Any work related to fashion may seem a frivolous venture to some, but Boisean Elizabeth Perryman can speak the language of business with ease when she discusses her Web site, www.madisonbuyer.com. Perryman, 26, and a partner, Shawn Madawi of Las Vegas, launched the site in April 2009; according to Perryman, the women had been preparing for the launch for two years.
Perryman called the Web site a business-to-business marketing tool and said, “We’re still testing how to implement a revenue model.”
The Web site is a way to get the word out about young, up-and-coming talented designers, to present them and what they can offer to retailers and buyers. The idea for the site occurred to Perryman as she shopped around the Internet in an effort to open her own boutique.
She noted details about independent designers were kind of all over the place. “The information was scattered and not consolidated,” she said. That’s when she got the idea for a Web site that could serve as a one-stop resource for designer data.
She contacted Madawi, a former co-worker and business owner, with her observations, and the women started to think, “We need to build an online tool to promote fashion designers and promote consolidation in the business side of the industry.”
Perryman is no stranger to business. She received a degree in marketing/advertising from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She prefers not to mention former employers but has worked for a New York City accounting firm, for instance, and a local advertising and marketing agency. She also worked for a Las Vegas entertainer.
She said she always had a love for fashion, but living in New York gave her what she referred to as “a new perspective of what fashion really is.”
“I lived in the Village, right in the heart of the fashion district,” she said.
Now, her business skills meet her passion for things fashionable. Add to that, her and her partner’s social networking skills. They’re up-to-speed on everything that’s currently in vogue in social media and the Internet. Not only is their business completely online, word about it is spreading fast through Facebook, Twitter and the “blogosphere.”
“We haven’t paid for any traditional advertising,” Perryman said. Though she claimed the fashion industry is among the slowest to adapt to change, she said, “The Internet is changing the business model for the fashion world.”
Unfortunately, until the “revenue model” has been established, Perryman and partner are not making any money on www.madisonbuyer.com – a problem not uncommon for many Web sites, blogs and social media sites that are more popular than they are profitable.
And www.madisonbuyer.com is definitely popular. There are currently well over 100 designers represented on the site, and it has generated a lot of interest in the industry. It was, among other things, recently mentioned on huffingtonpost.com, as well as in some high-profile fashion blogs.
Perryman said designers featured on her site come from places as diverse as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Germany, Brazil and even Portland, Ore., which Perryman said is a burgeoning fashion locale.
Perryman and Madawi recently attended the POOL Trade Show in Las Vegas and served as the official Twitter source for the event.
Social media has been good to them, helping them build and strengthen their business. It’s through ‘Net communication such as Twitter and Facebook that they’ll continue to spread the word about designers, styles, trends, trade shows and cool clothing.
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