One idea to help people look better and feel great about themselves has transformed Danielle Johansen into a successful and highly energised fashion industry disrupter with the best intentions.
Danielle Johansen, founder and CEO of the stellar personal styling company Threadicated, never imagined she might become a fashion industry disrupter. But it’s a description she’s more than happy to own.
“It’s not something that I intentionally set out to do, disrupt the industry” says the effervescent 36-year-old entrepreneur. “I had this idea that I’d like to help people feel great about themselves and look better, too.
“From there the business has really taken off. No one else is doing what we are doing and the response we’ve had from customers shows there is clearly a market for it.”
In fact, to say that Threadicated is a success is an understatement. Danielle launched her business love child barely two years ago, yet Threadicated has carved out a substantial niche in a fiercely competitive fashion market by reimagining the critical nexus between personal styling, attentive service and eye-popping product. And if that means that Danielle is a disrupter, then let it be so.
“It’s disruption but it’s disruption with the very best intentions,” says Danielle. “We have customers who say to us, ‘I can’t believe that this service exists – where have you been all my life?’ It’s really wonderful to think of ourselves contributing to people’s lives in a positive way. I find it rewarding that people see us as shaking up the industry – but first and foremost we are about helping people look good and feel great about themselves, shaking up the industry is just a by-product of that.”
And that is no small achievement. Some might look at Threadicated and its success and dismiss it as simply selling clothes, but that would be a serious over-simplification. Danielle’s approach is vastly different to traditional retailing. Although it is online, service is still the key, and the more personal the better.
As such, in the 21st century digital age, it’s also about data – reams of it – and how Threadicated uses that detailed information to power their A.I and tailor their services specifically to each of their customer’s individual preferences, style and sense of self.
“There are so many people out there walking around not feeling confident, and what we wear has a huge impact on that, so we help people find clothes that give them confidence and in turn that has an impact on how they feel and relate to the world.
“Life is moving faster and faster and people don’t have a lot of time on their hands, that paired with the fact there has never been as much choice available in fashion than right now can make it confusing and frustrating trying to figure out what is going to work best for you.”
Danielle calls that increasing common phenomenon “analysis paralysis”, an inability to make decisions in the face of too much information and variety.
“It’s not that customer couldn’t find the right shirt, jeans or dress if they had the time and really put their mind to it,” says Danielle. “But it’s about knowing what brands are out there suit your body type, style and budget, and how to go about finding them. And then there is the issue of sizing that needs to be navigated, because so many manufacturers differ in the way they size their product.
“But the thing about Threadicated is that we understand what brands are out there for each customer’s style, and we are experts in fit from brand to brand. Our research, technology and feedback from thousands of our own customers has given us the key to understanding this. We know what people with similar body types and similar ages love and keep. We have all the informative data that leads us to products that is right for each individual customer.
“Instead of trying on 30 pairs of jeans to find the right ones, we do the hard work for you, we compare style, fit and size to come up with a pair of jeans that we know you will love and will fit you perfectly. That’s what we do.”
Danielle started Threadicated two years ago, just before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also just a few months before her wedding. In fact, she was honeymooning in Europe with her husband and dealing with the details of Threadicated’ s new website at the same time.
“I’d started the business a few months before we were married but it was while we were on the honeymoon that I was dealing with the website developers and all the details that come with that,” Danielle says.
“We’d be in Paris, and I’d duck down to the hotel lobby in my dressing gown to take a call from our developers in Australia so I wouldn’t wake up my husband, recalls Danielle. “It’s pretty funny when you think about it.”
Danielle always saw fashion as her future. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Fashion and got her start in the industry working for small start-ups.
“When I started out in the industry, I tried every job in fashion that you can imagine,” says Danielle. “I was designing. I was marketing. I was developing product. Then an opportunity came up with a marketing network that was affiliated to the company I was working with. It was completely different to anything I had done before and there was so much data – but as quickly I discovered, I love the data!
“And I love fashion. So, I came up with the idea to combine the two, and that is how Threadicated started. And the truth is that today, the two go hand in hand. We are as much fashion as we are data and technology, that is how we get each customers fit and style just right, Threadicated really is a hybrid of the two things I love most.
“I think of data as a way of simplifying and perfecting wants and needs. That is what all our data does. It helps us understand each customer in a way that simply wasn’t possible even a few years ago – it helps us power our A.I and understand customers in the context of all our other customers and their experiences and preferences.”
Two years on and Threadicated is one of the most dynamic new start-ups on the Australian fashion scene.
While the pandemic and Australia’s recent lockdowns have sent many traditional business models into downward spirals, Threadicated has thrived.
“Our customer base is growing rapidly, and we are hiring more people all the time,” says Danielle. “We have been blessed as one of the companies that have done well during COVID, because everyone needed to look great from the waist up during their Zoom meetings but did not want to risk going into stores.
“Our growth has exceeded our expectations. We have plans to take things global but in our own time. For the moment we are concentrating on the Australian market and giving people fashion they can love and be proud of. We’ll consolidate that foundation, and then we’ll take it from there.”
For more info: https://www.threadicated.com.au/