Featured on Aug 20, 2012
"Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one's courage - Anais Nin"
I'm the founder of Wiseling, a marketplace for vintage and preowned fashion based in NYC. Wiseling is based on the Dutch word for change and transformation. We aim to change the way the world views and wears clothing by making it easier to share and rewear. I'm a fashion and tech enthusiast interested in creating ideas, products, and connecting people.
- Title: Founder, Wiseling
- Age: 27
- Location: SoHo
- Contact: @chelsbingham
What makes Wiseling different from established sellers like Ebay and Etsy? How do you plan on drawing the crowd of vintage sellers and buyers away from the established marketplaces?
Wiseling is a niche marketplace. Being focused fashion means that everything from the look and feel of the site to the usability and search experience feels very modern and stylish. Product listings are organized by fashion-specific categories like size and style that are related to item type so the process of discovery becomes more direct and relevant.
Being a passionate vintage-lover, I grew up frequenting consignment stores, thrift shops and flea markets searching for one-of-a-kind pieces. I always imagined an online space that would provide access to all of that, especially the unwanted fashion pieces hidden in closets and attics around the world. eBay brought that concept to life online, but it never really appealed to my personal sensibilities. Being such a vast marketplace, searching felt a lot like digging and interactions felt cold. Etsy has done a really good job at creating a community-minded marketplace that encourages collaboration and engagement. You can find some really cool vintage pieces tucked alongside interesting handmade items which really take the spotlight.
Being all-inclusive of vintage as well as used contemporary clothing, Wiseling takes fashion to center-stage. We want to emulate the same sort of vibrant community of like-minded people but in our case let them gather around their interest in style and sartorial expression. We spend a lot of time talking to buyers and shoppers both online and offline. People are really excited about what we have to offer. Our main focus is to continue tuning in to what they feel is lacking in current marketplaces and let that shape what we build.
I noticed that you're a "super host" on Airbnb. How did you get started hosting on Airbnb? Who was your most interesting guest?
I started hosting on Airbnb a couple of years ago. I had an extra bedroom at the apartment where I lived in Brooklyn that I thought would be useful for projects and personal guests, but it sat unoccupied most of the time. It felt very frivolous. A friend told me about Airbnb, and it just made a lot of sense to make my extra space available to travelers, earn a little bit of money, and make some friends along the way. It's been extremely rewarding. I've had a world-renowned composer from Spain, a novelist from Germany, musicians from Canada, photographers and filmmakers from Chicago, San Francisco and Australia, developers from Iceland and Brazil. It's made for countless fascinating conversations over morning coffee.
You've featured interesting artists on your blog like Masaya Kushino and Stephen Eichhorn along with songs of the day and movie reviews. Although Wiseling is a site dedicated to selling vintage and used clothing, you guys are definitely cultivating a certain identity through the songs, movies and artists you feature on your blog. How did you develop the Wiseling voice?
We launched the blog long before we launched our site in private beta. It was created as a place for us to start engaging with our potential users and create a community based around broader subjects. We wanted to establish the culture of our company by sharing what we are listening to and doing in the office and at the same time provide interesting content that sparks a dialogue. Art, music and fashion have been influencing each other for centuries so it seems appropriate to explore their relationship on the blog. We try to make connections between the industries so we talk to artists about what they were wearing when they were teenagers, musicians about shopping in thrift stores, and fashion stylists about their favorite album. Fashion is about expression, and our blog shines light on that.