Meet Brooklyn Decker and Whitney Casey, this week’s BOSS Foxes and innovators who have worked tirelessly to help customers shop smarter and stay organized with their website: Finery. With built-in alerts to track sales to encourage more saving than spending, inventory management, and so much more, it’s no surprise that this consumer-facing website has become so wildly popular amongst fashionistas like ourselves here at BOXFOX.
Follow along on our interview with these two wonderful women, why we adore them, and why their website has paved way for the future of fashion. //
What sparked the idea for Finery?
Whitney and I have wanted to go into business together for years, but every business we thought of involved e-commerce. Frankly, there were many people doing it well already, so we started looking at the pain points in our lives. We spend too much money and buy things we don’t realize we already have. We spend too much time figuring out what to wear, and too little time doing the things we want. Whitney brilliantly looked at other technologies and apps out there that were applied to completely different spaces–like Tripit for travel, Mint for banking and Spotify for music–and said “Why can’t we do this with our wardrobes?”
How did you come up with the name of the company?
Dan Rather actually came up with the name. We were looking for a word that existed - but one that wasn’t in heavy rotation these days. Dan and Whitney were working together and he would say things like, “Well you showed up in your finery today!” - meaning, basically, your “Sunday’s best.” We both fell madly in love with the name.
How does the app work?
Our order confirmations just sit in our inboxes taking up space. At Finery, we put them to work for you by consolidating those items and categorizing them in an online closet (fully automated, no humans involved) for you. Once we get your wardrobe digitized, we offer style inspiration based on items you already own. No more searching a new site to get outfit ideas or leaving clothes hanging in your closet because you don’t know how to style them. We want to save you time by bringing it all in one platform for you.
What is the goal or objective of Finery summarized in 1-2 sentences?
For now, we want to a) save you time and money by providing style inspiration for the clothes you already own. And b) IF you’re going to shop - do it on sale. Eventually, we want you to be able to get your clothing on Finery, wear it on Finery, and sell it on Finery - virtually the one stop shop for anything wardrobe related.
What algorithm do you rely on for user wardrobe selections?
We have visual search technology to give you look inspiration. For example, you click any item in your wardrobe—let’s say, for example, gray plaid pants—there will be a little button that says “see inspo,.” Once you click that, we give you influencer looks with the same, or similar, pants uniquely styled. It’s not perfect styling, but it’s our first version of personalization in the platform. The idea is that you wake up, you have no idea what to wear, and instead of rummaging through your closet - you open Finery, click any item, get your inspo and voila! You’re dressed for the day.
What has been the most challenging part of starting Finery? Biggest reward?
We’re innovative. While that’s very exciting, it’s not without its challenges. Our product is so robust. We get your wardrobe, we give you our first version of styling, we let you know when the return window is closing for items you’ve purchased online, the list goes on. So there’s a lot of education involved in the product. That’s one of our more prevalent issues - really explaining our product in a nutshell and making sure our user knows exactly how to use every part of it.
What has been your strategy in publicizing Finery?
In the beginning, we really went after fashion press, think Into The Gloss, Coveteur, etc. All of which we love, because we know their readers shops online and she would have a better first time experience on the site. But we aren’t a fashion company, we are a tech company in the fashion space. We are strategically aiming for more tech-heavy press now because it's really helpful to get our name out in front of thought leaders within the industry!
What’s something about Finery that users should know about that?
There are so many companies out there trying to sell sell sell to you. And that’s fine! That’s great, especially when it’s stuff you really like. But is there anyone out there actually showing you what you own? Anyone trying to help you shop smarter? Anyone letting you know when your items need to be returned? We are an advocate for the consumer. We have your back in a world where you’re being told to buy. Again, we aren’t anti-shopping, we are just pro-informed decision making.
What are some of your favorite clothing brands right now?
I’m loving the new Instagram algorithm (this goes against everything in my answer above) because they are putting stuff I love in front of me daily. It’s not great for my wallet, but it’s exposed me to really cool brands like Posse, and Doen. I also love Miu Miu right now, and Buru for my mommy needs. There’s a ton of great stuff out there for women in all phases of her life.
Last but not least, do you have any advice for our readers that want to start their own business?
Listen to podcasts, reach out to founders, consider a co-founder. There’s exponentially more information out there than there was 5 years ago. Be a sponge and soak it all up. Read, read and read some more. It’s. So. Hard. But so, so worth it.