How do you feel about being named a finalist in the 2010 Tech Awards? Shock and awe! Seriously, we are thrilled and honored to be recognized alongside a host of remarkable companies creating groundbreaking innovations in online retail. If we weren’t working 20 hour days, we’d be shopping on their sites!
If you could describe your innovation in one succinct sentence, how would you describe yourself? We’re bringing to bear innovations in mass customization, gaming and online retail to make girls’ dreams of being a fashion designer come true.
How was your company founded, and what inspired its creation?
Our founder, Sarah McIlroy, grew up with a mother and a grandmother that turned her drawings into clothing designs for her when she was younger. Wanting to offer her daughter the same opportunity, but not willing to sit at a Singer all day, Sarah was inspired to start FashionPlaytes and help bring life to girls’ fashion inspirations.
What makes your company different from other companies in your market space? There are plenty of online “dress up” games for girls and kids clothing retailers but no other experience brings the two together. At FashionPlaytes.com, girls can have all the fun of creating a virtual dress, jean jacket or hoodie and then having them delivered right to their door.
What has been your company's greatest accomplishment in the past year? When we first started speaking to investors, no one believed we could deliver a high-quality garment with as many customizable dimensions as we offer on our site today, and do it without losing our shirts (apologies for the pun!) Many months later, we’ve proved we can deliver an end-to-end product that parents approve and kids enjoy, and that creates opportunities for Massachusetts-based workers in both new technology (eCommerce) and traditional manufacturing. We’re thrilled with the response we’ve received, especially from parents and relatives who view FashionPlaytes as their “go to” gift for tween girls.
What is your greatest asset? At the risk of sounding trite, our greatest asset is that we put smiles on faces. Tween girls are delighted with our clothing and experience, their parents, relatives and/or friends are “heroes” for the day – everyone wins! We have a feel-good story that’s compelling and easy to communicate to an audience that loves to dote on these girls while they’re at this special age in their lives.