Findmeabra.com is a startup from the Middle East that plans to vastly improve the accuracy of buying bras, by better classifying both the user and the bra. It aims to be applicable to businesses, helping retailers sell more stock, and by end users who want cut down the amount of trial and error involved in bra shopping.
We caught with Alexandra Tohme, the founder of findmeabra.com to understand a bit more about her startup.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My background is sales and marketing. I’ve worked across the UK, UAE, Lebanon and Qatar for various companies from blue chip to startups with recent experience in advertising agencies. But my main qualification for this role is my obsession to solve problems and find underwear that fits well!
What encouraged you to launch this initiative?
FindMeABra.com started off life as Amourah when i thought i might get into retail quite quickly with bra fit consultancy as a lead generating mechanism
After waiting a while, and thinking about it more, particularly in light of the recent advancements in scanning tech for the fashion segment, I realised that the problem to solve was much bigger. The aim of FindMeABra is to classify both the user and the bra in order to vastly improve accuracy of purchase, and essentially democratize access to bras globally.
Business Model – revenue expectations?
Whilst the global lingerie market last peaked in 2007 and hasn’t really grown since, it is expected to rise again in 2016 to a value of $32bn. The industry is getting fragmented in terms of both products and points of sale, and much of the power will shift to non developed markets. Revenue models center around B2B affiliation, a freemium B2C model and retail outright.
Was being a woman entrepreneur ever a hurdle?
I wouldn’t classify myself as an entrepreneur just yet, (although i have this and another cosmetics venture on the side), so I can’t realistically comment on hurdles faced. However, whenever I have engaged with investors or senior figures in industry, there is a clear polarisation of views between men and women. Men tend to look at opportunities from a top down perspective, looking at how likely a new entrant can gain market share and price differentials between cost of USP and market value of USP. Women on the other hand look at opportunities from the bottom up and consider how to solve a problem first and then recruit others into the cause.
Have you raised any funds for the startup?
I will wait for as long as possible before I need to raise money, and ideally raise it from the untapped pool of regional capital controlled by women.
I’m currently enhancing the engine, you can find your starting size by visiting the site, and this will give you your UK / US size. This is just the tip of the iceberg though. Eventually we’ll be able to get to a point where we can tell you what model, which brand and what sizing system to buy to give you the best fitting bra for different occasions. The industry is highly fragmented with brands using inches or centimetres, and with a poor conversion system in place.
In territories where there is a low penetration of underwear brands, I will enter the retail space directly, typically emerging markets and/or those with mobile penetration. I would consider my goal to be the Netflix of bras