The app FashionTap connects brands to tastemakers (aka influencers) and makes it easy for tastemakers to make money from the clothing and beauty products they are wearing and loving.Last night, app CEO and Founder Amy Roiland talked shop and funding ($100,000 for a 10% share) with sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank. (SPOILER: She got an offer from Barbara for $100,000 for a 25% share…but she declined the offer.)
Back in 2015, I caught up with Amy to learn more about FashionTap, how it works and who it serves. If you missed Shark Tank last night, enjoy our Q & A below. This is the first time this Q & A has been published.
Q: Tell me about your motivation to create FashionTap.
A: I was working as the head PR person at a denim e-commerce company. My boss asked me to locate fashion bloggers in Austin, TX for SXSW to send them denim to wear around the festival. I couldn’t locate bloggers anywhere. Not on Google. Not on Instagram. I realized that there was this huge void in the fashion community cause I couldn’t easily find these influencers.
Bloggers are really launching brands and if brands are having a hard time finding these bloggers it’s not good. I also was sick of going on other social networks like Instagram and seeing items I loved and asking who makes the items and the person not responding or responding with an answer like Zara and then I would have to search and search on Zara’s site for that item. I created FashionTap to solve these problems.
Launching FashionTap was a hard and long process cause I knew it had to be easy and fun to use but also look elegant. I spent a lot of time working on the user experience before I even felt comfortable telling anyone about it. I care about and listen to my users. I’m always trying to think of ways to improve their experience and make the best fashion app possible.
FashionTap was not only born out of my dream of connecting the fashion world but also because of my frustration with the void of anything like FashionTap at the intersection of tech and fashion.
Q: The app is dubbed “the future of mobile shopping”. What has been the response from shoppers and content creators?
A: FashionTap definitely is the future of mobile shopping. No one wants to be bothered by advertisements and no one believes commercials anymore. Studies show millennials tune-out traditional advertising.
This [FashionTap] is an organic way to promote without shoving it down peoples’ throats. FashionTap has received lots of positive feedback from both shoppers who love how easy it is to find and shop great style and beauty products as well as content creators who are really happy that we give them a commission on products they tag on their photos.
Our users tag what they’re actually wearing or makeup products they’re actually using. They share and tag products they genuinely love. You trust the people you follow on social media. These are either big social media influencers or your friends. We make sure the people who share and tag what they love are rewarded for their influence. When our users tag their outfits and their makeup their followers are highly likely to shop their photos. Whenever anyone buys something you’ve tagged you make money. Anyone can make money on FashionTap. Anyone can find and follow new people who fit their taste and discover great fashion.
FashionTap makes you want to shop because you can easily buy the exact item you see in an image. It’s effortless and doesn’t require you to have to search for the product like on other social networks. Retailers and brands like ANGL and Blak Label Clothing have told me how much they love the app and how they’ve immediately noticed it driving sales for them. Our influencers tell me they love the app more than Instagram. Some of our users actually have more followers on FashionTap than on Instagram. I think what influencers really love about FashionTap is our search and discovery features make it really easy for them to be found and our revenue sharing rewards them for posting great content. Our influencers are not just being discovered by fans who love their style but by brands who give them work.
Q: This app is not just for fashion influencers. Beauty influencers are using the app to show-off their artistry and looks, as well as share where products can be purchased. Was that part of the original plan for the app?
A: It’s funny you mention this because lately I have been really into the makeup category on FashionTap. I think this is the aspect of the app that I am most excited about.
My original plan for FashionTap was to connect the whole fashion world by making it very easy for fashion bloggers and other influencers to be found and to make it easy for their followers and other fashion enthusiasts to discover and buy great fashion.
FashionTap does the exact same thing for makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts. Makeup artists can tag whatever foundation, lip gloss, bronzer, eyeliner, eye shadow, concealer, mascara, blush, lipstick etc. (basically any makeup product) they’re using. It’s amazing for their followers to see this and easily buy what they’re using and makeup artists can even tag their YouTube tutorials to show their followers how to apply the makeup to produce the look in the photo.
We make it very easy for content creators to import images from other social networks into FashionTap and monetize their existing content. This appeals to makeup artists, fashion bloggers, and other types of influencers who are happy with the exposure and money FashionTap brings them.
Q: Do you curate influencers for the app through partnerships or can any content creator use the app?
A: FashionTap was built for everyone in the fashion and beauty community. I want to connect everyone who loves fashion and beauty and help them inspire each other. A lot of my friends use FashionTap who didn’t initially consider themselves serious fashion or beauty enthusiasts. Now they love tagging their clothes and makeup products. They also love seeing what our other friends are wearing and discovering new people to follow who fit their sense of style. Also, I’ve noticed my friends don’t feel weird about posting selfies like they would on other social networks, where selfies are looked down upon.
We do curate content from our most popular and best users and suggest you follow them when you sign up for the app. This makes it easy for you to discover great content right away. I hope to improve this curated experience in the future by adding quizzes and more search filters to help better match you with content you’ll love.
Image via twitter.com/abcsharktank. Photo credit unknown.