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Retail Reimagined for Today's Young Professionals


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Nicole Phillips is the Co-Founder and CEO of Qatch, a retail tech startup that captures individual style preferences using iMessage’s Tapback feature and turns them into more personalized shopping recommendations. Nicole—also a successful fashion law attorney—shares what inspired her to create this shopping platform in this episode of Motivational Mondays.

Why Nicole Created Qatch

Nicole has always loved fashion and retail. But from a consumer standpoint, she hated the experience of shopping online. Whenever she had to buy something for an event, she’d start on a website and use their filters only to strike out and move on to the next site. It was a cycle without resolve and she knew there had to be an easier way. Thus, her idea was born of leveraging technology to transform online shopping for busy professionals.

But how did Nicole get to this realization? Nicole actually formed the idea with her younger sister, Raquel. They grew up sharing clothes. However, as adult professionals—they had the opportunity to buy their own clothes. Both agreed that the online shopping process was daunting and often frustrating. Over dinner one night, they started a brainstorming session, exchanging ideas about improving online shopping experience

How Qatch Is Becoming A Game-Changer In Online Shopping

Qatch now works with over 100 brands, from Nordstrom to Free People. It’s similar to GrubHub and Uber Eats but in the fashion industry. They provide access to products in one place so you don’t have to hop from one site to the next. Qatch is designed to send you 10 clothing recommendations a week via text message. If you like the suggestion, you can double-tap it in your text message. You give it a heart if you love it, thumbs-up if you like it, and a thumbs-down if you don’t.

The algorithm then builds a style profile of products you like or dislike across every brand they partner with. By utilizing the thumbs-down function on items, Qatch gathers this most important data point and prevents similar events from being recommended to the shopper.

How Fashion Law Prepared Nicole To Build Qatch

Fashion law is a niche subset of the law and a one-year program that Nicole completed after she became a lawyer. Her goal was to become an expert in retail and fashion. The program taught her everything from navigating trademark and copyright filings to how to negotiate a contract with a large manufacturer. It also gave her some insider knowledge of the industry and industry expectations.

Nicole learned that most brands have an outdated business model. They have inventory that must be sold to the masses quickly. Because of this, personalization to the consumer experience suffers. Qatch isn’t a competitor to any of the brands but, instead, they act as a ‘matchmaker’ between the consumer and the brands they feature.

Listen to the whole episode to learn more about Qatch and the incredible entrepreneurs behind the startup.

Listen to this episode to learn about...

  • [1:06] What led to the creation of Qatch? 
  • [3:52] How Qatch is becoming a game-changer
  • [6:12] How fashion law prepared Nicole to build Qatch
  • [9:57] Helping young women gain confidence in the workplace

Listen to the bonus episode to learn about the Qatch on-campus ambassadorship program and the importance of tuning out naysayers so you can follow your passion.