18 Apparel Brands Making $40M in Annual Sales with 10 Employees or Less

Brands are making a significant impact, with some even accomplishing awe-inspiring achievements such as generating upwards of $40 million in annual sales, all while operating with teams of 10 employees or less.

In recent years, the apparel industry has transitioned from traditional retail methods to adopting ecommerce with open arms. This digital shift has offered unprecedented opportunities for brands both large and small. It's not just about selling clothes online; it's about leveraging the enormous potential of digital platforms to reach a global audience, optimize operations, and scale efficiently.

Brands are making a significant impact, with some even accomplishing awe-inspiring achievements such as generating upwards of $40 million in annual sales, all while operating with teams of 10 employees or less. However, this level of success isn't a mere stroke of luck or a byproduct of magic; it's a calculated outcome achieved through the strategic use of technology. Specifically, these brands have expertly harnessed cutting-edge ecommerce tools and technologies to their advantage.

Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a pivotal role in this landscape, enabling personalized customer experiences, data-driven decision-making, and operational efficiency. Brands utilizing AI are not just keeping pace with industry trends; they're setting the pace, creating a new standard for what small teams can accomplish in ecommerce. This is the real power of ecommerce for apparel brands today—a blend of technology and strategy that makes it possible for David to stand tall alongside Goliath.

The Power of Ecommerce for Apparel Brands

In the highly competitive apparel industry, savvy brands are turning to ecommerce as a versatile tool for everything from customer acquisition to personalized marketing. It’s more than just creating an online storefront; it's about using ecommerce as a multi-faceted platform to connect with consumers in a myriad of meaningful ways. Here's how they're doing it:

Direct-to-Consumer Model

One of the first major shifts facilitated by ecommerce is the direct-to-consumer (DTC) model. Brands no longer have to rely on intermediaries and can connect directly with their customers, offering them better prices and a more personalized experience. For instance, a startup apparel brand can bypass traditional retail channels to sell unique, high-quality products directly to consumers, thus keeping a larger share of the profits.

Social Media Integration

Ecommerce and social media go hand-in-hand. Brands use social platforms to advertise, engage with customers, and even as sales channels. Instagram’s “Shop Now” feature, for instance, allows consumers to make purchases without even leaving the app, making it a powerful tool for apparel brands aiming to convert social media engagement into sales.

Community Building

Beyond just selling products, ecommerce allows brands to build a community through newsletters, blogs, and customer reviews. Brands like Lululemon have effectively turned their ecommerce platforms into community hubs where customers can find workout plans, nutrition tips, and more, all while shopping for their next pair of yoga pants.

Top 18 Apparel Brands Succeeding with 10 Employees or Less

1. MyIntent Project

MyIntent Project takes a unique approach by offering customizable bracelets that represent personal virtues or intentions. Their product taps into the growing self-care and mindfulness movement, appealing to a wide audience. The power of personalization allows each customer to feel connected to their purchase, making it not just a piece of jewelry but a meaningful keepsake.

2. Ugly Christmas Sweater

Ugly Christmas Sweater provides a delightful twist on holiday fashion, offering Christmas sweaters that are intentionally 'ugly' but irresistibly fun. These quirky designs have found a broad market, particularly around the holiday season. Their annual, limited-edition releases create a sense of urgency, and their appeal extends to corporate parties, family gatherings, and even pop culture events like Ugly Sweater Runs.

3. Thigh Society

Addressing a long-standing need, Thigh Society offers moisture-wicking, breathable undergarments that prevent thigh chafing. This niche focus has led to widespread customer acclaim and robust sales. Their active social media presence, filled with testimonials and positive reviews, has helped them build a community around a commonly experienced but rarely discussed issue.


Nostalgia sells, and 80sTees.com understands that better than anyone. They offer a wide range of t-shirts and apparel featuring iconic brands and themes from the 1980s, appealing to a demographic that cherishes this era. Special releases and collaborations with popular '80s brands keep their product line fresh and continuously attract media attention.


Specializing in high-performance wetsuits, XTERRA WETSUITS has carved a niche for itself in the world of water sports. Their products are known for durability, performance, and comfort, making them popular among amateur and professional athletes alike. With an impressive endorsement roster including Olympians and professional triathletes, the brand has gained immense credibility.


ANETIK focuses on breathable, performance-driven outdoor apparel. Their unique selling proposition lies in the technology embedded in the fabric, which provides UV protection and cooling capabilities. Through partnerships with adventure guides and outdoor influencers, ANETIK has positioned itself as the go-to brand for serious outdoor enthusiasts.

7. Vaer Watches

Offering a range of rugged yet stylish watches, Vaer Watches has tapped into the luxury market without alienating everyday consumers. Their products are both versatile and durable, appealing to a broad customer base. With the promise of American craftsmanship and a lifetime warranty, Vaer Watches has successfully built customer trust.

8. Tenth Street Hats

With an extensive variety of stylish hats, Tenth Street Hats has successfully revived a somewhat overlooked fashion accessory. Their range of products includes everything from classic fedoras to trendy beanies, appealing to a wide age group. Limited edition collections and partnerships with popular designers keep customers eagerly awaiting their next release.0. Selkie

Targeting the modern, environmentally-conscious consumer, Selkie offers a range of sustainable, ethically-produced apparel. The brand has successfully blended fashion with eco-consciousness, appealing to a rapidly growing market. Their transparency about sourcing and manufacturing practices has won them the trust of eco-conscious consumers.

10. BloomChic

BloomChic offers trendy, plus-size fashion, filling a gap in the market. With inclusivity at the heart of their brand, they have successfully catered to a demographic often overlooked by mainstream fashion labels. Their frequent collaborations with plus-size influencers have made them a popular and relatable brand in the body positivity community.

11. Tactical Baby Gear

Providing high-quality, military-grade baby gear, Tactical Baby Gear has found a unique niche. Their product range includes durable baby carriers, diaper bags, and other accessories that appeal to parents looking for functionality and durability. The brand's "dad-centric" focus also sets them apart, attracting a demographic of fathers who appreciate the rugged aesthetic.

12. Darn Good Yarn

Focusing on sustainable and unique yarns, Darn Good Yarn has captivated a dedicated community of knitters and crafters. Their product range includes not just yarn but also knitting and crochet kits, making it a one-stop-shop for crafting enthusiasts. Through workshops and online tutorials, they have succeeded in creating an interactive community around their brand.

13. Stitchy Fish

Offering hand-smocked, classic children's clothing, Stitchy Fish taps into the market of parents seeking high-quality, timeless pieces for their kids. Their range includes outfits for special occasions, everyday wear, and even matching sets for siblings. The brand's commitment to quality fabrics and craftsmanship has garnered a loyal customer base that values durability as much as style.

14. Ripley Rader

Ripley Rader offers a range of elegant yet comfortable women's wear, including their iconic jumpsuits. Ripley Rader has found a following among women looking for versatile pieces that can transition from day to night effortlessly. Their focus on limited, high-quality releases ensures that each piece feels exclusive, enhancing customer loyalty.

15. Rhude

Known for their minimalist designs and high-quality fabric, Rhude offers a line of modern apparel that includes everything from t-shirts to tailored jackets. Their designs have been worn by celebrities, contributing to the brand's prestige and sales. Limited edition collaborations with artists and brands keep their collections fresh and highly sought after.

16. Scout Curated Wears

Offering a range of stylish, ethically-made jewelry, Scout Curated Wears has carved a niche in the overcrowded jewelry market. Their product range includes everything from bracelets and necklaces to unique gemstone pieces. With a commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability, Scout has appealed to consumers who are looking for guilt-free luxury.

17. RipSkirt

With a focus on providing versatile, comfortable, and stylish skirts, RipSkirt has developed a strong following among women seeking practical fashion solutions. Their product line includes a variety of skirt lengths and styles, suitable for both casual and semi-formal settings. The brand’s patent-pending design features, like adjustable waistbands and quick-drying fabric, set them apart from competitors.

18. Everest

Specializing in watch bands, Everest offers high-quality, customizable options for luxury watches like Rolex. The company's focus on quality and customization has attracted a dedicated, high-end clientele. Through collaborations with watchmakers and boutique retailers, Everest has widened its market reach, becoming a sought-after brand for luxury watch accessories.

How Apparel Brands Can Leverage AI in Ecommerce

Personalized Recommendations

One of the most effective ways to use AI is through personalized product recommendations. By analyzing customer behavior and purchase history, AI algorithms can suggest items that a customer is likely to buy, thereby increasing sales and improving customer experience.

Automated Customer Service

Chatbots powered by AI can handle a variety of customer service tasks 24/7, from answering frequently asked questions to guiding users through the purchasing process. This not only enhances the customer experience but also frees up human resources for more complex tasks.

Inventory Management

AI can help brands manage their inventory more efficiently by predicting which items will be in demand based on historical data and current market trends. This ensures that popular items are always in stock, while reducing the burden of unsold merchandise.

Dynamic Pricing

AI algorithms can adjust pricing in real-time based on a variety of factors like demand, inventory, and competitors' pricing. This ensures that you're always offering the best possible price to your customers, maximizing revenue and profitability.

Trend Analysis

AI tools can scrape enormous sets of data from social media, fashion websites, and online reviews to identify upcoming trends in the apparel industry. Brands can use this information to anticipate customer needs and create products that will be in high demand.

Visual Search and Recognition

Advanced AI algorithms allow customers to upload images and find similar or matching items in your inventory. This visual search capability can significantly enhance user experience and increase conversion rates.

Size and Fit Prediction

One of the biggest challenges in online apparel shopping is finding the right size and fit. AI can analyze past purchases and returns to recommend the most suitable sizes for each customer, reducing the rate of returns and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Virtual Try-Ons

With AI and augmented reality, customers can virtually "try on" clothes, reducing the uncertainty that often accompanies online shopping for apparel. This feature can significantly reduce return rates while improving the online shopping experience.

Email and Content Personalization

By analyzing customer data, AI can help you create more targeted email marketing campaigns. Personalized emails based on past behavior and preferences are more likely to be opened and acted upon, increasing customer engagement and sales.

Customer Sentiment Analysis

AI can analyze customer reviews, social media mentions, and other public comments about your brand to gauge customer sentiment. This can offer invaluable insights into areas for improvement and potential avenues for new product development.

How Apparel Brands Can Leverage Maverick

Maverick's suite of AI-powered video tools provides the ultimate personalized customer experience. Its services range from post-purchase 'Thank You' videos to intricate AI-driven videos that can recover abandoned carts.

Maverick seamlessly integrates with popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, allowing you to get started with minimal setup. Designed to deliver personalized, branded videos via email, Maverick helps small apparel brands build relationships that turn one-time buyers into brand apostles.


The apparel brands listed here demonstrate that small teams can achieve astounding success in the ecommerce arena. Leveraging the right technologies and tools, these brands have not just survived but thrived. It's a clear testament to how the judicious use of ecommerce tools can lead to maximized resources and exponential growth, even for small teams.

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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