You’ve launched a new venture. You’re confident in the business model. You’ve even convinced several investors to fund your vision. A year later, you realize the very foundation of your company is shaky, and the original business model is totally broken. Now what? The story of how personal styling e-commerce startup Keaton Row had to start from scratch and recalibrate its entire model is a telling one for early-stage companies.
The New York City-based company had a seemingly solid business plan when it launched in 2013. Co-founders Cheryl Han and Elenor Mak created an open model where anyone in the U.S. could apply to be one of the company’s virtual stylists by filling out a questionnaire and providing photos of sample looks they’ve styled. Once a stylist joined, she would work part-time and sell items to her own network of family and friends. At the time, the co-founders said the e-commerce site could be used as “a real launching pad for a career as a stylist.” Read more at Fortune.