PaperCity Magazine

September 2014 - Houston

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Page 27 of 87

SEPTEMBER | PAGE 28 | 2014 the democratization of publishing. People were turning into magazine editors from their home computers. Additionally, shoppers began buying merchandise online in swooping numbers. "We devised a way to connect brands with style bloggers that is performance based," Baxter says. "It's an easy sell for brands because they only pay if it works. It's not enough for a shopper to click. Now, we have a marketplace where brands are bidding for the attention of the publishers." As the conduit between online publishers and retailers, rewardStyle has created technology that serves both entities in specific ways. Retailers, for example, can gauge shopper traffic from clicks to revenues and chart the products sold, as well as the individual bloggers responsible for sales. "The numbers speak for themselves," says Serena Chan, e-commerce and planning manager for French Connection (U.S.). Before rewardStyle contacted the company, French Connection worked with an agency for six months. "It was horrible. Horrible," Chan recalls. "We've seen the benefit through the partnership [with rewardStyle]. I don't think anyone else comes close to honing in on just the blogger relationship." Part of that focus stems from a careful balance between style and computing. So-called "fashtech" companies, many of which are based in New York, have difficulty straddling the two worlds. "Tech guys should not be exposed to customers," says Baxter — a tech guy. For the Boxes (who realized as adults that they grew up across a Park Cities alley from each other), balance is critical — at both work and home. Dallas, while hardly the center of fashion or technology, is a strategic spot for their headquarters — and also a huge advantage. "New York companies all copy each other, and employees with the same ideas jump from one firm to another," Amber says. "We are isolated and, because of it, can be original in our thinking. We don't hang out with the competition, so we can ask, "TECH GUYS SHOULD NOT BE EXPOSED TO CUSTOMERS." — BAXTER BOX 'What are our needs?' and 'How can we innovate?' Not 'What are they doing?'" The global nature of e-commerce and online publishing also makes location inconsequential. The home base of a blogger, for example, has little effect on how many people purchase the skirt they recommend. "There are no boundaries," Amber says, "so we are not looked at as a Dallas company." In the end, the marriage works: shopper and blogger, blogger and retailer, computer code and the hottest design. Style is, after all, fueled by what is current — what is it. "There is so much churn in fashion," she says. "People are looking for what is new, all the time. What we do goes with that attitude — that need to have the latest thing." Roberto Cavalli dress, Tom Binns earrings. Cartier bracelet, at the Cartier boutique. Christian Dior dress, Roberto Cavalli ear cuff Christian Dior dress, Roberto Cavalli ear cuff. Christian Dior cape and shorts, Roberto Cavalli bracelet. Christian Dior cape and shorts, Thakoon for Tasaki pearl neck- lace purse, Roberto Cavalli bracelet and handbag.

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