Merchant Spotlight: Sam & Sage

Sam & Sage is a South African baby, toddler and kids lifestyle brand loved for its prints, playful graphics, bold colour palette and delicate cotton-blend fabrics. Payflex speaks to one of their founders Judy Shifren to find out more about how their brand was born, their journey into eCommerce, why Payflex has worked so well for them commercially, and what they’ve learnt.

Can you tell us a bit more about Sam & Sage and how you began?

After becoming a grandmother, I would watch my daughter becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of ‘trendy’ and  ‘easy going’ children’s wear in the South African market. She wanted something she could put her toddler into that had no zips, buttons, or velcro.  We began looking at creating a lifestyle brand that offered variety of easy to wear and unfussy unisex styles for kids. From there, Sam & Sage was born and we have not looked back since.  From newborn up to age six, Sam & Sage has fast become the cool moms’ go-to local brand.

Let’s talk about Sam & Sage’s journey into eCommerce

Prior to Sam & Sage, my business partner and I had our first venture into eCommerce in 2017,  when we sourced and brought in a brand of neoprene tote bags from Australia. The initial response was exceptional which gave us key insights into the true power of the eCommerce space.

When Sam & Sage was born in March 2020, we decided to take the lessons learnt from our previous venture, and apply them to our marketing and eCommerce strategy for Sam & Sage. The fashion industry is super fast-paced. You have to constantly evaluate your offering and understand rapidly changing demands. Despite launching in the height of lockdown, we have seen an amazing uptick in traffic in a considerably short space of time.  We are continually learning and examining ways to further our eCommerce presence. 

What makes Sam & Sage different in a crowded marketplace?

There is a limit to what you can find when it comes to baby and toddler apparel in South Africa. Sam & Sage fills this gap and sets itself apart with its tactile-friendly, unisex and highly fashion forward clothing range. Our focus is on offering kids something comfortable and easy-to-wear, something they can move in.  

Why did you bring Payflex onboard?

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated not only South Africa’s economy, but the global economy. Consumers are taking unprecedented strain. By onboarding Payflex, we want to give them an opportunity to purchase what they want for their children or loved ones while still giving them breathing space when it comes to payments. Payflex therefore gives a far larger audience the opportunity to access and enjoy our beautiful brand. 

What are your future plans for Sam & Sage?

Our goal is to create a one-stop shopping platform for moms, babies, and toddlers. By constantly listening to moms’ needs and wants and applying that to our brand, we hope to carve out a niche for ourselves in the South African eCommerce space. We would also like to ultimately bring the brand to a global platform. We have had two successful shipments into Australia so far, and are hoping for many more in the near future.