Meet Shefali Khanna, the Co-Founder and Head of Merchandising for popular e-commerce fashion portal DAILYLOOK. After climbing the ranks of the business side of the fashion industry, Shefali joined DAILYLOOK nearly three years ago and the rest, as they say, is history. Below, Shefali shares her insight on what it takes to excel in the fashion industry, and what you should keep in mind before jumping into an entrepreneurial endeavor.
Q: When did launching your own fashion-related business first spark your mind, and what is your background experience in fashion, personal styling and e-commerce?
A: At the beginning of my career, one of the items on my bucket list was to own a business by age 40. I got my start in the industry handling product development while living in India. During this time, I was traveling a great deal to Hong Kong as well as the U.S., learning how to connect and develop relationships with people of all different backgrounds. I then decided to make the move to the U.S. to study at FIT, and eventually received an incredible opportunity to work at Macy’s Inc. in New York straight out of college. I handled brand management, retail buying, and merchandising at the multinational chain, working with private label and product development teams. After Macy’s Inc., I moved on to work as the Retail and Merchandising Executive at Old Navy – Gap, Inc., Lucky Brand Jeans, Free People- URBN, Inc., and Pac Sun. After now working in the fashion industry for over 18 years with corporate companies of all sizes, I finally got to the place where I was ready to make my ultimate goal a reality. I noticed a gap in the market of a one-stop-shop that combines content and product, while utilizing innovated technology, to cater to every professional women’s style needs. Once I met DAILYLOOK Founder, Brian Ree, I knew I found a home for myself.
Q: Tell us about the unique story behind DAILYLOOK and its exciting growth as of late! A: I came on board DAILYLOOK as the Co-Founder almost three years ago with the intention of solving a fashion dilemma that many women face – combining different fashion pieces to complete the perfect outfit. We wanted to solve this problem by offering each woman inspiration and convenience when shopping online. We were adamant about introducing new trends and full looks that elevate an on-the-go woman’s style effortlessly, that fit in with her busy schedule. There is such a great deal of product to choose from these days, and we want to make it easy for our customers to confidently come to us to enhance their own individual style through a personalized, unique experience. Sticking to our original principle of how to make online shopping as accessible and inspiring as possible has led us to much success in almost four years. Just last month, DAILYLOOK ELITE had 6k subscribers and has grown to over 15k. Additionally, DAILYLOOK has grown from 60 to 80 employees in just the past month.
Q: What are some of your most clever marketing tactics that have gotten DAILYLOOK media love as the brand has grown? A: The focus of the brand has been on how to connect with our target customer. By placing this emphasis on this natural connection, we have made it a point to provide our followers with interesting visuals and honest branding. We have seen much success in making this connection with our customer through our social media outlets, namely Instagram. All our social media content is integrated based on our on-the-go DAILYLOOK woman.
Q: Walk us through what a day in the life of the co-founder of DAILYLOOK is like – lots of meetings, calls, and networking?
A: As the Head of Merchandising, I am involved in everything creative – studio styling, product, buying, planning, etc. In addition to that, I am also Co-Founder, which is a position where you wear a lot of hats. The majority of my day is spent solving problems in every field, brainstorming with every department of the company, and overseeing the team to make sure the brand message is cohesive throughout. I usually start my day sending emails and then make myself available for appointments throughout the day. There is never a “typical” day at DAILYLOOK – it is always stimulating with all the new and exciting upcoming plans!
Q: What advice would you have for fellow women looking to embark on their own entrepreneurial, e-commerce adventure? How should they prepare before taking the “leap”? A: I think the number one thing to take into consideration when beginning your own entrepreneurial endeavor, would be to really understand the end goal you are trying to achieve. Identify the final mission and be open to the ever-evolving process that is involved. Also, prepare yourself mentally and emotionally because this is going to be your baby for a long time. You have to be tenacious and accept that every failure is a step closer to success. Do not let go when it gets tough or mistakes are made, just learn to adapt and believe in yourself. Another piece of advice when starting this exciting chapter is that there is no short cut to hard work. You will be presented with a lot of things that you will have to be ready to roll up your sleeves and get in there to resolve. Lastly, always remember that you are not always right, so keep learning and surrounding yourself with good people that bring different perspectives to your business.