We talked to Sylvie Hall of Insyze about fashion and she had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Sylvie Hall: We are lucky to be based in Australia, which has largely managed to keep the pandemic at bay. Unfortunately, it means the borders are closed, and I’m unable to see my family in the UK for some time to come.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Insyze.
Sylvie Hall: I have a degree in marketing and have worked in digital marketing throughout my career since Uni. I got the idea for Insyze when my sister was struggling to find clothing she loved in her size back in 2018 and started off creating a blog and Instagram account.
Now, Insyze.com is the first of its kind to give plus-size consumers a tailored shopping experience in a body-positive and inclusive space. The creation of Insyze came from a personal event that affected my younger sister Danielle at a young age; she was diagnosed with a brain tumor (ependymoma posterior fossa) at seven years old.
Thankfully, Danielle made it through, but as part of a long recovery, her treatment included hormone therapy to counteract early puberty, which caused her to gain weight. As a plus-size woman now in her late twenties, Danielle has always felt the fashion industry underserved her.
After surveying plus size women in 2019, we found that other women were struggling with finding trendy plus size clothing and created a solution that:
– Gives plus size women style inspiration that’s tailored to them.
– Lets women feel confident in their bodies
– Makes it easy to find beautiful clothes in their size
We now have over 14000 users and growing!
How does Insyze innovate?
Sylvie Hall: Insyze has an algorithm that serves each user personalized recommendations as well as allowing users to create Collections, where users can collect styles, or items, from different brands as shoppable wishlists.
We are excited to create a platform that offers plus size women so much choice, as well as being a unique social shopping experience. After signing up and doing a style questionnaire, every user has a personalized product feed with style recommendations and can follow what other users are saving to their collections for inspiration.
Insyze has completely transformed a typical e-commerce experience and made it social and inspiring!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Sylvie Hall: We’ve been developing our own clothing line, so the pandemic has made it harder for us to work with overseas suppliers in that sense. However, in many ways, people have needed digital communities now more than ever before, so we’ve seen some crazy growth on our social channels and for users of Insyze. In that sense, we’ve been able to take a positive from this experience.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Sylvie Hall: I practice breathing exercises and meditate a couple of times a week, especially if i’m feeling anxious. I also like to exercise regularly and head down to the beach for a walk. My dog is also a great stress reliever! When i’m feeling overwhelmed, I tend to have more ‘puppy breaks’ where I go and cuddle him. That definitely helps!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Sylvie Hall: Big competitors would be Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest in the social space – but then also plus size fashion retailers like Eloquii and Lane Bryant. We are offering something entirely unique for the plus-size market, and it’s a niche that we intend to innovate in and create an experience our users love constantly.
Your final thoughts?
Sylvie Hall: This year has been a huge challenge and put our plans to raise a Seed round on hold, but it means we’ve had to innovate and get creative in how we grow our audience organically and diversify into different areas. Challenges aren’t always a bad thing for start-ups – they make you step up.