February 11, 2012
Just in time for New York Fashion Week, much like Clothia, new startup StyleMusee is helping men and women discover fashion inspiration that matches their personal styles. The NYC-based company is setting out to be the fashion industry’s hub on Facebook, bringing the social offline shopping experience online.
StyleMusee has identified and classified nearly one thousand style related Facebook pages, allowing users to discover pages by style type. Users subscribe to image and video feeds by style categories to easily find what they’re looking for.
Fashion has an element of timeliness, which many bookmarklet sites just don’t capture. StyleMusee brings users the latest fashions in real-time using chronology in image and video feeds to keep content fresh.
I caught up with co-founder and CEO Karen Moon and asked her to share her startup story with our readers.
Tech Cocktail: What inspired you to start StyleMusee?
Karen Moon: I started to follow some designers I liked on Facebook, and soon enough my Facebook turned into a magazine. Yet the content felt more accessible than what was in magazines and was updated in real-time. It was fun to check out Oscar PR Girl's behind-the-scenes photos and get red carpet updates from Marchesa and Prabal Gurung. Additionally, it’s the best place to get updates on trunk shows, sales and in-store events.
The problem was that I couldn't save the posts I liked anywhere. The business side of me realized that all this cool content was actually a way for brands to visually tell the story behind their products and better target their core consumers. Facebook is extremely fragmented for brand pages, and there is a significant amount of friction to both specific search and discovery. Ian, my co-founder and CTO, is a guru at Facebook apps and knew the best way to optimize the content and experience.
Tech Cocktail: Did you ever see yourself starting and running a company?
Moon: I always knew I wanted to start a fashion company, and Ian is a serial entrepreneur at heart. He's built a number of social apps from the ground up and recently sold his last company after it scaled to one million Facebook users in a month.
Personally, I've been focused on fashion and tech throughout my career and education, starting from my early days in fashion school to become a designer, so this really brings together all my passions in one place. It was just a matter of what and when. The industry is going through a transformational shift, and this was the right time.
Tech Cocktail: Any advice for those wanting to start up?
Moon: It's a great time to start a company, but it's not easy. If you can do the following: 1) come up with a concept in a domain that you are passionate about; 2) validate the product market fit; and 3) convince talented people around you to join your team…then you have the basic ingredients you need. After that, it's all about perseverance and working smart. There are so many resources and communities out there for early stage startups these days; you just have to immerse yourself.
StyleMusee is an alternate in the 2012 SXSW Accelerator Program in the Entertainment category, and you can sign up for an exclusive invite to be a StyleMusee founding member at http://stylemusee.com/.
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