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Brooklyn Decker Wants to Make It Simpler to Get Dressed

Brooklyn Decker with Finery cofounder Whitney Casey. Photo courtesy of Kristen Kilpatrick.

Brooklyn Decker Wants to Make It Simpler to Get Dressed

FEMALE FOUNDERS

Brooklyn Decker Wants to Make It Simpler to Get Dressed

Here at goop, we’ve been noticing—and applauding—the rise and influence of women in industry. Perhaps the only upside to workplace inequality is it has driven a lot of amazing women out of corporate America—and straight to the helm of their own companies. So we decided we didn’t want to just cheer them on anymore. We wanted to meet them and interview them and write about them. With that, we give you: Female Founders, a column featuring women who create, design, and inspire.

Brooklyn Decker wants you think about your closet differently. Specifically, she wants you to spend less time sifting through your closet wondering what in the world to wear. This is where Finery comes in. Finery is a “wardrobe operating system” that helps you make sense of your closet. Here’s how it works: Finery syncs with your online purchases and assembles a digital closet for easy browsing. You can create wish lists, get sale alerts, and put together an outfit and attribute it to a date in the calendar, say, a job interview, or a date night. There’s even a section devoted to styling inspiration. Fittingly, Decker—mother to two-and-a-half-year-old son Hank and seven-month-old daughter Stevie—is the app’s best customer: “I’ll make a few looks in the app while I’m waiting to pick up Hank from school and add them to the calendar—especially if I have something big coming up,” she explains. “Ultimately it takes some of the madness out of the morning rush and allows me to have an extra cup of coffee or, better yet, a baby snuggle.”

A Q&A with Brooklyn Decker

Q
What surprised you most about cofounding a company?
A

It’s like having another child. I had heard that from other entrepreneurs, so I “knew” it, but I didn’t know it. With tech specifically, you are always on call and always in the product. You’re sleep-deprived; sometimes your “baby” shits on you (i.e., there are bugs). It’s incredibly rewarding but not without its challenges.


Q
In January, you announced a $5 million seed round. What was the fund-raising process like?
A

It was interesting—to say the least. For starters, during our raise I was eight months pregnant, which I highly recommend because VCs can’t postpone meetings when you have a due date. It was challenging because we are solving for a problem that women, not necessarily men, face. So a good chunk of our precious pitch time was used explaining why this was important to women. That was frustrating. The good news is that there are so many VCs who fully understand that women have the spending power in the household, and who have a genuine interest in what’s important to women. I advise anyone looking to raise money to look at the track record of investors: Have they invested in women? Do they care about the space you’re in? Do their portfolio companies have good things to say about them? Our investors, many of whom are women, checked those boxes.

“During our raise, I was eight months pregnant, which I highly recommend because VCs can’t postpone meetings when you have a due date.”


Q
What features on the newest version of Finery are you most excited about?
A

Our initial product gave the user access to her wardrobe on her phone. (We were able to patent this, which was pretty cool.) But then our users said, “Now we want you to style us.” They told us they were using Pinterest and Google searches for styling inspiration. Now Finery automates that process for you. My favorite feedback from our users is when they tell us how much time we’ve saved them getting dressed.

“Our users told us they were using Pinterest and Google searches for styling inspirations. Now Finery automates that process for you.”

Brooklyn Decker Finery App
Brooklyn Decker Finery App
Brooklyn Decker Finery App

The Finery experience.


Q
As a mom, wife, actress, and model, you already have a lot on your plate. Why did you decide to launch an app?
A

Admittedly, I’m not a huge lover of technology. I’m old-fashioned and, unlike my cofounder, Whitney Casey, not at all in with what’s hip. But I am a huge fan of productivity. Being able to maximize my time is important. We knew we were wasting time rummaging through our closets every day, figuring out what to wear. Or in my case, shopping in a store, unaware that I already had three pairs of skinny jeans hanging in my closet. When I realized I could manage my finances, travel, music, and even my baby monitor from afar, the obvious question was: Why can’t we just see what we have in our closet on our phones? Why are we spending so much energy and money on our clothing? There has to be a better way.


Q
What were the biggest surprises from the company's early days?
A

We have women who are obsessed with the product. That feels so good. You can spend all this time building something, but until it’s out in the world, you don’t know how it will be received. The worst surprises? Well, technology breaks. Especially when it’s new. We’ve definitely had a few speed bumps, a few bugs, but we’re a scrappy team, and our awesome users have stuck with us.

“Well, technology breaks. Especially when it’s new. We’ve definitely had a few speed bumps, a few bugs, but we’re a scrappy team, and our awesome users have stuck with us.”


Q
What's been the biggest obstacle?
A

Education. Education. Education. The most exciting thing about innovation is that it’s new and disruptive; the hardest part is that it requires some level of teaching. Unlike so many successful start-ups, we don’t have product to give away. We see so many companies gifting their goods to users, influencers, etc., and then those women post about it and share. It’s basically free marketing. That proves to be an obstacle when you offer a service, not an actual product.


Q
What's up next?
A

We have a few ideas. One that resonates most with our users is re-commerce: Log in to Finery, see all your stuff—a lot of which you might not wear anymore—and click a button to resell it. Giving women their time back, and maybe even getting them some of their money back—that’s pretty compelling.

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