I was recently contacted by Alex Shadrow, who told me about her fashion marketplace to buy and sell clothes, UNItiques.com. She mentioned her impressive sell through rate of 40%, the highest in fashion resale. I have tried a few other reselling apps, websites, and local consignment shops this year, so that was a very impressive statistic to me. UNItiques definitely falls under my blog topic of women+business+style, so read on to learn more about Alex and her company!
Tell us about UNItiques.com! What inspired you to start the business, when did you start it, how did you choose the name, what do you specialize in, what makes your business unique?
Alex: I launched UNItiques in 2012 after a scary encounter with a Craigslist creep who came to my house and wouldn’t leave. Shaken, I swore off the site (Craigslist) and looked for alternatives to sell my clothes. I found problems with every clothing re-sell option from consignment stores that rip you off to mega online clothing swaps (like Poshmark) that don’t work.
I created UNItiques and we currently have the highest sell-through rate of any competitor – that means we sell the highest percentage of inventory. Very proud of this! We also have the highest seller success rate of any fashion reseller. Buffalo exchange will only take 10% of the items you bring in for sale. Poshmark only sells 7.5% of the inventory uploaded to its site. We sell 40% of our inventory – this is because of our focus on the millennial niche + our personalized shopping experience where you only see items you actually want to buy.
Despite its name, UNItiques is for all bossy girls not just college girls. We say “UNItiques is the marketplace where the bossiest girls buy & sell fashion.” We target women ages 16-30 and have a campus ambassador program which accounts for 50% of our growth. We are the only marketplace in existence for millennials, the most active and enthusiastic demographic in fashion resale with 51% of millennials preferring to shop resale over retail.
I see you’ve secured investments from impressive fashionista businesswomen such as Rebecca Minkoff and Katia Beauchamp, and you were on an episode of Project Runway Startup, how did you accomplish those amazing feats?
Alex: Honestly, I accomplished this by being a YES GIRL. I always say yes to opportunities and a series of (blind) YESES lead me to the show. I didn’t even know it was Project Runway Startup until after filming began!
What is your favorite part about running UNItiques.com?
Alex: Making wallets & the world greener at the same time.
We’ve put over a quarter of a million into the pockets of millennials girls. My mission was to enable girls to be entrepreneurs by turning their closets into stores – we’re doing just that!
Also, did you know the fashion industry is the second most wasteful industry in the world? For example, it takes 6,700 water bottles to make one pair of jeans. Shopping resale is a huge help to this devastating statistic.
What kind of outfit makes you feel your best? How would you describe your personal style?
Alex: My personal style is 90s glam, a little bit of vintage and a little bit of bling.
Who are some of your favorite fashion/style industry people to follow for inspiration and more?
Alex: I honestly prefer to share my GIRL BOSS members. They are my inspiration!
@EmilyClaireBear – new trends for less than stores
@ThreeWolves – classic pieces your closet needs
@JackLag – flirty designer items for less
@ScarlettHalo_ (you may know her from Instagram.com/ScarlettHalo_) – a new york state of mind
@modernhvintage – minimalistic jewelry and body chains for $20 or less.
Do you have any advice for people starting a business in the fashion industry or online retail?
Alex: You have to have a vision – not a vision of what YOU think the business is but a vision of what the customers think the business is. Get customer feedback, they will lead the way. My motto is “UNItiques is what its customers want it to be.” Send surveys, do give-aways for feedback, invite your most active customers and fans for lunch. Get that feedback!
Thank you, Alex!
Here are some special offers for those of you who want to sell your closet at UNItiques.com:
Join UNItiques.com/join/JenBergren to win a $500 shopping spree
Shop the website with code: SECRETDISCOUNT for $1-$100 off