We talked to Anastasiia Moroz about how Pickio gives you instant feedback on your look, and this is what she had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Anastasiia Moroz: Thanks for asking! My family and I are doing fine, though my parents went through COVID-19 in a light form. My family lives in a town that is 2000 km away from Moscow. And the most challenging part was not being able to visit my family until July due to social distancing. There was a fear of bringing the virus to people I love the most.
How does Pickio innovate?
Anastasiia Moroz: We are building a niche community around problems with fashion dilemmas on a tech platform. Our mission is to make people feel confident about their looks to focus on what matters for them. Pickio is a crowdsourced styling app that gives users instant feedback and social proof on their look. If you can’t decide which shirt suits you better, upload two pictures to the app, and the community will vote if they like it or not. Voting is anonymous; that’s why users get an honest independent opinion and, based on it, can decide what to wear and improve their style.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Anastasiia Moroz: We released the app a week before the lockdown happened. Companies were closing their offices; people were losing jobs and were on lockdown at home. People did not need to worry about their looks for months. It was not the best time to launch a fashion tech startup. Another thing is that our users live in the USA and we can’t travel to see how it is going there with our own eyes.
So we decided to spend the time working on the product. We worked on the app distribution and keeping relationships with users we already had since testing MVP. In the summer, we started growing. Since the end of the summer, the number of users has doubled. And since the launch, our user base has grown by three times as much. Of course, it’s not millions yet, but the growth is evident. It looks like the situation is getting better.
Did you have to make difficult choices? And what are the lessons learned?
Anastasiia Moroz: We were lucky enough to avoid any tricky choices, but we had to delay and even cancel some features in our pipeline. The main idea was to wait until the end of summer and see how the situation turned out, and then decide if we should pivot or not. Luckily, we noticed a growing interest in Pickio and are happy to continue working with what we do. We learned not to make hasty decisions. We came with new ideas on better interactions between users and monetization that we will implement next year with all of the above.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Anastasiia Moroz: I do exercise and walk during the daylight every day. Since September, I am learning how the brain works and how to keep myself energetic and in a good mood. It is not about taking medication but what to do and eat to stimulate the brain’s specific neurotransmitters. For instance, I have added meditation, contrast shower, and other practices to my daily routine. It helps, and I recommend it to everyone.
Your final thoughts?
Anastasiia Moroz: Though the number of COVID-19 cases is still growing, I believe the situation will soon be under control. The world already has a few effective vaccines. That means next year, we will get back to having gatherings and will have many occasions to choose outfits for!