We had the good fortune of connecting with Raquel Phillips and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raquel, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
At Qatch, we are very conscious of the clothing brands we recommend. We ensure the quality of our brand partners is up to par with what we would wear. While we partner with well-known brands like Nordstrom, Revolve, and Free People, we also partner with smaller brands that are minority-owned, female-owned, and ethical/sustainable.
When a member signs up for Qatch, they take a short style quiz and share which outfits they love, their go-to brands, and their Instagram (optional) so a real-life stylist can complete their look. We also ask if they’re interested in supporting minority-owned, female-owned, and ethical/sustainable brands so we can help our brand partners reach their target consumer and help consumers discover these unique brands.
Qatch texts members ten fashion recommendations each week, and our members can share feedback through a simple Heart, Thumbs up, or Thumbs down response to each product. The more they interact, the quicker Qatch learns their style. Right within this text interaction, Qatch gives these smaller clothing brands a platform to amplify their mission through the use of emojis. If a product that is recommended is from a minority-owned, female-owned, or ethical/sustainable, an emoji will be displayed next to their products to inform our members of the brand’s back story.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Qatch is a tapback-driven SMS shopping platform for women. We make it easy to find clothing you love online by scouring the internet across 100+ brands like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Banana Republic, Free People, and more. Qatch uses machine learning to continuously improve recommendations and share them with users via text, like a friend. I’m so proud of the early traction and success we’ve seen, including a click-through rate of 65%, a user retention rate of 95% and a 50% user base increase month-over-month in Q3 of 2021!
Other shopping apps or personal styling services are expensive and cater to an older, more mature audience with the brands they offer. Qatch, on the other hand, appeals to the younger, millennial or gen Z consumer because there are no styling fees involved and we recommend products from trendy, up-and-coming brands. We’ve found that the younger generation of shoppers really enjoys discovering new brands, as well as supporting brands with a great story – like sustainable, minority-owned, or female-owned brands. Qatch partners with these types of brands as well as the more popular, well-known brands to create a truly unique and diverse shopping experience for our members.
Nothing is easy when it comes to starting a business – even having attended the #1 school for entrepreneurship (Babson College), studying how to start a business is not the same as actually starting one. You have to learn how to do 100 different things that are out of your comfort zone, from marketing to pitching investors to finance to hiring a team to issuing stock options…there’s never a dull moment! One of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way is you should first try to do things yourself, so you know how they operate and what skills are required, and then delegate what you aren’t great at. My co-founder and I are so lucky to have an amazing team of employees, advisors, and investors who cover a wide range of skills and expertise.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be here today without the unconditional support from my family. Leaving the corporate world to start Qatch was one of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken, and I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to do so without my family by my side. Thanks Mom & Dad!
I also want to thank the countless founders who met me for coffee and offered advice as I was starting this journey. I learned a lot from these fellow founders who had started businesses as well, and were eager to share their successes but more importantly, their failures and what they learned from them.
Other: Tik Tok: @joinqatch