Aurza, The Service That Wants To Help Women Find The Perfect Dress.
E-commerce has manage to change the way people have begun to do their shopping. With a few simple strokes on a keyboard, people can easily browse through an e-commerce site and look though all sorts of categories, filled with a variety of items available to instant purchasing, without havng to enter a store. However, its a bit more different for the ladies out there with the shift of shopping centers to computerized devices being not as smooth as it may seem, especially when it comes down to trying out dresses.
Sizing isn’t something that can be done online with a dress much easily. The only way to guarantee its a perfect fit is to try on the dress in person, but that can be very time consuming. Luckily a Hong Kong-based startup by the name of Aurza has been trying to find a way to solve this problem.
Aurza is a platform created for ladies custom dresses, and utilize 3D body scanning technology to allow its customers create their own dress designs through an interactive design builder. Customers will be able to mix and match their preferred sizes and styles, and visualize their dream dress before buying it. Azura co-founder Stephanie Holland stated that she got this idea for the project after she and her co-founder began discussing how they were tired of buying clothes that never fit. They figured that other women had also shared these similar frustrations as well.
Aurza shall be set to launches its services during this month, and will be targetting women from Hong Kong and Western countries over the age of 30 and above as its customer base. The team will be offering classic dress styles tailored for wide range of body types, together with belts and accessories. Accounting for all different choices in fabric, styles and colors, there will be over 3 million combinations made available which the customers can use to create on the sites.
The average available dress on Aurza will cost a total of HK$2,100 (US$271), but simple dress might be tagged for less. The price for each item will include free shipping and returns in case there should be any fitting malfunctions.
Holland commented that the creation behind Aurza wasn’t easy. The concept first began to form sometime during September 2012 and the team then “spent six months failing.” She adds:
Holland says that building Aurza wasn’t easy. The concept first surfaced in September 2012, and the team then “spent six months failing.” She adds:
[At that time], we didn’t exactly know the concepts behind the business we hoped to run, and we had no idea how to execute it. We spent a lot of time finding the right people to help. We also understood that there is no shortcut to founding a company, but strongly believed that our idea would work.
The startup founder understood that they would need to invest in technology. So they cashed in around HK$420,000 (US$54,175) in development, and partnered with one of 3D-body scanning, who helped Aurza in creating the base patterns. In order to make sure the scanning would get an accurate reading on body measurement of customers, part of the team’s research laid with them taking measurement of over 10,000 European woment. Holland explains that during this development phase, women over the age of 30 and above were measuring with the use of 3D imaging, which allowed them to “pay particular attention to the true shape of women.” The gathered data helped the team come up with Aurzura’s sizing standards, which they hoped was more accurate than those available on other e-commerce sites.
Once the researching phase was completed, Aurza’s founders began a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo sometime time during November, with a total amount of US$20,000 to be raised within 20 days. After the end of the campaign, the team had successfully gained 151 percent of their main goal, accumulating over US $30,193. The sum was funded by 108 contributors, the majority of whom put money to purchase dresses and accessories rather than simply make a donation, which the founders took as a positive sign. The extra amount of cash went to improve Azura’s web design and photography.
Later within this year, Aurza plans to expand beyond its current dresses and offer tops and jackets, along with more fabric and color varieties. It also hopes to invest into digital printing, so they can print their customers designs out.