Forget Match.com, Pittsburgh serial entrepreneur Tommy Wang has just launched a site that will connect women to their solemate.
Make that solemates because research shows that women, on average, own 19 pairs of shoes (30 pairs, if you’re one of the “shoe-obsessed”). This is the market that Guilty Soles wants to capitalize on, a market that is at $48 billion and growing at a 15% rate. That’s a lot of shoes.
The site, which launched this month, asks members to pay a yearly $49.95 membership fee. This grants the consumer access to a changing array of high-design shoes and handbags that will never exceed $19.95.
That’s 80% off retail prices with more than 500 shoes to choose from. You can shop by style or shop by mood–such as edgy, flirty, glamorous and professional. With a Los Angeles-based design team, all of Guilty Soles stock are of-the-moment trends.
How can Guilty Soles sell high fashion at such a low price? Easy. Tommy Wang, whose ventures have included online companies, uses the advantage that his company, TMD Holdings provides—it is one of the industry’s leading global sourcing and manufacturing firms.
“We started Guilty Soles because we saw a huge inefficiency in the supply chain in this market place. We can efficiently source because we are vertically integrated and we pass on those savings to our customers.” In other words, they own the supply chain.
Tommy Wang, 37, a Taiwan native, came to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon University where he got his bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering and his master’s degree in information systems management.
Guilty Soles has secured an initial investment round of $1 million and expects to grow the site to 25,000-50,000 users by the end of the year.