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NYC Startup MeliModa Brings the Fashion Tradeshow Online

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Entrepreneur Sotiria Krikelis believes everything happens for a reason, including the rejection she endured while trying to launch her first startup, Relax Missy. But this rejection fueled Krikelis’s idea for her new startup, MeliModa, which is changing the fashion business in exciting ways.

“We aim to disrupt the fashion industry and bring everything in the wholesale space that was handled with paper, pens, and fax machines to the digital world,” said Sotiria Krikelis.

The young co-founder and COO of MeliModa is bringing the trade show aspect of fashion online by connecting brands, retail buyers, and fashion consumers to participate in wholesale discovery and buying. With her co-founder, Karl Pierre, Krikelis is creating the ultimate fashion network, making it easy for brands to receive maximum exposure and effectively communicate with boutique buyers.

Here’s how MeliModa works:  Designers post their collections, and buyers can log in and view the merchandise, similar to how they would discover merchandise at an offline tradeshow. The buyers browse the newest collections and select what fits into their store. And, fashion consumers have the opportunity to pre-order new pieces and take part in the design process by voting on which items should make a designer’s new collection.

Like many entrepreneurs, Krikelis has a keen eye for opportunity. Instead of giving up in the face of difficulty with Relax Missy, she used her experience to lead her to her next big idea. Since Krikelis experienced how hard it is to break into the fashion marketplace firsthand, she knows what brands and retail buyers need to get a foot in the door.

As a fashionista herself, Krikelis also knows that other fashion lovers have the potential to strengthen the MeliModa community. Besides getting an exclusive look at new collections, MeliModa network members provide valuable feedback through the site’s “I’d Buy It” voting system, steering retailers toward new products that will be popular. MeliModa’s philosophy is that fashion lovers are the leaders of the industry, so there’s no better way to involve them than to invite them into the community.

If you have an eye for fashion, you can have your say by joining MeliModa’s network at MeliModa.com. Or, just check out the company to see how other entrepreneurs are turning their own “lessons learned” into new and exciting business ventures.

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About the Author

Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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