From finalist for two Canada Post awards to one of Hamilton’s Top 10 Start-ups, Trend Trunk has now made it to the Dragon’s Den.
The company will pitch its tale to the Dragons on April 3 and expect it will be screened in September.
For the budget-conscious fashion lover, Hamilton’s Trend Trunk has become the social marketplace where people buy, sell and donate new and used clothing.
Founder and president Sean Snyder said the online marketplace could be considered an upscale eBay, with a flash of Pintrest and dash of Facebook.
“Consumers can follow other members closets, you can ‘lust’ items, which is our version of the ‘like’ button, you can comment on the items, and you can share it through the media,” he explained. “If you have too many clothes in your closet and nothing to wear, you can sell your clothes for cash or you can use your money to shop other closets or donate it to your favourite charity.”
Since Trend Trunk began six months ago, Snyder noted the company has accomplished quite a bit. It has 20,000 users across Canada.
The idea evolved from a gift card exchange site Snyder previously had, where they noticed many people would buy and trade fashion and dining cards.
It was from speaking to those clients that they proceeded to create Trend Trunk, he said.
“We’ve streamlined the shipping so everything is automated, simplified the payments, and created policies in place for returns to make it easier with less barriers for people,” said Snyder. “Typically with fashion there’s that stigma of, ‘Oh, I can’t try it on, so I can’t buy it.’ So we built this tool where you can ask your friends via Facebook or Twitter and ask them if you should buy it or not.”
Once a picture of an item is posted to sell, it’s first come first serve for those who want to buy the item.
However, a big focus of the company is its Closets & Causes feature, which is a fundraising initiative.
“The idea is that as you’re selling an item, if you’re in a good mood you can donate all or some of your proceeds to over 80,000 charities in Canada,” he explained. “It’s a good way for charities that are trying to raise money because of the economy to allow people to cash into their closet but also do something good.”
Sellers are able to select the organization of their choice and decide whether to contribute between five per cent to 100 percent of the net proceed. A special donation badge will be feature on the item and when the item is sold, the monetary amount will be given to the organization.
Since people are not donating a product but the money, they will also receive a tax receipt for the balance, Synder added.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity and we’ve obviously grown up organically in Hamilton,” he said. “We’re Canada-wide and we have a lot of initiatives in play, but we’re really focused on the fundraising aspect because we’re getting a big reception from big organizations.”
Future goals will have the company look to expand outside of Canada, but Snyder noted they are happy with the progress in Canada.
Originally posted in Your Hamilton Biz.