Storr, “the ultimate side hustle,” gives power to individuals who are brand loyalists. Anyone can create their own curated shop on Storr, with products from a number of brands. From a brand’s perspective, Storr is a marketing tool that serves as a more organic relationship than a relationship between a brand and a paid ambassador. From an individual’s perspective, Storr is a form of empowerment for everyday people to gain commission from supporting and marketing brands that they already love, on their Storr pages.
We have our own Storr page, so feel free to check it out and to add our products to your own page if you love our clothing and want to make some extra cash, too.
Q1: What was your life like prior to Storr? Were you on the creative fronts in your previous roles?
Eric: I was the third hire at the first company...kind of doing everything. It was a lot of sales, a lot of talking to people in the music industry explaining the idea, a lot of customer support. We were broadcasting, you know, live intimate concerts from these artists' homes and the Internet wasn't great, you know, so things would go wrong all the time and people would be paying for these shows. That was an interesting lesson in customer service, but yeah I’ve been on the creative side. I did the first pass of the UX and UI design of Storr where I built all the screens and stitched it together with a company called Envision.
Q2: When/How did the whole process of thinking about the concept of Storr begin?
Eric: The idea came from a meeting with a professional athlete’s marketing team and a guy by the name of Ricky Fowler, who was a professional golfer. We realized at the time that he had more followers on social media than Puma, so we asked that team, “why don’t you have a Ricky Fowler store?” and they said they didn’t want to build it or manage it.
So that’s what started the idea- this was two and a half years ago. And now it’s obviously something that everyone can use and it’s very simple, but it started with this light bulb moment that people’s personal brand, whether a celebrity or just a friend, are more trusted than existing distribution channels which are just kind of faceless corporations.
Q3: How do you define Storr now and describe it to people who don’t know what it is? How is it evolving?
It really depends on who the audience is; if you're talking to venture capitalists or you're talking to a brand or you're talking to a 17-year-old kid that you want to be on the platform, it changes. The biggest thing is that we are a peer to peer marketplace. I think that the goal was to create something that anyone can use and anyone can do. When we were starting out, people said, well, I'm not an influencer. How can I do this? We know from data that the most influential people in our lives when it comes to product recommendations are our friends. Those are the most trusted channels, most transactional channels. So we like to say we're a peer to peer marketplace where people can buy and sell new brand name things from their friends, and people make the money instead of existing retailers.
Q4: In the beginning, were you doing more “Average Joe” kind of stuff? How were you balancing everything?
Building a marketplace like this takes time; you’ve got to have the brands first. If we don't have the supply, there's nothing for anybody to send us. Now that we opened it up, it's very seller focused- we wanted to make it really easy for anyone to open a Storr. We’re transitioning into our next phase, building a community,...it’s more building a kind of e-commerce one-on-one feature but enabling people to continue to power it.
Q5: Do you think Storr is going to affect how brands work with influencers and that whole industry?
It's convergence based, right? So it's not based on impressions or points of reach. You pay at the point of sale and brands can say they’ll l give you a higher percentage of their sales to market the brand. But I think it'll be more effective over time. The influencer can market the stuff they actually like- the other thing is you got models in LA selling protein powder. Well, it doesn't make any sense. It's not authentic, right? You go on Storr and you can actually sell things you believe in and it's a much more authentic representation of who you are and your identity.
Q6: What’s the size of the brand now? Is it more focused on smaller brands?
It's more concentrated on direct-to-consumer brands to start; starting next week, we'll have our first public brand on the platform and start to move towards larger brands. But the idea is if this works at scale, all brands have the same playing field. Rather than working really hard to get into Macy's, if you're coming out of a fashion institute, and you're starting a new brand right now, you now have distribution, so if people like your stuff they'll sell it. We definitely want to empower the little brands and be a platform for all brands.
Q7: What are your personal goals for the brand/ as individuals?
Eric: We want to kind of decentralize online retail; we want to build a future where people do buy from other people rather than from corporations. We want to build something that they love, that they use, and that kind of empowers the average person to make money.
Jane: We really just want to sign on great brands and yes, designer brands that people love, but also new brands. I think, you know, being a place of discovery- that really excites me. And being able to be like this launchpad for brands, and introducing them to customers and then building a network. Even from there, you know, like to say “I found out about you on Storr and then I became a customer and then I made thousands of dollars because I loved the product so much”, you know, having those stories.
Q8: What do you think has shaped you guys as individuals?
Eric: I think definitely my background in film- people always ask, how does that translate to tech? And it makes perfect sense to me because your phone is a frame. When you think about how you build products, I basically have a degree in spatial reasoning. It doesn't matter if it's a movie 35 millimeters or if it's your iPhone screen. So I think about products like that.
I graduated in 2010, there were no jobs. And I think, you know, it didn't really matter what you'd studied at Yale. When the economy's good, Wall Street comes down there and UBS or you know, whoever it is, they just come in and they just offer 15 people jobs- it didn’t matter what you studied. When I graduated, there were no jobs. So we had to try to figure things out ourselves and be scrappy. And that mentality has definitely persisted.
Jane: That was actually going to be my answer- the recession. I graduated in ‘09, it might have been a little worse. At that time, no one had jobs. No matter where you started, you were humble and you just appreciated some type of experience. I started in customer service and honestly, I think that's where it shaped a lot of how I think about the customer. I'm very customer first.
Q9: What are the best practices for people starting their own Storr?
Make it really personal. A lot of people put things into their bio like “nothing is in my Storr that I wouldn’t own, that I don’t already own, or that I don’t want.” It’s kind of like providing a window into your life and the things you love. You know, if you just have a shoe up there and it's just a shoe, it's the same shoe on Macy's and Dick's sporting goods. But if it's a shoe that says, “Hey, I wore this to X, Y, Z, I like it because of this, I would suggest sizing down a little bit,” it gives it context. It starts to make that digital asset personal.
Lastly, if you want to check out some of our individual Storr pages, here is Morgan's
, and here is Meera's.