By Casey Verderosa
The retail industry as we knew it has been disrupted by a new generation of brands, ones capable of connecting with the consumer in a more meaningful way. One of Rev’s member companies, Verticalé, is creating a digital platform for companies such as these.
“Retail is evolving at a rapid pace. New brands are pushing boundaries and connecting with consumers in a way that feels so much more authentic to them,” says Jaclyn Weissman, Founder of Verticalé. “They are shifting the mindset by putting the customer’s interests first, and by going beyond the product to stand for something.”
She envisions the platform will decrease the amount of research that value-minded consumers currently need to do before making a purchase from digital-first brands. “Consumers want a more humanized and transparent shopping experience, but along with that comes a pressure to be ‘in the know.’ That requires time and effort, and ultimately can discourage people from finding the brands that truly resonate with them.”
Jaclyn launches her startup and joins Rev with eight years of public relations experience in the fashion industry, having worked for a department store, an emerging designer, and a multi-brand licensee wholesaler. “My experience in retail has allowed me to see why the system is so broken. As a consumer, I’m drawn to the brands that are changing the game, the retail disruptors if you will. The only problem is it’s difficult to keep them straight and ultimately know which ones are worth buying from.”
As a solo founder, she most values the collaborative opportunities she can take advantage of at Rev, namely having access to advisors, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and a shared work space with other startup teams. “Once I started learning about the entrepreneurial community in Ithaca, I thought it was the perfect place to get this off the ground,” says Jaclyn. Since setting out on her journey six months ago, she has refined the company vision by learning from over 70 customer discovery interviews, has built brand relationships, and is currently organizing a startup team. The first iteration of the business will launch in April.
Interested in getting involved? Reach out to [email protected]for internship & job opportunities. Jaclyn is also looking for input from those with experience on the brand side or in the relevant retail space.