A Former Tech Exec Bought a DTC Store and Shared What She’s Planning

  • Suchi Jain Saxena left the tech world to pursue e-commerce entrepreneurship.
  • She used Flippa to buy Customcuff, a direct-to-consumer brand selling customizable jewelry.
  • Jain Saxena told Insider about how she brought her tech background to running a DTC brand.

Suchi Jain Saxena admittedly didn’t have a ton of e-commerce expertise when she decided to buy the direct-to-consumer store Customcuff earlier this year.

She had spent her career scaling global sales and operations teams at tech companies like Cisco and NetApp. Most recently, she was a senior director of strategy and operations at Palo Alto Networks. 

But about five months ago, she decided it was time to leave the tech world and try something new on her own. 

“I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I always had this desire to scratch my entrepreneurial itch,” Jain Saxena said. “I knew that things won’t be easy, but I was prepared for this roller-coaster ride to build something of my own.”

She used the online-business marketplace Flippa to buy Customcuff, a Shopify-powered store selling custom jewelry like bracelets, necklaces, and rings. Shoppers at Customcuff can add engravings like initials, coordinates, and zodiac signs to their jewelry.

Jain Saxena is one of many entrepreneurs who are buying established e-commerce stores, rather than starting their own. Insider previously spoke with John Chen, a serial entrepreneur who has bought a handful of small online businesses, grown their sales, and then resold them, all using Flippa. 

Flippa CEO Blake Hutchison said the platform attracted several kinds of buyers. That includes buyers who want to fix up a business and resell it, similar to people who flip homes in the real-estate market. Others are people like Jain Saxena who are interested in entrepreneurship but not necessarily in building a brand from scratch or in reselling it later. 

“Instead of starting from zero and growing to one, you’re starting at five and growing to 10,” Hutchison said. “You’ve got all of the traction, all of the energy and enthusiasm that’s come from building that brand before your time.”

‘It’s not just another off-the-shelf type of product’

Custom Cuff sells custom engraved jewelry like bracelets

Customcuff sells custom engraved jewelry like bracelets.

Custom Cuff

While this is Jain Saxena’s first foray into e-commerce, she said that her tech background came in handy when evaluating Customcuff’s business and getting it set on a new path. Her past roles have been all about solving problems and finding efficient solutions, while growing businesses at a large scale. 

“I was looking for certain attributes when it comes to ROI, when it comes to the scaled growth, when it comes to the specific product-market fit — things that I would look at in my previous life, just having to do with e-commerce, as opposed to tech and software,” Jain Saxena said.

She said Customcuff fit the bill. 

“It’s not just another off-the-shelf type of product,” she said. “I was looking for something unique.”

Customcuff generated about $3.6 million in gross sales and had more than 73,000 orders in 2021, which Insider verified with screenshots of the store’s Shopify dashboard. Jain Saxena said her goal for 2022 was $5 million in sales. 

The process of buying Customcuff did involve some back-and-forth with its two founders, Jain Saxena said. Like in the real-estate market, she added, there are often emotions and subjectivity at play when selling or buying a business. Flippa helped with the due-diligence process. Jain Saxena declined to say how much she paid for Customcuff.

Once the purchase was complete, her first order of business was automating all of its processes, like inventory management and fulfillment. She said that with the new systems she’d set up, the brand could fulfill orders from more than 70 countries within a seven-day window.

She also prioritized streamlining all of her data into one dashboard so that she could have a single source of truth when making decisions. 

“The fundamentals of how I approach problem-solving on the sales and strategy and operation sides in my tech world is really what I’m applying here,” she said.

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