Life is difficult.
Trying good shouldn’t be.
So states the homepage of Fashion Girlfriend, the female-run vogue web site designed to assist guys with their wardrobe.
They consider that trying 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 kinds and conduct that at the moment’s girls are interested in 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 website — first powered by Tumblr, however later by WordPress — the place the library of content material continued to draw an increasing readership from world wide.
Not too long ago, Fashion Girlfriend shifted from a content-only platform so as to add customized 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 and marketing 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 satisfy her imaginative and prescient.
Q: Inform us a bit about your background.
Once I got here out of promoting and started running a blog, the sensation that instantly I used to be “allowed” to share my work in my very own ideas and phrases was scary.
It had been largely my very own fragile ego that held me again from switching careers for therefore lengthy. It was completely not the expertise, although I did fear that my incapability to code was a barrier for creating this type of weblog and web site.
Utilizing WordPress, at the very least I used to be in a position 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. If you happen to assume again to while 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 ft within the snow. Each methods.”
Yeah, running a blog to me felt like this superb gate had instantly collapsed when it comes to 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 plenty of the issues — particularly round search engine marketing — that I actually needed. So we moved to WordPress.
And as soon as we moved I used to be like, “Oh this isn’t even laborious.” 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 positioning. And the positioning itself has gone by means of a ton of iterations by means of 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 procuring checklist and outfit inspiration, and the following degree up is the Wardrobe Reboot, which is extra strong and contains a 12-piece procuring checklist and particular outfit course out of your stylist.
Q: Once you have been choosing an eCommerce platform, did WooCommerce appear to be an apparent alternative? Like, “I’m already on WordPress so I’ll use WooCommerce?”
WooCommerce was strongly really helpful 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 quite have issues all housed in a single dashboard. I used to be making an attempt 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 effectively. For instance, we’re now utilizing a present card plugin. So now you should purchase the Refresh or Reboot choice 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: Fascinated by the design of the positioning, was there something particular you have been making an attempt 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 needed to emulate a stupendous eCommerce website. I needed the consumer to really feel like, wow, this is rather like procuring on Nordstrom or Mr Porter. Folks can browse shortly as a result of there’s a pleasant overlay that occurs while you hover on a product — it exhibits the model identify, product identify, issues like that.
And fascinated by my staff’s facet — I needed it to be tremendous easy for us to replace merchandise, and it’s.
Q: What do you are feeling is an important factor for guests to see once they first come to the positioning?
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, after we went from a content material platform to a service platform. Now the content material additionally serves as a giant a part of our advertising and marketing. There are opponents who’ve actually cornered the search engine marketplace for key phrases like “males’s private procuring”. However our content material nonetheless exhibits up for tons of different searches like, “Greatest chinos for work,” And we’re capable of inform individuals who click on on our website, “Hey, by the best way, we now have these companies that you simply’ll actually like.”
Q. What’s probably the most noticeable manner WooCommerce matches into the on a regular basis lifetime of the enterprise?
Nicely the perfect expertise is when it’s completely frictionless that we barely take into consideration. However it’s nonetheless an incredible feeling to be notified when somebody makes a purchase order. It’s good to know that all the things’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 marketing and eCommerce?
For higher or worse? I’m a really lively Twitter reader, particularly about advertising and marketing subjects. I can type of passively be taught with out essentially going out and being on blogs. I’m not essentially Googling, “Greatest 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 ideas he shares have been actually useful.
Q: You generate affiliate income from your whole content material, however now additionally supply the private styling companies. How does that break down for your small business?
Proper now, our weblog content material continues to be our major supply of site visitors and internet online affiliate marketing is our major income driver. However we’re seeing plenty of traction with each model partnerships and our new companies.
In truth, we noticed 85% progress in companies income year-over-year, in order that’s nice.
It was encouraging to see that progress, particularly in the course of the pandemic, as a result of it was like, who cares about what they’re sporting proper now?
In one other sense, nonetheless, it’s completely not stunning. I imply, you possibly can solely work at home in your pajama pants for therefore 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 facet has taken off?
For somebody who’s paid for the styling service, who has obtained a procuring plan actually created only for them, the conversion price is considerably increased 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 correct alternative. And, in contrast to our opponents, we don’t carry our personal merchandise that drive us to push the identical gadgets time and again to each shopper.
Q: What function 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 plenty of time in my residence 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 staff is distant as effectively. 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 right match for content-driven eCommerce shops. With out a background in expertise, Megan’s tapped into this energy to develop her enterprise and adapt to efficiently supply new companies.