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Interview with Arthur Co-Founders Leigh and Jinesh [Sponsored]

I sat down with the co-founders of Arthur (a new personal stylist service), Leigh and Jinesh a few weekends ago to learn about their story as founders.  I’m always so inspired and intrigued by people who have the guts and determination to start their own business.  Read on for more on my chat with them!

New York fashion blogger at NY Public LibraryTrench: Burberry (old, but some new classic ones here) | Sweater: H&M | Scarf: H&M
Bag: Zac Posen (Similar style here) | Jeans: 7 for all Mankind | Shoes: L.K. Bennett

Tell me your story.  How did you two meet?

Leigh: We met while we were both in Venture for America in Miami.  We realized we had a very complementary skill set.  I own the sales, marketing, and business development side and Jinesh is the designer and full-stack developer.

So how did you come up with your business idea and how does Arthur work?

Leigh: We started by thinking about the biggest challenges that people have.  We focused on something that we do all the time—shopping.  We realized that it’s overwhelming for people to navigate online shopping all on their own.  People don’t have time to find what they know they want.

Jinesh: So we thought of different ways we could make the process more efficient.  We decided on Arthur because we strongly believe in maintaining that personal connection in the shopping process through stylists who can source the items that you’re looking for.  We’re focused on that busy, on the go woman.  The CMO or the VP at a large company who wants to look great but can’t afford spending an entire Saturday shopping.

New York fashion blogger, Burberry trench coat, Zac Posen Eartha bag, 7 for all mankind distressed jeans, LK Bennett Sledge pumps

It’s great that you’re making it easier for busy women to look great, but how are you different from other businesses like Keaton Row?

Leigh: We charge for the styling, and not for sending you clothes that you may or may not like or need.  When you sign up, you commit to building yourself a better wardrobe and working with your stylist to identify clothes that actually fit you over a three month period.

Jinesh: We’re retail agnostic, so our stylists source products from whatever retailers carry the best product, whereas our competitors have partnerships with specific retailers, which can limit the inventory you have access to.

How do you guys make sure that your customers get the best service and experience from your stylists?

Leigh: Unlike some of our competitors, our stylists are contracted out on a per-client basis so they can keep their day jobs or in-person clients and still be a part of Arthur.  A lot of our stylists love that they can decide how much extra work they want and that there’s a more affordable way for clients to have access to styling.  We also compensate our stylists for their time, which makes them focused on finding the right clothes for a client rather than pushing product.

Jinesh: We are also building a platform that makes it possible for the best stylists from all over the country to work virtually.  They can work on their own time and work with clients from all over the country.  If you are a stylist in NY and LA, you have other work that you can get, but if you’re in smaller cities, you need more clients.

What’s ahead for you guys and Arthur?

Leigh: At the end of the day, our focus is on helping you find quality clothing. Coming into this space, where there are so many other players, we have to be very mindful of the problem and solution.  We’re constantly asking ourselves, do people want change and will this continue?

Jinesh: Tech is a huge equalizer and we’ve seen smaller companies spring up and really take over the market from more established players, like what smaller e-commerce players are doing to established department stores.  Leveraging technology to deliver on personalized shopping experiences is going to be a big trend going forward and we see a huge opportunity for Arthur in this area.

If you’re in need of some affordable styling services or just want to support a great startup, click here to sign up for Arthur!  Use discount code incorporatemode for $100 off your styling service.


Jenn Signature

 *Interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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