Republic Spaces : 'Airbnb' For Retail
Around 2013 in New York, I had various independent designer friends who was hitting a similar barrier in the growth of their product. Majority of them started online and grew organically with the lot of them being so branding and social media savvy. However they were all hitting the barrier of only able to grow their online presence & sales so much, because in eCommerce 3% shopping cart conversion is considered normal and healthy. Having had a solid eCommerce background, I felt first hand the frustrations my designer friends were experiencing in terms of putting in tremendous effort into top of the funnel in order to convert only 3% of online traffic. On the other hand, physical retail converts foot traffic at 25% rate and can offer growing brands myriads of benefits. Physical retail is especially crucial in terms of conversion for new brands that has products that requires try-ons, and/or products that generally retails above $50. Physical retail also offers growing brands extremely valuable in-person customer insights on products, pricing, branding & market fit. In order for these nascent designers to grow, they must leverage an integrated omnichannel strategy combing best of online as well as offline.
In 2013, there wasn't a many options for designers to do for offline retail, and I set about giving designers more omnichannel solutions to grow their brands. The first manifestation was Republic Spaces, which was an online marketplace connecting brands & designers looking for short-term retail space to landlord or brokers who have spaces open for short-term retail initiative. Republic Spaces primarily focused on the NYC market, and was a proud member of the Made In NY initiative contributing to the economic growth of NYC.
UI UX Design
Front End Development
Product Launch & Marketing
I was originally the founder of Republic Spaces. I took care all aspects of the product as well as product marketing. I designed the product, managed back-end developers, as well as coded most of the front end. After launching the product successfully gaining market traction, I was joined by an awesome business partner, who is a professional Retail Architect, who took care of all things operational.