September 15, 2013
The word innovation is tossed around a lot when it comes to the world of tech startups, but rarely is the actual definition examined. It is a simple definition: the introduction of something new. However, that simplicity leads us to believe that the “something new” must be a product.
Not to say products cannot be innovative; to the contrary. But innovation can strike anytime and spring up anywhere and not always affect a physical product. The fashion industry has been traditionally left untouched when it comes to innovation, but Jay Wang, Genesis Emmons, and Steve Crozier have set out to change that standard.
DressMyWay focuses on a product, but the innovation inherent in this platform extends far beyond the physical world. First and foremost, the platform is dedicated to helping individuals create the customized dress of their dreams.
Users bring their myriad ideas to the table, and DressMyWay will directly connect them with a designer who can turn their ethereal dream dress into a concrete reality. The fully collaborative design process covers pretty much every category where a special dress is needed: weddings, proms, charity balls, and quinceanera.
“Product customization is the new hot trend,” says Wang. “People tend to think that personalization and customization is time consuming and costly, but we show them the experience is not so overwhelming and actually quite affordable.”
Creating a wedding dress typically takes about six to eight months. Along with that are costs and fees associated with the actual purchase, design, production, and possible alterations.
DressMyWay has a maximum turnaround time on any project of three months. And by connecting designers directly to customers, they have been able to eliminate middleman fees, markup costs, and hidden fees that come with custom dress design.
The extension of this innovation comes in the form of Wang securing partnerships with multiple Art Institute locations around America. They provide him with resumes of interested designers, and he provides them with a job opportunity.
This is huge, because the fashion industry has long been marred by underemployment; the majority of fashion and design graduates are working in the retail or restaurant businesses. Thus, Wang and his team are able to fulfill their customer’s dreams and the passions of an entire group of hardworking people.
“The majority of the designers we interact with are women, and we are doing our best to empower them,” says Wang. “We want both our designers and customers to be able to pursue their dreams, and when we are able to successfully empower somebody, they bring that passion right back to empower us in return.”
DressMyWay has definitely set a new standard in terms of designing the physical dress, but they are also innovating as it pertains to a mindset. By effectively creating jobs for an entire sector of the fashion industry, they are able to reach beyond making money and provide opportunity. This is the American Dream that Wang, originally from China, remained stateside to be a part of.
DressMyWay was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Dallas Mixer & Startup Showcase on August 29th.
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