‘Social selling’ site Kitsy Lane aims to empower online boutique owners

                                                                            Boston Business Journal                                                                        by James Brooks, Special to the Journal

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 3:49pm EDT – Last Modified: Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 3:55pm EDT

Kitsy Lane, led by founder Andy Fox, provides services to online boutique owners such as customer service and shipping.
Courtesy | Kitsy Lane

Kitsy Lane, led by founder Andy Fox, provides services to online boutique owners such as customer service and shipping.

Seeking to simplify at-home online boutique stores and empower the owners who run them, Andy Fox believes he has developed a first-of-its-kind online fashion and jewelry marketplace via his Maynard startup, Kitsy Lane.

Backed by $1 million in funding led by Boston venture firm Point Judith Capital, the Kitsy Lane platform launched commercially on July 24. The site had registered more than 2,200 boutique owners since its private beta launch in late May, Fox said.

Kitsy Lane handles concerns for its store owners such as customer service and shipping, with the goal of taking away much of the risk involved with online selling.

Boutique owners can customize an online storefront, choose merchandise to sell, stock a weekly flash sale and market to their social networks. Store owners can receive up to 25 percent of the income they generate from their online boutiques.

“Our goal is to be the absolute best social selling platform available,” Fox said. “We want Kitsy Lane to be a place where you can operate your own online boutique, you don’t need to take any type of inventory risk, you don’t have to be able to make anything like other sites require.”

According to Fox, the Kitsy Lane system fulfills the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs who have a passion for operating their own business, but who wouldn’t normally be able to manage the business due to financial and time constraints.

“Boutique owners don’t have to deal with customer service,” Fox said. “They don’t have the burden of getting the credit card numbers wrong — it’s all managed through the website. Customers can call us directly, instead of the seller. The goal is to make the boutique owner more efficient, not to burden them down.”

Fox previously has run startups including Imidio (acquired by SiteScape in 2004) and iConverse (acquired by Infoclarus in 2002).

*********************************************************

Advertisements