According to Chicago-based startup CakeStyle, the average woman spends 170 hours per year shopping. For busy professional women, this is time that could be spent growing their companies, or launching new ventures. Ecommerce has been a godsend for busy businesswomen who don’t have the time or desire to shop in their free time. While it’s easy to get anything you want delivered to your door with the click of a few buttons, CakeStyle takes the concept of saving time for busy women one step further by becoming a personal style assistant that delivers fashions finds that are suited according to a woman’s personal style.
Women can create an account on CakeStyle followed by a quick survey that defines a woman’s career, weekend style, brand affinity, and sizes. CakeStyle fills up a box with clothing that matches a woman’s individual style and size range, then ships off a box full of clothing. CakeStyle places a hold on each woman’s credit card for $1,000 while the clothing is in each woman’s possession, and she is free to return any items that she does not like. Anything that she falls in love with, she keeps and pays for. Women may keep the box for 10 days, and they are charged for the entirety of the box if the items are not returned within 20 days. Boxes are shipped quarterly. Because CakeStyle is targeting professional women like the traveling business consultant or newly minted law graduate, it’s likely that CakeStyle customers won’t be screaming about the credit card hold.
CakeStyle offers people to gift a dollar amount for the busy woman in their lives as well. This is a great gift idea for a new graduate just entering the workforce, or as a congratulations for landing a big promotion. Buyers can gift $100, $200, or $500.
CakeStyle was founded in 2011 by Cecelia Myers and Millie Tadewaldt and is backed by Sandbox Industries. Tadewaldt is the Managing Director for Sandbox Industries, and was previously a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. She has a JD from Harvard Law School and degrees in design and communication from UC Davis. Myers holds a BA from Indiana University, Bloomington, and has worked on a number of consumer internet startups.
Although the startup is latching onto the popular “sample box delivery” trend that was huge in 2011 and began waning in 2012, this startup delivers (literally) a solution to a problem that many professional women have. The women that are the target customers for CakeStyle don’t have the time to sit around all day and pin their favorite style finds on Pinterest, let alone shop for new trends in actual stores. CakeStyle’s business model is easy to grasp, and opens up the door for many interesting potential business partnerships with brands. Keep your eye on CakeStyle, because this startup is going to be huge.