In this piece, Laura Cordes, co-founder, Gardoré, speaks to DTC Daily about the journey of her business, the first platform specialising in fashion apparel and accessories for business women. Gardoré is an e-commerce marketplace currently working with 25 partners including independent designers, retailers, and big brands including Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, and Daniel Hechter. In this Q&A, we learn how the business has grown to date and its plans for the future.
DTC Daily: Why did you establish Gardoré? Why did you set it up as an online business?
Laura Cordes: When I worked as a consultant for big corporations in Germany, I realised myself how difficult it is – especially as a woman – to find nice and appropriate clothes for work. First, I thought it was only me who didn’t know yet what and where to shop. But I found out that my female colleagues and friends had the same issues, so I started to look for a solution and didn’t find any. I felt we needed a solution, something that makes it easer for women to find the right outfits for work since our clothing has such a strong effect on others, but also on ourselves. The right outfit can be a real self-confidence booster. My co-founder Anna had a similar experience, even before we knew each other. So we joined forces to help women find their ‘powerstyle’, as we call it. We offer our solution online because that way our customers can reach out to us from any location anytime.
How has Gardoré grown to date? What role have Antler played in supporting this growth?
For quite a while we bootstrapped Gardoré and grew only organically. Antler allowed us to invest some first money into the development of the venture. What was at least of the same importance was the support of the Antler team during the programme. We could challenge our strategy and concept with real experts and got a lot of valuable input on different questions we were facing. On top of that, Antler has a huge network, which is always helpful.
What have been the most effective marketing channels for acquiring new customers and driving growth?
For us, content marketing works very well. Women have a lot of questions and insecurities around the topic of business fashion. They also value adequate and shoppable inspiration a lot. We create high-quality content to give orientation and inspiration. This is mainly shared through our social media channels and email.
How are you using data from the Gardoré platform to help continue your growth and product offering?
Data is very important to better understand what really creates value for our customers. How is it easier to use our platform? Which products are demanded a lot? What are topics that come with the most open questions? In addition, data is important to match individual customers with the relevant products for them personally. There’s a lot of potential in data to really improve the customer experience in the shopping process.
What does the future hold for Gardoré?
Gardoré will become the world’s platform to empower professional women through style.