Bay Area companies shop so you won't have to


Danielle van Asch-Prevot looks forward to getting a box shipped to her once a month. She ordered it, but doesn't know what's inside. That's because the items inside were picked just for her by the styling team at San Francisco-based Stitch Fix.

"Stitch Fix is a personal shopper for an everyday woman," Katrina Lake is the company's founder and CEO.

She said, "It's just like having a dressing room delivered to your home. Simply try and buy at home. So you get to try everything on, get feedback from your husband, feedback from your friends, try things on with jeans in your closet, and simply pay for what you want to keep, and send back what you don't want to keep."

To get started you tell Stitch Fix about your personal style. Then the company uses technology to choose what's best for you. It works a bit like Pandora or Netflix by keeping track of what you like and don't like.

Danielle says "I think the main reason I like it is because Ii don't have to do anything. I can have all of the like more current styles, things that I probably wouldn't pick out on my own, shipped over to me."

Each fix averages about $300. There's a $20 styling fee, but it's credited toward anything you keep. Customers can send back what they don't like. Keep all five items they send and Stitch Fix will knock off another 25 percent off.

Stitch Fix isn't the only local company offering consumers a personalized shopping experience.

At Tog+Porter's San Francisco offices, co-founder Ellie Williams is taking a one-on-one approach.

"We you match you with a personal stylist and then you get to meet with her through video chat. You get a good chunk of time with her and she sort of asks what your needs are," said Williams.

Customers have a consultation with a stylist to determine their style, measurements and needs. Then a stylist ships off a box with things they think the customer might like. San Francisco resident Kara has been using Tog+Porter for more than two years.

"I mean I like to shop, but it really doesn't make sense to do it myself, when I have someone who can act as my proxy and buy really cute stuff and kind of show me how to put everything together," said Kara.

Tog+Porter lets you set your budget from $200 to $1,500. The company then puts together between five and 15 pieces. Keep what you like, send back what you don't. Like Stich Fix, the customer decides how often they receive a shipment.

Both companies work with a pre-selected list of designers to bring customers the latest fashions.

written and produced by Ken Miguel

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