Fashion Mingle is a fashion tech startup designed exclusively for fashion professionals.
Our mission is to fuel the growth of local fashion communities, making it easy to find resources, hire a team, market products, and reach new customers. Unlike other platforms, Fashion Mingle is built for the entire fashion industry, uniting 50+ occupations across 107 cities.
What was the inspiration behind starting Fashion Mingle?
Melissa Shea (the Co-founder and CEO of Fashion Mingle) has a background in web development and internet marketing. She saw how fashion businesses were struggling with marketing and lacked the technical skills to effectively promote their products and services, and began to develop simple online tools to organize local fashion communities and maximize their marketing efforts.
I met her when she was just starting to take the concept beyond her initial city of Austin to a nationwide strategy, and I immediately saw the potential. Having come from several successful start-ups built to help women entrepreneurs, many of them fashion designers, I knew their biggest hurdles firsthand. Fashion fails to keep up with other industries in the creation of technology-driven solutions. We want to change that.
What excites you about the fashion industry?
I am such a big believer in the passion and creativity of the people who make up the fashion industry! As a technology geek, I’m really excited to see fashion and technology become even more closely intertwined. From digital fabrics to connected accessories, we are only beginning to realize the possibilities.
How is Fashion Mingle changing the way fashion does business?
There is currently no one-stop platform that connects the entire fashion industry. We want Fashion Mingle to be the place where fashion professionals of every level, from startup to enterprise, come to network and market their businesses.
We offer a private social network where you can network with professionals in private groups and share your expertise in public forums. We’re also really excited about our Mingle Match system. It’s an advanced search algorithm that will quickly put you in front of customers, clients, and media.
Finally, we’re investing a considerable amount of time and funds to partner with some incredible organizations to produce an educational series. We want to make sure we arm members of our platform with both the knowledge and tools to succeed.
Why do you think now is the time to be a female entrepreneur?
Female entrepreneurs are extremely adept at finding needs and gaps in the marketplace and are more confident than ever about seizing opportunities. I think this in part due to an increasing number of resources and communities such as WE Rule that lend expertise and inspire others to think: Ok, she did it, I can too!
But as we all know, enthusiasm and innovation will only get you so far. Finding an investor can be hard, daunting, and scary! We are still lagging behind our male counterparts in this area, but we’re making strides like never before. Again, don’t feel you have to go at it alone. Lean on organizations that can help and offer the blueprint you need to feel confident when asking.
What do you envision for the future of Fashion Mingle?
We always joke we should get T-shirts that say “So many tools, so little time”! We plan on incorporating even more features throughout 2017. We are in the process of conducting a large-scale industry survey, which has given us even more food for thought.
A sneak peek is an app that drives customers to your business, and plans for international growth. Right now we’re laser focused on creating thriving communities in 107 US cities. Wherever you are located, we hope you come mingle with us!