Model and designer Rocky Barnes has become an advisory board member and brand investor in Qatch, a tapback-driven SMS shopping platform for women.
Barnes plans to feature designs from her own clothing line, The Bright Side, on the platform. The company declined to disclose the size of Barnes’ investment.
Qatch scours the internet across more than 100 brands and retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, Banana Republic and Free People, using machine learning to continuously improve fashion suggestions and share them with users via text. Since launching in April, Qatch has seen a click-through rate of 65 percent, a user mention rate of 95 percent and a 50 percent user base increase month-over-month this past quarter.
Sisters Nicole and Raquel Phillips started Qatch out of their mutual frustration of impersonal e-commerce options. Nicole Phillips has a JD/LLM in fashion law and worked in-house at retail companies, while Raquel was previously with PwC’s audit department.
Nicole Phillips, cofounder and chief executive officer, said she and her sister Raquel, cofounder and chief operating officer, have admired Barnes’ style and creative direction for years, and said it was “a tremendous honor” to have her on their advisory board and to share The Bright Side with their audience.
“Especially amid the pandemic, so many of us have spent hours on our phones trying to find fashion pieces we love, when we could spend that time investing in our families and communities. Qatch provides a way to get smart fashion recommendations without the typical time investment,” said Nicole Phillips.
Barnes’ advisory role will entail strategizing and executing Qatch’s influencer marketing activities.
“The online shopping experience can be so overwhelming, but Qatch really streamlines recommendations and takes the ‘work’ out of finding the perfect piece to complete a look,” added Barnes. “While Qatch partners with large retailers, they also host new, niche brands on the platform and promote brands supporting ethical and sustainable design. As an entrepreneur myself, I’m excited to embark on this new chapter of their growth and help women redefine the online shopping experience.”
Users take a three-minute style quiz and tell Qatch which outfits they love, their go-to-brands and share their Instagram so a real-life stylist can complete their look. Qatch texts users 10 fashion recommendations each week, and they can share feedback through a simple heart or thumbs-up or thumbs-down response for each product. The more they interact, the quicker Qatch learns their style.
Further, users can see what Barnes has liked on Qatch, almost as if you’re following her around shopping, but can view it in a personal, private and authentic setting.
Qatch is also inviting college students to become social media ambassadors through its “Qatch Me On Campus” program, which encourages ambassadors to post about the styles they found on Qatch. The most recent cohort consists of 40 ambassadors at 20 colleges across the country.
Barnes, who has 2.4 million followers on Instagram, has been busy on several fronts. In addition to The Bright Side, Barnes was tapped last month by Bloomingdale’s for its latest iteration of its Carousel rotating pop-up concept. She curated the Happy Campers pop-up shop, which featured The Bright Side as part of the assortment.
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