StartUs Presents: EasySize

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Gulnaz Khusainova is the solo founder of EasySize, a company on its mission to change fashion e-commerce. Learn how she stays on track & what's her secret to success!

Describe EasySize in 50 words or less.

EasySize is a data-driven technology defining clothing sizes and decreasing returns for online-shops. We help online shops to save money and offer their clients a new shopping experience.

EasySize has proven to decrease returns up to 35% and increase conversion to sales by 25-42%. Our latest live data with European online shops has proven that EasySize has a 91% accuracy when predicting clothes sizes.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

Before starting EasySize, I worked in a corporate job. The EasySize idea was born from personal frustration: I am a big fan of online shopping and I felt annoyed by not being able to easily pick my size for clothes. In the meantime, I also had my own online shop, so I came to realize, how much money retailers were spending on returns. A combination of these two became a revelation and I have decided to act and fix this problem with EasySize.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

Currently, fashion is one of the slowest growing verticals online with just 4% YoY (year-on-year) growth. For comparison, electronics and books grow on average 10-11% online every year. Our goal is to fix it and enable fashion online. We are currently doing this by providing various products for fashion retailers. Our size & fit solution is just the first step. We plan to add more data-driven products and truly use the power of data to help fashion companies grow online.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

We are a data-driven company and this is reflected not only in our solution, but also the mindset within the company. It is important to make decisions based on data and not on your “gut feeling”. Therefore, we track and analyze various metrics for all parts of business: product, sales, marketing, etc. For example, our user interface updates are always driven by certain goals, like increasing the conversion rate or click rate by X%. It allows us to always be on track and have a clear picture on the company’s performance.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

My regular day usually starts at around 8am – I enjoy having some time alone in the office while it’s still quiet and I can fully concentrate. Then, the entire team gathers every work day at 9.30am for a daily standup (a meeting regarding daily tasks and updates). We try to be agile, and daily standups allow everyone in the team to understand what’s currently happening in the company.

Time management is something that I found really challenging and it is something I constantly try to improve. I use a few rules, which help me to be more focused:

  • Meetings slots. Every day (except for Thursdays) I have time slots from 8-11am and 3-6pm open for meetings (internal ones with the team and external ones). It allows me to have some time for actual work, as well as to limit the overall number of meetings.
  • Strategic planning sessions on Thursday. I try to not have any meetings on Thursday, so there is time for me to plan the next steps for the company, and not only daily administrative tasks.
  • Managing emails. Emails are a big part of my daily routine and it is also one of the trickiest and most time-consuming activities. I have some tips regarding it which I wrote a blog post about.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the fitting tool like you imagined it in the beginning?

Even though our sizing & fitting tool is still a fresh product in fashion e-commerce, we see a highly increasing number of users each month. We are glad to confirm, that online shoppers trust our solution and are willing to use it again and again when shopping online. We are always working hard to improve our tool when reading data and insights on how clients use EasySize.

After launching the product and talking to the customers, we were able to understand our users better. For example, surprisingly enough, it turned out, that EasySize is mainly used by male users, despite we always expected female users to be the ones in need of sizing assistance. Also, female and male users utilize EasySize for different purposes: male users are committed to buying, so EasySize is a must-use tool for them before placing an order. Female users, on the other hand, use our tool primarily to get an inspiration and define sizes for future purchases.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We raised angel investments in January and autumn of 2015. The next step for us is raising a VC round in February or March, 2016. Our investors include these well-known fashion and e-commerce representatives:

  • 500 Startups
  • Lars Buch – After 12 years with Nokia as Head of Smartphones in Copenhagen, Lars was responsible for closing down the site and building the “Nokia Bridge Program Incubator” which saw 60 spin-off startups come to life. This lead to a managing director role at Startupbootcamp Mobile Copenhagen, the Scandinavian chapter of Europe’s largest accelerator network.
  • Hampus Jakobsson – Hampus Jakobsson was a co-founder of The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), a Mobile UI company acquired by Blackberry in 2010. He left Blackberry 2012 to found a sales productivity tool. Hampus is an active startup mentor and angel investor in Scandinavia with over 30+ startup investments.
  • Klaus Nyengaard – Klaus is an entrepreneur, investor and leader of digitally based growth companies. Klaus originally worked as a McKinsey consultant, before involving himself with various digital growth projects. His most notable achievement to date is JUST EAT, which he grew a small, 45 employee Danish company, to a profitable 1,000+ employee world leader headquartered in London. JUST EAT went IPO in 2014.
  • Franck Bergonzo – Franck is the founding partner of Fashion Capital Partners. It is an investment company based in Paris aimed at investing in early-stage Fashion & Luxury tech startups and innovative high-end designers throughout Europe and in the US. Franck has extensive experience in business operations and business process reengineering. He is also the COO for Cash Equities at Exane BNP Paribas – a leading pan European brokerage house.
  • Nicolas Santi-Weil – Nicolas is a partner of Fashion Capital Partners. He has a strong background in both fashion and internet based startups. Nicolas has been involved in a couple of fashion brands in France and the UK.
  • Alain Sarfati – Alain is very active in the startup space both in terms of investment and mentoring. He is the co-founder of 50 Partners, a French accelerator; and he is also a founding partner of Fashion Capital Partners.
  • Fashion Capital Partners – Fashion Capital Partners is an investment company based in Paris aimed at investing in early-stage Fashion & Luxury tech startups and innovative high-end designers throughout Europe and in the US.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

One of the most important rules in running a startup is to stay focused. With increasing media interest in startups, it is easy to get distracted and spend precious time on things, that just appear to be important.
“Stay focused” is the motto of our team and we regularly remind ourselves of our mission and goals.

What do you look for in team members?

When hiring new team members, I look for:

  • Passion. We need people with passion, who understand the problem that EasySize addresses and are keen on solving it.
  • Skills. Our team today is a group of professionals, who have the needed skills to take a lead at a certain area, and grow together with the company.
  • Commitment. Building a startup is a long-term commitment, so it’s important, that new team members see themselves with the company for a long time.

Why would a talent join your team?

We are a diverse, international and fast growing company, which values hard work but also does not forget to celebrate big and small victories. By joining our team, you will get a chance to grow and learn as a professional, as well as to take responsibility and lead, by being a big part of the overall company’s growth and improvement.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

One of the most memorable moments at EasySize was the day, when our product (after months of testing) was launched with the first large client in April, 2015. Seeing your product “live” and customers using it – that is a great feeling indeed. And of course, being able to get your hands on live data and users’ metrics is also something, that the data nerd in me, enjoyed a lot.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Even though I am a solo founder, my biggest advice for young entrepreneurs is to find co-founders for your company. Running a startup is hard, especially when you don’t have anyone to share the responsibilities with. Second of all, work hard. Often, a startups’ life is glorified. We usually hear about “overnight success stories” and rarely understand how much of hard work it requires. And finally, work on a problem you personally are passionate about. Passion will help you move forward, even when everything seems to be falling apart.


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