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One Direct-to-Consumer Company's Secrets to Success

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This story appears in the June 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In early 2012, Melissa Mash, Jessy Dover and Deepa Gandhi asked more than 1,000 people for input on designing a practical luxury handbag. The following year, during a three-month campaign on their website, the Dagne Dover founders presold nearly $40,000 worth of their high-end totes (featuring multiple enclosures to keep laptops, tablets, phones, water bottles, wallets and keys in place) and clutch wallets. Prices range from $125 to $500.

Axel Dupeux
Totes sweet: Melissa Mash of Dagne Dover.

Since launching, the company has seen more than $1 million in direct-to-consumer sales through its online store. Last year the New York-based startup bagged $1.25 million from angel investors with ties to leading brands such as Coach, Warby Parker and Bonobos.

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