New York’s online swimmer start-up company, Andy, is trying to reverse the popular nostalgic shopping experience by designing a new “own-brand” shopping option for its designer swimwear.
“We know from the experience, whether it is in the store or online, clothes, shopping is terrible. Swimwear is particularly challenging!” Andie Cofounder Tess De Paula said.
Andie specializes in designing high-quality single-piece swimsuit at a reasonable price point. Investigated more than 500 women before a year ago to identify key market issues. Catalina, Montauk and Tulum are three of their first online collections in the range XS / 0 – XL / 14. The current colors include black, dark blue, white, and the latest addition of forest green. Andy also offers a convenient, risk-free home shopping option. Building your own box is an extension of this model. The suit price is $ 125.
Prior to the launch of Andy, co-founder Melanie Travis served as Director of Activities after two key consumer technology companies, Kickstarter and Foursquare, in the pet-based subscription service company Bark & Co.
Co-founder De Paula is a senior business development and marketing strategy expert for Siegel + Gale. After earning an MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University, she worked for L’Oréal, the first of its global brand development team, and then served as president of the American Orchid Americas President.
Christina Moore: Andy’s new “own box” is how to work, why would it be attractive for busy professional women?
Tess De Paula: We are pleased to introduce the next generation of Andy experience: to build your own box. This is a simple, simplified shopping experience and now has a delightful selection element. Ladies can come to our website, just a few clicks, you can create a custom home attempt, from our three single-piece style to choose three suit, each color can be three colors and five sizes The
And then they pay a small deposit, we usually within 24 hours to the container shipped to the door. Then come to the best part: they try a comfortable suit in their home – drink a glass of wine, show their best friends or other important and spend a week to decide what they like. At the end of the week, they put any clothes they do not like into the prepaid mail in the box and send them to their postman. When we receive the mail to our office, we will receive their saved mail and deposit it in the order.
Our model attracts business professional women because swimwear shopping is usually stressful, uncomfortable and time consuming. Swimsuits are the most transparent clothing that most women will wear, so it is almost impossible to find the perfect suit for your aesthetics, price points and body type through the screening of the endless grid or bikini’s sea area. Add experience in the decoration room – small rooms with fluorescent lamps, thin curtains and comfortable sales staff – your stressful recipes. We want to simplify the whole process, let us find a woman like us can feel a good suit, so that they become simple and interesting, and not because of the decision to worry, or waste the entire afternoon from the store to the store All day long.
Melanie Travis: Andy is created in a busy professional woman, so we try to be as simple and painless as possible.
What inspired you to work together to launch Andy?
Travis: Tess and my wife Leah met each other, almost all together – they went to high school (Pittsburgh). So I am also familiar with Tess, but we have been working in different industries. A few years ago, Tess’s husband, Marcus, and my wife had a project at SXSW, so Tess had dinner with me and knew each other. We found that we had a lot of interrelated interest, so when I first had a single swimsuit company’s idea, Tess was the first person to call me. We can talk about the night and the weekend, to understand what the company can do, and how to solve all the problems we have observed in the swimwear industry. We have different backgrounds, but complementary skills, so in the end we decide we should do this together. We left our work, the rest is history!
Why only one swimsuit? Is there any plans for Andy Bikini?
Travis: I have a personal experience, I try to find a retreat for the company. I’ve been to the place where I see a bikini, there are some terrible pieces, all cut (not practical), there are pineapples or emoticons stamps everywhere (baby supplies), as well as Nike’s and Speedos. After talking to many female friends and colleagues, I realized that I heard the same voice, saying it was hard to find a good price point. So that’s what we have to do. Now we focus on one, because that is where we think the greatest demand.
But since we started our business, we have seen that buying Andy a customer also wears a bikini. So when we do not have any direct plans to make bikini, and finally we want to serve all the swimsuit needs for Ms. Andy, so I will not exclude it in the future.
When the wet time, Andie’s white Tulum swimsuit how to see?
Travis: opaque and sexy! I do not know why people are afraid of white suits. We use double-layer lining of high-quality fabric, so really no perspective. Look at my Instagram (@melanietravis), I’m wearing Tulum pictures in a variety of water – it happens to be my favorite style.
Investigate more than 500 women how to strengthen Andy?
Travis: One of the biggest things from measuring women is to try [shopping mode] at home. We started Andy’s goal is to make the best one. However, through extensive research on women in the development of products, we quickly realized that the swimwear shopping experience has been completely broken. Woman hates shopping swimsuit. In fact, many women prefer to have a cavity instead of buying a swimsuit. So we realize that we can not only focus on building a better one; we have to re-imagine the entire shopping experience. This is the home of the attempt was born.
But the investigation also in a more subtle way to strengthen Andy. We understand that women of all shapes and sizes have a variety of body parts, so we can make a body that can show off these parts. We understand the color and fabric preferences. Through our survey, we have been able to build Andie as a customer-centric brand.
How can you maintain an accessible price without sacrificing style and quality?
Travis: Our way of production is more like an innovative technology company, not a dusty fashion brand. Because we are selling online, we are not hesitant to the traditional fashion season, so in the production of our series, we work with the factory, for their work schedule, in the case of excess capacity cut into lines to get better cutting and Sewing costs. Then we pass these savings directly to the consumer.
I would like to note that this does not mean that we are working with the overall reduction and sewing cost of the factory, which usually shows that workers do not get a fair wage. We visited dozens of manufacturers in the United States to find a manufacturer who can treat workers well and pay fair wages. We finally made our first series of factories in Los Angeles city center with a sunny 5th floor studio. This is a woman owned and operated, they provide workers with leave and sick leave, which in this industry is very unusual. They are a true high-end manufacturer, making a swimsuit for Barneys selling more than $ 400 lines.
We do not have the traditional fashion brand profit margins, because we sell directly to our customers online. By cutting the middleman and producing our own clothing, there is no inflated cost or profit, and we can offer high quality products to our customers at the highest possible price.
Why did you decide on a sliding scale price?
Travis: Our price is a sliding scale, because a customer is more suitable for home, the less we pay for the transport, as a brand spirit, we save us directly through our customers. We ship all USPS priority messages, which charge us a fee by weight. As a result, the more swimsuit the customer skips from home, the less the return fee we pay (we pay the shipping in both ways). So if we save money when our customers keep two pieces of clothing and send them back, we will transfer the savings to the customer and reduce her every cost. Similarly, when a customer to keep three suits, she should be less for each piece of clothing.
De Paula: We also know from experience that when we find what we like and work for us, we stick to it, whether it’s our favorite coffee shop, jeans or peanut butter. We want to encourage and reward the kind of loyalty to enjoy the time (without having to want a new swimsuit every time to reassess each brand) with Andy’s woman.
Andy is 100% “Made in China”. Is this intentional? If so, why?
Travis: Yes, it is intentional, but not because you might have heard the strange marketing reasons from other brands. When we started Andy, we did not have any experience in garment manufacturing, so we wanted to learn this process and really see our clothes life. One million things happen when we start the company, we can not imagine planning to travel to a distant country, in this country, we will not speak all the other languages. Honestly, we are just obsessed with Googled for some time to learn about China’s garment industry, where high quality swimwear factory is located. We have produced a large number of factory spreadsheets and their location and professional. Then we began to visit the factory specializing in high-end swimwear. We met the owner and saw the cut and sewn the floor. Once we decide where to make it, we will stop on a regular basis, and our suit is on the line and watch the suit come. And there is no better quality control method than the site.
So our swimsuit is 100% of the “Made in China”, really because we lack the experience of garment production and desire to learn! And if i’m so crisp, I think the Chinese are very clear about Andy. Yes, our government is a mess, we are very decentralized, but I still think that no country in the world can have an idea to start making it a reality and finding success. People here really respect the entrepreneurial spirit, willing to give two women a dream opportunity.
As a fashion technology start-up companies, you are currently facing the biggest challenge is what?
Travis: My answer is changing almost every week, which may be normal for early fashion technology startups. Now I think our biggest challenge is to hear on the noise. There are many e-commerce fashion start-up companies. It’s not hard to throw a website and start selling it anymore. But this is not Andy. We are building a brand and creating an experience on a bathing suit: a better product, a passion for one thing, and a happy home trial. So now we spend a lot of time to make sure we are communicating this story.
De Paula: I agree with Melanie’s point of view and add that we are struggling to meet the challenges of day-to-day operations, as well as how we develop and provide Ms. Andie with a better swimwear experience.
What’s next? Do you see Andy in three years?
Travis: It’s hard to say because we really have a customer-centric way of growth. Since our goal is like a fashion label, like a technology company, which means a lot of iterations, listen to customer feedback, and then more iterations. I have some guess, where Andie will go, but we can help our customers set this way.
Whatever it is, my three years of hope for Andy is that it is a brand that improves the customer experience and makes shopping fun. But six months ago, when we stressed the assembly and reassembly of a prototype, I would not say. At that time, I would say that I want Andy to become the largest single swimsuit company, our name is synonymous with a single swimsuit. That would be fine! But we are listening to the customer, yes, they like their Andy one, but they are really celebrating our experience, so as we grow, we will continue to work hard.
How do you add your creativity and energy?
Travis: Honestly, come from our customers. It sounds like the most delicious thing. But I am meeting in the surrounding area of the city, and they may be long and sometimes painful. But after each meeting, I opened the phone, view customer reviews, text, email and voicemail, they are all very good. The customer wrote to thank us for our experience. They wrote to us that they were very satisfied with the swimsuit, or that they had so much praise in the pool. This is just the best energy boost. I can feel my old self rolling my eyes in such an answer, but when you put everything you put into a little company, then people like it – there is no greater feeling in the world that it motivates me to keep the noise The We have a Slack channel, we express the praise of the customer, so everyone in the team can see people for all our good things, I scroll at least twice a day this thread.
De Paula: Agree! I also like to go back, like a consumer, watching other brands experience so that I am pleasantly surprised, whether it is to send flowers or boutique hotel accommodation, and consider how we learn from the experience of Andy’s future.