In a world where fashion, beauty and tech often intersect, Kimberly Carney, the founder and CEO of GlossWire and FashWire, has carved a unique path. She’s the driving force behind platforms that connect fashionistas and beauty enthusiasts with emerging and established brands from all corners of the globe. In this exclusive interview, Kimberly shares her experience as a woman who loves tech (as well as fashion and beauty!)
Style, serums and social media
Kimberly’s journey into the world of tech and fashion began with her extensive experience as a marketing leader in the tech sector, working for companies like AT&T Wireless during the dot-com era. However, her deep rooted passion for fashion eventually led her to open a clothing boutique in 2005. This venture gave her firsthand insight into the evolving retail landscape, where digital adoption was reshaping consumer behaviours.
Realising that the future of fashion and beauty lay in technology, Kimberly decided to bridge the gap between these two worlds, giving birth to FashWire in 2018.
Little did Kimberly know that this bold step would prove particularly powerful, in light of the pandemic that would soon hit. With its launch, FashWire’s digital platform was well ahead of the curve – expanding its brand partners from 200 to 300, just as the world was shifting towards online shopping.
In February 2021, GlossWire was born, quickly rising to #2 on the App Store’s Paid Shopping Apps list. Established with a similar ethos, GlossWire, uses its rich data sets and data science capabilities to enable consumers to navigate the breadth of beauty products available (over 10,000+ products by 300 brands from more than 25 countries to be precise) to provide a more personalised retail experience.
The role of technology in transforming the retail experience and the big deal with data
With over 450+ brands from 50+ countries on FashWire and 300+ beauty brands from 25+ countries on GlossWire, data science and technology play a pivotal role in providing personalised fashion and beauty retail experiences.
Kimberly notes that technology has fundamentally changed the way consumers interact with brands, whether through social media apps, retail shops, or augmented reality experiences. So, to stand out in these crowded markets, brands must create unique and immersive customer experiences.
“Truly successful customer experiences are multi-faceted,” says Kimberly. “This of course covers the ‘frontend’ web experience, so for example how easily consumers can find and shop products on a website or app. But it goes deeper,”
That’s why Fashwire and GlossWire’s technology solution creates a compelling interactive shopping experience meeting the demand for personalisation through its social tools, such as swiping, liking and commenting to engage the consumer and build community. “Real time feedback to the brands, gives consumers a powerful voice in the products they buy as well as real time feedback on product status,” says Kimberly.
But it’s not just about the buyer. “By leveraging and analysing data, including increasingly with AI, brands can also make better decisions on what products to offer and how to deliver these to consumers. This fundamentally changes the equation in terms of delivering the customer a product they love in the way they love.”
The future of FashWire and GlossWire
FashWire’s journey has been marked by industry recognition, doubling its brand partners, and growing its consumer base. The platform has received prestigious awards such as the Women in Supply Chain Award 2023, Fashion Group International Rising Star Award 2021, and the 2023 and 2022 Glossy Fashion Awards for Best Fashion Marketplace. However, looking ahead, Kimberly sees no signs of slowing down. Instead, she says, “Our aim is to be the go-to platform in the fashion and beauty industries for an engaged, sustainable, and inclusive shopping experience between brands and consumers. User interaction will continue to be a key differentiator and combining that experience with deep data, social integration and curated content makes us a highly coveted solution for emerging and established brands. We have numerous innovations on our roadmap to take this experience and impact even further as we revolutionise ‘engaged shopping’.
Finally, Kimberly also hints at their new venture, PawWire, set to launch in December 2023, bringing the same compelling shopping experience to pet brands.