Sometimes shopping is just better when you can drag along a friend with great taste. As far as access to reliable shopping partners goes, Brandon Holley has had it pretty good. During her tenure as editor-in-chief of Lucky, she had a whole magazine full of market editors to lean on for advice, a workplace benefit that came in handy on more than one occasion.
Holley also found that it was a motivating way to shop — better, say, than the blunt-force approach taken by most e-commerce sites, which involves a lot of targeted advertising based on products you've looked at or dropped into your cart. So after leaving Lucky, Holley recruited the help of a technical co-founder and got to work building an app that takes women on a much more human shopping journey. Called Everywear, it connects users with stylists to help them shop based on what's already in their closets. If you've ever entered a retail-induced fugue state in which you can't remember what you already own and wind up buying something superfluous and/or stupid, you might see the utility here.
To help stylists understand what someone is already working with, new users are asked to go through a series of wardrobe staples like striped shirts and black camisoles, tagging whether they own them or not. Through the app's messaging system, the stylist can find new items and demonstrate how they'll work with the rest of the shopper's closet, learning about her taste in the process.
Everywear, which is still in beta, isn't the only styling-as-a-service startup on the scene. There's Keaton Row, Stitch Fix, Trunk Club for the guys, and the list goes on. But despite the clear competition, early results seem encouraging. Holley says that each of the stylists on her team is selling about $1,000 in merchandise a day, and that out of every 100 people, 30 wind up making a purchase. And they're willing to pay full price for the goods, she says, presumably because they've been made to see their full styling potential.
The aim down the line is to sign a variety of retailers as partners, whose products stylists will be able to pick from. If Everywear can keep up the kind of conversion rates it's seeing now, those deals shouldn't be too hard to nail down.