Connecticut Startup ChicandBeautiful Combines Weight Loss With Fashion

by Categorized: Startup, Startup Weekend Tagged: , , , , Date:

Sometimes ideas for companies come after months and months of careful deliberation.

This is not one of those times.

“It was two or three months ago when I was in front of a closet with my friend who said ‘What’s the point of trying to lose weight if I can’t afford a new wardrobe?’,” Katherine Yarbrough, of Bloomfield, said.

From that moment in front of the closet came the idea for the website ChicandBeautiful (formerly BeBeautiful) and Yarbrough took that idea and ran with it all the way to a second-place finish at Startup Weekend Stamford.  Yarbrough lived in Texas until July 2010 when she moved to Connecticut for grad school at UConn to get her masters in public health.  While in Texas, she was a Teach for America corps member and taught seventh grade science.

Katherine Yarbrough working on her pitch for ChicandBeautiful at Startup Weekend Stamford on April 1, 2012. (ASH AHUJA)

ChicandBeautiful aims to help women college-aged and above who are working on losing weight deal with having to buy an entirely new wardrobe with every size decrease.  Users with clothes that no longer fit can request a box for those items to send back to ChicandBeautiful.  ChicandBeautiful will then inspect the items and award that user credits to use towards clothes that fit their new, slimmer figure that others have submitted.  Users who don’t wish to sell any their clothes or who aren’t losing weight but just want to buy clothes on the cheap still can with a credit card.

ChicandBeautiful is only looking for higher quality apparel (think: J.Crew or Banana Republic) that would still have some value despite their used condition.  High-end designer apparel will be accepted, too.

Yarbrough believes one of the main reasons ChicandBeautiful did so well at Startup Weekend was because of how hassle-free the structure of the site is.  ChicandBeautiful will provide free shipping and returns and will take care of uploading photos of the clothing, so once the box is sent in the user’s work is done.  Yarbrough also hopes to be able to ensure that all clothes sent in are dry cleaned before they are resold.

Website prototype (ASH AHUJA)

Yarbrough presented what she called “very conservative” estimates in her final pitch at Startup Weekend but believes that ChicandBeautiful has the ability to explode and potentially become profitable sometime in year two.

Some future goals for ChicandBeautiful include focusing on the wellness aspect of the site once it gets off and running.  Yarbrough would like to eventually employ registered dietitians and PhDs to write for the site on a freelance basis and also try to form partnerships with companies like LA Fitness and Weight Watchers.  Additionally, future plans also include expansion into maternity, children’s and men’s clothing and a mobile application.

At this time ChicandBeautiful is working on constructing their website and is looking for investors.  Any questions or suggestions can be sent to chicandbeautiful.bb@gmail.com.

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