As a continuation of “Women in Leadership” series initiated by Campus X, meet our co-founder Gergana Krasteva, an inspiring female entrepreneur and the driving force behind La Koketa Style Advisor.
Read the interview to find out more about the inside story of La Koketa app, the challenges we are solving for our clients, the leadership lessons learned over the years, and the vibrant community of passionate entrepreneurs and inspiring mentors accommodated by the Campus X ecosystem.
Q: How and why did you launch La Koketa?
The “what to wear?” question and the need to create outfits is a daily problem for almost any woman out there. The real solutions, however, are scarce so we saw a white space in the intersection of technology and fashion.
There are many tools that simplify your life, but the wardrobe, the place we spend so much money on is basically untapped.
We started La Koketa to help women solve that problem with a few easy clicks on their iPhones.
According to research, the average female spends 287 days of her life deciding how to pull the best look for any given occasion, be it a business meeting or a dinner party.
This is a shocking piece of statistics and my co-founder and I could relate to it to an extreme extent. We’d basically fall asleep thinking about “what to wear” and hoping to have the answer when we wake up the next morning. That’s how we came up with the idea of La Koketa app – a personal style advisor on your iPhone!
As you know, clothes are confidence and the question “what to wear?” is very emotional for us women because it has to do with recognition and self-expression.
In many cases, the right outfit could put you in the right frame of mind to approach and handle people and situations confidently and efficiently.
Many of us spend so much time stressing out about what to wear for a job interview, how to wear our stuff, what to pack for an upcoming trip, what to purchase, etc.
We wanted to make that easier and fun, so we created a smart tool that manages your wardrobe, builds personalized outfits with your own clothes, and helps you shop consciously thanks to its unique back-end algorithm.
How awesome to pick a dress and then have an app style it for you (with your stuff) in seconds. We want the entire life cycle of every piece of clothing or accessory our customers own to live on our platform—planning, styling, packing, and purchasing.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at the company. What do you love the most about your job?
We are a very small team with a clear agenda whose pieces are eventually falling into place, but the challenge of developing and marketing a consumer-focused product on a limited budget is immense.
In this context, my role essentially covers all aspects of the value chain with a varying degree of involvement in the execution stage.
Naturally, I try to stay on top of strategy, funding, and product roadmap but that’s not possible in most cases, so I take an active part in almost everything.
The part that I love most about my job and keeps me going is discovering small tweaks that solve big problems, which is mostly about human design, unsolicited needs, and compelling consumer insights.
It’s truly fascinating if you could relate these truths to tangible features that can solve real problems and then build our brand appeal and acquisition strategy on top of them.
It’s the creative bits and pieces that make the whole journey rewarding and helps us evolve as a team and make bold steps towards having a successful business.
On a personal note, I’m a mom, a style devotee, an extreme sports lover, a photography enthusiast, a wine aficionado, an avid traveler, and a foodie.
Q: What challenges do you solve for your clients?
La Koketa app solves the problem of getting dressed but let me illustrate this with a story!
You wake up in the morning with an overwhelming agenda and the nagging question of how to pull an all-purpose look that encompasses business meetings, a parent-teacher conference, and a dinner party at night. You feel stressed out, you are out of time and out of ideas.
You have to reconcile the objective of feeling comfy and chic at the office, presentable at school, and glam at night.
What do you do? The answer is simple and the solution a few taps away. Just grab your iPhone and input your preferences in La Koketa app and voila! You end up with a range of amazing outfit ideas with your own clothes to choose from.
So instead of stressing out trying on different outfits and wasting precious time, you can peacefully enjoy your latte while the “what to wear?’ algorithm does the job for you. Now you are ready to seize the day and sustain your focus confident and stylish!
Many have tried to tackle the “what to wear?” problem from different perspectives so the solutions in our competitive space could range from generic outfit inspirations to fashion retail lookbooks to influencers’ style ideas and shop finds.
If narrowly defined, however, most of our competitors focus on the digital closet functionalities, and their outfit building capabilities are basic or developing. In this context, our ambition is to help fashion-conscious women feel confident on any occasion by giving them a smart tool for personalized outfits with their own clothes.
Basically, the main question is how to build a sustainable wardrobe that helps you increase the utilization rate of the clothes that you already own. Here comes the underlying magic of the La Koketa app! Styling, planning, packing, and shopping facilitated a seamless app experience, which is technically impossible without a smart digital closet. The intuitive back-end algorithm helps you make the most of your closet, keeps your investment in clothes to a minimum, and interestingly enough makes packing efficient.
The main point is that outfits are a daily habit so the need to decide what to wear will not change and the need to buy new clothes won’t disappear, so we are committed to making this experience effortless and fun!
Q: What’s next for La Koketa?
The road ahead of us is abundant with hard work and many challenges.
However, we are firm believers that the future of wardrobe management and outfit building is digital. The benefits of achieving perfect closet organization, effortless outfit planning, and conscious shopping cannot be overstated!
In this sense, we are working diligently and relentlessly in evolving our product, building our brand, and reaching more fashion-conscious women who care about how they look, but more importantly how they feel and what their style communicates about them.
The ultimate goal is not only saving them time (a year of their life!) and hassle deciding “what to wear?”, but also making them feel confident and stylish on any occasion. La Koketa app is about enabling women to live effortlessly and shop consciously, but even more so about experimenting with their looks and having fun while doing it.