New Mobile App Makes Providing Fashion Advice A SnapBy Noelle Sciarini on October 6th, 2014 /
Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places. For Syed Amaanullah, it was a changing room at a department store.
“I was trying on a shirt, and I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not,” Syed said. As he pondered his choice, he took in the room around him, noting how disconnected he felt in this mirrored room from the people he most trusted for feedback — his family and friends.
“I didn’t have a head nod or a thumb’s up,” Syed said. “I thought, why not use technology to bridge this gap?”
And with that, Snapsure was born. This app allows a shopper to take a picture of what they’re thinking of purchasing, send it out to their friends and family with a timer for when they need the feedback, and then they are sent an infographic based on the responses.
Syed said he’s most excited that the product is now available for download by anyone around the world, stating that the entire process of creating and testing a product can be a challenge.
“There are so many steps to reaching a real-life, final product,” Syed said. “It’s not enough to have an idea, you also have to go out and talk to people. From there, you use whatever information you gain to either go back to the drawing board or go ahead with what you have.”
After that initial epiphany moment in the changing room, Syed presented the idea of the Snapsure app at a pitching event in 2013. It was there that he met Dr. Marlo Rencher, a “serial entrepreneur” who immediately came up to Syed after the pitch and offered to work on it with him. Ten months later, they had their final product.
In addition to Dr. Rencher’s previous entrepreneurial experiences, Syed cited their combined backgrounds in education (Syed has a master’s in Educational Technology and Dr. Rencher has a PhD in Anthropology), as being a useful influence on the direction they took as a company.
“Educators are some of the most resourceful people you’ll ever meet,” Syed said. “You never know what’s going to happen when you’re teaching, and I think the same type of thinking can be applied to entrepreneurship as well.”
So far, their strategies are creating some major buzz, enough so that the company is one of 55 semi-finalists in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition and one of two startups that will represent Detroit at Tech Cocktail Celebrate in Las Vegas.
Now that “Phase 1” of Snapsure has been launched, plans are in place to release an updated version of the app within six to eight weeks with some exciting new features. Perhaps the most exciting feature is that customers will be able to request feedback not just from their friends and family but also from stylists, bloggers and other fashion experts. Syed said this feature is essentially a win-win: “customers will get feedback from experts in whatever style or product they’re looking for, and the experts will have another channel to do what they do best, and get compensated for it.”