This online purveyor of children’s toys used Instagram to build a large community of young parents who share its unique products, ultimately increasing its end-of-year holiday sales by 2.8X compared to the previous year.

Toys for the ages

Founded in 2017, Milton & Goose sells heirloom-quality toys that embody modern aesthetics and that are made in the US with top-quality wood. The company got its start when founder Shari Raymond was unable to find a play kitchen for her one-year-old son that met her standards.


of customers discovered Milton & Goose on Instagram1


increase in fourth-quarter holiday sales over previous year


increase in 2018 Black Friday sale over previous year


of unique visitors to website referred by Instagram or Facebook (fourth quarter 2018)

To say our business was built on Instagram is not an overstatement. This is how so many of our customers found us. We launched in July 2017 with zero followers and didn't realize at the time what a big role Instagram would play in the success of the business. It has led us to incredible media exposure, key contacts and retail opportunities.
Engaging and converting potential customers

Since M&G’s products start at $400, few people will buy them on impulse. On average, shoppers interact with the brand four times before they purchase. Therefore, M&G needed to continuously build a following of potential customers and create a journey that captures their imagination.

Mixing it up on Instagram

To reach more potential customers and ensure that M&G would stay top of mind among people who already knew the brand, Shari turned to Instagram. Instagram was ideal for showcasing the brand, particularly when kids were pictured playing with its child-sized kitchen and furniture. Shari has found that posts don’t have to be long: short and sweet can draw strong engagement, as long as the pictures are good.

Shari encourages customers to engage with the brand after their purchase. When M&G ships an order, it drops a card into the package to inspire customers to share photos of their product experience and tag the brand. These crowdsourced images (carefully chosen because of the sensitive nature of sharing images of children) are some of M&G’s most valuable promotional content, as they show real kids playing with M&G’s products “in the wild.” When people see fellow customers bringing the products into their homes, it creates trust in the brand. And when customers tag their photos with @miltonandgoose, Shari can reshare the photos on the company’s Instagram account, which feeds directly into the Milton & Goose website.

Instagram has provided broad exposure for M&G, and Shari estimates that about 50% of her customers discover the brand on the platform.

A strong holiday finish

To ramp up for the critical year-end selling season, Shari wanted to reach more young parents by partnering with Instagram influencers before her Black Friday sale. Shari avoids paid partnerships because she wanted to work with influencers who genuinely want to champion M&G products after trying them.

One of the holiday partners was photographer Laura Izumikawa Choi, who was already familiar with M&G from Instagram. Laura shared an image on Instagram of her daughter playing with M&G’s play kitchen and included this product in her 2018 Holiday Gift Guide, leading to a spike in the traffic to the company’s website over three days.

This buzz around M&G led to it being included in other gift guides, which Shari promoted through other Stories as well. As a result of her efforts and ad campaigns across Instagram:

  • 50% of customers discovered Milton & Goose on Instagram2

  • 2.8X increase in fourth-quarter holiday sales compared to previous year

  • 4.6X increase in 2018 Black Friday sale compared to previous year

  • 38% of unique visitors to website were referred by Instagram or Facebook (fourth quarter of 2018)

We cannot compete with the big brands that invest millions into their children’s lines, so being able to get massive exposure on Instagram and Facebook without much of a marketing budget is priceless. The user-generated content that our customers share on Instagram has been such a windfall; they’re better than anything we could have done ourselves and gives us instant credibility.