Allowing Women to Build Their Own Virtual Boutique
With a variety of social media platforms people are now able to share more of themselves, whether it’s day-to-day activities, personal hobbies or personal style. Many fashion brands and startups have taken advantage of this trend by allowing individuals to share their own personal style. With Boutine.com, you can not only share your own personal style, but can build your own virtual boutique with products from emerging designers!
At Boutine, artists, engineers, and fashion bloggers work together to bring an amazing social shopping experience. For the first time, the consumer is in control of everything. Boutine scours the globe for the best emerging fashion designers and works closely with them to make their unique products available for sale online. From there, the consumer, as a Boutine.com stylist, can create and share their own personalized collections.
Promod Dabir, founder of Boutine.com, grew up in the Bay Area of California. He attended the University of Illinois and received a degree in electrical engineering. After graduation, Pramod went into finance and worked for Goldman Sachs. After his time at Goldman Sachs, he explored the venture capital world and worked for TA associates.
When asked to explain what Boutine.com was in his own words, Pramod stated the following: “Boutine allows any woman to build her own online virtual boutique with products from emerging fashion designers from all over the world. Women can drag and drop to create collections and outfits, and then share them with their social network. When someone makes a purchase from their boutique, they receive a commission for helping create a sale for the designer. We've built an incentivized social sharing platform for the fashion community.”
The inspiration behind Boutine.com is quite interesting. While living in Palo Alto Pramod bravely moved in with his fiance and five other women, having no idea that the experience would lead him to launch Boutine.com. After watching his female roommates give each other fashion and shopping advice (who were the coolest new designers to discover, where to shop) a nagging thought kept creeping into his mind: these women should be financially rewarded for sharing their style and for their sartorial savvy? With that being said, Boutine.com was born. The average user spends 25 minutes on the site and comes back 3 to 4 times a month. There are over 2,000 products, 80 designers and 7 fulltime staff members.
Boutine.com has been featured on techcrunch.com, refinery29 and in publications such as OK magazine. Although the social aspect is built into the site, Boutine markets heavily through social media and have also reached out to many bloggers. Thus far the most effective market strategies have been the use of bloggers and also traditional PR. Although Boutine would consider partnering with boutiques and retailers, they would really like to continue to focus on emerging designers from around the world. Currently half of the designers featured are international.
Boutine.com is self-funded and is currently in the process of speaking to angel investors for traditional seed funding. The startup focuses solely on women’s fashion but is open to expanding to other segments. Boutine is also focused on product expansion and a mobile app for the near future.
When asked about the future plans of Boutine, Pramod stated the following: “The goal is to be THE ecommerce platform solution for shopping, sharing your style and exploring emerging designers.”
By Lolita A. Alford