Tough times for Soda Shades as influencer start-up folds into administration with debts of $2.3m

Tough times for Soda Shades as influencer start-up folds into administration with debts of $2.3m

Photo courtesy of Soda Shades website.

Sunglasses brand Soda Shades, which was once part-owned by the social media influencer and entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith and her partner Josh Miller, has entered administration.

KordaMentha Restructuring’s Rahul Goyal and Kate Conneely have been appointed as voluntary administrators, with the company facing debts of $2.3 million after the current global supply chain crisis significantly hit its operations.   

With a revenue of $1.3 million in FY21 and 50,000 followers on Instagram, Soda Shades sells its products through its own website and online fashion retailers, including The Iconic.

The eyewear brand was preparing for domestic growth and overseas expansion when the COVID-19 pandemic threw the business off course.

“Soda Shades is an exciting Australian brand with a strong runway for growth. Unfortunately, the business came unstuck due to supply chain issues,” Goyal said.

The administrators are due to present their findings by the end of August, with a decision due on the future of the business expected in the first week of September.

Goyal confirmed that any potential business sale would include its core stock, new product lines, intellectual property, social media, and brand name.  

The business has marketing material for both core and new product lines ready for immediate use, allowing any prospective purchaser to quickly capitalise on current stock for a sales campaign in the upcoming Australian summer.  

“We expect there will be a high level of interest in purchasing such a fresh label. We have quality stock on hand, marketing ready to roll out, and a significant social media following. This is a great opportunity for any interested buyer,” Goyal said.

Claire Smith, now known as Steph Miller, left the business some time ago with her husband following her through the exit door more recently.

Soda Shades committed to full sustainability practices last December, which led to significant operational changes in the business and meant working with more expensive suppliers.

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