A new startup in Los Angeles called MyStorey is set to debut with some celebrity heavyweights in the mix, including Memphis Grizzlies star forward Rudy Gay.
myStorey is a we-commerce platform where users build online stores through the stories of their lives. They allow people the unique opportunity to tag the things in their personal photos from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or their blog and aggregate those tags into a shoppable store so that others can discover and shop them too. Celebrities, bloggers, brands, and even everyday people have found immense value in myStorey’s ability to transform their digital content into shopping opportunities.
myStorey worked with Rudy Gay’s social team to leverage his social media content and use it to highlight the products from his everyday life. myStorey will highlight some of the clothing and accessories that Gay wears in everyday life along with some of the luxury items that help bring his swag like his Audermars Piguet watch.
Anyone can use myStorey, whether you’re the average Joe or a trendsetter, myStorey lets you highlight the things you wear everyday and then helps people discover those items and purchase them.
Other celebrities participating at launch include:
- US Open Surf Champion Lakey Peterson
- Fitness guru Chalene Johnson
- Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Jordan Palmer
- Miami Marlin’s player Bryan Petersen
- Miami Marlin’s player Logan Morrison
- Beauty Biz CEO and expert Sumita Batra
- HoneynSilk.com fashion blogger Stephanie Liu
- Beachmint’s Social Media Coordinator Vaneza Pitynski
myStorey seems like a very innovative platform, and with the star power they’ve recruited in the beginning they should be in good shape for a successful launch. We got a chance to talk with the team behind myStorey, check out the interview below.
What is your startup and what does it do?
Founded by serial tech entrepreneurs, myStorey is a we-commerce platform where users build online stores through the stories of their lives. We allow people the unique opportunity to tag the things in their personal photos from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or their blog and aggregate those tags into a shoppable store so that others can discover and shop them too. Celebrities, bloggers, brands, and even everyday people have found immense value in myStorey’s ability to transform their digital content into shopping opportunities.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Unlike a lot of other startups, we ground our founding team around 4 pillars : Development, Product, Business Dev, and Marketing. Each founder has a core proficiency in one and we excel by trusting each others’ instincts in them. Firstly, Ramin Keene was founder and CTO of Stockopedia (UKs ﬁrst and largest social in vesting research portal) and software engineer at StockTwits where he architected the site’s entire real-time analytics, data collection and warehousing systems. Zubin Mowlavi is a founder of Lucid Fusion, Inc. and serial tech entrepreneur in equity stake in number of exciting companies including Cypher Genomics, Power Balance Performance Technology, Konan Medical. Taylor Holiday is founder of The Arch Network, a consulting group focuses on connecting brands with inﬂuential users. Lastly, Sherry Ng was a digital marketer for startups mSnap Inc, one of the largest mobile solutions providers for local media companies, and Veeker Corp, a mobile-to-Internet video communication service.
Where are you based?
We’re based in “Silicon Beach” aka Southern California. It’s recently become a breeding ground for startups and is #4 largest recipient of venture capital after the big cities like Silicon Valley, NE, and NY.
What problem does your startup solve?
We focus on two main problems.
1) Providing online access to peer recommendations. The single greatest influence on purchase decisions at every point of the sales cycle is peer recommendations. However. 7 out of 10 of these interactions are happening offline. Think about it… what website would you go to in order to see all of your best friends shoes? Or your co-workers’ books? Or what apps your favorite tech writer uses? There isn’t a simple answer right now and we hope to be that destination.
2) Helping content creators monetize their voice.
Existing social platforms do not drive retail transaction, bottom line. As a result, influencers who are pushing content through these channels are finding minimal return. We want to help build a shopping platform that leverages the content they are already creating and gives people a unique, commercially focused way to engage.
What’s the startup culture like where you are based?
We love the environment in Southern California because there’s a mentality that we are the little guys, so we have to hustle even harder. But because of that, our fellow LA startups are so open to meetings, networking, and generally sharing advice. It’s a great underdog approach. In fact, we are attending TechCocktail Los Angeles on Dec 6th and have already reached out to several other showcasing startups that are open to discussing demo strategies. It’s competitive but also collaborative.
What’s one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?
We are tackling a massive idea and there are so many different features and applications that we have collectively thought about, which makes it extremely challenging to prioritize. Getting to that MVP when myStorey is such an evolving concept with limitless potential was hard. But that’s when we allow the voices of our trusted team members and advisors to come through, so we can understand what exactly needs to come from design, develop, and marketing for a great product.
Who are the mentors and who are the role models?
We have been really lucky to have some amazing people help guide our journey. We believe that it is an absolutely must for every entrepreneur to surround themselves with as many people as possible who have gone further and know more than they do. Two people who have specifically gone above and beyond to help us would be Brandon Mills, Founder and CEO of Blockbeacon and co-founder of Social Vibe, and Gerry Campbell, CEO of Frequency Group. Both of these men have provided us a gracious sounding board since day one.
What’s one thing the world does not know about you or your startup?
Our team is full of really talented people…and we don’t just mean in terms of business. Ninety percentage of our team has been a band at one time or another and Zubin is the lead singer of a band called The Departure (you can find them on itunes). Our lead designer Tisha (also a bando) competed in the equivalent of American Idol in Thailand as a child. And in a former life, Taylor played professional baseball in the Yankees organization. #weloveourteam
What’s next for your startup?
Oh the exciting part! As myStorey is set to official roll out in Q1 of 2013, we are holding a sneak preview of the innovative we-commerce platform this Friday, December 7th, 2012. Through this 3-week pre-launch “Shop Our Lives” promotion, consumers will gain unique access to shop the lives and personally recommended products of selected “Storytellers.” The featured Storeytellers for the “Shop Our Lives” promotion include Memphis Grizzlies basketball player Rudy Gay, fitness guru Chalene Johnson, US Open Surf Champion Lakey Peterson, Beauty Business CEO and Guru Sumita Batra, Beachmint’s Social Media Coordinator Vaneza Pitynski amongst MANY others. It’ll be an exciting opportunity to shop their favorite things!