September 28, 2012
Weddings are expensive. This is basic marriage science. Between invitations, food and beverage for a couple hundred people, throw in a band, the cost of the venue, wedding attire and rings, and all the other miscellaneous expenditures and you’re looking at a serious hit to the savings account. This is a very tangible problem that affects many people.
That’s why solving – or at least alleviating – this pain point is enough to earn the title of Seattle’s Hottest Showcasing Startup – which is precisely what Adorii has accomplished. Formerly known as Wedcoupon, Adorii uses daily deals to help those getting married save a few bucks (up to 25-80% according to their website) off wedding products and related services – including venues, photographers, honeymoon travel, apparel, gifts, accessories, pre-event supplies, and décor.
Tech Cocktail caught up with Matthew Matsudaira, Adorii’s CEO and former VP of Sales at Venpop (acquired by Lockerz), to learn more about his service, the reasoning behind their pivot, and what songs go into the perfect playlist for motivating your startup.
Tech Cocktail: What was the inspiration behind Adorii? What do you enjoy most about working on it?
Matthew Matsudaira: In the words of Carolyn Gerin : Adorii’s Co-founder “Disrupting the wedding space is fun – it’s a tradition-bound market, and a bit of a toll-booth, where couples can end up spending a fortune. We are bringing/showcasing, smart and stylish products and services to engaged couples while saving them up to 80% OFF retail. Plus, we are opening up the playing field to innovative merchants: a win-win for everyone.”
The most enjoyable part of our start up is “the people” – our team is driven, ruthless & dedicated to succeeding in the online space. The overpriced bridal space needs a serious shake up & people don’t need to spend their nest egg to have their dream day (or spend a fortune attending all of their friends celebrations). Getting love letters and tweets from our members and vendors who are SO happy we have come to the rescue is incredibly gratifying. We love being a solution for everyone who decides to work with us.
Tech Cocktail: Who is your greatest competitor, and how do you differentiate yourself?
Matsudaira: I Do Daily Deals, The Knot Deals, My Wed Deal, etc… There are dozens of deal and flash-sale sites out there but few that are as targeted or offer both products & services to their members.
Our technology and customer experience is our #1 priority: clean image based design, social sharing, easy check out, and a dynamic calendar function for our services deals is what sets us apart. In addition our merchant team is dedicated to finding on–trend and high–quality products at the best price- we are on track to have 750 skus per day (currently avg. 322 skus per day) on our site by the end of 2012. None of our competitors have close to our selection of products on their site. Our business development team is busy finding new service providers that can offer high quality new service events & apps to feature. Intuitive technology to provide a great customer experience is our #1 goal!
Tech Cocktail: What is the biggest advantage and disadvantage of starting up in Seattle?
- Advantages – the talent/mentors to learn from, a cultural understanding of the space, and resources available to entrepreneurs and start ups
- Disadvantages – over saturated market… some say “working on a start up” is as common as having a dog these days in Seattle.
Tech Cocktail: Describe a challenging moment or a crucial decision for Adorii. How did you deal with it, and what did you learn from it?
Carolyn Gerin (Adorii’s co-founder and Chief Creative Officer): Building an ecommerce site in under two months that has products and services (two different business models), while concurrently: launching 3 cities, developing our smartphone app, reworking the UX, pitching at investor meetings, opening our HQ and then we pilled on a NEEDED rebrand.
Matsudaira: To pivot and change our name from Wedcoupon to Adorii. By changing the name of our company, it truly resonates with our mission of providing merchandise and services to our members that will make their wedding day…a day that everyone will adore. Adorii has allowed us to work with higher end vendors and service providers, who felt like the “coupon” in our name discounted their brand(s). The name change has been welcomed by 99% our members and vendors.
Tech Cocktail: What’s one quirky fact about you, your team, or your office culture?
Matsudaira: It is rare to not have music playing throughout the Adorii office. We would like to share our favorite tunes titled:
The Motivational Playlist for Startups
- Pump it Up – Elvis Costello
- The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes
- The Motto – Drake feat. Lil Wayne #yolo
- I Follow Rivers – Lykke Li
- Raise Your Glass – Pink
- Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
- Come Over – Kenny Chesney (see video featuring his $1M yacht)
- Gangnam Style – Psy
- Noche Nada – Givers
- Ego – Beyonce feat. Kanye West
- Juicy – The Notorious BIG
- Good Life – One Republic
- We Are Young – FUN feat. Janelle Monae
- Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
- Hall of Fame – The Script
- Payphone – Maroon 5
Adorii was one of the featured startups at Tech Cocktail’s recent Seattle Mixer and the winner of Seattle’s Hottest Showcasing Startup.
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