Life is sophisticated.
Wanting good shouldn’t be.
So states the homepage of Fashion Girlfriend, the female-run style 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 purchasers are common guys who need to get into higher contact with the types and conduct that at present’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 good friend’s web site. The column rapidly 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 providers 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 out of the blue 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 thus 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 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 type for a very long time. For those who suppose 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 toes within the snow. Each methods.”
Yeah, running a blog to me felt like this superb gate had out of the blue collapsed by way of conserving 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 rapidly realized that I couldn’t do a whole lot of the issues — particularly round search engine optimization — 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 would like 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 by myself.
Now we use WooCommerce for our two on-line styling providers. One is the Wardrobe Refresh, which features a 1-on-1 video name with a stylist, a 5-piece buying record and outfit inspiration, and the subsequent degree up is the Wardrobe Reboot, which is extra sturdy and includes a 12-piece buying record and particular outfit path out of your stylist.
Q: If you have been deciding on 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 beneficial by our developer, who primarily works with WordPress. We checked out Shopify, however I didn’t need to begin Scotch taping an excessive amount of collectively. I’d a lot somewhat 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 in a position to simply prolong our choices as nicely. For instance, we’re now utilizing a present card plugin. So now you should purchase 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: Fascinated with the design of the location, 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 web site. I needed the person to really feel like, wow, this is rather like buying on Nordstrom or Mr Porter. Folks can browse rapidly as a result of there’s a pleasant overlay that occurs while you hover on a product — it exhibits the model title, product title, issues like that.
And fascinated by my crew’s aspect — I needed it to be tremendous easy for us to replace merchandise, and it’s.
Q: What do you’re feeling is an important 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, 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. There are opponents who’ve actually cornered the search engine marketplace for key phrases like “males’s private buying”. However our content material nonetheless exhibits up for tons of different searches like, “Finest chinos for work,” And we’re in a position to inform individuals who click on on our web site, “Hey, by the way in which, we now have these providers that you simply’ll actually like.”
Q. What’s essentially the most noticeable means WooCommerce matches into the on a regular basis lifetime of the enterprise?
Nicely the very 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 all the pieces’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 subjects. I can kind 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 sources on Twitter.
I additionally get Nik Sharma’s e-newsletter each Sunday, and the information he shares have been actually useful.
Q: You generate affiliate income from your whole content material, however now additionally provide the private styling providers. How does that break down for your small business?
Proper now, our weblog content material remains to be our essential supply of site visitors and internet online affiliate marketing is our major income driver. However we’re seeing a whole lot of traction with each model partnerships and our new providers.
In actual fact, we noticed 85% progress in providers income year-over-year, in order that’s nice.
It was encouraging to see that progress, particularly throughout 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 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 charge is considerably increased than for guests who simply land on a weblog submit.
However we don’t suggest merchandise simply to make a fee — if a product isn’t in an associates program, we’ll nonetheless embrace it if it’s the best alternative. And, not like our opponents, we don’t carry our personal merchandise that power us to push the identical objects again and again to each shopper.
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 wherever. Proper now I’m spending a whole lot 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 crew is distant as nicely. 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 wherever, 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. And not using a background in expertise, Megan’s tapped into this energy to develop her enterprise and adapt to efficiently provide new providers.