Tired of purchasing clothes online that you aren’t really in love with? Sick of running around the mall looking for the perfect outfit? TopShelf is the solution to your clothing woes! TopShelf is an online clothing portal that learns your unique style and provides insightful suggestions for the lady on-the-go. Using an elite network of stylists, comprehensive customer data and a fashion recommendation engine, TopShelf guides users to their ideal outfits. Instead of searching multiple stores, let the site work its magic and find styles that match both your taste and your budget. Manhattan with a Twist had a chat with TopShelf’s savvy Founder & CEO, Katie Nadler, to learn more about this great site and the benefits it provides for its users.
How did you initially come up with the idea for Top Shelf?
The initial idea for TopShelf came about as a way to solve my own personal frustration with online shopping. When I looked for things to buy it took forever and often I wound up with something almost identical to a piece I already owned.
Tell us about Top Shelf’s stylists.
TopShelf is selective with who we bring into our stylist network. We look for stylists who, regardless of their own personal style, understand their clients’ style needs and make the appropriate suggestions for that person. Many of our stylists work within the fashion industry as well, freelance styling for magazines and private clients.
Top Shelf also has a blog. What kind of content can we find on there?
Our blog is fantastic. We have new themed original content daily that our readers look forward to. For example, Monday is our “Monday’s Muse.” We look at a celebrity whose style we love, pick our top 3 outfits and then show you where to “get her look.” We look at a lot of recent trends and show women that you don’t need to be a super model or overly adventurous with style to look chic and modern. Of course we also have a lot of stylist wisdom on the blog. Our stylists love to give their advice and we’re working on integrating their tips even more this summer.
When one books a personal styling session – how quick does that take?
We contact clients within 24 hours of purchasing a session. The whole process is generally completed within 2 days or less, however some customers prefer more interaction with their stylist and are willing to wait to purchase an item. The best part is that the majority of it happens online so it doesn’t have the same burden as scheduling a meeting in-person.
Right now Top Shelf is invite only, when will it be open to the public?
We are planning to open it up by the end of summer or early fall, although our first priority is to keep our member experience as personalized as possible. If that means being selective with membership, then that’s a trade off we’re willing to make. We are pretty liberal with the wait list when we see someone has recruited a large network of their friends to join the wait list through their custom URL. We always love to see when people get really excited about what we’re doing.
Do the clothing and accessories recommendations come in a range of prices?
Yes. Most of our shoppers like contemporary brands (think Theory and Michael Kors), but we definitely have members who shop more high-end or who are more budget-conscious. Personal styling is about what’s right for you. The site looks different for those who spend $1500 on a dress versus those who wouldn’t consider spending more than $200.
Who exactly is the Top Shelf customer?
The TopShelf customer is someone who is overwhelmed and frustrated by shopping online. She loves the idea of having a virtual closet and seeing 5 new outfits pulled together for her each week, from both purchased and new items. She appreciates that, from beginning to end, we’re all about providing a personal experience without demanding a lot of her time.
Image via Sobbing on Fifth.