03 May Innovative students set out to change online shopping forever!
With the evolution of technology and online experiences, shopping has taken on a whole new accessibility. Over the years there have been pros and cons but the ongoing lingering hesitation still maintains – “Will this really fit me?” It seems that some very proactive and innovative young women at Alamo Heights High School are also recognizing the ongoing dilemma and believe that they can be the universal answer to the problem – enter Swift Size.
Swift Size is their new website concept (and App eventually) that will hold every brands sizing in its database. Subscribers receive tutorials on how to measure their body, they then input that information into their Swift Size profile and much like the popular discount app “honey”, the Swift Size website/app will confirm upon check out, what size you truly are in that particular brand.
Swift Size is a participant of the Heights Business Incubator Program at Alamo Height High School in Alamo Heights, Texas. Think “Shark Tank” for students. The team consists of Carly Fuhrmann – Senior, Lucy Gibbs- Junior, Emma Mickler- Senior, Miros Trevino- Senior and Amanda Uribe- Senior. Their business mentors were Cory Bakke- Real Estate Agent at Phyllis Browning and Meg Walker- Vice President at Aladdin Cleaning & Restoration.
Students acquire foundational business concepts, then apply those concepts to the team’s new business idea. Principles from the LEAN startup movement help students test their thinking. From concept to Minimum Viable Product to Pitch, students are collaborating, hypothesizing, testing, adapting and learning. During their projects, they work with volunteer business coaches, mentors and their classroom teacher. Ultimately, the Heights Business Incubator Program hosts Pitch Week in which the teams showcase their business concepts to a panel of judges. The community votes on who they feel is ready to present live to investors for the three prizes of $10k, $8k and 5k in attempt for the ultimate goal – “Go to Market“. Pitch Week hosts 38 teams and 135 students, all of which are striving for the ultimate prizes.
We sat down with Emma Mickler, Concept Creator of Swift Size and her other team members, to discuss their project and here’s what they had to say.
SLTV: What inspired you to create such an innovative website?
SS: We started off with the common problem of having clothing not fit after buying it online. After some research we figured out it was more than just a problem for us as customers, but it was a bigger problem for the brands getting the returns. Just realizing how big of a problem it really was influenced us to use the new Business Incubator class to attempt to create a solution. We went through many different ideas on how to solve this problem: an app or hands-on service was not the right fit. A website, however, was the perfect fit for our service because it was the most common object/technology used to shop online.
Team Swift Size: Emma Mikler, center
SLTV: Who does the product cater to most right now?
SS: Because online retail stores lose billions in returns, and the people who are returning the items are mainly women, we are directly focusing on women as our consumer and retail stores as our customers.
SLTV: What does the future of fashion look like to you?
SS: Fashion in the past has been in stores, which allowed you to try items on before purchasing, but now, a majority of stores also have an online presence and you buy based on the previous knowledge of your size. This makes it hard to shop online, and why people love in-store shopping. Especially with brick-and-mortar retail shopping, technology is slowly but surely taking over. In order to keep up with the rest of the world, stores are having to create or enhance their online presence. The future of fashion is in the retailers ability to incorporate technology – We hope to be a factor in that.
SLTV: Aside from being functional, do you think this product will have a positive emotional effect on consumers? Why?
SS: With every design comes the intent of how the garment should fall on the body, which makes it not the person’s fault for non-fitting clothing. Not a lot of people realize that different brands have and use different size charts, model sizes, fabrics and of course designs. All these things, and more, take part in how the garment will fit on your body. Knowing this definitely made us feel better about how we viewed our bodies and acknowledged the different sizes we see in stores.
Since this interview, Style Lush TV had been awaiting the competition and rooting for this incredible team of young innovators from our online seats. We are happy to report that on May 3rd, Swift Size did in fact, win one of the three grand prizes. The team took home the $5K funding for their business and will continue developing this concept.
Get to know the team and concept even more by watching our episode below. If you wish to learn more about the Heights Incubator Program or wish to help Swift Size with funding, visit the website here.
Congratulations Swift Size. We can’t wait to share developments on your story.