“There’s no real substitute for just doing it, but it doesn’t have to be something you do by yourself,” said Christian MacLean about becoming an entrepreneur and starting up Beaucoo, a body positive style network that puts the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants to shame.
Not only did Christian have his tech-savvy team (Cofounders: Victoria Maclean, Cory Smith, and Rick Cotter) to build the rising fashion app, but he also attributes its success to the community of entrepreneurs who helped guide them through the process as well as the 100+ women who gave them feedback about the app during development.
These networks not only helped get Beaucoo off the ground, but also inspired the way the team approached building their own digital support group specific to women in the fashion vertical. After interviewing with Christian, it was interesting to see how tapping into these communities, ultimately helped make their problem-centric app something that actually solves a problem.
Launched in 2012, Beaucoo was built to connect soul sisters with similar dimensions by creating a platform that allows users to share photos of brands and styles that cater to women of different shapes and sizes. Yes ladies, instead of hitting your head on the wall of dressing rooms digging through clothes, you can actually check out women your same size that have already done it for you. Oh, and they look bomb.com.
The idea was jumpstarted when Christian’s wife and business partner of over nineteen years, Victoria, introduced him to groups she was involved with online. These women were extremely supportive of each other’s efforts.
“It seemed like a really intriguing idea. I sat with her for a few hours and she showed me all of these communities and how valuable they were to her and then we looked at how fast they had grown and it absolutely blew me away,” said Christian.
After more research, his team found that Facebook updates changed the dynamics of group pages and made it difficult for these women to keep in contact. Beaucoo sought to fix the problem by creating a space to house these digital conversations.
To insure they created something that women would flock to, the BeauCoo team interviewed over 100 lovely ladies throughout the development process and implemented key ideas from other social platforms that were already popular destinations for ‘fashion selfies’ such as Instagram.
“We were really able to niche in to an actual problem. As soon as we were able to figure out who we were resonating with it turned into less of a ‘I’m competing generically with Instagram’ into a ‘we are a problem centric app that using Instagram style elements.”
Beaucoo’s entire approach to building a digital support group doesn’t fall far from its origins. Christian expressed that the key to his team becoming a successful start up had everything to do with finding their own niche support group of mentors to guide them through the entrepreneurial process.
He spoke to the amazing support they received through the start up community from advice to early stage investments.
“Having those mentors is probably the biggest thing if you want to get into this,” said Christian, “Beg, borrow, steal your way to find a community of start up entrepreneurs that you can connect with.. There’s lots of books for [start ups] but there’s no substitute for talking to other entrepreneurs.”
Overall, the way that Beaucoo has gone about building the framework for authentic conversations within a specific community is something worth noting. Their brand has stayed true to the idea of helping people band together to solve problems, and we expect to see great things from it.