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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

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Wantable launched in August 2012.

Wantable surprises Milwaukee women with the latest in make-up, fashion


Jalem Getz is the Milwaukee entrepreneur behind e-commerce Cinderella stories like BuySeasons.com. He's got a long personal history of start-up success in Wisconsin businesses, and has built companies that are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

But his latest venture may be his biggest yet.

This August, Getz launched Wantable, a women's make-up and fashion e-commerce service that targets the daring tastes of busy fashionistas. Think Netflix, but for fashion – or, even better, an online dating service that matches you up with the beauty products you've always dreamt of finding.

The concept is simple: go to Wantable, and fill out a user profile that will fill Getz and his staff in on everything about you and your beauty regimen – from skin tone to hair and eye color, to your taste in product and fashion accessories, to whether you use lip liner or gloss or both.

Then an algorithm is applied to assemble a package of products or accessories customized to your personal preferences. The customer has the option of buying the box for $40 or subscribing to the service for $36 per month – which means receipt of a new box every month.

The retail value of the products in the box, according to Wantable, will be between $80 and $100.

Wantable employs professional make-up artists and a buyer in Manhattan – as well as local Milwaukee fashion gurus like Bjorn Nasett – to handpick items for each customer "from a combination of products that we've selected for that season," says Getz.

"It's a discovery tool," he adds. "If there's make-up that you like and love, we're not going to replace that. This is an opportunity for certain women out there that like to discover new products. They want to find on-trend things that their girlfriends or their sister or their daughter doesn't have."

Because as high-school as it sounds, every fashion-conscious woman wants to be that girl – the one with the new products, her ear to the ground of fashion trends, always on the edge of what's coming next.

"These are items that she (the customer) may never buy on her own until we came along and said, 'This is a product we think you would love,'" explains Getz. "Sometimes they love them, sometimes they don't, but the idea behind Wantable is discovery."

Nasset agrees. "The Wantable woman is one who may be short on time to shop, or who wants to discover items she may not be familiar with by being gently led in a new direction by our curators in the fields of make-up and fashion."

Nasset helped to curate Wantable's recently-launched fashion accessories category and was behind the recent "Vintage Glam Pack," which sold out quickly, requiring Getz to make a last-minute trip to New York to buy more inventory.

"We customize our packs to the individual by asking them to tell us about themselves – just like any great stylist does," says Nasett. "Then they (the customers) have the support of the company that guarantees satisfaction by allowing her, if she's not happy, to send it back free of charge in the same box it came in. It's a win-win situation, and it's like having a personal stylist."

Getz also points out that a subscription to Wantable, or a purchase of the one-time delivery, is a convenient holiday gift to someone whose tastes you might not be sure of. A gift subscription allows the recipient of the gift to fill out their own profile and specify where they would like the box delivered.

Wantable's website also maintains a beauty blog and plans to produce more videos like this one (starring Nasett). These features allow customers resources explaining trends and offering tips from style and make-up experts. Getz says that this is a feature that will become more prominent as the company grows.

The $36 per month subscription fee may understandably seem steep to some. But Getz points out that Wantable does eliminate certain areas of expense from the shopping and discovery process, and he maintains that it can actually be a very cost-effective option.

"Not only are we introducing products to new customers, but many of these items are boutique brand – so you're not going to find them in your traditional Sephora or a department store counter," he says. "So on the make-up side, that's the opportunity to find things that you just can't find in a traditional retail environment."

Plus, he says Wantable often obtains these hard-to-find products and then offer them at a drastically discounted price.

"It's one thing to receive something in the mail, pay full price for it, that you otherwise never would have seen," he says.

"But the real compelling value here is that we're showing you things that are matched just for you, that are at a deep discount. So it cost 50 percent or more off of what you could buy them for at a traditional store. If there are one or two items in there that you love, it makes every box worth it."

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