This Week’s Guest: Taylor Wallace
Welcome to the finale episode of the six-week Accelerate Your Startup Series 1! When we started this project, six weeks sounded like a long time, yet here we are at the end already. It’s been a fantastic series! Every guest has absolutely smashed it, and all of their ideas have been cool and innovative. If you’ve missed the previous episodes, be sure to check them out for more amazing value.
Before we get into this episode, though, here’s a quick plug for our amazing Facebook community! If you’re not already part of it, you need to join now. It has some amazing members (including our past guests) offering information, advice, best tips, experiences, and everything else you need to know to build your first business the right way. Check it out at stageonestartup.com/join!
Today’s guest is the remarkable Taylor Wallace, who is the founder of FYBS. This innovative startup is the first AI-powered curvy fashion discovery application. It offers curated content to help you find the right clothes that will fit you well and help you flaunt and flatter your curves. As Taylor explains in this conversation, the app learns from what you like and customizes what you see to help you find clothes you’ll absolutely love.
In part of our conversation today, Taylor discusses why she was so drawn to Fownders. She shares the compelling story of the first time she set foot within the doors of the company when the bad mood she was in just fell off, leaving her feeling calm and motivated. She had the opportunity to spend several hours there talking with people and ended up choosing to use Fownders because of their emphasis on building the leader first.
Part 1 of 2: Taylor talks about FYBS, explaining in depth how she came up with the concept and why it’s so important for women today. She offers some stunning statistics on the plus-size clothing industry, talks about the process of finding retailers to partner with, and offers some stats on FYBS itself.
4:40 – Taylor starts things off by telling us a bit about herself, her background in entrepreneurship, and how she started FYBS. She touches on sibling rivalry and her inspiration for starting her own company.
10:22 – Once Taylor made the decision to focus full-time on her company, it opened up a whole world of decisions. She mentions the search for an accelerator program that was a good fit.
12:29 – We hear about how Taylor first learned about Fownders, and what her experience was the first time she visited the company. She also explains what made her choose Fownders as her accelerator.
17:37 – How did FYBS come about, and how did it change into what it is now?
20:25 – Taylor talks about a particular speaker who helped her get out of her head and learn to think with her heart instead of her brain. She then explains how this woman opened her mind to a certain aspect of clothing.
23:42 – The information and inspiration from the woman Taylor has been discussing served as a launching point for a deep exploration of the plus-sized clothing industry.
26:19 – How did Taylor strike up conversations with enough women to understand the industry?
28:01 – Taylor talks about where the name FYBS came from. It had to be something that speaks to the brand and customers but is also unique and trademarkable, she explains.
31:50 – What fashion (and the idea of being able to express yourself through fashion) meant varied quite a bit between the women who Taylor talked to. She then explains several options for how to interpret the name FYBS.
33:20 – The FYBS app is live in the Apple app store, Taylor explains. She then talks about the process of having the app itself built, and shares how her brother helped with that process.
36:31 – Taylor talks more about creating the app, and how she used a photo editor to design the app before sending it back to the developer.
37:26 – How much did it cost to develop the app? Taylor answers, then talks about why it’s so incredibly important not to make money decisions from a fear-based mindset.
42:23 – Taylor discusses tracking down the right retailers, and walks us through her experiences in this area.
47:08 – We learn about the competition that Taylor has faced. She then explains that brands typically provide the content for the app, instead of her needing to buy products and hire models.
50:55 – As people use FYBR, it offers suggestions based on how they’ve responded to previous images. Taylor talks about how this process works, and where the app’s value lies.
54:44 – How many users are actually on the platform now? Taylor answers, then talks about building an audience and staying relevant.
57:13 – For sales made through the app, what’s the percentage cut for the retailer? The answer varies depending on the retailer, Taylor explains.
Part 2 of 2: We shift to focusing more specifically on Fownders. Taylor shares why she chose to use a startup accelerator despite having amazing resources at her disposal already. She also shares why she chose Fownders from among the options and discusses some of the incredible value she has received.
60:44 – Taylor talks about the steps she went through to decide that Fownders was the accelerator she was going to use. She emphasizes the importance of shared values in the process.
64:37 – We hear what about Fownders makes it a great resource for people working on starting a business. Taylor talks about the environment and community’s positivity and how much motivation it provides to get things done.
68:10 – Taylor discusses one of her main takeaways that she’s learned from the Fownders experience. The biggest thing, she explains, is the idea that if you keep moving, eventually you’ll hit something.
70:22 – Where does Taylor see FYBS in the next 12 months, and where does she want to take it? One of the things she wants to do, she explains, is give women a space to help like-minded women connect with each other. Another goal is to partner with more retail startups to make the retail experience more enjoyable.
74:40 – Taylor lists some places where listeners can find her and FYBS.
Here’s where you can find FYBS and Taylor: