Entrepreneurship is something that many are afraid of, or something that they feel is a far fetch for them. I’m sure that you all know the saying: “You can do anything that you put your mind to.” Well, this is becoming more of a reality with the help of Kitsy Lane.
Kitsy Lane is made up of a community of Boutique Owners (from stay-at-home moms to professional stylists and even celebrities) who customize their own online storefronts, curating jewelry and accessories from on-trend and up-and-coming designers to sell in weekly flash sales. They simply provide the platform (by the way, our innovative marketing platform is first-of-its-kind), pay the commissions, and securely handle all the orders.
At FashInvest, we had a chance to interview one of the driving forces behind this unique concept, Andy Fox, CEO of Kitsy Lane.
Andy Fox has some interesting experience and is no stranger to entrepreneurship. He was Founder, CEO of North East Telecommunications (Voice Processing Services); which was sold to Phoenix Media, Founder, CEO of Technically Speaking (Voice Processing Platforms); sold to Brooktrout (BRKT), Founder, CEO of iConverse (Mobile); sold to Infoclarus, and Founder, CEO of imidio (Collaboration); sold to Sitescape. Andy also served as CTO at Sitescape (Collaboration) which was sold to Novell and lastly he served as VP of Product mgmt., Novell.
When asked about the inspiration behind Kitsy Lane, Andy stated: “My wife hosted a trunk show at our home. I’d never seen one before. I noticed how everyone was having fun, helping each other pick things out and virtually everyone made a purchase. I was immediately sold on the power of social selling and the personal shopping experience. After thinking about it and interviewing some of the reps, I thought I could leverage the social aspects of the internet to create a similar experience online that would be easier to operate and potentially grow faster.”
Kitsy Lane has accomplished so much within its five months of existence; Fox believes that Kitsy Lane is compelling to would be Boutique Owners (Kitsy Lane’s term for their sellers). There are so many women who would love to own their own little business or make some extra income. Many are busy with school, or kids, or have a fulltime job. Kitsy Lane has come along and created an opportunity that’s free, fun, easy, and with step-by-step guides and education and also believes that it’s a great community of people. Fox states: “I also think the end customer is getting a personalized service and a social shopping experience that doesn’t exist in online retail today.”
When asked about marketing strategies for Kitsy Lane, Fox stated: “We use a number of vehicles to acquire Boutique Owners: search, job postings, etc. More interestingly, we provide our Boutique Owners with a number of social selling tools to grow their business, and promote and drive sales. We offer several modules that integrate with Facebook and Twitter. We also have integrations with Pinterest, and Tumblr. The platform provides an email marketing tool, and components to create programs for invitations, reminders, product recommendations, weekly flash sales, game-based advertising. We even offer offline tools such as flyer and business card creation. Our goal is to provide our Boutique Owners with the newest and most effective of social marketing tools. You’ll see more in the future, all of these tools are free for the Boutique Owner.” Thus far, Kitsy Lane’s Facebook and email tools have been most successful as far as marketing strategies.
Kitsy Lane was originally funded with a seed round from Point Judith Capital, and a number of Angels in the Boston area. Just last week, the company announced receiving $3.5 million in seed funding, which will be used for general growth and platform improvements.
When asked about the future of Kitsy Lane, Fox stated: “We are focused on making both the shopping experience and the selling experience the best it can be. We’ll be adding a number of vehicles to help the Boutique Owner grow their customer bases’ and drive sales.
We will be expanding the product categories. We haven’t yet made a decision to carry apparel.”
By Lolita A. Alford