ShareStyle: Debbie Wosskow and Anna Jones
Having launched a female-focused crowdfunding platform, two of the UK's leading entrepreneurs have started a digital marketplace for style services
Tell us what your business does
ShareStyle is the first marketplace to showcase a broad range of style and lifestyle experts, connecting them with those looking for specialised help via an easy-to-use mobile app. It will offer face-to-face style services across three key areas; personal style, home style and life style, encompassing personal stylists, interior designers, photographers and nutritionists.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
There has been an explosion of consumption of lifestyle content thanks to the rise of traditional media digitally and the inexorable rise in social media. We are all surrounded by Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest content showing us stylish looks, beautiful interiors, stunning food and healthy bodies, but until now there has been very little access to the people behind the images. ShareStyle is about offering access to this lifestyle we all lust after by connecting people with the creative talent behind the looks at their convenience and at a price that suits them
How did you know there was a market for it?
With social media continuing to be on the rise, consumers are now surrounded by lifestyle content but, until now, haven’t had access to the professionals behind these looks. We noticed this gap in the market and ShareStyle has now opened that door to connect people with the influencers to create and attain bespoke looks at affordable prices.
What were you doing before starting up?
Jones: I am CEO of Hearst, co-founder of AllBright, and also a board member of the Creative Industries Federation UK and the PPA Executive Committee, and chairman of Comag.
Wosskow: I am founder and CEO of Love Home Swap, co-founder of AllBright. I’m also the author of an independent report for the government about the sharing economy, the founding chairman of Sharing Economy UK, and an angel investor for Vinaya, Tap and more.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Wosskow: I’ve has run my own companies most of my career and Anna has run multiple companies for other people and after doing this for many years so wanted to make the move in to doing this for herself.
How did you raise the money?
We have a host of great investors including Lars Rasmussen, the creator of Google Maps, Philip Su, director of engineering at Facebook and Edward Griffiths founder of www.lovecrafts.com.
Describe your business model and how you make money?
ShareStyle is an app based market place for professional style services, everything from personal stylists, interior designers, and nutritionists. The idea is to have a curated platform of all these professionals and give consumers easy access to them in one place.
The professionals set their own hourly rate and ShareStyle adds their margin on top of this.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them
Building a team is always a challenge, especially in the early days, but we’ve been lucky enough to hire a fantastic founding team including Alexandra Cappy our MD who was head of ops at uber and Jo Lavender our CMO who was head of brand at Pinterest.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Getting our first angel investors who were a combination of close friends and business contacts who got inspired by the idea.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Wake up early, sweat every day and develop that all important resilience.
Where do you want to be in five years time?
A must-have service that has democratised access to style talent around the world.