Our teammates Simone and Moriz are Italian and have a lot of passion for fashion for their country and its fashion. We will all be taking a year from USC to go study at Bocconi University in Milan. While studying there, we hope to help the country's economy by first standing with these small shops.
This inspiration leads us to many ideas - the first was to help struggling wineries distribute their wine through monthly subscriptions. However, we felt that clothing would be easier to distribute and allow us to have a bigger impact on the economy.
What it does
Solo Italia will be a website that allows consumers to select from a wide variety of small Italian boutique shops. We will provide stories behind each shop and why we selected the shop. We hope to give customers great quality and the satisfaction of impact with each purchase.
How I built it
We built a demo site on Shopify. However, when we have more time, we hope to build a real website and figure out an efficient supply chain structure.
Challenges I ran into
We had a difficult time deciding the pricing and the business model. Also, we spent a lot of time figuring out our competitive advantage from someone just choosing to buy Gucci, Valentino, and Versace.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I believe we have a great idea with a sustainable competitive edge: unique, high-quality Italian clothing that would be too costly or difficult to get anywhere else. More importantly, we will be putting lives into these small businesses that have been around for hundreds of years.
What I learned
Even something not as technical as fashion still requires a lot of research and quantitative thinking when it comes down to evaluating your competition and understanding the business model and distribution. Moreover, our Italian teammates have an invaluable insight into the culture and the current situation. That is not something that will come up in a Google search.
Lastly, work is actually really fun when it is about something you care about.
What's next for WBB Hacks For Hope
Over the summer, we will begin building the website and reaching out to manufacturers and boutiques. We will need to begin contact with distribution centers in order to see what the most effective way would be.