Jeremy and Sierra Penrod are the husband and wife entrepreneurs behind the newly launched tech start up, dresspot.com. The site includes a selection of about 30 popular online retailers essentially creates a color-coded closet in one online location.
While other websites can only group items by color using search engine technology, the Penrods, through a custom algorithm, have been able to scan tens of thousands of dresses, organizing them by particular hue or shade.
The technology utilized by Jeremy finds the hex codes within each photo of a particular stores inventory and categorizes it by color and price; an idea he came up while Sierra was searching for the right color of bridesmaid dresses for their wedding.
“The conventional tools [of searching] just don’t cut it, so I designed my own,” said Jeremy Penrod, cofounder and CEO of dressspot.com. “Except for Nordstrom, [the service] doesn’t cost anything extra [to the consumer], because the retailer pays us on average six to twelve percent of the final sale price for us to help them make the sale.”
According to Jeremy Penrod, the dress market, like any other market, includes both manufacturers and retailers, which often involves the most risk for the retailer.
“Retailers are the ones who stand to loose,” says Jeremy Penrod. “While manufacturers produce the product, retailers are the ones that make the orders [based on how much they think they will sell].”
However great their color technology might be, the Penrods are looking for improvement. To help, they hired Ryan Lewis, a marketing specialist.
“I’m here to ask the hard question that Jeremy and Sierra don’t really want to ask and that is – When someone uses a filter to search for an item that we can provide more advanced filters for, I’m asking is that really what the consumer wants, and if no, how else can they incorporate that?” Lewis said.
Through his observation, and a survey of 100 people, Lewis is looking to answer some of these questions in an aim to expand the business.
Also in the works is a feature that should allow a person to be matched with the colors they look best in using the same technology.
“We’re working on a way to be able to upload a picture of yourself and have it pick up on the skin, eye and hair color in the photo.”
Soon to be released is another portion of the site, which includes more than dresses.
“We will be expanding to swim and shoes in the next six months, which we’re pretty excited for,” said Jeremy Penrod. “That being said, most tech startups fail. Success is relative. If you’re looking to make money fast, entrepreneurship is not the way.”
According to a study by Bradley University and the University of Tennessee, the number one management mistake of entrepreneurs is going into business for the wrong reasons.
When asked about what advice he would have for students looking to start a business, Jeremy Penrod replied, “UVU has some of the best resources for entrepreneurship of any school I’ve seen. Use those resources.”