Donielle Brooks is the founder of popular ecommerce website, Designer Wardrobe. In just four years the site, which was originally a Facebook group, has transformed into a serious online fashion force where people can buy and sell second-hand designer clothes.
1) Designer Wardrobe has long been at the forefront in re-selling and renting out designer garments. What would you say is the most difficult aspect of moderating over 100,000 users and making sure your site remains reputable?
Having a small team means that we’ve had to innovate as quickly as possible to make moderation efficient. We use some really great products that integrate with our back-end to help identify photo content and keep the platform fashion-only.
2) Designer Wardrobe started as a Facebook group. How do you find a proper ecommerce site differs from the social media market, is it easier or has it proven a challenge to switch?
Facebook Groups are a fantastic community tool – however, we did need to move to a standalone platform in order to keep developing as a business, which has enabled us to offer our customers features that aren’t available via the Facebook Group (such as payment protection, email reminders and our valet service – to name a few).
Our members have been very supportive of the transition, and because of the flexibility we are able to keep improving the platform based on user feedback – and that’s great for everyone!
3) You have plans to roll your site out internationally, how are you going to prepare to face a much larger market than that of New Zealand’s?
Although our platform is now available in Australia – we are still very focused on our core market in New Zealand. This is great for our New Zealand members because it provides a far larger audience, meaning for sellers, an increased probability that their items will sell.
It also benefits buyers as it grows the product range available, they are now able to purchase items they may not necessarily be able to find in New Zealand.
The main challenge has been solving shipping issues and providing a really great experience for buyers and sellers. We have recently partnered with DHL to offer overnight trans-Tasman shipping, so this has been a really exciting recent feature.