I had the opportunity to be a beta tester for the awesome social shopping site Little Black Bag (shout out to my great friend Katie!) As a shopper, I chose one item from a gallery of designer purses, jewelry and other accessories to put in my virtual shopping bag, and the site’s stylists chose two more surprise items based on my preferences. When the items in my bag were revealed I could either keep them, or swap them out with items from other users. I wasn’t expecting it to be as fun as it was, but it was actually a really exciting, and addicting, online shopping experience.
We had a chance to catch up with CEO Dan Murillo to talk about why Little Black Bag is unique from other shopping sites, what social shopping actually means, and what’s currently playing on his Pandora mix.
Tell us a little more about what inspired Little Black Bag.
Little Black bag is a new online retail company based on the “Lucky Bag” sales event from Japan. During the event, shoppers purchase a bag full of fashion & beauty products and trade the items among friends – it’s a thrilling way for shoppers to get products they love and discover new ones. Little Black Bag provides this exciting social trading experience in a fun online environment. We sell handbags, accessories, jewelry and beauty products from hundreds of great brands like BCBGeneration, Steve Madden, Benefit Cosmetics and others.
What exactly is “social shopping”?
Social shopping is a combination of online shopping, chatting, and gaming. It’s a shared shopping experience that involves posting favorite items, giving gifts, and, in the case of Little Black Bag, trading merchandise. I think Little Black Bag is the ultimate form of social shopping, as it facilitates the highest level of user engagement and interaction.
What sets LBB apart from the saturated online fashion market?
Little Black Bag is not a typical flash-sale or subscription site. It’s not for users that only want to buy something quickly. It is truly an interactive shopping experience that creates a sense of community and excitement for our users. Users can chat with others on the website to construct trades or obtain style advice, earn vanity badges, or gift items from their bag to a friend’s bag.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
The best advice is to start preparing months or even years in advance for an entry into entrepreneurship. Start cultivating relationships with potential co-founders, early employees, investors and advisors.
If you could have lunch with one person, who would it be, what would you eat, and what would you talk about?
Domenico DeSole, the former CEO of Gucci who took over while the company was about to enter bankruptcy and completely turned the company around. I would eat Peruvian Ceviche and talk about how to build an enduring brand.
Biggest startup challenge?
Hiring before the launch. The best people are usually not looking for a job – and they’re certainly not looking for a job at a company they’ve never heard of that hasn’t even launched a product. There’s so much risk and most people that are highly talented are highly appreciated and well compensated in their job. It’s an incredibly hard challenge to convince a really talented person to quit and join a company before it has launched.
Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why.
MixPanel. It’s a web analytics package that allows us to track user behavior on the site. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for any consumer internet website.
What’s your music-streaming site of choice, and what’s currently playing?
Pandora. The Smiths.
What’s the greatest thing about Little Black Bag?
Our customers. They have been a huge asset to our marketing campaign and product selection, not to mention they are becoming friends with each other on the site. Their enthusiasm for Little Black Bag is overwhelming and why I enjoy coming to work everyday.
Where can our readers reach out to you?
Ask for me on the chat feature of the site, or my email works too.
Thanks Dan! I actually worked for Gucci Accessories at Harrods in London. That’s about the only fashionista credit I have to my name. But, if you fancy yourself a true fashionista with a social appetite, check out Little Black Bag and start shopping and swapping designer accessories online. Seriously, it’s fun!