Although Vancouverites might not be perceived as dressing well compared to other countries around the world, fashion is still a large part of our everyday lives. Fashion however, is not an easy thing to follow through with as it can take various hours out of your day surfing the web through fashion blogs or flipping through magazines – that’s why some Vancouverites prefer to keep it simple with function over fashion. Our stylish friends from Growlab’s recent cohort, Wantering are helping you find the things you love, as quick as possible.
1. Who are you? Tell us about your business/core idea and how it got started.
We’re Wantering. We’re helping people find clothes they love through our recommendation engine. We started last year, when we realized that we were a bunch of guys who worked on eCommerce technology all day, but still went out to retail stores when we needed to buy clothes. We wanted to build the kind of site that we would actually use.
2. There seems to be a lot of fashion blogs and websites out there, tell us what makes you stand out.
With Wantering, our goal has been to really respect your time. A lot of sites are trying to make a social network out of fashion. The problem is that social networks are designed to pull you in and get you to spend hours clicking through profiles and photos, and expect you to share as much as you consume. When I just want to buy a new pair of jeans, that’s the last thing I’m looking for. Our goal is to get you to something you love as quickly and painlessly as possible.
3. How do you plan to scale and how do you see Wantering evolving as you reach critical mass?
Personalization is the next big frontier for us. We want to understand your style better than you do, so we can consistently find products you’ll love. Our goal is to evolve into the first place you turn to when you need to buy something, because our results will be head and shoulders more relevant to you than anyone else’s.
4. What are some of the biggest challenges you and the team face today and tomorrow and how is the team working to overcome them?
One of our biggest challenges as a company is the same challenge we faced as consumers: the world of online fashion is huge and messy. There are hundreds of thousands of stores, and the perfect product for you might be at any number of them. Our job is to make a consistent experience for you to browse products from all of these stores, and find the perfect one, but it’s no small task. Nobody is doing a good job of this, and we’d like to be the first.
5. How does this improve the city of Vancouver? What is the real world problem you’re solving?
We’re all facing an information overload. At the same time, it’s human nature to express ourselves with what we wear. We’re letting people have their cake and eat it too, by finding things they’ll love without having to spend hours wading through dozens of fashion blogs or magazines. This is a massive problem that affects literally everyone. Vancouver needs more companies trying to tackle these big, universal, problems; those really audacious types of companies typically only emerge from hubs like San Francisco, New York, or London.
6. What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?
Focusing on one problem is really important. It’s easy to get distracted by the next interesting problem to solve, but it’s always better to do one thing really well than to do five things poorly. We’ve had our best success by just doubling down on the core idea of helping people find items they love.
With the help of Wantering, hopefully people will have more time on their hands to wear fashion instead of look for it. It’s still early days for Wantering and as time goes on, it looks like they’re going to get quite good at helping consumers fulfill their fashion needs.
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*Vancity Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs or startups that are making Vancouver a better place. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, send [email protected] an email explaining why*