After formally relaunching Del Toro with a robust new collection earlier this year, CEO Andrew Roberts is hitting his stride.
The NYC-based entrepreneur, and avid Del Toro fan, purchased the company as part of a group of investors in late 2019, right before the pandemic gripped the world. After unloading a lot of unnecessary inventory in 2020, Roberts took a start-up approach to rebuilding the business.
Now, with a couple of years under his belt, Roberts is reaping the rewards as the return of weddings, events, and parties have helped grow Del Toro’s budding business. “We’ve received a lot of business through word of mouth this year, which is really a testament to everything we’ve done to perfect our product and customer service experience,” Roberts told FN. “We’re seeing a lot of momentum now.”
Roberts has also been able to circumvent the supply chain headaches a lot of brands are facing this year due to his made in Italy production. “Our supplier and logistics costs have gone up significantly, which has been kind of unavoidable,” Roberts admitted. “But thankfully there haven’t been many delays. We had a limited-edition holiday Milano slip-on launch this season; it would have been a disaster if it had been stuck at the port. But thankfully, we didn’t have any issues getting that in.”
For his latest initiative for the brand, Roberts has launched a new marketplace on the Del Toro website. Called “We Love,” the new site extension features complementary third-party brands that Roberts feels his customers would love. Right now, the platform features art, design, swimwear, accessories and home objects from brands Alberto Prints, Depuis Toujours, Palermo House, and Meriggi. As for how it works, each brand handles their own orders through a linked Shopify account and drop-ship business model. More brands are expected to sign onto the program in 2022.
“Over the past couple of years since I’ve been involved with Del Toro, I found this incredible community of other similar sized brands kind of dealing with the same challenges as we are,” said Roberts. “So, we’re choosing to feature companies with a similar entrepreneurial spirit that also sell products our customers would want in their homes or everyday lives.”
Looking ahead into 2022, Roberts told FN that he wants to focus on growing the business without sacrificing the small business mentality. “What happens with a lot of small companies that see growth is they sacrifice a lot of the tactics that got them to their level of success. I believe we have a responsibility as a wedding supplier to continue to approach every single order with care. That’s really top of my mind right now.”
Expect to also see a continued exploration of colorways throughout Del Toro’s core silhouettes in 2022. More collaborations are also in the works, with one expected in January and another towards the end of the first quarter with a restaurant partner.