemma of trying to hire at your level as an entrepreneur
  • [18:27] Selene’s major mental hurdle in 2021
  • [21:46] What’s driving Selene?
  • [23:51] Why more female founders should be more profit-driven
  • [29:11] Uncommon ways to build and retain a strong community
  • [32:24] Tips for building a community from scratch
  • [37:13] What’s next for Vitae Apparel?

In this episode…

One of the biggest struggles an entrepreneur has is overcoming the need to expect as much commitment, passion, and skill from employees as you have in your business. This expectation makes your team grapple to keep up with you and your ideas, which can stifle the growth of your business. It can create an environment where the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing.

How do you get unfiltered feedback from your employees so you can discover how your leadership style is affecting their ability to help your business grow? Selene Dior knows all about these struggles and the challenges of balancing two thriving companies. Building a community of happy, dedicated, and engaged employees means you can do what you do best. It frees you to concentrate on the larger picture and follow your big ideas and passions.

In this episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin talks with the Founder and CEO of Vitae Apparel, Selene Dior. They discuss Selene’s foray into entrepreneurship early, the struggle of building two brands and managing teams, getting unfiltered feedback, building a community from scratch, and lots more.

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Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts has helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at sales@chronos.agency or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast, where we feature top founders and experts in the ecommerce industry and take an in depth look at the struggles and successes in growing ecommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:21

All right, what’s up people? Josh Chin here and the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, where we feature top experts and founders in the ecommerce Industry. And we go behind the scenes of the struggles and successes in growing a brand. Pasts guests include Ezra Firestone from Smart Marketer, Kara Goldin of Hint water, Adam Turner from PostScript and many more, so go check out our past episodes at Chronos.agency/podcast. This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency. Now if you run a direct to consumer ecommerce brand that is ready to scale and to double your customer lifetime value through retention and lifecycle marketing. Chronos is your company, we’ve helped hundreds of brands skill profits with email, SMS, and mobile push marketing, while getting an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts, we’ve worked with brands like Truly Beauty, the Oodi, the lighter skin and many more. So the next step is email us at Sales@Chronos.agency, or you can go to Chronos.agency to learn more. Today’s guest is the Owner of Attribute Agency, Founder and CEO of Vitae Apparel. Her name is Selene Dior, a Canadian based entrepreneur who has been in the ecommerce scene for a long time despite her age, starting a business at only tender age of 18 years old back in, when was that? 2016 20? Yeah, 2016 16. Selene now has been through the trenches. Scaling, bootstrapping, the brand, basically from zero started out as a swimmer brand. Now an active wear and swimwear company, empowering women to live their best lives and their best, the best versions of themselves despite regardless of ethnicities, sizes, ages, and otherwise, Selene, welcome to the show. I’m super excited to have you on I think you have a super interesting story. And I’d love to dive into that today.

Selene Dior 2:35

Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Joshua Chin 2:38

All right. Um, let’s, you know, I’m, I did a little bit of research on your your story and how you start business. One thing that I am curious about is, obviously what came first, the Agency or the brand, or to kind of go at the same time? And what made you decide to focus on building your brand versus building out your agency as a, as a business? I noticed current, like concurrently running and same time.

Selene Dior 3:12

Yeah, actually, that’s the biggest dilemma of 2022. Um, are the brand first 2016 December, started, Vitae Apparel. And then the agency started around 2019 April. And why I started that was because I was invited to speak at an Amazon conference about influencer marketing and social media marketing. And after I talked about all that, so many people came up to me and asked if I ran my own agency that helped other people, other brands build their social media presence. Because a lot of Amazon sellers wanted to branch out to become a DTC brand as well, at the time, and also more and more now. So that kind of like, inspired me to start my agency. And I was like, well, I already like live it and breathe it. And I know it like the back of my head. So why not like start an agency. And so I started and I was in a lot of podcasts, events speaking, and clients just kind of like roll in because I was doing these like talks and podcasts. So we haven’t like done any marketing whatsoever. It’s kind of just been referral and me going on podcasts and events. But now I am actually in a dilemma if I should keep running that or if I should focus 100% on Vitae, because that is like ultimately what I am passionate about building a brand and empowering women. So yeah, I am actually in a dilemma.

Joshua Chin 4:44

Interesting. That’s a good struggle to have, I think, at least in my books, what what is the breakdown of your team? And how do you structure your team the way to or do you have separate teams One for the agency and one for your brand. Or how do you organize that? Yeah.

Selene Dior 5:05

Building a team has been what I’ve been focusing on for like the last year, and I learned so much. But before I actually had people that are working for Vitae and also Attribute and then I last year, I realized, even just within Vitae, a lot of people because we’re a scrappy startup, everyone was doing multiple things, wearing multiple hats. Someone that’s packing could also be like helping out with social media. And I realized that we needed it to be more structured. So we actually like did a whole revamp for Vitae. And I also did the same thing for Attribute. So now they have separate, like teams, and like we do share a resource or two together, but they are under Vitae and they bill like Attribute, like separately as a contractor.

Joshua Chin 5:53

You start the business in 2016. You’re still in school? You’re Yeah, you’re in UBC, right? Yeah.

Selene Dior 6:01

Yeah, I was in UBC, first year, first term. And then I quit

Joshua Chin 6:06

went with, what did you What do you study? Yeah.

Selene Dior 6:10

I studied forestry,

Joshua Chin 6:11

forestry of all things. Well

Selene Dior 6:14

I know why. It’s because it’s because I didn’t get into what I wanted to get in. So my first choice was engineering, I wanted to be a chemical engineer. And because I skipped school a lot and worked full time when I was in grade 12. My grades at the end of grade 12, like dropped a little bit. So I didn’t get into engineering. I bought into my second choice, which was forestry. And I picked that because I was told that forestry was very easy to transfer into back into engineering and also solder. So business, so I kind of had two offers to transfer after the first year. So that’s why it was my second option, and I go on to the

Joshua Chin 6:51

see. I spent four months in solder. I’m not sure if you know that. Alright, Selene. So you mentioned your you were working at when when was a great 12 You’re skipping school and going for work? Where do you work as and why?

Selene Dior 7:10

And why? Great question. Um, I was a lifeguard and I became a lifeguard when I was 16. I used to swim competitively. And we made a lot, you know, like, at the time when I was in grade 12 I think minimum wage was 9.75 an hour. And I was making 18.75 an hour. Whoa, I was 16. Yeah, 16 years old. 16 years old, making almost 20 bucks an hour back then, you know, and I think I skipped school a lot. Because I did go to school in China. And everything there is more advanced. And I learned a lot there already. So school is like really, really easy for me. Pretty easy for me. And I’m able to like catch up if I just like, do my homework or like read that and like get a little bit of refresh. refresher as I do my homework like that was a good enough for me to catch up and do like good in school. And yeah, like I was the go to person for them to call into work when they needed a shift covered. And I always said yes. And then I always get shifts. So I would just be like, skipping class going to work. And then almost almost working full time pretty much. Yeah

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