Paul Valentine went headless to help sell in 131 countries across 20 global stores

Previous platform

Shopify

Industry

Fashion and apparel

Use case

Global commerce, Apps and integrations

Three female models wearing Paul Valentine watches

In 2015, Paul and Marlene Franzreb—brother and sister, then aged 21 and 19, with barely more than $15,000 in seed funding—channeled their passion for jewelry, accessories, and ecommerce into a business. Little did they know that in the first year, their new brand Paul Valentine would earn more than $300,000 in revenue, leading the siblings to drop out of university in Germany and focus on the company full time.

Success came in rapid order. Within two years, the company eclipsed $10 million in annual revenue, but Paul Valentine knew it could reach greater heights by reaching a global audience. With Shopify Plus, Paul Valentine has been able to:

  • Sell in 131 countries, via 20 global stores
  • Serve customers in 12 currencies across eight different languages
  • Institute headless commerce to reach new markets fast and easy

Challenge

In Germany, Paul Valentine had a strong home base with dedicated customers and followers, but the team knew that at some point further growth within the market would stall. The business had to set its sights toward internationalization, to launching across the globe with speed and agility.

In doing this, Paul Valentine started to realize the significant challenges and hurdles that arise when trying to navigate multiple markets at the same time. The goal was ambitious but an absolute must for its founders:

Paul Valentine would become a truly global brand.

A page of the Paul Valentine website showcasing handbags

As a European company, you have to expand to other markets quickly. Every time you do that, you are facing issues with language, currency, payment providers, and even delivery. Every ecommerce company in Europe is facing this, and you always need to consider and implement specific solutions to solve each of these challenges.

Paul FranzrebCo-founder and CEO, Paul Valentine

Solution

Paul Valentine used Shopify Plus to launch five global stores spanning across Europe and North America.

With a mind toward offering a fully localized and translated store for each of its new geographies, no two Paul Valentine sites are precisely the same. German customers, for example, get an experience tailored for them, while North American customers also are served up an experience appropriate for the market.

Open jewelry boxes on a table with watches, bracelets, and rings inside

To make internationalization even easier, Paul Valentine is using Shopify Plus to launch headless commerce—the decoupling of its front- and back-end systems to offer a more customized customer experience.

This will streamline Paul Valentine’s internationalization process, enabling both brands to launch quickly in new markets and to offer to sell in up to 131 countries across multiple languages and currencies. Going headless will allow the team to free up time currently spent juggling multiple global stores and managing international infrastructure.

International expansion is very important for European brands, however it also comes with a lot of challenges. We know that headless is the right solution for Paul Valentine to accelerate and grow the brand, increase localization, and continue to expand internationally.

Paul FranzrebCo-founder and CEO, Paul Valentine

Results

In line with its ambition to become a global brand, Paul Valentine is now undeniably that.

Today, it ships to 131 countries via 20 global stores—in 12 currencies—and its site is translated now into eight languages with more to come. Paul Valentine has also expanded into its sparkling new headquarters in Germany, while Paul and Marlene Franzreb also now preside over a sister brand, Faye, selling elegant jewelry.

A woman in sunlight holding her hand up against her face wearing a gold bracelet, necklace, and earrings
A woman resting her head against her hand wearing a watch and bracelet

Its move to headless will truly supercharge its global efforts, providing a fast conduit to new markets without sapping the company’s internal resources to get there.

“With headless,” says Paul Franzreb, “we’ll be able to easily manage multiple languages and translate pages organically so our team has more time to focus on what our brands are all about—bringing amazing and affordable products to our customers to complete their outfit, boost their confidence, and make them happy.”

As you grow, Shopify Plus will grow with you—you don’t have to worry about server capacity. Shopify Plus handles everything, and we can focus on our customers and our brand.

Paul FranzrebCo-founder and CEO, Paul Valentine

Find out how Paul Valentine and top brands are breaking boundaries and sales records with Shopify Plus.

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