How Dressarie CEO, Kira Roehm, Gave Women Clothes They Actually Wanted

#GirlBoss: Bringing the world something she felt was missing.

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Online shopping for clothes has changed us. We’re different now. We’re better.

Why would we even buy clothes in shops now? With most of us working soul-draining 9-to-6 shifts and commuting on crammed, sweaty trains or dusty buses every morning and night, how could anyone have the energy to face a changing room? Plus, you have dinner with that ‘friend’ on Tuesday (you don’t even really like her anymore… it’s been over a month though, so you really should). Then on Wednesday it’s your OkCupid date – prediction? Disaster. Before Thursday, the last day for that free yoga class, and so by Friday you’re in hiding. Only you, your sofa, two microwave meals squashed on one plate and Netflix know your whereabouts. You’ll be back by Monday morning, just before someone files a Missing Person’s Report.

 

But shopping sofa-side comes with its own disadvantages. Anyone can type ‘How to style winter wardrobe’ into YouTube, and relatable bloggers hauling clothes (often out of your price range) for ‘all shapes, sizes and ethnicities’ are a dime a dozen, but we know fashion is never one-size-fits-all. Finding advice to suit your figure, style, taste and – most importantly – your budget, is still quite the minefield.

 

That was the exact challenge Kira Roehm was determined to solve with Dressarie. Since it launched in May, Dressarie is the “Fiiiiinally!” website for every fashion lover, providing how-to-style articles for every body type, guest blogger tips and the heads-up on mega sales and discounts. As the first high street Mecca for a clothes-lover whose online and on a budget, the response has been hugely positive. What’s the key selling point? Most pieces are around the £50-£100 mark, and everything’s under £200, so our wallets won’t be crying either.

 

We caught up with Kira, who created the high street store-navigating site, and asked her to fill us in on why she thinks Dressarie’s message is so important, how she switched from finance to fashion, and what it’s like being your own #GirlBoss.

 

What is Dressarie, and what was your inspiration behind it? 

I was interning at a boutique investment bank in California a few years ago. I was chatting to a friend of mine and told her that we should come up with a solution to those endless high street options currently available to women. The goal was to remove the stress of endless browsing, and provide our users with a selection of affordable clothing options, hand-picked and curated by our team.

 

The more the company progressed, the more I had the desire to create the only destination for all things affordable, ranging from clothing options, styling tips to a blog featuring pieces from a wide range of contributors writing all about fashion to travels.

 

 

So how did you get started in fashion?

While at university, I completed a series of internships ranging from sales at a department store to events and PR at Tiffany’s. [Then] followed by private and investment banking. After my return from the US I started my first job, and soon realised that while it was a great experience, my true passion [was] in fashion and its future. That’s when I started cooking ideas for the business and started it.

 

Why feature affordable high street brands mainly, rather than designer labels?

They are more accessible. While there are endless online shopping platforms selling luxury brands, I couldn’t find one that only provides affordable options, and that I would actually enjoy to spend time on. Having lived in London for 7 years now, starting as a student, I got inspired by the wide range of designers available on and off the high street. I selected the ones that I felt spoke best to our audience.

 

Your career change from finance to fashion is pretty inspirational. Do you have advice for others who want to break into fashion, or are scared to start their own business?

Switching careers is a daring move and I truly believe that it’s all about timing and decision-making. I came across this quote a few years ago and it applies very well to both work and life:  “If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want”.

 

What’s the response to Dressarie been so far?

The feedback we’ve received since the launch has been very positive. We really feel like there was a gap in the market for affordable clothing options and it’s been incredibly rewarding to see that Dressarie has been able to fill that by offering a platform that remains simple, sleek and user-friendly. One of the biggest highlights has definitely been partnering with bloggers, in particular Kristina Bazan, in time for our launch.

 

How important was it for you to include diversity on the site, and why?

Making sure that the company represents all types of women is absolutely crucial. Our aim for the brand is to target all women and be as relatable as possible, especially in terms of clothing and trends.

 

Running your own business is pretty daunting stuff! Have you experienced any challenges since launching your own website?

Personally, having to take important decisions by myself has been one of the most challenging things since the start, but also incredibly motivating. Technology and the back-end of the website are something I constantly struggle with, as I haven’t yet learned how to code and therefore need to fully rely on other people which causes quite a bit of frustration.

 

So, what are some of the best things about owning your own business?

I am constantly on the move therefore not having to be glued to a specific place is the best thing about being your own boss. It allows you to be available at all times with just a smartphone in hand (and good wifi!).

 

What’s next for Dressarie? 

[We want] to grow Dressarie into the leading advisor of all things affordable, from clothing to styling tips, health, beauty and lifestyle.

 

 

Have you used Dressarie, let us know what you thought in the comments below or by tweeting us @santmagazine.

 

Words: Mimi Davies

 

Hashtags: #Dressarie #Fashion #GirlBoss #Shopping #Entrepreneur #Woman

 

 

 

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