It’s commonplace in the world of startups to hear of a team “pivoting,” i.e., changing direction, usually based on user data. That’s exactly what SF-based Deal Décorhas just done, as it's rebranded as Joy & Revelry.
You could say that this pivot takes them from the low end to the high end of the home design market.
When we first checked in on this team last August, they had launched a disruptive model for group buying of furniture made in China that led to deep price savings for consumers.
“We found that group buying could work but only at price-sensitive end of the market, so we could only generate 10-20 percent margins,” explains co-founder Gregory Lok.
Meanwhile, Lok and team noticed another trend in their user data.
“Lifestyle bloggers with hundreds of thousands of followers who are passionate about design and home decor, when they endorsed us, people spent 20 percent more time on our site and viewed 24 percent more page views.”
The difference between the people looking for discounts and the people following the bloggers was that the latter group was seeking distinctive brands and designs, not necessarily great bargains, when buying furniture.
The Deal Décor team recognized that this would be a higher margin business to get into; thus: Joy & Revelry.
The new approach emphasizes a group of blogger “style mavens,” with the first six being:
“We’re now a social ecommerce platform,” explains co-founder Jennifer Wu. “Bloggers like Copy Cat Chic can essentially set up their own shops leveraging our platform.”
“We look for products that are not being sold on the Internet yet,” adds Lok. “That way, Joy & Revelry is a mall of distinct products with distinct design perspectives.”
The new site also features videos with the style mavens, whose passion for the products they curate is contagious.
“The online videos are really important,” notes Wu. “They offer the stories behind the products and introductions to the style mavens and their distinct personalities.”
Besides purchasing the unusual offerings through the style mavens at Joy & Revelry, consumers can hire the mavens to do a virtual interior design consultation at a fraction of the cost of the offline variety.
“We want to bring something affordable online that is traditionally unaffordable offline,” says Wu. “Most of the style mavens can do online recommendations for about $500 to $700 as opposed to $5,000 in the traditional way.”
The startup’s team of four is based at Dogpatch Studios.