Joe Einhorn, Founder of Fancy, Wants To Get You Pre-Shopping


E-commerce built through a social lens is here to stay, and to that end, we’ve been tracking Fancy for a while now — it’s one of the standouts in the field of multipurpose, super-social, celeb-endorsed online retail.  To break it down, Fancy is a blog, an aesthetic curator, a listings site, and a social discovery tool all in one.  Founder Joe Einhorn took us through his inspiration, the site’s future, and just how all those big names came to love Fancy.

The High Low: To start, what is The Fancy all about?

Joe Einhorn: We wanted to build a website that would be as fun to shop on the web as your favorite store is in real life. A place where you could easily find all the coolest things in one place and be able to buy them right there without having to click out to other Web sites. For example, I love to go to the Apple store in real life. But there is nothing on the web, not even Apple’s own site, that feels as good.  Hopefully we can be that site.

Users can share and comment on a range of great design, like this arty bookshelf.

HL:  Fancy has a ton of celebrity supporters.  Can you tell us about their involvement?  Did they come to you, or the other way around?

JE: That’s been organic.  All their support has been pretty incredible.  Early on, Kanye West tweeted that he thought our site was dope.  We have the best community, the best tastemakers, and a lot of great celebs, whether they make themselves public or not.  More importantly, our consumers and people on the Web-at-large are looking for a holistic all-in-one experience, and they want it curated by people who have great taste, so that’s what we offer.  When you go on Fancy you are looking at the coolest stuff in the world selected by the coolest people in the world and with one click, you buy it. And celebrities are a part of that.

HL: We love Fancy’s emphasis on travel.  Was that planned all along, or did it just come about naturally?

JE:  Travel was another opportunity for users to share and find cool ideas – along with fashion, food, gadgets, art and all the rest.  Everyone reads travel magazines or travel books for ideas on interesting places to visit, but it’s always better to get ideas from people you trust and admire. Our hope is to inspire amazingly unique travel to places like the cherry blossom tour in Japan, a lava tube cave in California, or the Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia.  Just check out our site and you’ll see what I mean.

Fancy is, of course, available in iPad app form.

HL: How do you decide which retailers and brands to partner with?

JE:  We want to work with cool brands, big and small.  Right now, we vet everything because we want to make sure it’s something relevant or high quality.  We curate our site to offer brands and stores we know we already love. We have some of the best brands around – Gucci, YSL, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Venetta, Stella McCartney, Tretorn, PUMA and more.  Also, stores like Barney’s get what Fancy has to offer and want to be a part of it.  They’ve incorporated the Fancy button on their site.

HL: Tell us a little bit about your new affiliate program?

JE:   We just launched our affiliate program that gives users a chance to earn cash for sharing products they love.  We’re making it simple for our users to transform their online influence into real money.  That’s something that anyone, no matter how web savvy, can see the value in. Each time a user shares an image, they get a link with a unique referral code.  If someone else purchases the product after clicking on the link, the user who shared the photo gets 2 percent of the value of the purchase 30 days later as credit in their Fancy account.  This new feature allows users to get more involved and earn products for having great taste.

HL: We’d also like to learn more about the Fancy’s demographics.  How are the site’s visitors split between men and women?

JE:  It’s roughly 60% male and 40% female.

HL: Last, if we’ve missed anything you’d like us to know more about, we’d love to hear it!

JE:   I think about it like the movie “Minority Report.” The way shopping works now is you know what you’re looking for. You’re searching for black boots or you’re on a site and it’s broken down by category. I want to plant that seed in your head a month before you realize you need those black boots, and I want to sell them to you by the time that you need them. We’re trying to figure that out. Just as “Minority Report” was the pre-crime, I want to get you as pre-shop. We want to be the pre-crime of shopping. That’s the dream.

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