Q&A with Send the Trend co-founder and CEO Divya Gugnani
Earlier this week, Send the Trend, an accessories fashion retail website, announced that it has secured $3 million in Series A funding. The New York City-based company was founded in October, 2010.
SUB: What is the concept behind Send the Trend? What is the value proposition you bring to the market?
Gugnani: Send the Trend is an online accessories fashion retailer offering selections of accessories for $29.95 per item including free shipping. These selections are curated by fashion designer Christian Siriano. Visitors enjoy new customized selections of sunglasses, scarves, jewelry and more each month. The value proposition of this site is that it saves customers time because we do the work for you and it also eliminates the need to do cost comparison shopping because each and every item is $29.95.
SUB: How does it work for customers?
Gugnani: First you take our style survey. It’s fun and short. Based on your answers, we’ll figure out your style profile to discover which trend best fits you. After we determine your fashion personality, we will customize a collection of amazing accessories for you to choose from each month. You’ll also have the option to choose one of our chic Monthly Trend accessories. Once you choose your favorite, place your order. As a Send the Trend member, your shipping is free.
SUB: Was there an “aha” moment that led to the idea behind the company, or was it more of a gradual process?
Gugnani: As an entrepreneur, I am busy and time is tight. I’ve always felt like shopping was a pain—I just never have the patience to go from store to store, wait in line, compare prices, etc. And when I shopped online, I couldn’t handle the number of options and the shipping costs. It’s all about discovery and decision making. Send the Trend has accessories that fit your style, which change every month so you don’t have to hunt online or stores. It also eliminates decision making because all the products are the same price.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps taken to establish it?
Gugnani: I founded Send the Trend, an innovative e-commerce play in fashion accessories with fashion designer Christian Siriano (youngest winner of Project Runway) and fashion industry veteran, Mariah Chase. The company was launched in October 2010.
SUB: How are you marketing the site?
Gugnani: Our marketing strategy focuses on viral and social initiatives. Ultimately, customers are our best marketing tool. When customers love and wear our product, that’s our most effective marketing channel.
SUB: What are your target markets?
Gugnani: We target women in the U.S. between the ages of 18-59. We find that our customer is often between 25-40.
SUB: What have the challenges been to this point to establishing and fulfilling your vision for Send the Trend?
Gugnani: Figuring out exactly what people want and giving it to them. It’s all part of the process of building a new commerce site. We are constantly becoming more intelligent about what products the customers want.
SUB: You’ve just closed a $3 million Series A funding round. Do you plan to use this money for specific initiatives (entry into new markets,etc.)?
Gugnani: The funds will go towards technology, growth in breadth and depth of product, and expansion of the team.
SUB: Where do you see Send the Trend in a year from now?
Gugnani: As the go-to online destination for women’s fashion accessories!
SUB: Finally, a question I always ask: as an entrepreneur who has navigated the waters of the down economy, what advice do you have for those just starting out?
Gugnani: If you are an entrepreneur just starting out make sure you are clear about the following:
The crux of building a long and lasting business is innovation. Focus on being new and being better. Be sure you have a winning idea that has not been done before then pitch your business plan to private investors. Know your customer. Make sure you are going after a large and growing market. Pick one revenue stream and execute it well.
Send the Trend – www.sendthetrend.com