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Case Studies

How A $50 Craigslist Purchase Launched A Side Hustle That Hit $1 Million in Sales [Case Study]

by Denis K. | | 9 min read

In the world of ecommerce, stories of overnight success are often the exception, not the rule. Yet, the journey of an entrepreneur turning a simple idea into a thriving business is a narrative that never gets old. This article delves into one such story, showcasing how with the right product, presentation, and perseverance, anyone can achieve success in the online business realm. Furthermore, with the help of Sellvia entrepreneurs can bypass the typical hurdles of starting an ecommerce business, making the path to success smoother and faster!

Meet Elle: A Mom With a Mission


Imagine stumbling upon a golden idea while navigating the beautiful chaos of new parenthood. This is the story of Elle Rowley, a visionary who turned the simple need for a comfortable and stylish way to carry her baby into a thriving business that reaches millions of families worldwide. Elle’s journey with Solly Baby, a brand renowned for its sustainably sourced baby wraps, is nothing short of inspiring. It’s a testament to what can be achieved with a dash of creativity, a sprinkle of grit, and a whole lot of love.

  • A Spark of Inspiration Amid Diapers and Dreams

Back in 2009, with her first baby in arms and her husband still in school, Elle found herself craving to create something that would not only bring in extra income but also fill a void in the baby gear market.


The online world was ripe for innovation, especially for aesthetically pleasing, functional baby products. Elle’s lightbulb moment came with the realization that baby wraps, which were known for their comfort, could also double as a chic accessory for parents.

This wasn’t just about creating another baby product – it was about redefining baby gear as a fashion statement that also fostered a deeper connection between parents and their little ones.

  • From Prototype to Powerhouse

In Los Angeles’ fabric district, she took a big step by buying lots of fabric, using both her credit card and a loan from her in-laws.

Everything changed when she found a used serger for just $50 on Craigslist.

Elle’s initial prototypes were simple, crafted from cheap jersey knit fabric. Yet, these first steps laid the foundation for something extraordinary. The true potential of her idea was confirmed with every step she took while wearing her baby, feeling a newfound sense of confidence and connection. It was a game-changer.

With this and her new Etsy shop, she worked during her babies’ nap times, turning her home into a small workshop where she made the first 50 wraps.

She didn’t see much success at local craft fairs at first, but the feedback she got from people was incredibly helpful. Deciding to invest a bit more, she chose to hire her favorite photographer instead of using her own camera for product photos. She believed that professional photos could really make her brand stand out, filling in any gaps and helping her dream grow.

  • Navigating Growth and Embracing Change

One of the biggest hurdles for Solly Baby was financial. Starting with a modest loan and zero capital, Elle crafted a business model that relied on pre-orders, effectively having her customers fund the company’s growth. This approach, while slow at first, proved to be a blessing in disguise, allowing Solly Baby to grow sustainably without sacrificing quality or vision.

The turning point came when Elle and her husband decided to join forces, bringing his business acumen into the mix. This partnership, along with the addition of their first employee, propelled Solly Baby into a new phase of growth. Sales soared, and what once seemed like a lofty dream quickly turned into a reality, with the company hitting the $1 million mark in sales.

  • Beyond a Side Hustle: A Flourishing Brand

Today, Solly Baby stands as a beacon of success in the ecommerce world, with annual revenues reaching up to $20 million. Elle’s journey from crafting wraps in her living room to leading a company that has touched the lives of millions is a powerful reminder of the possibilities that lie in ecommerce.

What makes this story so captivating is not just the financial success but the impact Solly Baby has had on families around the world. Elle’s vision of creating a product that enhances the bond between parent and child has resonated deeply, making Solly Baby a household name among those seeking quality, comfort, and style.

Elle Rowley’s story is a shining example of how a simple idea, rooted in solving a personal need, can evolve into a successful ecommerce business. It highlights the importance of creativity, perseverance, and the willingness to take calculated risks. For anyone dreaming of starting their ecommerce journey or taking their online business to new heights, Solly Baby’s story is a beacon of inspiration. It’s a testament to the fact that with the right approach, dedication, and support systems like Sellvia, achieving success in the ecommerce space is within reach. Let this story be your motivation to turn your ideas into reality, to innovate, and to create products that resonate with your audience. Your ecommerce success story starts now.

Elevate Your Ecommerce Store with Sellvia’s Best-Sellers

Starting an ecommerce venture has never been more accessible or profitable, especially when you have Sellvia as your partner. By choosing products that have already proven to be hits, you can skip the extensive product development phase and dive straight into making significant profits.

Let’s explore some of Sellvia’s standout offerings that could become the cornerstone of your online store’s success.

  • Electric Baby Cradle Rocker


Price for You: $199.00
Your Possible Retail Price: $399.99
Your Possible Profit: $200.99

Welcome your customers to a world of peaceful nights with the Electric Baby Cradle Rocker. This game-changer for new parents offers a multifunctional solution that serves as a bedside bed, portable crib, and splicable big bed, all powered by a gentle, electric rocking motion. It’s designed to ensure babies drift off into the most comfortable sleep, making it an indispensable addition to modern nurseries.

  • Baby White Noise Machine


Price for You: $19.52
Retail Price: $252.65
Your Possible Profit: $233.13

The Baby White Noise Machine is more than a sleep aid; it’s a pathway to tranquil bedtime rituals. With 28 natural sounds and a warm night light, this device creates a soothing environment that promotes restful sleep for babies. Its ear-safe design and myriad of features make it a must-have for parents seeking a harmonious sleep solution.

  • Multi-Function Diaper Bag


Price for You: $15.75
Retail Price: $68.49
Your Profit: $52.74

Offer the perfect blend of style, functionality, and convenience with the Multi-Function Diaper Bag. This chic bag is designed to cater to the needs of on-the-go parents, providing a sleek, organized way to carry all essentials. Its compact size and thoughtful design make it an essential accessory for any parent.

  • Diaper Bag Backpack with Foldable Baby Bed


Price for You: $23.30
Retail Price: $56.49
Your Profit: $33.19

Introduce your customers to the ultimate in convenience and style with the Diaper Bag Backpack with Foldable Baby Bed. This innovative product combines a diaper bag, a waterproof travel bag, and a USB charge port with a foldable baby bed, offering everything parents need in one stylish package.

  • Unicorn Plush Bean Bag


Price for You: $12.56
Retail Price: $65.49
Your Profit: $52.93

Bring magic and comfort into children’s rooms with the Unicorn Plush Bean Bag. More than just a place to sit, it’s a cozy companion that invites kids to read, play, or relax in a plush, magical environment. This bean bag is a perfect addition to any child’s space, offering both style and comfort.

  • Baby Swaddle Sleeping Bag


Price for You: $5.25
Retail Price: $27.49
Your Profit: $22.24

Ensure your customers’ babies stay warm and safe with the Baby Swaddle Sleeping Bag. Designed for the colder months, this product features a thickened design and anti-jump features, making it a crucial part of any baby’s bedtime routine.

  • Baby Activity Play Mat


Price for You: $20.62
Retail Price: $51.95
Your Profit: $31.33

Promote development and play with the Baby Activity Play Mat. This soft, plush mat provides a comfortable space for babies to explore and grow, making it an essential item for early development stages.

  • Comfy Cotton Ribbed Baby Leggings


Price for You: $2.28
Retail Price: $19.95
Your Profit: $17.67

Combine comfort and style for your little ones with the Comfy Cotton Ribbed Baby Leggings. Perfect for any occasion, these leggings are a must-have for parents seeking a stylish yet practical option for their babies.

  • Baby Cute Bear Shoe Socks


Price for You: $3.86
Retail Price: $20.49
Your Profit: $16.63

Add warmth and cuteness to any baby’s wardrobe with the Baby Cute Bear Shoe Socks. These socks offer a perfect blend of style, comfort, and functionality, making them an adorable and practical choice for little feet.

  • Baby Monitor with Mobile App Control


Price for You: $80.57
Retail Price: $226.80
Your Profit: $146.23

Offer unparalleled peace of mind to parents with the state-of-the-art Wireless Baby Monitor. Equipped with a high-definition screen and full camera control, this device ensures parents can keep a watchful eye on their little ones at all times.

Launching your successful online business with Sellvia


Ever dreamed of starting an online business that not only aligns with your passion but also brings in substantial profits? Sellvia is your gateway to making this dream a reality. Whether you’re drawn to baby-centric products or any other niche, Sellvia is the ultimate platform to kickstart your profitable online venture.

  • Build Your Dream Store with Sellvia

Choosing Sellvia means you’re not just launching any online store – you’re creating a unique digital space that reflects your vision and business objectives. We stock your store with in-demand dropshipping products, setting you up for immediate online buzz and success.

Our team ensures your ecommerce site is not just live but flourishing. With sleek, engaging designs, we make your store a place where customers love to spend their time and money.

  • Navigating Your Store with Ease

Sellvia’s platform is designed to make managing your online store as easy as enjoying a leisurely day out. From order management to product updates and customer interactions, everything is streamlined for your convenience, no matter where your customers are in the world.

Our extensive product catalog comes with detailed descriptions that enhance your marketing efforts, while our fulfillment center focuses on speed, ensuring your customers enjoy fast delivery times.

  • Big Earnings with Top-Selling Products


Our expert market research team focuses on identifying the most profitable and high-demand dropshipping products. This means lucrative margins for you without the hassle. Here’s what sets Sellvia apart in supercharging your ecommerce journey:

  • Curated Product Selection: Dive into our exclusive collection of top-quality, high-demand products that seamlessly fit your store’s theme.
  • Profitable Sales Process: Maximize your revenue with every sale, thanks to our strategic pricing and sales tactics.
  • Efficient Reordering System: Restock your bestsellers at lower costs, boosting your profit margins with every order.
  • Streamlined Fulfillment Services: From packaging to shipping, we handle it all, ensuring fast and reliable delivery to your customers.

Ready to make your mark in the ecommerce world? With Sellvia, you get more than an online store; you gain a dedicated partner in your journey to success. Seize the opportunity to build a thriving online business that meets the needs and desires of customers across various niches. Embark on your ecommerce adventure with Sellvia today and watch as your business reaches unprecedented heights.

by Denis K.
Denis is a copywriter at Sellvia. Having graduated from the Faculty of International Business as a specialist in advertising, he explores the rapidly changing and evolving digital marketing industry and feels committed to sharing his findings with a wider reader’ audience.
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