12 Things I Learned From Sarah Paiji, Co-Founder of NYC-Based Fashion App Snapette
As the founder and host of The Valley Girl Show, Jesse Draper has the distinct opportunity to interview and get to know the creative individuals shaping our generation. In an effort to share her experiences and learnings, Glam is presenting First Fridays, where Draper will outline her learnings from founders, CEOs, visionaries and more!
I sat down with Sarah Paiji, co-founder of geolocation tracking fashion service Snapette in Santa Monica last week to talk shop, or should I say shopping? The shopping app was recently acquired by price comparison service Pricegrabber in August of this year for an undisclosed amount. Sarah mentioned that she didn’t anticipate being acquired so soon as their company is just under 3 years old, but good things happen to good products! Besides the fact she loves drinking fresh pressed juices, here are 12 things I learned from Sarah…
In your own words, what is Snapette?
Snapette is a mobile shopping app for discovering the best fashion products, stores and sales nearby, right on your phone. Our free iPhone and Android app lets you easily window shop products, sales and stores around your current location, or around the world. So, instead of running around looking for that perfect pair of shoes or a specific dress, we've partnered with over 200 top fashion brands and retailers so you can just check Snapette to discover what styles are in stores near you.
How do you specifically use Snapette?
My favorite feature is the location-based push notifications that I receive on my phone letting me know that I'm nearby a big sale at a store that I love. I also use Snapette to check in on what's new at some of my favorite boutiques like Curve, which doesn't have an e-commerce site. Before Snapette, there was no way to know what they had in a store unless I went there, so, it's great that I can check their new arrivals right on my phone daily!
When did you decide it was time to make the transition to being an entrepreneur?
I was at Harvard Business School (I ended up dropping out) and was really inspired by all the young rockstar female entrepreneurs coming out of HBS (Gilt, Rent the Runway, Birchbox, Bauble Bar). They had all been recently founded by HBS female alumni. I also had just moved off my corporate Blackberry onto my first iPhone and had no doubt that people were going to spend exponentially more time on their phones. With all the opportunity I saw in mobile, I wanted to be a part of it and there wasn't a moment to lose.
How has your life changed now being an entrepreneur versus when you previously had a 9-5 job?
I love that we can create our own culture and have full control over surrounding ourselves and building a company with positive, fun, smart, genuine people. I love being at work because I love our team, and we enjoy hanging out outside of work too!
What is your daily routine?
My days vary tremendously so there really is no typical day – which I love. I'm involved in all aspects of Snapette from product development, marketing, PR, business development, accounting, legal, etc. I do try to create some structure around the work day, though. I love taking my time getting ready for the day and getting ready for bed. Both allow me to decompress and clear my mind, and no matter how tired or underslept I am, I always spend an hour getting ready slowly in the mornings and half an hour slowly getting ready for bed. I instapaper a ton of articles I come across during the day and like to read them all at the gym on my iPad at night (prime gym time for me is 10pm).
How do you prioritize?
Every day I write down three things that I need to absolutely get done that day, and every week I write down five things. With startups, I often feel like I'm drinking from a fire hose, and it's easy to get derailed with things that come up last minute that seem to need immediate attention. These short lists help me ensure I'm tracking against bigger picture goals.
What are your favorite fashion designers to look for?
I'm loving O'2nd for its clean lines and subtle feminine details. And it’s very well-priced for the quality. Also love Maiyet and its social mission in addition to its design and hoping they come out with a lower price point line. And I continue to be impressed with Zara for great, of-the-moment clothes and shoes on a budget.
If you could offer the working woman one style tip, what would it be?
Great basic dresses go a long way. They're super easy – you don't have to worry about coordinating tops and bottoms. Which is also great for travel because you can pack half as much with dresses. Dresses also go easily from day to night. And you can dress them up with jewelry, heels and a clutch or dress down with flats and a big bag.
How do you wind down at the end of the day?
I eat a scoop of ice cream every night. I love Ben & Jerry's and have tried every flavor that I've ever come across.
I know you are dating someone, but do you have a celebrity crush?
I love my bf, but I also love Leonardo DiCaprio. I loved him in my teenage years in Romeo & Juliet and he's still just as angsty and attractive in the recent Gatsby. Ryan Gosling is a close second. I just watched Blue Valentine (which I can't recommend enough!), and I just cried the whole way through. I have a huge soft spot for him.
What are the websites you frequent the most?
I check Nasty Gal more than I do Facebook. You wouldn't think that I'm the target demo, but I love it, especially for pieces to mix in and add a little kick to my everyday wear. And of course Google! I google everything. I never have to wonder how tall Obama is (6'1''), what makes mosquitos bite some people more than others (blood type) and how fast a cheetah can run (60 mph). I also set aside about an hour each day to read pretty much everything relating to mobile or omnichannel retail across a variety of tech and fashion industry sites.
How has being aquired by Pricegrabber changed Snapette?
It’s a very exciting time for us. To date, Snapette has been very focused on helping our users find great products nearby, whereas PriceGrabber has been focused on connecting shoppers to products available online. Snapette has also been much more focused on mobile, and PriceGrabber has been historically more focused on web. Thus the combination is very complementary. So now we're focused much more broadly than just mobile and local. Together, we think there is a huge opportunity to help shoppers search and discover the best fashion products at the best price, across both online and local stores.
UCLA grad, Jesse Draper is a technology expert and creator and host of The Valley Girl Show through which she has become a spokesperson for startups and has helped to pioneer the way of new media content distribution. She oversees everything from pre-production to distribution of the show. Draper started the show because she realized there was no FUN business talk show, only grilling teeth clenching interviews, and she believes the most interesting and inspiring people in the world are the ones who've started a business. In her former life, she was on a Nickelodeon show called “The Naked Brother's Band”. Draper also writes columns for Mashable, Forbes.com and San Francisco Magazine and speaks at business conferences around the world including SXSW, DLD, TEDx, TechVentures and STREAM.