With e-commerce giants at the helm, it’s convenient to buy almost everything online with one big exception: fashion. I personally find it overwhelming to track down the items I want online and don’t have the time or interest in going to a retail store in person on a Saturday.
I would never call myself a fashionista, but, like most people, I want to look nice and feel confident in my choices. I’ve long wanted a better way to shop the brands I already love and discover new ones, so I was thrilled to hear that my former colleague Mauria Finley would be launching a company that solves this very problem.
I first met Mauria during my time at BabyCenter, where I watched her create and grow Citrus Lane, a subscription service for young families. I took note as she sold the company to Care.com in her first successful acquisition.
When Mauria told me about Allume and her vision to pair real stylists with software tools to make the personal shopping service available to the average person, I wanted in.
We are proud to announce our investment in Allume, an on-demand marketplace that connects women with expert stylists who get to know their clients and shop the internet for personalized clothing and accessory recommendations.
Thanks to the company’s inventory-free model, Allume stylists can select items from anywhere on the web, from high-end department stores to trendy online boutiques. Customers pay a $20 fee, which is then applied to the price of any item purchased via Allume.
Since I’ve been an Allume customer, it’s changed the way I feel about shopping for clothes. The experience kicked off with a style quiz where I explained my fashion likes and dislikes. I then met my stylist via text. In a very short period of time, I felt like she understood me.
My stylist found me a versatile work bag from a store I never would have found on my own and a pair of jeans that work well for my body type. She keeps track of what I buy and suggests things to match what I’ve already purchased.
There is a richness in how brands like Allume, Madison Reed, and Warby Parker make shopping online easier while still allowing customers to connect emotionally with a salesperson at checkout or when they require advice. This type of assisted selling combines elements of discovery and curation, guiding the customer to items that match their taste and making shopping across the internet easier while still remaining personal.
If there’s anyone qualified to build this platform, it’s Mauria. Previously, she led the home and fashion product divisions for eBay, is a board member for Fossil Group and co-teaches a course on effective leadership in high tech to computer science students at Stanford.
The entire True team was impressed with Mauria’s background and the promise of this market. We love that she’s worked with most of her Allume teammates in prior roles, as it shows that she’s the type of leader people believe in and follow.
We look forward to seeing the Allume team bring the real-life experience of hiring a personal stylist to the average online shopper. Welcome to the True community, Mauria and team Allume!