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We were recently featured in Fast Company, the Business Journal, the Austin Statesmen, and Livingly. Here is a piece on our Founder that was featured in the Business Journal.
Wealth manager to launch website for corporate fashionistas
Christopher Calnan, Austin Business Journal
An Austin wealth management executive is planning to launch this month a corporate fashion recommendation website for women.
Annie Shafran, an associate for UBS Wealth Management in Austin, is rolling out an e-commerce company called Bellgray LLC. The venture was prompted by the complaints Shafran has heard from colleagues about the difficulty of finding appropriate work attire. She started working on her e-commerce startup six months ago.
The idea behind the site, which she expects will go live in mid-May, is to give women professionals a one-stop location for selecting office-appropriate attire. Clothing is listed in categories such as client meeting, business trip and happy hour in an attempt to simplify the process of making selections.
“There are too many options and not enough of the right options,” Shafran said.
Bellgray plans to feature brands such as Theory, Vince and Tory Burch, and enable users to order them online directly through the Bellgray website by using a new application from California-based Varinode Inc.
Despite a lack of experience in retail, Shafran said launching the company has been easier than expected largely due to the variety of technological tools available.
For example, Varinode develops software that allows users to buy from external retailers without redirecting the transaction. Also, Australia-based 99Designs Pty Ltd. enabled Shafran to receive 300 prospective logo designs.
“I didn’t expect it to be so easy,” she said. “There are so many technologies out there to help you start a business.”
Before UBS Wealth Management, Shafran was an associate for Bernstein Private Wealth Management in San Francisco and a business development consultant for Karmalot Inc., according to her online profile.
Similar e-commerce companies featuring a lineup of designer brands include ShopBop, which in 2006 was acquired by Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), and Revolve, operated by California-based Eminent Inc., she said.
Shafran plans to spend the first six months of operation monitoring web traffic and learning from what users are viewing to develop a sense of the most popular products and features.