A lot has happened with D’Marie since we last did a post on them. Over the past three years this company has changed and expanded, and an update on the cool stuff they are up to is long overdue! We spoke with the co-founder of D’Marie, Frank Spadafora, to tell us more about the latest news for the company:
D’Marie is a fashion technology and social media analytics company. We connect brands with talent agencies that are using D’Marie to determine the value of their influencer’s social media portfolio. D’Marie’s platform also assists with the distribution of social media content as well as the reporting of a campaign’s success. Our system is centered on an image-publishing tool that enables both parties to publish what we call a “fashion credit” (i.e. images embedded with URL product links). These credits can be exported to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as embedded on e-commerce websites and personal blogs. The credits generate in-depth data about reach, engagement and ultimately sales conversions per post per platform.
What was the inspiration behind creating D’Marie?
The concept for D’Marie was developed from years of casting and being on-set with clients at photo shoots. I noticed several casting directors using Excel spreadsheets and homemade remedies to keep track of a model or blogger’s social media numbers during the casting process. After being on the rather unfortunate receiving end of a client’s frustrations about missing and incorrect data for a campaign casting, I began to outline an industry-wide digital tool that would simplify and standardize the measurement, management and monetization of social media metrics between talent agents, models and brands.
After several years of personal experience, research and review of initial user feedback from our original system, we identified that the true value of our system was centered around the creation and distribution of smart-images which we call a “fashion credit” (i.e. an image directly embedded with product URL links). It became clear that our technology had the ability to provide brands analytics about a single credit’s total online reach across multiple influencer’s social platforms. D’Marie is measuring reach, engagement and most importantly sales conversion data that derive from each post to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as personal websites and blogs.
What sets D’Marie apart from other fashion tech companies?
D’Marie was established almost three years ago. That’s not considered a long time by most, but for a FashionTech company it means we’ve been around the block a while. During that time, we’ve seen a lot of people come and go and a lot of great ideas that fumbled during execution. When I realized D’Marie wasn’t just a single product, but more of a brand, it gave us space to step away from all of the typical “start-up” noise, and refine our company’s true intentions.
Our team is enthralled by the idea of solving multiple of the industry’s infrastructure issues with technology. We adore working with other teams and companies in partnerships that increase the value of our product offering. We genuinely care about creating the best solutions for our clients. Of course, I could provide you a list of superior technical specs that differentiate us from the competition, but that’s boring and expected. [Editor’s note: Good answer!]
What has been one of the most challenging parts of getting started? How did you overcome this and what did you learn?
In all honesty, raising capital has been the biggest struggle and distraction of the entire start-up process. As a team we had product design and development, marketing and sales on lock. However, my co-founder and I didn’t personally know people with deep pockets. D’Marie is the first company that I have ever needed to raise capital for. We tried every path; angels, venture capital, accelerators and pitch events. The desperation was starting to reek from our pores.
After about a year of people giving us too many opinions and not enough checks, my team prioritized product development over raising capital and stopped the process altogether. We knew we could build a killer product that would get us into the market and from there grow we’d grow with a lean operation. That’s what got us through the dark days, just keeping our head down and staying focused on creating the best products possible. Eventually we got to the point where we gained credible users and gained traction that appealed to investors.
Interestingly, it was our initial clients who asked about investment opportunities the most. Our subscribers know the space the best and completely understand our company’s value. I’ve learned how to not depend on investment to grow the business and that you should never enter an investment conversation without 100% confidence in your company.
What can we expect from D’Marie in the future?
Mobile! We’re taking this party on the road. We’re currently developing a native iOS app that will focus on the B2B features of D’Marie’s desktop experience. Specifically, we’re building our app around the relationship between a talent agency and the talent they represent, and the conversations and tasks related to casting. The app will also enable our subscribers to review and share their social media analytics in real time as well as feature a mobile credit creation and distribution system.
We are impressed with the things D’Marie is doing! Watch the video below and take a look at their website here.
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