Formally, a marketplace for formal clothing was launched in a world that had a huge competitor in the main product of its dress and gown, which was bigger and more elusive than Poshmark: Quarantine.
The coronovirus epidemic has caused fancy-in-person events that anyone can attend, such as award shows, pageants, proms and weddings that must be canceled to spread. But despite the fact that you can sweat more than slacks, Queenly co-founders Trisha Bantazhi and Kathy Zhou say they had half a million in sales last year, and more than 100,000 people visit their website everyday Huh.
“So many women wore clothes just to buy clothes and feel normal at home when everything else around the world was not there,” Bantch said. “It helped him feel stable and stable in this crazy chaotic epidemic environment.” New homes have also been found at canceled events, such as zoom weddings, twitch spectacles, socially distant areas, and graduation car parades. The co-founder said that Content Creators on TicketLock and YouTube have also bought queenly clothes.
The development of the epidemic added a surprising dimension to Queenley’s business, and the Bay Area startup is currently partnering to navigate it at the Y Combinator Winter Cahort. So far, it has raised $ 800,000 to date from investors, including the former COO of Stick Fix, Thuan Pham, former Uber CTO, and Kelsey Thompson, former COO of SAMSClub.com and Walmart.com. The goal, the co-founders tell me, is to become StockX for Formalwear.
There is a market for buying and selling formal dresses, from queenly wedding dresses to pajent gowns. The 50,000 dresses on stage are either new or resale, and sellers are paid 80% of the price that goes for the gown.
According to the co-founders, a part of the company’s biggest sales is its algorithm that matches buyers to clothes. Prior to Queenly, Zhou was a former software engineer at Pintrest who helped build the content creation flow and the back end of the platform. She focused on the same focus that she and her Pinterest colleagues had on data-driven search and development and implemented it at Queenly.
The search engine can go much deeper than a typical dress search on Macy’s can, which can make choices based on size, color, and cut. Conversely, a larger range of Ranilee shapes, with silhouette options and different shades of the same color can help provide a more varied insight.
Last week, a seller sold her wedding dress with a tag that says the black mesh on the dress is for darker skin. Queenly beta-testing is a feature that lets you search for medium skin tone sheer options or dark skin tone sheer options. The team says skin-tone filters are one of the important long-term goals of their search engine.
“These are some of the things we know because we are women, and we know how to make this product for women,” said Zhou. “As opposed to if it was a male founder, they do not know that this is also something that women would search for.”
Currently, there are more than 50,000 dresses for sale on the Ranilee stage, ranging from $ 70 to $ 4,000 and can go up to a size of 32.
With these search insights, Queenlee says it is able to sell clothes within two weeks, claiming that some users say their same clothes were spent five months on the Poshmark platform.
The variety of clothes, from a price and range point of view, is in a way that remains in competition with big retail brands such as Queen Nordstrom.
“Purchasing and moving inventory is very intensive for any startup.” “It was difficult to raise us initially as female minority founders.” As a result, the startup does not maintain a physical inventory of clothes, but instead relies on users to get the dress from owner to buyer. If a dress is less than $ 200, the queen finally sends the buyer a prepaid shipping label to mail directly to the buyer. If a dress exceeds $ 200, Queenley sends the dress directly to the company for light dry cleaning and certification, and then sends it to the user.
Getting users into the transaction process adds a layer of risk because it depends on people what to do for a startup to succeed. The incentive here is that sellers make up 80% of their selling price, and Queenley puts the other 20% in pocket.
The biggest cost of a startup is shipping. To limit these costs, Queenley does not currently accept or honor any returns, unless the dress on arrival is described in the sales post.
While this is a sensational business decision, it can be a nuisance for startups customers. The shapes are complex and inconsistent, so the inability to return a dress can curb a customer’s appetite to buy in the first place.
“We were really worried before, but for two years now, [have not] There were complaints about the downsizing of bureaucracy.
The co-founders state that many buyers are comfortable buying dress-posts, and require sellers to post pictures, so expectations are set pre-purchase. Bantig said that cases of counterfeit brands have not been reported yet.
Queenly’s next plan is to bring boutique stores and dress designers to Queenley partners, a program launched to help small boutique businesses digitize their inventory through the Queenly platform.
“For years, the formalwear industry has been mostly offline, with only big-name players available online,” Bantz said. “We want to change it.”