At the end of May last year, we had three customers. Three very busy women. Friends, who were all committed to helping us get a service that they saw as necessary off the ground (time is a precious commodity that we can’t get enough of). We will always be grateful to them for being our earliest believers and lifetime advocates.
May recently ended, and we achieved 12 months of continuous billing here at Armoire. We finished the month with customers across the country who range in age from 21 to 71. They live in California, Texas, NYC and rural Idaho. These women use Armoire to show up every day, feeling like their best selves, as surgeons, lawyers, mothers and CEOs. They use Armoire to commemorate special events like their children’s birthdays in a bright color or pattern (they might have hesitated buying, but always wanted to try). Armoire takes them to boardrooms and client dinners, dry-cleaned and delivered to hotels and offices across the country. Armoire celebrates women’s changing sizes when babies are growing and after they arrive, an exciting box for a deserving mama, a regular present just for her. Regardless of where a woman is in life, our goal is to meet her where and when she needs us most.
At the end of April 2016, MIT invited us to participate in their accelerator. We went from an idea to a team, from a powerpoint to a business that had the opportunity to change someone’s day, change the way they felt about themselves, change the way they spent their time. We worked hard (and played hard) over the summer, hand delivering every package (often by bicycle to reduce cost… but really to take every excuse to talk to our customers), raising some banners for small pop-up events or our demo day booth…and even took the stage once or twice too…
There were equations and hypothesis and calculations in storied classrooms at MIT. We had plans… big ones.
We’ve still got plans but now we have the soft stuff that makes the hard stuff seem easy. We live our customer’s lives with them as their tastes and their life circumstances change; jobs are lost and added, bodies change and hem lengths fluctuate, both down and back up again. We aim to support the ever evolving changes women experience on a daily basis, helping them easily adapt and feel comfortable each and every day.
We do this with a combination of data, analytics and of course, that “soft stuff” that is ever so important. Math is at the foundation of our company, it’s how we do what we do. But ultimately our customers and their real, daily lives are the why.
After a move to Boston, and another one to Seattle and into our new home, the addition of new teammates, the close of a funding round, TV spots and countless hours of packing and folding, it’s been a joyride. As I look back and distill what I learned over the last year, what resonates most is the words that were shared by those who have been down this path before. The days will be long, solutions won’t be obvious and the lack of clarity on how to do basically anything can feel more than crippling. And yet. The confidence that I derive from knowing that the sum of the parts of the Armoire team is more passionate, intelligent, creative and good at heart than any I could have dreamed of gives me fully rational trust in the path.
Our core hypothesis that a curated rental wardrobe is a positive and impactful addition to customers lives has transitioned from conjecture to fact. One of our customers, Elizabeth G shared, ‘I love that I am able to tailor my closets to what I need that week depending on where I am and what I am doing.’ The opportunity is real, so the solution is imminent. And this team is the one who can do it, and the one that I find a privilege to work alongside as we bring positive change to our customer’s lives.
On Thursday, June 15, Armoire will be popping up in New York City. So for any of you NY’ers it would be great for you to come check us out! We will have pieces on display to rent or buy to give you a sense for the service. If nothing else, come for the wine, cheese and company—we’ve had an exciting ride so far that they’d love to share the story about. Please RSVP to confirm your attendance.
Armoire is the modern woman’s solution to a stress free closet. For $149 month, you get access to a continuous rotation of high-end apparel, curated with your preferences in mind. Select your 4 favorite items to receive in the mail, and keep for as long as you want. If you fall in love, you’re in luck— you can purchase the item at a deep discount. Refresh your 4 pieces whenever you would like; we take care of the shipping and dry-cleaning. With brands like Theory, DVF, Milly, Parker, and many more—you get great style, with little to no effort.