There’s certainly no lack of great fashion content on the web. In fact, some of the top-tier fashion bloggers are starting to rake in multimillion-dollar campaigns due to their following and fashion sense. But that’s still the exception to the rule. Most fashion bloggers haven’t even started monetizing their content, despite having a significant audience size. On the flip side, fashion content consumers are visiting their favorite style blogs on a daily and discovering the latest fashion trends, but don’t know where to purchase items they’re interested in. That’s where Trendi Guru comes in. As their website explains; Founded in 2014 Trendi Guru is built upon the collaboration of brands, retailers and publishers to bring the best shopping experience to customers – so that the customer can discover and purchase the clothes they love.
I caught up with Trendi Guru CEO Kyle Giddens on how fashion and style content publishers can leverage his platform to offer a better shopping experience, and what it really takes to launch a fashion tech startup right now.
Tell me about yourself and your background?
I’m Kyle, I’m the CEO of Trendi Guru. I have a background in psychology, business, management consulting and startups. My major passions are technology, innovation, and the future. I am big believer that given enough resources anyone and any organization can accomplish great things.
What is Trendi Guru and how did it get started?
Trendi Guru is all about the magic in the shopping and discovery experience. We wanted to create a world where you can click on any online item of clothing you love, and buy something similar.
It all began from being forced into watching hours of Project Runway with my girlfriend. She always wanted to buy the look that the designers created and we would search tirelessly trying to find something similar. From this experience I realized that it would be amazing if there was a 1 click solution to buy something similar from pictures online or anywhere and Voila! Trendi Guru was born. Now anyone can instantly “shop the look” from any image. Just see it, click it, buy it!
Our platform allows any image on any website, social media platform, fashion, lifestyle, or entertainment site to be turned into a purchasing opportunity with items from 1,000+ retailers. We accomplish all this through our use the latest advances in machine learning, image processing and computer vision.
Our target customers are websites and apps like Hello Fashion, Instagram, People, Marie Claire, Zack Tanck, and GQ. Also, affiliate networks like Commission Junction , Zanox and the like who are looking to bring a new revenue stream to their partners.
Who else part of the team and how do you define the roles?
The team has grown to 10 employees. The original founding team was Dr. Jeremy Rutman, Lior Sabag, and myself.
Dr. Rutman focuses on image processing and machine learning , from his background as a researcher at the technion as well as former patent attorney. Dr. Jeremy’s official title is Chief Scientist, he is a graduate with a Ph.D from the Technion in Physics as well as first degree from Harvard. Lior Sabag is our CTO and focuses on the full stack development of the product and platform. Lior has a lot of experience in architecture and programming from his time in the army, as well as his his degree in industrial engineering and math.
I am the CEO, with a former background in management consulting. I focus on carrying the company forward in terms of management, business development, and marketing. As founders, we really complement one another as we are able to focus on what we do best to bring the most value to the company. I call it the best venn diagram one could hope for! All the members of our team are superstars and allow us to accomplish our goals together.
What got you interested in the fashion industry?
I have always been interested in the fashion industry, especially after watching Project Runway, America’s Next Top Model, and other fashion shows with my fiance. These shows opened my eyes to the complexity of fashion and online shopping, and the designers’ artistic expressions released through the medium of clothing. From my past experience in ecommerce, I could see a real need for our product.
How do you see your service fit in the fashion industry?
Trendi Guru is primarily a discovery tool for people looking for items to purchase. We see ourselves as a native way for brands to promote themselves through our platform to reach new audiences with their catalogues. We are already testing features such as brand popularity, forecasting of trends, and more.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome it?
The initial challenge has been developing the platform and the technology so that it works. We crossed this hurdle with hard work, determination and a great technical team. Now that we have passed this milestone we are actively looking for more customers to implement our solution.
What is your work process like? What tools do you use to make your tasks easier?
Our work process is very simple- we have daily meetings and daily goals with stretch goals for the week. Each month we conduct a planning session and set KPIs. Some great tools are: Slack, Post it notes, Whiteboards, and Asana.
How do you market, or promote the service?
We are primarily growing through word of mouth within the blogger community, and the larger content community as a whole. We focus on targeting larger conglomerates to implement our solution to their many media properties. So if you’re reading this and you are a blogger, contact us!
How did you get funded or what creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow?
We received our funding from great VC’s and angel investors who share in our vision. Additionally, we have recently received an Israeli governmental grant for our innovative technology.
If you could have given yourself a piece of knowledge or advice when you started what would that be?
Focus on building the best product, and the rest will come.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Do something you love, work with incredible people, solve real problems, and the rest will follow. Always be ready to learn!