Well then, we’d like to introduce you to Jeannine Adams, the woman who is going to fix this problem for all of us for good. Jeannine’s company, Ready Pretty, is a bit like hiring your favorite blogger or style icon to shop the internet for you in order to create a wardrobe that’s perfectly tailored to your lifestyle and budget. (Already sold? Sign up here). The service pairs you up with your very own personal stylist, whose job it is to find out about your life and then create the wardrobe to match. You can select from a few different services, ranging from a one-time style for a special occasion, to the creation of a 25-piece capsule wardrobe that’s designed to be easily mixed-and-matched. Your stylist sends you links to all of the items in your wardrobe, so all you have to do it make the purchase.
So where did Jeannine come up with the genius (and FUN) idea? We talked to her about all that and more.
WHAT IS READY PRETTY? TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE COMPANY?
Ready Pretty is a personal styling and shopping destination for all women. We connect experienced fashion stylists with women who need help shopping for the wardrobe they’ve always wanted. Basically, we help women get dressed. Tell us your needs, a little about yourself, and our Ready Pretty Style Experts will email a carefully curated collection of links to full outfits and/or wardrobe pieces from some of the best online shopping destinations from around the world. The links and looks our users want, exactly when they need them. At a budget that works for them.
Our mission is simple: Give women access to the wardrobe they’ve always wanted – allowing them to look good and feel great, while saving the time and headache of trying to find the perfect pieces.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START IT?
As a fashion editor and on-air style correspondent for years as a “side job”, I have always had a love for fashion. I was helping to “style” so many of my friends and family and quickly realized there was an overwhelming need for accessible style advice for those of us that aren’t celebrities. Oftentimes, busy women either are unsure of what styles and silhouettes work best for them or don’t have the time to go into stores or yet worse, scroll through pages and pages of online stores. I knew that if I could connect stylists to users that needed the help we would be solving a gap in the market for both parties.
WHEN DID YOU OFFICIALLY LAUNCH? HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR THE COMPANY TO GO FROM THE IDEA PHASE TO A REALITY?
We officially launched January 2016, but had “soft-launched” to initial friends, friends-of-friends, and family prior to that. It took us about a year to finally make the idea a real living and breathing thing with a whole lot of ups and downs throughout the process.
WHAT DID YOU DO PRIOR TO READY PRETTY?
Prior to Ready Pretty I had been in marketing and public relations my entire career working on business-to-consumer brands like Levi’s, Jim Beam and Best Buy, as well as business-to-business brands like USG, PotashCorp and Essendant. Also as I’d mentioned, I was (and still am) a freelance writer for several fashion and beauty publications including The Everygirl currently, and was the on-air fashion and style correspondent for NBC 5 Chicago’s Nonstop program years ago as well.
DOES YOUR FORMER CAREER APPLY TO YOUR NEW ONE AT ALL?
Yes! I was the Director of Content Marketing at my last agency, Gyro, where I led the content marketing, public relations and social media team. My career has taught me the importance of customer and client service, the skill of multi-tasking and strategic marketing development and execution. For years I’ve been marketing and launching big brands and learned a thing or two along the way – I’ve been in the trenches helping major companies build buzz, drive sales and create lasting brands. It’s obviously different when it’s your own– the stakes are even higher – but as a growing business, it’s exciting to see the strategies that I implement for Ready Pretty having an actual, tangible impact on my company.
WHAT WAS THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT STARTING THE COMPANY AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
The to-do list is never ending. Ever. If I could make more hours in the day I would. Can someone figure that out please!? That said, I carve out the time for the things that make me feel normal. As a new-ish mom, I make sure that I pick up my son from daycare everyday, and it’s phone and computer away so that my entire family can eat dinner, play and be together before we get my son ready for bedtime. While I’m back working once my son is asleep, that time is incredibly important and precious to me. My 6 am workouts are another aspect of my day that helps me to achieve balance. It’s one full hour, uninterrupted, where I can focus on me. Whether it’s yoga or at PureBarre West Loop in my hood, that is my time to get mentally and physically ready to take on whatever the days holds.
HOW ARE THINGS GOING SO FAR?
So far so good! The response has been better than I could have imagined! We’re growing at an incredible pace and bringing on new stylists into our commission-based program continually. We’ve got great friends and users who are so thrilled to talk about us on our behalf that it makes us blush at times. We’re working on building out our software capabilities to offer white glove ordering service (coming soon!) to our users, a log-in profile and dashboard to make reordering easy and a referral program to continue to drive increased user acquisition. We can’t wait to unveil these updates in the coming months.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT OWNING READY PRETTY?
Building a business and a brand that I truly believe in. I’ve always believed that clothing can be transformative. When you look good, you feel good. And at Ready Pretty we’re in the business of building confidence. We’re giving women the confidence they need to take on their days, everyday. It’s more than materialistic to me, and that’s what I hope to show, with every single woman that we help. In addition, creating this brand has allowed me to give back in a way that I’ve always wanted. We’ve partnered with organizations like My Favorite Outfit, whose mission is to use fashion to empower at-risk young women, as well as The Columbus School for Girls and WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger). We hope to continue to impact young girls and women through the power of clothing, giving them confidence they need to help them succeed.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE CLOTHES OFFERED THROUGH THE SERVICE?
Upon purchase, our users fill out a style questionnaire which helps to uncover their style personality and needs. Our stylists take the time to have what we call at Ready Pretty, a style consult with each and every user. It can be either via phone or video chat. We’re able to really get a sense of that user and hear directly from their own mouths what they are looking for, what their style challenges are and really what they are hoping to achieve with Ready Pretty. It’s an important step in our process and integral to gaining happy (and repeat!) users.
WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR CUSTOMERS RESPOND SO WELL TO WHAT YOU OFFER?
We’re not just sending clothing recommendations. With all of our packages, we’re showing women how to create different looks and outfits with Ready Pretty Fashion Math – it’s a “dress by numbers” model in which we show you how to create a variety of different looks. We’re taking the guesswork out of getting dressed. Instead of being unsure as to what goes with what, with our packages, we’re telling our users, this is how we recommend you style these pieces.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
This is a tough one! Throughout my career I’ve been given a ton of great advice. But simply, I received one piece that has stayed with me, from a mentor and friend. It was simply, “Do the right thing, always” – it’s a balancing act where sometimes tradeoff’s need to be made – but it has helped to guide me on this journey with Ready Pretty.