Pret-a-Reporter

This App Could Change the Way Stylists Work

@shyp/Instagram
An image from Shyp's Instagram.

Shyp promises to make celeb wardrobe wranglers' jobs a little easier.

Nobody logs more time unpacking, packing and shipping boxes of clothes and accessories than celebrity stylists — or perhaps their assistants. And while it wasn’t the specific goal of Shyp founder and CEO Kevin Gibbon to help make their lives easier, it’s been a much appreciated side effect of the relatively new app.

Shyp allows users to take a photo of what they want to ship (up to 20 parcels’ worth) and have it picked up within 20 minutes by a Shyp Hero who will package and send it for the lowest available cost plus one $5 fee. Gibbon first conceived of his app 10 years ago while he was an eBay power-seller living in Canada.

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“I would import anything I could get my hands on — from Michael Kors handbags to sporting equipment — and resell it,” Gibbon tells Pret-a-Reporter. “Before I knew it I was earning six figures. This was when I learned firsthand how antiquated and terrible the shipping process was. I thought to myself, shipping something should be as easy as taking a photo of what needs to be shipped with a destination address.”

Kimberly Ovitz and actress Maggie Grace at LA's Shyp launch at Simon House on May 20. (Photo courtesy of Drew Altizer)

And voila, now his app — which launched publicly last March in San Francisco and has since seen huge growth, expanding to Miami, New York and recently Los Angeles in mid-May — does just that. Since Shyp’s last round of funding in July 2014, their number of shipments has increased by almost 500 percent, with customer growth surpassing 20 percent month-over-month.

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It’s been LA where they’ve seen the most immediate adoption of the app since launching in beta almost a month ago. “We’ve seen stylists, brands and fashion PR houses use the app previously,” says Gibbon, “but not nearly as much as in Los Angeles. With the high geographic concentration of people in those professions, it’s clear we’ve found a market fit here.” In less than one month, LA already boasts four times the number of shipments, pickups and customers than any other city did at launch.

Greg Silverman, Jon Favreau, Dax Shepard and Andrew Panay at the LA launch of Shyp. (Photo courtesy of Drew Altizer)

Before debuting in the City of Angels, they did target stylists in particular, who are constantly shipping expensive pieces back and forth to New York. “Until now there hasn’t been an easy — and fast — way for them to do so. Through market research, our head of marketing Lauren Sherman recognized the need before we launched, so we put an emphasis on it,” says Gibbon, who mentions Whitney Port, interior designer Orlando Soria and blogger/stylists Bri EmeryAnn Kim and Blake Scott as early users.

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In addition to the stylist-friendly perks, the app offers Shyp Returns, which makes it easier than ever to return online purchases, and has partnered with Baby2Baby to offer free donation pickups for the month of May. Chicago is the next stop for Shyp. Says Gibbon, “When we launch a new city, we do so with a hyper local focus, ensuring we learn the ins and outs of local logistics before launching publicly. In doing so we’re able to learn exactly what each market needs and cater to them.”

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