Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Business Babe: Rack It Up

Let me ask you a few questions... do you like to shop? do you like to online shop? do you like sales? Thought so. You're going to love Rack It Up, basically it's like Pinterest combined with Gilt. But so much better and I adore the ladies behind it, Ali and Bri. Let me introduce you!

Who is your ultimate style inspiration?

We both agree that Olivia Palermo takes the cake.

When you both founded, Rack It Up, in 2012, what was an obstacle that you faced as entrepreneurs?

I think our largest challenge was just venturing into the unknown. In the beginning it was
difficult not getting too caught up in the excitement of it all. Growing the idea and all the conceptualizing made us very eager to jump right into development and we ended up choosing the wrong team to work with. If there’s one piece of advice we could give to aspiring entrepreneurs, it’s to take your time. It’s such an exciting process when you’re just starting out but building the right team of impassioned people around you is incredibly crucial for success.

Ok, spill. How did you think of such an ingenious service for your customers?

Both of us have always been online sale shoppers. We had a mutual dislike for flash sale websites when a designer brand would go on sale at 10am on a Tuesday when we were at work. Then, there was the ticking time clock in the corner because you had 10 minutes to make a purchase decision before losing the item. The entire process was not conducive for workingwomen and often led to impulse buying. When Bri came up with the initial concept for a website to track individual items (rather than entire brands) in your personal size, we knew we had the foundation to build something amazing together. After months of bouncing ideas off each other and structuring the idea a bit more, we knew it was something we had to turn into a reality. 

What are some of the goals on the horizon for Rack It Up in the next few years? In 10 years?

We have many future plans for RIU. Right now, the site can be used in a personal way by racking up items and waiting for the sale alerts to roll in. There’s also a large community feature so you can follow your stylish friends, popular fashion bloggers and even some retailers. Eventually we want RIU to be a one-stop shop for all your fashion inspiration and online shopping needs. We’re going to be launching a dressing room feature soon so our users can take all the items they’re interested in and create and save looks. We’re also discussing a styling component so a stylist can take a look at your virtual closet and put together looks for you based on your personal style. We try not to think too far in advance because technology is always changing just like consumer’s shopping habits. So far we’ve been taking it one year at a time.

How has your friendship and business partnership helped the success of Rack It Up?

We both have different strengths that we bring to the business. Ali has a successful background in social media and communications previously working for a non-profit on all their online marketing campaigns.  Bri’s strengths are her business administration and marketing background.  It’s great being friends before business partners because business and financials are often high-tension discussions. There are days were we can debate and discuss new features or the next quarter’s budget but then send a picture of an amazing pair of shoes from Nordstrom or something funny one of us saw on Buzzfeed. It’s all about balance.

What is the story behind your most prized piece of clothing or accessory?

Ali:  My engagement ring.  The center diamond is a family heirloom.  My husband’s mother used to wear it in the center of her original ring, and when we were getting ready to get engaged she gave it to him.  I love the idea of having something to pass down one to my daughter or daughter in law one day.  It just makes it that much more special. 

Bri: A vintage gold Tiffany ring that my grandfather gave to me for my Sweet 16. I was very close with him and he passed a few days after my birthday that year. I wear it everyday and it’s a daily reminder that he’s with me.

Thanks ladies! Check out my closet here

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