“A Competitive Niche” and Founder Karen Klopp
Did you know that the average woman spends one year of their life trying to figure out what to wear? Karen Klopp, the Founder of What 2 Wear Where, found this fact from the London Telegraph astonishing. From a simple glance, What 2 Wear Where seems like it’s just another Women’s Fashion Blog, however the New York-based startup that was founded in 2009 is more than just a blog, it has become a lifestyle brand and a destination shopping website that combines a daily blog and digital shopping to guide and help today’s women dress for different aspects of today’s working world. What 2 Wear Where was one of the companies featured at our FashInvest Speed Dating Event, and is looking for funding to build its brand, contacts, and name. Although the company is considered to be a startup, the company has grown to become a styling tool for its working women niche. Klopp has big plans for the company as it is about to celebrate its 3rd Anniversary.
Klopp realizes, like most fashionistas, that there is an outfit for every occasion. Whether it’s a fly-fishing outing, or a charity gala, Klopp has created a concept to help women 35 and over dress for the occasion while as she says, “cater to the classic and chic look.” Klopp refers to her venture as “Classic, Chic, and Reliable,” and she finds her icon to be Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, to whom she states “You can’t go wrong if you keep it classic and chic and simple.” Although “the big three” act as inspiration, Klopp also finds inspiration around the streets of New York City, she states, “because it’s New York City, the women always look great.”
What 2 Wear Where has found their niche, bringing them a definite competitive edge “Where not trying to be all things to all people, we’ve recognized who are client is, it’s the town and country crowd.”. As Klopp states, “We’re the only site where you can get a beautiful evening gown and a fly-fishing outfit, it’s a little bit of everything.” Although What 2 Wear Where has found their niche, Klopp has found that younger women in their twenties have found an interest in the brand and site to find what to wear to certain events, specifically for inspiration and not necessarily for shopping purposes. For example, Klopp has found that it has become a useful tool for women who are new to the New York working world, and need to know the trends and “What to Wear Where.”
The site itself has a range of different style editors that write different style pieces on what to wear for different events in life such as a Safari, Corporate Life, Soccer Mom, Day to Evening Outfits. The fashion editors include, Hilary Dick, Jill Fairchild, Kick Kennedy, Kalliope Karella, Mary Darling, Leslie Johnson, Nicole Hanley, Vanessa Diserio, Simone Mailman, and Anisha Lakhani. Klopp notes that What 2 Wear Where is constantly being updated and that “in this day in time you can’t stand still or you just go backwards.” Over the past three years, the company has focused on honing the brand look, and getting the site up to par. The site itself sells items that are hand selected products through their Editors Pick page, and also sells items through other stores ranging from Bergdorf’s to Target reaching all budgets in the market.
There is a perk to signing up and purchasing from the site. What 2 Wear Where has a Charity of the Month and for every person who signs up a dollar is donated to that charity. The company has donated to charities such as the American Cancer Society, BCNY, CHOP, and more. About 10% off all commissions go to the charity as well.
Klopp is “always looking for opportunities,” and is looking to raise financing for her young yet growing company. She wants to further the branding, marketing, and connections of her site and turn it into a brand itself. She wants to create “personal connections” with other brands and companies. She stated, “I’d like to get a little more help in the marketing and branding, that’s exactly why I attended the FashInvest speed dating event.” With expansion come exposing the idea to other markets as well, “We have identified the tastemakers and influencers in the major cities U.S., Hong Kong, and Shanghai. We would like to use the same model and roll it out.” She also hopes to create a future Smartphone application, which Klopp states is a “no-brainer.”
Currently, the company is exposing itself in various different aspects. What 2 Wear Where has a column running Quest Magazine called “What the Chairs Wear” that is published both on the site and in the magazine. It features different charity events and the “fantasy outfit.” The startup is also writing a monthly article for Huffington Post, and has also been featured in a segment about “accessibly priced fashion” on Good Day New York. Like any other startup, Klopp mentioned that the company is utilizing Facebook, twitter, tumble, Pinterest, and Youtube as well. What 2 Wear Where has also been in contact with several other magazines for columns.
What’s next for the 3-year-old startup? Well, a book simply titled, “What 2 Wear Where” is in the works and will go more in detail with the light hearted approach about fashion and style tips that the blog already writes about. Currently, the site has a video series and plans on starting shooting in July on the streets of NYC. The most important venture in the works is a future line of branded travel products that will be sold through the site and in other retail stores, “It will help build the brand, and bring income.” As for What 2 Wear Where, the company has seen enormous growth the women’s digital site and brand has created an easy and helpful technique to helping its prime niche of women. “We take the guestwork out of dressing, the legwork out of shopping, and the panic out packing.”
by Samara Freschman