Founded in 2009, ShoeDazzle is an e-commerce fashion shoe and accessory company that popularized the subscription based e-commerce model. Members pay a monthly subscription of $39.95 and are able to choose a pair of shoes each month from a selection that has been custom tailored according the member’s personal fashion sense. Each month, ShoeDazzle presents a curated selection of shoes in the member’s “showcase”. Initially the selection is garnered according to a style survey completed by the new member. Overtime, the algorithm is able to become more targeted as it begins to factor in which items the member ultimately chooses to purchase. Customers can choose to purchase each month, or opt out by the 5th of each month and their credit card will not be charged.
In addition to touting a personalized online shopping experience, ShoeDazzle also offers “fashion-trained” customer service reps who are trained to answer questions ranging from “Can you track my package?” to “What type of shoes will go well with this dress?” With celebrity icon, Kim Kardashian, as the company figurehead and co-founder, ShoeDazzle had fashion-forward, young women signing up in droves shortly after the company’s launch. Between 2011 and 2012, ShoeDazzle increased membership numbers from 3 million to 10 million and secured another $40 million in venture funding, for a grand total of $66 million in investments.
Brian Lee is no stranger to startups. After cold-calling OJ Simpson attorney, Robert Shapiro, to pitch him on a business idea, Lee teamed up with Shapiro and launched the successful online legal document creating company, Legal Zoom. With the Legal Zoom going strong, Lee was struck again with the entrepreneurial bug and left Legal Zoom to start ShoeDazzle.
Lee got the idea for ShoeDazzle after recovering from the shock of discovering how much his