Calling all fashion stylists — here — now! Your clothes no longer have to be the only thing high-end in your life. Take the dynamic of your solo career and make it a high-end experience all together. You will find that you have a lot less gray hairs and a lot more time to keep yourself looking as fabulous as your clients.
New York and Chicago natives, Leigh Sevin and Jinesh Shah, are the co-founders of Arthur, your newest styling assistant and one-stop shop to building your freelance business. Sevin, once an American Studies major at Georgetown University, and Shah, a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in information, stepped into entrepreneurship together after meeting at a fellowship program in Miami called Venture for America. November 2015 marked their initiative to start a company in fashion and retail, and in October 2016, less than a year later, the duo had officially launched Arthur.
Arthur started off as a service focusing on the needs of the consumer. This changed when the co-founders realized that it was the stylists who were undervalued. Sevin and Shah looked into the market to find that the ratio of stylists in the US to the amount of retail sales they are responsible for a year is close to 31,000 to 6 billion. Convinced by the numbers, they created the technology and tools necessary for an efficient digital solution to empower freelance stylists. It is this “willingness to pivot” that according to Sevin, is one of the things she is most proud of.
Now, Arthur does not only provide a stylist with a suite of tools to better their business, but the options to create, send, post, and add their digital look books to their marketing page, pulling pieces from any online retailer. In addition, one is able to invite clients, see what their clients are looking at, choose their way to get paid, and even earn commission from brands. There is no upfront charge for either party.
“The biggest advantage Arthur provides for a stylist is the opportunity to make commissions on the sales they drive,” says Shah. “Just like in the interior design industry, where commissions are the norm, we want to show designers and retailers that stylists command quite a bit of influence.”
While Arthur is currently mobile optimized, access to all features is only available on a computer. As for the future, an Arthur app is likely to happen, and a company extension to create an easier way to connect more brands with more people is not out of the question, according to Sevin. With so much room to grow, it is only right the co-founders picked such an ambiguous name for the company.
As a stylist myself, I thought I would give it a try.
One of the first things I noticed when my browser loaded the website was just how clean, crisp, and effective the homepage design was. If this was anything reflective of the company, I was all in.
The next step was to sign up. Despite there being two sets of information I needed to fill in, the questions were super quick and easy to answer; nothing too personal.
Once my account was created I was taken to a page that, as a first time user, answered every “Well, how do I…?” question that was roaming my head. The greatest part about it? There were step by step video tutorials RIGHT THERE. I didn’t have to search the internet far and wide to find a successful video tutorial. That’s a first. Thanks Arthur.
Then PING! A personalized message from one of the co-founders letting me know about the chat button. I love chatting…especially when it comes to fashion. When I start I just can’t stop. Don’t worry Leigh and the rest of the Arthur team, I’ll try to keep my enthusiasm to myself (most of the time).
I then decided I wanted to make my first ever digital look book, as this would be my most used feature as a stylist on Arthur. I clicked the “+” button in the bottom right of my account, “new look” and received this pop up. I called the look I was about to create “Everyday Chic” and was able to type some notes for my clients or a client in specific. I wrote, “You can never go wrong with a clean white top and some jeans; Easy to wear and easy to accessorize!” At this point I could not wait to get started.
Immediately, I started looking at white t-shirts on Nordstrom, one of my all time favorite shopping destinations — online and in store. Though prices can get pretty high, the options seem endless. When I found the one I wanted to use I went onto the product page and clicked on the black (it’s now blue) Arthur extension icon (make sure you have installed it first) to the right of my browser’s address bar. After filling out the blanks, I added the product to my Everyday Chic look book. I repeated this for every product until I was fully satisfied with the whole outfit. Wow, I love technology.
Afterwards it was so cool to see the pieces I had chosen for the look book all together in one place. Previously, I would create folders on my desktop containing links to different products, or I would have to copy and paste all my photos into a document, to then send to a client. That process was definitely not seamless. With Arthur, the time it would take for me to normally create a look book was cut in half.
After all, I can truly say I have fallen in love with Arthur; the idea, the mission, the experience. I thought back to when I asked co-founder Leigh who Arthur’s competition was and she replied by telling me that instead of thinking about their competition, they were focusing on Arthur.
She then added something that truly resonated with me, “No one ever fails because of competition, you fail because of execution.”
To the fashion stylists out there, Arthur has your back.