“My Life Unpacked” is a recurring series inspired by Pointe Magazine’s “Show and Tell,” which features various leaders by detailing the items they deem worthy of carrying to their outstanding activities. Recently, I was fortunate enough to work with the amazing Alexis Maybank and discuss her new company that is shaking up the worlds of both tech and fashion.
Packing a bag is not something you graduate out of after college. I sat down with special guest Alexis Maybank, former CEO and Co-founder of Gilt Groupe, to talk about what she carries with her to sustain her latest start-up endeavor Project September (i.psyou.com/hi). This new app is an all visual, immersive shopping experience that allows you to instantly purchase items from tagged fashion photos, as well as post your own content to earn commission from sales.
Hi, Alexis. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with me. I see you’ve brought a few things with you. Why have you chosen these particular items?
Alexis Maybank: My day starts early (small kids!) and can go straight into the evening, so I have flats to run between meetings in NY, makeup for touch-ups during the day, and a necklace to “change up” my wardrobe for a night event. I am always doing stuff with my kids, so I need the prerequisite snack and pacifier to be ready for anything. And of course headphones! Headphones, because you never know where you might have to create a space to focus, and this is my way of “closing my office door” and concentrating.
So what makes Project September different from other online shopping forums?
Project September is a seamless and beautifully designed platform with almost no words. We’ve done this on purpose to send users into a truly captivating shopping experience. We also provide an opportunity for users to earn commission from every item purchased through their personal feed, a component not common on most other shopping apps or sites. And unlike other social platforms, where only top influencers can earn from their posts, anyone can use Project September to earn commission from their content. It’s a remarkable, new tool for buyers and aspiring entrepreneurs alike.
In addition to earning commission, how else can collegiates in particular take advantage of this new platform?
AM: Project September is a great social platform for finding inspiration by swiping through beautiful visuals shared by bloggers to makeup artists and stylists. It’s a great app for discovering new people or brands and especially fashion items you can instantly purchase.
That sounds incredible, especially for collegiates with great style and low budgets. Is it easy to get started?
AM: All you need is an iPhone and a sense of style. Shoot looks and take selfies of outfits you love, upload your photo to Project September by selecting “+” and direct friends to where you can buy a look. It’s fun and takes about 30 seconds–I do it in taxi rides all the time. I post images of products I love to images that I find inspirational. And on the flip side, I have always wished I could swipe through Instagram and instantly tap items that catch my eye to find out where to buy them: you can do just that on Project September!
What kind of content can be found on Project September?
AM: People share men’s and women’s fashion, street styles, beauty products, workout gear, music festival must-haves in addition to many other categories.
Penn has a very particular style around campus, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the most recent trends. How can Project September help alleviate the anxiety that comes with picking an outfit in the morning?
AM: I think Project September helps you find people whose style you admire, and then helps you rethink how to wear those jeans, that dress, or must-have item to refresh your look in any given month.
What can we look forward to seeing from the app in the future?
AM: We are constantly seeing new bloggers and celebs joining the platform from Nicole Richie to Patrick Janelle and Pari Ehsan, so there’s always new style leaders to follow. Visit us on the app in September as we partner to bring New York Fashion Week to Penn’s campus too!
Both social media and instant gratification are becoming more and more prevalent for young people, particularly collegiates. Do you see mobile apps like PS as the future of all purchasing?
AM: Project September is a social platform where you can see, share, and shop — all instantly. This is how I wanted to shop — directly from the images themselves. I know there are millions out there who want to shop in the same way I do. So yes, the future of shopping is mobile, in your pocket, visual, instantaneously gratifying, and simply, beautiful!
What advice do you have for students hoping to break into the fashion and tech space?
AM: Reach out to businesses where you want to work (most people can be found online today!), ask for internships, study their company’s history, and read up on their news. Companies want to hire talent that is passionate about their business or brand, curious learners, and people who come prepared with good ideas.
Image(s) Courtesy of: Project September