The H/H team loves tech brands that push boundaries and offer a smart take on a simple idea. So when Thea Hughes reached out about online shopping site Unscruff, we asked her to offer her take for the gentlemen in the office.
Unscruff is the online shopping equivalent of the ‘Happy Anniversary’ card you keep in your drawer in case you forget the date. It’s the solitary line from a profound (sounding, at least) poem you have committed to memory to make the ladies smile at the bar. Most importantly, it’s your new go-to source for having an excuse to say “Oh this? I just threw this on.”
What we particularly like about Unscruff is that they go beyond the standard “add to your cart” shopping experience, providing you (or your man) with the perfect outfits to start each season. Think of it as the Soho House for style (only affordable and without the pool). I sat down with co-founder of the LA based company Bangaly Kaba to provide some insight into the brand, the idea and their philosophy.
Tell us about the company.
For a lot of women shopping is an event, but for guys it’s more like a chore, so at unscruff we try to make the experience as painless as possible. Customers build an online profile in five minutes, and then they get a personalized box of clothes at the beginning of every season – spring, summer, winter, and fall. We offer free shipping and returns, and guys only pay for the clothes they keep.
We think of ourselves as a ‘wingman for personal style,’ and like any good wingman our job is to help guys look good and get the girl. Or at least keep the one they already have…
What makes unscruff different from other brands/services out there?
At the end of the day, we’re not a trend-driven fashion company. unscruff is all about making guys’ lives better and getting them clothes that fit their style preferences. We want to help guys look and feel good at a price that won’t lethally wound their wallet.
We also work exclusively with cool, boutique brands continuously scouting new labels that are unique and difficult to find in major department stores. So, you’ll never show up at an event or a bar wearing the same thing as the guy next to you.
Why is unscruff so irresistible?
Like I said, the average guy hates shopping. We help them spend less time shopping and more time doing what they love. We only work with brands where value is really apparent and the quality is excellent. unscruff also focuses a lot of time and effort on customer service. We want to deliver guys practical style advice that they usually only get from a girlfriend or significant other (but of course without all the emotional drama).
What’s the most challenging thing about building a brand from scratch?
Building a brand from scratch is all-consuming in so many ways. You have so much invested in it, and you want more than anything for it to be successful. Making decisions, even smaller ones, can be challenging because so much is riding on every decision, like your money, your time, and the satisfaction of your customers.
Starting out, you’re an underdog and it is difficult to get people to discover you or understand what you’re all about. We have a small but passionate following right now and that’s okay with us. We’d rather have fans that interact with us on a daily basis than thousands of dormant fans.
We really enjoy interacting with our members and fans. Its probably one of the best perks of the job hearing what people think about clothes and style and how unscruff has affected their lives. So don’t be shy to give us a shout-out – we have been known to send some swag for awesome customers that tweet, Facebook and email us. Just saying.