Gojee, the site that began as a recipe destination in July 2011 and expanded to high-end clothing last December, has made its first move toward serious money making. The company is launching a new app today with a shopping platform, Gojee NY, which sells clothing exclusively from up-and-coming New York designers.
The shop is Gojee’s first foray into owning the sale. The food vertical, which provides recipe suggestions based on what a user has in his or her pantry, is free. The existing Pinterest-like fashion vertical links through to global luxury brands and takes a cut of each purchase, but given the high price tag of most items, it was clearly never meant to drive sales.
The new version of the app, called Gojee Fashion, still has food and luxury verticals in the “Discovery” section, but the emphasis has shifted to the local marketplace. Gojee CEO Michael Lavalle told us that Gojee NY solves two problems: one, people want to discover rising fashion stars but don’t know where to find them, and two, there are no stores that sell based on geography, although each city has its own distinct aesthetic.
The shop could be compared to a quality controlled Etsy, although Gojee is hoping to cast it as a cooler, higher-end version of the site.
Gojee NY is launching with clothing and home wares from over 50 designers, discovered at local award shows, trade shows, and by referral from other designers. Prices range from $80-500.
Gojee also seems set on becoming an advocate for young local designers, who have a failure rate not unlike tech start-ups. In late June, the company held a fashion show for 15 up-and-coming New York designers in its office space, and has plans to host another in a larger venue before fashion week in September.
This makes Gojee a good candidate for support from the city of New York. Indeed, Lavalle said that Gojee has plans in the coming months to reach out to groups like Made in New York, the mayor’s office, borough governments, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, all of which have an interest in sponsoring the local design scene.
With the introduction of the shop, Gojee will also begin more aggressive marketing campaigns, having relied on word-of-mouth thus far.
The company has moved slowly across verticals, staying in food for a full year before expanding, and Lavalle said that they plan to work on fashion and home decor for 1.5 years. There are dedicated food and fashion apps in the works, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gojee’s local shops expand to other cities, or to other industries within New York.
The company raised a first venture round of $2.8 million last July and is currently not raising.