Send the Trend, Looking To Transform the Way Women Shop, Comes From Reluctant Entrepreneur

6/13/11Follow @xconomy

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a fresh closet of accessories to choose from each month, each piece costing $29.95 with no shipping charges. Gugnani’s hope is that women will “buy one accessory to update last season’s look on a budget.”

Send the Trend’s aim is to bring busier, more cash-strapped shoppers the personalized recommendation services that high-end stores offer. Every accessory sold on the site (hats, sunglasses, jewelry, scarves, belts, hair accessories, umbrellas) is designed specifically for Send the Trend. The site’s algorithms also use previous purchases to tailor future recommendations to consumers, and track behavior on the website to better understand the consumer, Gugnani says.

“Christian works with Mariah to come up with what’s trendy this season and what’s’ happening,” she says. “We take a lot of that market intelligence and trend forecasting and incorporate it into our collections.”

Send the Trend raised $2.5 million earlier this spring from Battery Ventures, and has another $500,000 from founders and angel investors. And it hasn’t really tapped into that money yet, says Gugnani, “knock on wood,” because “sales keep ramping.”

The 11-person startup works in the same office space as Behind the Burner, which Gugnani still runs. Behind the Burner may have been Gugnani’s intro to starting a business, but she hopes Send the Trend is about building scale. Gugnani wouldn’t reveal sales figures for the site, but the company boasts more than 45,000 Facebook fans.

Continuous sales growth is built into the site’s business model. Once a consumer purchases an accessory, the next month she has to decide whether to purchase or skip buying a new product. If she takes no action in the first five days, she’s charged $29.95, which she has a year to use on purchasing a new product.

“We feel really strongly that this is a service,” Gugnani says. “There are great prices and a strong product. We really want that experience to be valued. It is a subscription model, completely in the hand of a consumer. We don’t autosend you anything. If we can keep the value proposition really strong, the business really grows itself.”

And Send the Trend’s ambitions aren’t small. “We want to change the way women shop. We want every single woman in America to think of Send the Trend as the way to update her accessories closet,” Gugnani says.

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