12 Brands Making $40M Annually with Under 10 Employees

These small but agile teams can harness the power of ecommerce platforms, social media, and advanced analytics to reach a global audience, something that was once the exclusive domain of multinational corporations with vast resources at their disposal.

In recent years, the digital revolution has dramatically reshaped the landscape of commerce, leveling the playing field in unprecedented ways. The democratizing effect of digital technologies allows small businesses and startups to compete with much larger corporations, sometimes even outpacing them in terms of innovation and customer engagement.

These small but agile teams can harness the power of ecommerce platforms, social media, and advanced analytics to reach a global audience, something that was once the exclusive domain of multinational corporations with vast resources at their disposal. With the advent of cutting-edge ecommerce tools and software, small teams now have the capability to achieve feats that were previously thought to be the reserve of much larger organizations.

Technologies like AI-generated videos, machine learning algorithms for personalized marketing, and efficient logistics platforms have changed the game, allowing these modest-sized businesses to optimize every facet of their operation. The result is a new breed of companies: lean, focused, and highly successful, even when their staff count numbers 10 or fewer.

The Role of Ecommerce Tools in Scaling Businesses

The business landscape has evolved in such a way that even small teams can now go toe-to-toe with industry giants. But how do they manage to achieve this impressive feat? A significant part of the answer lies in their savvy use of ecommerce tools. These tools augment their limited manpower and resources, allowing them to compete on a global scale.  Here's a listicle that breaks down some key ecommerce tools that help small teams scale efficiently:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot help small teams manage relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. It's like having an extra set of hands to handle customer data, follow-ups, and outreach. Companies can leverage CRMs to automate email campaigns, lead scoring, and customer segmentation.

Inventory Management Software

Tools like TradeGecko and Zoho Inventory help small businesses keep track of stock levels, orders, and deliveries. For a small team, managing these aspects manually can be daunting and prone to errors. With automated inventory systems, you can optimize stock levels and minimize costs.

Payment Gateways

Payment processing tools like Stripe and PayPal allow companies to transact with customers globally without the hassle of dealing with international banking systems. They provide a secure and convenient way for customers to make payments, thereby improving the user experience.

SEO and Analytics Tools

SEO tools like SEMrush and Google Analytics give teams insights into website traffic, user behavior, and overall performance. This data is crucial for small businesses to optimize their digital strategies, adjust marketing campaigns, and make informed decisions.

Social Media Management Software

Platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer enable small businesses to manage multiple social media accounts in one place. This makes it easier to schedule posts, track social media engagement, and measure ROI, all without hiring a dedicated social media team.

Chatbots for Customer Service

Tools like Drift or Intercom offer automated chat services to handle customer inquiries. This not only enhances customer experience but also allows small teams to focus on other tasks while basic questions are handled automatically.

Ecommerce Platforms

Websites built on platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce give small companies a professional look and feel, along with the functionalities of a big enterprise. This enables small teams to offer a seamless shopping experience that can rival that of bigger competitors.

Email Marketing Software

Email remains one of the most effective channels for customer engagement. Tools like Mailchimp or Constant Contact enable businesses to send bulk emails that are personalized and targeted, thereby increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Collaboration and Project Management Tools

With tools like Slack and Asana, team communication and project tracking become a breeze. These tools are essential for small teams where every minute counts and where members may be distributed globally.

Advanced Analytics and AI Tools

Last but not least, advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning are making their way into small businesses. While AI-generated videos are an excellent example, there are also AI tools for predictive analytics, customer segmentation, and even automated content creation.

Top 12 Exciting Brands Succeeding with 10 Employees or Less

1. Epic Water Filters

Epic Water Filters has made waves in the water purification market. This brand stands out for its focus on sustainability and quality. Their unique selling proposition is offering advanced water filtration that can remove over 200 dangerous drinking water contaminants. Committed to public health and environmental responsibility, Epic Water Filters is reshaping how people think about their water sources.

2. Industrial Fans Direct

When it comes to moving air efficiently, Industrial Fans Direct is the go-to choice for many businesses. They specialize in providing industrial-grade fans and ventilation solutions. Their unique selling proposition revolves around delivering premium-quality products at an affordable cost. As a cornerstone in the industry, they're lauded for their product reliability and excellent customer service.

3. Bear Mattress

Sleep is serious business for Bear Mattress. This brand focuses on delivering mattresses and sleep accessories that are scientifically engineered to improve sleep quality. Their unique selling proposition lies in the combination of innovative materials like Celliant® and cooling gel memory foam to facilitate restful sleep. Beyond just products, Bear Mattress aims to educate its customers on the science of sleep for a holistic approach to wellness.

4. CordaRoy’s

CordaRoy's brings a fresh twist to the conventional bean bag chair. With its convertible bean bags that turn into beds, the company offers both fun and functionality. The unique selling proposition is in the flexibility and convenience that their products offer, ideal for modern living spaces. CordaRoy's has successfully merged playful design with practicality, appealing to both kids and adults alike.

5. Rubber Mulch

Rubber Mulch has reinvented traditional landscaping materials. Specializing in recycled rubber mulch products, the brand is a hit among environmentally conscious consumers. Their unique selling proposition is their focus on sustainable, long-lasting landscaping solutions. This not only makes gardens look good but also contributes to waste reduction.

6. Harlem Candle Company

Harlem Candle Company crafts luxury scented candles that are more than just home decor. They tell the rich story of the Harlem Renaissance through each unique scent. Their unique selling proposition lies in their tribute to this culturally rich era, offering both ambiance and a slice of history. With a nod to iconic figures and moments, each candle is a conversation starter.

7. The Protein Bakery

Who says indulgence can’t be healthy? The Protein Bakery has mastered the art of baking delicious goods that are also high in protein and low in sugar. Their unique selling proposition is the fusion of taste and nutrition, making for guilt-free indulgence. They have successfully broken the stereotype that healthy food can't be delicious.

8. Brightly

Brightly is not just another bookstore; it's a comprehensive resource for parents, teachers, and anyone else committed to raising lifelong readers. From book recommendations to literacy resources, Brightly offers immense value. Their unique selling proposition is the community-driven content that enriches the parenting journey. By providing expert advice and insights, Brightly has become an essential tool for modern parenting.

9. The Million Roses

Floral arrangements reach new heights with The Million Roses. Specializing in luxury boxed roses, their creations are as long-lasting as they are beautiful. Their unique selling proposition is the longevity and high quality of their roses, perfect for those looking for gifts that leave a lasting impression. The Million Roses have turned a classic gift into an unforgettable luxury experience.

10. Bulletproof

Bulletproof is more than a brand; it’s a lifestyle. Known for their high-performance coffee and dietary supplements, Bulletproof helps its customers achieve peak physical and mental performance. Their unique selling proposition lies in their commitment to science-backed, high-quality ingredients. The brand's holistic approach to well-being makes it more than just a product line; it's a community.

11. The Woobles

The Woobles takes crochet to the next level. With easy-to-follow kits that result in adorable stuffed animals, this brand is making crochet cool and accessible. Their unique selling proposition lies in the DIY nature of the product, enabling crafting enthusiasts to create something special. By making crafting easy and fun, The Woobles have built a strong following among creative minds of all ages.

12. Twigs Paper

Twigs Paper is a brand that embodies the beauty of thoughtful stationery. Specializing in eco-friendly paper products, this brand blends art with sustainability. Their unique selling proposition is their commitment to environmentally responsible practices while delivering top-notch designs. Twigs Paper has managed to elevate the humble greeting card into a sustainable work of art.

How Small Team Brands Can Leverage AI for Ecommerce

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a game-changer in the world of ecommerce, leveling the playing field for small team brands that want to compete with industry giants. Here’s how smaller brands can use AI to their advantage in ecommerce:

Personalized Recommendations

AI algorithms can analyze customer behavior and buying patterns to offer personalized product recommendations. For example, Epic Water Filters could use AI to recommend specialized filters based on a customer's past purchase history and geographic location, optimizing for local water contaminants. This drives increased sales, as consumers are more likely to purchase items that have been tailored to their preferences.

Chatbots for Customer Service

Chatbots powered by AI can handle a variety of customer service tasks. Let's consider Industrial Fans Direct: A chatbot could assist customers in choosing the right type of industrial fan for their specific needs, based on variables like room size and intended use. They can work around the clock, ensuring that customer queries are addressed promptly, thereby increasing customer satisfaction.

Inventory Management

AI tools can predict when you'll run out of stock on popular items. For a brand like Bear Mattress, AI could analyze sales trends to predict when their most popular mattress sizes are likely to sell out, enabling timely restocking. This can save small businesses a lot of time and help avoid the lost revenue associated with stockouts or overstocking.

Sentiment Analysis

By scanning customer reviews and social media mentions, AI algorithms can gauge the public sentiment. For Harlem Candle Company, sentiment analysis could reveal which scents or candle collections are receiving the most positive mentions on social media, informing future product development.

Dynamic Pricing

AI can analyze market demand, competitor prices, and other external factors in real-time. Take Rubber Mulch for example; they could use AI to adjust the pricing of their recycled rubber mulch products based on seasonal gardening trends or local demand spikes. For small teams that can't monitor all these variables continuously, AI-based dynamic pricing can be invaluable.

Email Marketing

AI can also personalize email content based on a customer's behavior and preferences. The Protein Bakery could, for example, send personalized emails suggesting high-protein cookies or brownies based on a customer's past purchase of protein muffins. From subject lines to product images, every aspect of the email can be tailored to individual consumer profiles.

Fraud Detection

Small businesses are often more vulnerable to fraud. Twigs Paper could utilize AI algorithms to analyze transaction data for inconsistencies, such as unusually large orders from new accounts, thereby adding an extra layer of security.

How Maverick Can Supercharge Small Team Brands

Maverick's AI-generated video technology presents a unique opportunity for these small team brands to further deepen their customer relationships while standing out in a crowded ecommerce space. For example, Epic Water Filters could utilize Maverick to send personalized thank-you videos after a purchase, explaining how their product contributes to better water quality and sustainability.

Similarly, Bear Mattress might employ AI-generated videos to walk new customers through the setup process for their new mattress, elevating the unboxing experience to a new level. With Maverick's platform, brands can add a personal touch to post-purchase and customer service interactions without burdening their already limited manpower.

Moreover, Maverick seamlessly integrates with popular ecommerce platforms and CRM systems, making it incredibly easy for brands like Industrial Fans Direct or Rubber Mulch to get up and running with minimal effort.

Whether it's recovering abandoned carts with personalized videos that explain product benefits, or engaging long-time customers with special offers, Maverick's AI-generated videos can be a powerful tool in maximizing customer lifetime value. For companies that operate with small teams yet aim for a big impact, incorporating Maverick's technology can add a dynamic, personalized element to their customer engagement strategies.


Whether it’s sustainability, innovation, or cultural storytelling, these 12 brands have found ways to carve out their own corners in competitive markets. While AI and other advanced ecommerce tools can serve as force multipliers for small teams, the true secret to these brands' successes lies in their unique value propositions that capture the heart and imagination of their target audiences.

Maverick uses AI-generated video to help ecommerce stores have personalized interactions with each of their customers across their journey. Start boosting your customers’ lifetime value (LTV) today with personal videos at scale!

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