Life is difficult.
Wanting good shouldn’t be.
So states the homepage of Fashion Girlfriend, the female-run trend web site designed to assist guys with their wardrobe.
They consider that wanting good shouldn’t simply be for males with six-pack abs and a black Amex.
Fashion Girlfriend’s shoppers are common guys who wish to get into higher contact with the types and habits that as we speak’s ladies are drawn to by tapping right into a pleasant, feminine perspective.
Fashion Girlfriend, now a bustling younger firm with seven stylists and 5 writers, is engaged on their first pre-seed funding spherical. It began as a weekly column written by founder Megan Collins that was posted to a buddy’s web site. The column shortly resonated with a large viewers and was even nationally-syndicated by a newspaper chain.
She later moved the content material to its personal web site — first powered by Tumblr, however later by WordPress — the place the library of content material continued to draw an increasing readership from around the globe.
Lately, Fashion Girlfriend shifted from a content-only platform so as to add personalised styling companies for males, powered by WooCommerce. Whereas weblog posts are nonetheless a driver of considerable affiliate income, they now additionally function the first advertising software for the quickly-growing service providing.
We sat down with Megan, who categorized herself as a non-technical founder, to be taught extra about her entrepreneurial story and why WordPress and WooCommerce are such an ideal match to fulfill her imaginative and prescient.
Q: Inform us a bit of about your background.
Once I got here out of promoting and started running a blog, the sensation that immediately I used to be “allowed” to share my work in my very own ideas and phrases was scary.
It had been principally my very own fragile ego that held me again from switching careers for thus lengthy. It was completely not the know-how, although I did fear that my incapability to code was a barrier for creating this sort of weblog and web site.
Utilizing WordPress, a minimum of I used to be ready to remove that excuse for not having the ability to strive a brand new entrepreneurial enterprise. Beginning with WordPress actually helped me to really feel like I may determine that half out.
Q: You’ve been writing particularly about fashion for a very long time. In the event you suppose again to once you first took Fashion Girlfriend on-line, what did running a blog really feel like?
“Oh, again in my day, we needed to weblog three toes within the snow. Each methods.”
Yeah, running a blog to me felt like this superb gate had immediately collapsed by way of preserving individuals out who had an opinion. It was nice for individuals like me who had a ton of imposter syndrome round being a author or performing technical duties.
I began Fashion Girlfriend on Tumblr, however shortly realized that I couldn’t do loads of the issues — particularly round search engine marketing — that I actually wished. So we moved to WordPress.
And as soon as we moved I used to be like, “Oh this isn’t even onerous.” It was simply having the coaching wheels eliminated and realizing, “I can nonetheless do it. I can determine this out.”
I’ve been fortunate sufficient to rent some nice builders to assist customise themes and create the expertise that we wish on the location. And the location itself has gone via a ton of iterations via the years. However even when I hadn’t, I’m assured that I may have bought a theme and labored with it alone.
Now we use WooCommerce for our two on-line styling companies. One is the Wardrobe Refresh, which features a 1-on-1 video name with a stylist, a 5-piece buying listing and outfit inspiration, and the following degree up is the Wardrobe Reboot, which is extra strong and encompasses a 12-piece buying listing and particular outfit path out of your stylist.
Q: Whenever you have been deciding on an eCommerce platform, did WooCommerce seem to be an apparent alternative? Like, “I’m already on WordPress so I’ll use WooCommerce?”
WooCommerce was strongly beneficial by our developer, who primarily works with WordPress. We checked out Shopify, however I didn’t wish to begin Scotch taping an excessive amount of collectively. I’d a lot relatively have issues all housed in a single dashboard. I used to be attempting to maintain the tech easy to make use of for somebody like me, a non-technical founder.
With WooCommerce, we’ve been capable of simply prolong our choices as properly. For instance, we’re now utilizing a present card plugin. So now you should buy the Refresh or Reboot possibility for your self or for another person.
We’ve additionally now added the WP Affiliate plugin as a result of we’re creating an associates program for referrals.
Q: Serious about the design of the location, was there something particular you have been attempting to perform?
For the store web page, the place we share month-to-month favorites that customers can click on out to buy from a model or retailer, I simply actually wished to emulate a fantastic eCommerce web site. I wished the person to really feel like, wow, this is rather like buying on Nordstrom or Mr Porter. Individuals can browse shortly as a result of there’s a pleasant overlay that occurs once you hover on a product — it reveals the model title, product title, issues like that.
And excited about my workforce’s aspect — I wished it to be tremendous easy for us to replace merchandise, and it’s.
Q: What do you’re feeling is a very powerful factor for guests to see after they first come to the location?
I need them to know what the service providing is: that we’re doing males’s private styling and that we’re doing it just about.
Issues have actually shifted since 2020, once we went from a content material platform to a service platform. Now the content material additionally serves as an enormous a part of our advertising. There are rivals who’ve actually cornered the search engine marketplace for key phrases like “males’s private buying”. However our content material nonetheless reveals up for tons of different searches like, “Finest chinos for work,” And we’re capable of inform individuals who click on on our web site, “Hey, by the best way, we have now these companies that you simply’ll actually like.”
Q. What’s probably the most noticeable manner WooCommerce suits into the on a regular basis lifetime of the enterprise?
Properly one of the best expertise is when it’s completely frictionless that we barely take into consideration. But it surely’s nonetheless a tremendous feeling to be notified when somebody makes a purchase order. It’s good to know that every little thing’s working within the background and the method goes the way you’d prefer it to.
Q: What are the locations you go to analysis advertising and eCommerce?
For higher or worse? I’m a really lively Twitter reader, particularly about advertising matters. I can type of passively be taught with out essentially going out and being on blogs. I’m not essentially Googling, “Finest practices for touchdown pages” as a result of I already uncover these assets on Twitter.
I additionally get Nik Sharma’s e-newsletter each Sunday, and the guidelines he shares have been actually useful.
Q: You generate affiliate income from your entire content material, however now additionally provide the non-public styling companies. How does that break down for your small business?
Proper now, our weblog content material continues to be our essential supply of site visitors and internet affiliate marketing is our main income driver. However we’re seeing loads of traction with each model partnerships and our new companies.
In truth, we noticed 85% development in companies income year-over-year, in order that’s nice.
It was encouraging to see that development, particularly in the course of the pandemic, as a result of it was like, who cares about what they’re carrying proper now?
In one other sense, nevertheless, it’s completely not shocking. I imply, you’ll be able to solely earn a living from home in your pajama pants for thus many days in a row earlier than you begin to really feel like a complete slob, proper?
Q: Have you ever seen an uptick in affiliate income because the service aspect has taken off?
For somebody who’s paid for the styling service, who has acquired a buying plan actually created only for them, the conversion fee is considerably larger than for guests who simply land on a weblog put up.
However we don’t suggest merchandise simply to make a fee — if a product isn’t in an associates program, we’ll nonetheless embody it if it’s the precise alternative. And, not like our rivals, we don’t carry our personal merchandise that drive us to push the identical objects over and over to each consumer.
Q: What position does the place you reside — New York Metropolis — play in your small business?
That’s such a difficult reply as a result of technically, I can work from anyplace. Proper now I’m spending loads of time in my dwelling state of Wisconsin.
So long as I’ve a wifi connection, I can open up my laptop and be at work, and all of our workforce is distant as properly. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have the relationships that I’ve with out having constructed them in New York.
So, it’s difficult to say I can work from anyplace, as a result of I wouldn’t have the enterprise that I’ve with out having constructed it within the metropolis.
Q: What’s subsequent for Fashion Girlfriend?
Proper now, our focus is elevating a pre-seed spherical of funding and persevering with to develop Fashion Girlfriend on WooCommerce.
WordPress and WooCommerce are the proper match for content-driven eCommerce shops. With out a background in know-how, Megan’s tapped into this energy to develop her enterprise and adapt to efficiently provide new companies.