Cabaïa

“In terms of payments, I was looking for a solution that could support us internationally.”

Interview with Émilien Foiret — co-founder at Cabaïa.

Cabaïa

Beanies with interchangeable pompoms: that’s how Cabaïa started. Today, the French brand is still growing, taking its ethical business values international.
Émilien Foiret, CMO and co-founder of Cabaïa, tells us the story of the pompom brand.

Plenty more beanies in the sea

It all started back in 2015 when Bastien lost the beanie his grandmother had knitted for him. He tried looking for a replacement, but all the beanies he found were dull and of a low quality. That’s when Bastien and Émilien came up with the idea of Cabaïa, a brand of beanies with colourful patterns, just like the one Bastien’s grandmother had knitted, only this time they had detachable bobbles.

“To try out our idea, we started with a kiosk in a Parisian mall,” explains Émilien. “That’s how we came up with the idea of a beanie bar. One day and 100 beanies sold later, we decided to dedicate ourselves 100% to Cabaïa! And today, Cabaïa isn’t just beanies anymore: we’ve got socks, bags, flip-flops and a whole lot of fun, quality accessories made with love and above all with a positive impact!

Colourful Cabaïa socks

The ethical brand under the bobble

I’ve been horse riding ever since I was 5. I’m all about animal rights, and this is why we partnered with PETA, creating limited-edition collections, the proceeds of which are donated to the organization.

When it comes to how our products are made, we try to be as transparent as we can. We work exclusively with companies that respect their employees and the FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION standards. We’ve built a privileged relationship with our different partners, and we try to visit them as much as we can.
Ninety percent of our products are made in Europe, which reduces shipping and emissions. For the remaining 10% of our production, we favor shipping by boat.

When it comes to materials, we try as much as possible to use environmentally friendly or recycled materials, like recycled rubber for our flip-flops or threads made of recycled bottles for our beanies.

“We never throw anything away, whether it’s unsold articles or imperfect-but-usable products: we partner with organisations who make sure to give out to people in need.”

Émilien Foiret co-founder at Cabaïa

These ethics are part of the brand’s DNA and aim at creating the fashion of the future: committed, fun, and responsible.

Selecting colours in the Cabaïa workshop

Cabaïa: online, pop-up and international

The retail sector is quite old school. Strategy-wise, we try to play the creativity card. Today, our business divides into three sales channels: resellers (30%), pop-up stores (30%), and e-commerce (40%).

Our story, which was a national story at first, is gradually becoming an international one. We recently launched an English website, on which Mollie handles the payments.

This coming winter, we aim to get 30% of our income from this English website and 70% from our French website.

Of course, this growth also comes with its challenges! Expanding our range of products to build customer loyalty is one, for instance. Or internationalising to countries such as Germany, Switzerland, the UK or the Benelux, which requires a fairly substantial investment in terms of marketing, since you have to find the right message and then localise it.

Our European customers are discovering a website and a brand they don’t know. To create a climate of trust and to build customer loyalty, we decided to provide them with the payment methods they are used to.

“We need to adapt to the habits and customs of the countries we are expanding to, which is why the question of payments quite naturally arose.”

Émilien Foiret co-founder at Cabaïa

The entire Cabaïa Team, ready for new projects

“I did quite a lot of research, and we ended up choosing Mollie because, in addition to offering all the local payment methods we needed to expand abroad, Mollie also integrated into Shopify Plus.”

Émilien Foiret co-founder at Cabaïa

The start of an international story with Mollie

Integrating Mollie didn’t require the help of a developer: we did it with our sales team. We were a bit reluctant about it at first, but everything went smoothly! After testing the integration with the Test API Keys, we quickly went live with the European website.

Using the module is extremely easy: the dashboard is very intuitive, you can activate and deactivate payment methods as you see fit. And the customisable payment page is a big plus! Especially for a brand launching in new markets, like ours.
The support offered by Mollie also makes a difference. They are proactive, and always there when we have questions.

Beanie product information sheet on Cabaïa.com

Now, if I had to give some advice regarding the international launch, I’d say study which countries would be the most interesting for you according to your product and the local competition. Prepare your team for multilingual management and don’t think that duplicating what has worked in your country will be enough. And above all, surround yourself with agile people who will help you in your expansion.

I highly recommend Mollie, especially for companies that want to go international. It’s fast, easy to integrate, and intuitive. Beanies off to them!

“I highly recommend Mollie, especially for companies that want to go international because it’s fast, simple, and intuitive.”

Émilien Foiret co-founder at Cabaïa

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