Boutiques are the last type of store you’d expect to get technical, but Shoptiques co-founder Olga Vidisheva is confident she can bring the tiny shops to your digital doorstep.
“The type of inventory boutiques sell is produced in small batches,” said Vidisheva at today’s Y Combinator Demo Day.
Boutiques sell clothes and accessories in small quantities and usually only service the area they are in, as opposed to bigger, global brands. That makes setting up an e-commerce business more difficult than taking some pictures and putting them on Craigslist. You need to have an attractive website, a point of sale function, and the ability to keep up with the inventory on the physical end.
Vidisheva believes her product gives boutiques a way to show off their clothing and reach loyal customers who may not live in the area. Shoptiques takes a “healthy commission” on purchases made through its site, as it takes care of the heavy e-commerce lifting for the small-scale business.
“We go find the most exclusive, unique boutiques, we put them online, and then consumers … can come on Shoptiques and find their favorite little shops from all over the world,” she said.
Vidisheva is banking on her knowledge of what women want. She came from Russia in a classic $100-dollars-in-my-pocket story and studied at Harvard. She later worked for Chanel and became familiar with the fashion industry. She explained that, in her mind, women are most concerned about not showing up in the same room with the same outfit as another. For her, boutiques offer a way for women to find unique clothing, without having to trek to a boutique far away.
Already, Shoptiques has promised funding from Greylock Partners as well as Andreessen-Horowitz, and it proudly announced that it will not be accepting further offers.
Shoptiques is one of 39 companies presenting at Y Combinator’s Demo Day Spring 2012 event. Check out other cool companies making their debut here.