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Tori Robinson and Leah O’Malley of Boys Lie: “Shopify Plus and Quickbooks Enterprise”

Tori & Leah: Not 5 more important things but your main focus should be on brand awareness. If people are copying you, outside of your team, don’t take it to heart. People can only go where you’ve gone. They don’t know where you’re going, you’re already a step ahead of them. It was a challenge […]

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Tori & Leah: Not 5 more important things but your main focus should be on brand awareness. If people are copying you, outside of your team, don’t take it to heart. People can only go where you’ve gone. They don’t know where you’re going, you’re already a step ahead of them. It was a challenge we had to overcome as the same people we’ve worked in-house with, who have had an incredible amount of knowledge about our brand and what it took to build it out. Are the same people who have mimicked our messaging and designs. Learning to laugh it off and take it as a compliment to our creativity has been a fun challenge as it means we’re doing something right with our brand.


As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Highly Successful E-Commerce Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tori Robinson and Leah O’Malley. They co-founded Boys Lie after they both experienced painful breakups with their ex’s. Through this heartbreak, “Boys Lie” became their daily mantra and a term of endearment they used to build each other back up again. Boys Lie is not just a clothing brand, it’s a community of people learning how to heal.

In 2018, Boys Lie was launched as a cosmetic brand. To go along with their wide range of make-up products, they released two pieces of brand “merch” that soon took off as the most popular pieces. Realizing the potential in furthering their merch, Tori and Leah decided to completely relaunch as a full-on streetwear brand with a limited-edition drop model which left their fans running at the chance to grab a sweatsuit, tee, tank, or even a beanie before they sold-out… this continues to this day!

Fast forward 2 years later, Tori and Leah have built an unparalleled community of loyal customers. With 100k+ IG followers, Boys Lie has become a celebrity favorite for Gigi Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Dua Lipa, Madison Beer, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Stella Maxwell, and Delilah Belle, among many other notable celebrities and influencers. The brand has become a big player in the loungewear space, and looks forward to expanding their offering into a lifestyle brand in 2021.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Tori & Leah: We co-founded Boys Lie after we both experienced painful breakups with our ex’s. Through our heartbreak, “Boys Lie” became our daily mantra and a term of endearment we used to build each other back up again. Boys Lie is not just a clothing brand, it’s a community of people learning how to heal.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

Tori & Leah: We launched Boys Lie in 2018 as a cosmetic brand. To go along with the wide range of make-up products, we released two pieces of brand “merch” that soon took off as the most popular pieces. Realizing the potential in furthering our merch, we decided to completely relaunch as a full-on streetwear brand with a limited-edition drop model.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Tori & Leah: Boys Lie started out as a cosmetic brand when we launched in 2018. We had a beautiful packaging and products that we truly loved. But we were jumping into the beauty e-commerce business with competition at every corner. Our cosmetic line started to fail and we didn’t see much of a future. At the same time we had our two hoodies, which was the ‘Denim Hoodie’ and the ‘WAYGTDWH’ hoodie. The front of the ‘WAYGTDWH’ hoodie says “What Are You Going to do Without Him?” and the back says “Whatever I want”. The ‘Denim Hoodie’ has an inspirational quote by Carson Patrick Bowie on the back that talks about the importance of knowing your worth and when to walk away. Believe it or not, these hoodies were our biggest hit- much more so than the makeup. We knew we needed to change our business plan and adapt, so we decided to hold our breath and go full throttle with the clothing.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Tori & Leah: Boys Lie has such strong brand DNA and I think that’s what makes us stand out. Tori and I created this brand out of our own heartbreak and Boys Lie became our mantra. We used it as a term of endearment to pull ourselves back up again. We wanted to take our painful experiences and turn it into something beautiful. By creating such strong Brand DNA, we were able to create this tight knit community of people that were all learning how to heal. We always say that everyone has a heartbreak story- whether this be with a partner, a friend, a boss- everyone at some point has felt some kind of pain.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Tori: We like to let our employees have a lot of down time on their weekends and try not to bother them much on off hours. We are lucky to have an incredibly devoted team and I believe by not putting so much pressure on them, they perform better and are more driven. It’s important to have balance between work life and personal life.

Leah: Work life balance is extremely important. You need to set a certain amount of time every day to care for mind and body. If you don’t take this time to reset, it becomes much easier to burn out. I would also recommend to not fixate on the small stuff, it’s not worth it.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Tori: I’m grateful for Leah. Through thick and thin she has stood by my side, it is rare to have someone who is able to put full trust into you and believe in your decisions. I don’t think there are many people who have our kind of working relationship.

Leah: Tori and I have a very unique relationship. We’ve known each other for over 13 years and are extremely lucky with the relationship we have. We’re not blood related, but I look at her as my sister. If I didn’t have her to help get me through some of my darkest times, I don’t know where I’d be right now.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start an eCommerce business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

Leah: We started out as an e-comm cosmetic brand. Our first drop consisted of an overwhelming amount of different skus. We realized really quickly that instead of releasing a full collection of different products, less is more, when you are first getting started. Selling out creates a higher demand because people always want what they can’t have. It saves the business a ton of money on inventory that will be taking up space in your warehouse when it doesn’t sell.

Tori: I think the most common error I have seen in our industry is creating a business that is not properly structured and running with just creativity. Brand DNA is super important but so are the fundamentals of business like accounts payable, receivable, pick & pack, and supply chain are incredibly important factors that go into running a successful business. If you can not maintain your expenses and be aware of the black and white pieces, while balancing the creative, you will not have strong pillars in your foundation to lead your business up the ladder of success.

In your experience, which aspect of running an eCommerce brand tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?

Leah: Nowadays, everything is done via mobile or online. With the pivot of our current pandemic, going to a physical store to shop is out of the question for most people. Optimizing your mobile/online strategy increases your sales dramatically — people want things and they want them quickly. There are even apps where you can try things on virtually!

Can you share a few examples of tools or software that you think can dramatically empower emerging eCommerce brands to be more effective and more successful?

Tori: Shopify Plus and Quickbooks Enterprise

Leah: Adding to Tori’s answer, using Slack as our line of communication with your employees and Asana to manage current and upcoming projects.

Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that an eCommerce business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?

Tori: Brand DNA creates trust. Sticking to the core values of the brand and having accountability keeps for a positive reputation. More importantly when collaborating with other people, it doesn’t take much to be kind no matter what status your brand has grown too. Be good to the people you work with, be good to the people who are interested in what you are doing and be good to the people who don’t cheer you on. If you are trustworthy and genuine to your audience, it is likely that what you are building will be too.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a very successful e-commerce business? Please share a story or an example for each.

Tori & Leah: Not 5 more important things but your main focus should be on brand awareness. If people are copying you, outside of your team, don’t take it to heart. People can only go where you’ve gone. They don’t know where you’re going, you’re already a step ahead of them. It was a challenge we had to overcome as the same people we’ve worked in-house with, who have had an incredible amount of knowledge about our brand and what it took to build it out. Are the same people who have mimicked our messaging and designs. Learning to laugh it off and take it as a compliment to our creativity has been a fun challenge as it means we’re doing something right with our brand.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Tori & Leah: We’ve already started a movement. We are selling something you can’t put a price tag on. When people wear our clothes they are physically wearing their heart on their sleeves like armor. Boys Lie isn’t about hating boys. It’s about overcoming hurdles in relationship experiences or life experiences that have left you heartbroken. It’s about what you are going to do with that heartbreak and how you are going to turn it into something remarkable. Boys Lie’s movement has created a community of people who are learning how to heal. You’re not alone in what you’re going through and we are here to pick you up on dark days.

How can our readers further follow you online?

@reptar on instagram

@leahomalley on instagram

Boyslieofficial.com

@boyslie on instagram

@boyslie on tiktok

@boyslieofficial on twitter

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

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