Foray is an online store for bloggers’ outfits. (Photo: Little Black Boots)
If you like to shop bloggers’ outfits and can’t scroll through Instagram without spotting something you need, you’ll love this: A new online store dedicated entirely to shopping influencers’ outfit posts.
The new platform, Foray, just launched this week to offer a curated collection of shoppable outfits worn by top influencers. By hitting “Shop by Influencer”(smart!), you’re presented with a bunch of different digital influencers and bloggers like We Wore What‘s Danielle Bernstein and Little Black Boots’s Jill Wallace. It’s easy to use: Just click on photos of bloggers wearing the outfits, add what they’re wearing to your cart, and check out—all through the Foray store (super smart!).
“We aggregate really great emerging designers and top style influencers on to one platform and create an experience unlike most other retail sites,” cofounder Tiana Haraguchi told us. “It’s really great for girls from around the country to be able to see how the top trendsetters are styling their outfits.”
Essentially, Foray is an affiliate marketplace; it works similarly to other sites such as ShopStyle in that every time you buy, Foray gets a cut of the transaction. But don’t worry: Everything costs exactly what it would if you purchased it directly from the store.
The featured influencers also cash in every time you shop—so, unsurprisingly, major bloggers are keen to get onto the platform. Little Black Boots blogger and Foray influencer Jill Wallace explained the appeal: “I think Foray will be a great way to discover and work with designers I otherwise may have not known about before—and don’t forget building relationships with other Foray influencers.”
By now your online shopping finger is probably poised and ready to go, so keep reading for more Foray details from cofounder Haraguchi.
Foray is clever—what sparked the idea?
[Fellow Foray cofounder Kaitlynn Carter] and I have been friends since junior year in college, and we always kept in touch. One day when I was visiting her, we chatted about her success as an influencer and about the different brands she was working with. I was fascinated by the entire industry, and based on what she was saying, I saw a need in the market to help inspire consumers and to connect brands and consumers directly. Right now, the influencers serve as the middlemen, bringing brands and consumers together. Foray decided to cut out the middle step and bring all three together onto one platform.
How long have you been working on the platform?
About a year, but we just launched this week.
What’s been the most rewarding part about launching your own business?
Seeing all the positive buzz on launch day was really amazing and super humbling. We had over 50 posts from top style influencers and Foray brands helping promote the launch and congratulating the Foray team. Watching this grow from an idea phase to an actual place that people can go and shop is unbelievable. We’ve spent over a year really focusing on every little detail that can make the site great, which made the launch even more gratifying.
Foray founders Haraguchi and Carter. (Photo: Foray)
And the most challenging?
This is a tough one, because building any company from the ground up is no easy task. We had very limited resources, so we had to really use our personal relationships and vision to garner trust and support from employees, brands, and influencers. As a start-up, we really had to dig deep and find scrappy ways to get things done.
What reaction have you received since going live?
Really positive! Influencers are excited to be showcased on the site because it will help them reach new markets of girls and is a great way to both increase their exposure and meet new brands. All of our girls believe in the concept, so they support what we’re trying to build and have been enthusiastic to join the community. Our brands are also really excited because it gives them an opportunity to increase their direct-to-consumer sales and exposure. We also give our brands direct access to our influencer network, which is a huge benefit.
How do you split the responsibilities between the two of you?
Kaitlynn manages the creative, visual side of the company. She has a hold on different trends in the market and has an unbelievable network made up of great brands and influencers. She focuses on the best way to build a great community of brands and influencers for Foray, as well as on additional strategic partnerships and relationships.
My background is in finance and marketing, so I manage the digital market strategy, sales process, the revenue model, and project management.
Did you always know you wanted to work in fashion?
Surprisingly, no, we didn’t! Kaitlynn and I are both businesswomen. This is a power industry that’s extremely fascinating, and we saw a need in the market. The rise of social media and online fashion really inspired us. Although it wasn’t planned, we are both thrilled we ended up in this industry.