thredup helps busy mom swap kids clothing online

thredup logo

Broadcast: thredUP is the fastest growing online marketplace for second-hand kids clothing, books and toys. is the easiest place to buy, sell and share children’s clothing online. It works like an online consignment. Want to know how?

In conversation with Karen Fein, handling Public Relations, Marketing & Social Media at thredup.

What is your idea and vision?

We help moms across the country share and access gently used kids goods in a way never before possible. Our vision is to give every kids clothing item and second chance and empower moms to extract value from kids’ used – yet hardly worn – clothes.

What is your start-up story? Where did you get funding from?

thredUP initially launched as a men’s and women’s shirt swapping site, but the kids’ pivot was always in view. The need was obvious – clothes don’t grow, kids do, and they grow fast! We launched thredUP for kids in April 2010, understanding that moms really had no easy way of replacing outgrown kids clothing with clothes that fit. Within the first two months we had reached 10,000 members. We raised our Series A in July 2010 with Trinity Ventures leading the round.

Which is your target market? How have you developed your product and customer base?

thredUP is a marketplace for busy moms. Mom is the CEO of the household and she’s consistently on the hunt for products and services that make her life easier. Not only does buying, selling and swapping save mom money, it also makes her life easier and more green.

Our biggest customer acquisition channels are referrals and PR. Moms love the story, love the service and love to tell their friends. thredUP earns a percentage of every transaction – and so does the mom-seller – it’s a win, win.

How do you define the importance of your team in this?

Team is crucial and we’ve built a great one. James Reinhart, CEO and co-founder is a self-described “professional consumer;” he’s someone who can astutely identify consumer pain points and innovate to solve. He’s also a dad of 18-month-old Evelyn Reinhart, so he knows about the wasteful kids clothing industry first hand! Oliver Lubin is Chief Creative Office and co-founder, and heads-up design and UX at thredUP. His ability to create flawless experiences and compelling web design has been instrumental in thredUP’s early adoption. Moms just get it from their first visit and never need to ask “now what?” – that’s Oliver’s doing. Chris Homer is CTO and co-founder and he’s a rocket scientist (seriously). He built thredUP from the ground up, and is constantly building, evolving, testing and iterating… The thredUP secondhand marketplace is a technologically complex platform that has yet to be successfully recreated – try as copy-cats might! Chris’ handy-work is simple unrivaled.

James, Oliver and Chris conceived the idea for thredUP in spring 2009. They’ve built a team of 22 and thredUP continues to grow.

What are the lessons you have learned while starting up and you want to share?

Work smart and work fast. Sure, you can work on perfecting a product, design, press release indefinitely – it will never be perfect. The ability to launch something, collect and analyze data and iterate quickly is absolutely essential in a start-up environment. All start-ups should work with a sense of urgency and race against the clock. I’m not implying that you push anything out you’re not proud of, but you must always be nimble.

Fun @ Work

fun at thredup

The thredUP booth at a local event in San Francisco

Have a look at our Facebook page for other great team pictures and fun events.

Any new releases or coming up such as Mobile or iPad applications?

Mobile is key and we’re definitely thinking about it…

How do you feel your start-up is adding value to the eco-system?

thredUP helps moms across the country easily recycle kids clothing and earn some cash in return. We aim to bridge the gap between recycling and convenience. We’ve learned that if re-use is easy and fun, parents will do it and get their kids involved because it’s the right thing to do! We also believe that with super compelling shopping, selling and swapping experiences, we can truly change the way families perceive used clothing. With 300K members and 2M items exchanged, we’re well on our way.



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