A Look at Shoedazzle After the Return of CEO Brian Lee
Women's shoes are serious business. Not just accessories to protect their feet outdoors, the right style of footwear sends a message, an image. Therefore, it follows that the purchase experience of these shoes has to fit the end result. That's whereKim Kardashian's ShoeDazzle comes in, an online retailer that offers women a unique and tailored shoe shopping service. Since CEO Brian Lee returned to the fold in in 2013, the sky has been the limit for his Los Angeles-based startup.
A Dazzling Start
ShoeDazzle was co-founded in 2009 by Lee, Mark Shapiro, M. J. Eng and Kim Kardashian on a simple premise: women would pay a monthly membership fee of $39.95, and, based on their shopping profile, receive curated and discounted shoes every month to keep as their own. With millions of members and fans on Facebook, ShoeDazzle was doing something very right, receiving over $50 million dollars in funding over a period of two years, from 2009 to 2011.
An Incorrect FitIn 2011, Lee handpicked Brian Strauss to succeed him as CEO of ShoeDazzle, but Strauss' decisions - scrapping the monthly membership plan and expanding ShoeDazzle's scope to offer lingerie and swimwear, both an attempt to appeal to a larger audience - met with heavy criticism.
How Brian Lee got ShoeDazzle's Groove Back
Lee realized that Strauss was not the right fit for ShoeDazzle. In late 2012, Strauss volunteered to step down. Lee brought himself back as CEO, piloting the company back on course after it started hemorrhaging money and customers. Under Lee, the company refocused on its core philosophy - giving women the ultimate shoe shopping experience. Customers can now sign up for a membership service to receive discounts on shoes. It's not quite the return to receiving one pair of shoes every month, but it's a step in the right direction.Continued on the next page