Interview with Christina Plakopita – Founder & CEO of Netrobe
As promised, we have put together a short interview from our second speaker at our next event, MeetU@Reload this Saturday the 21st. She is beautiful, she is young, she is a successful business woman and she is Greek. I couldn’t be talking for any other thanChristina Plakopita the founder of Netrobe, an iPhone application that helps you organise your wardrobe, create outfits for events quickly and easily or even pack an entire suitcase!
Take a look of what Christina said to Reload, and book your tickets for our event to listen to the rest!
How did the initial idea come about? Has it changed since you started or it remains the same?
The idea of Netrobe started off as a wish. I was working at a very fast-paced corporate environment that required a diverse wardrobe for work, evening outings and weekends, whilst at the same time I was living in New York where the closet spaces are usually really small. I kept wishing for an application where I would be able to browse all of my clothes and create outfits more easily. Instead, I was noticing my girlfriends and myself either wearing the same things over and over or go for a shopping spree every time we had a serious event that required dressing the part. At a time where online shopping was becoming the norm, it felt like our dressing habits had been stuck in the past.
The initial idea didn’t radically change, but it certainly evolved and grew bigger than what I had originally envisioned. We moved from developing a wardrobe management tool and personal dresser to a fashion social shopping network, where you’re able to take a sneak peek on other peoples closets and shop from their selection of items.
You made the decision to start a venture in the middle of crisis. Did it not scare you?
Venturing into the world of startups is a conscious high risk decision. It is a known fact that startups usually fail, due to a vast number of reasons, such as poor product execution, lack of funding, bad timing, lack of team chemistry and so on. For me, starting an online business in the middle of the crisis was the one aspect that involved the lowest risk. I was always eager to start my own business and I was aware that real estate would not be the industry for it at the current point in time. Technology however is the most fast-paced industry to help you deliver a product and market it. These reasons, in addition to the fact that I would be taking advantage of our high level of technical human capital and developing an international product, gave me the confidence to take the leap.
What is the vision of the company? Where do you aim to be in 5 years time?
The vision is always to support the mission statement of the NETROBE, which is helping people dress better and shop smarter. We are hoping to achieve this by creating a fashion social destination where people interact with each other and give inspiration to one another on how to dress. The aim is also to incorporate brands to sell directly to users according to people’s interests or what they have in their closets in a seamless way. 5 years in tech is like 20 in any other industry. Hopefully, we will have grown our tech team to support more targeted recommendations and focus on growing our product sales.
What impact do social media have on your work? Who would you recommend Reloaders to follow?
Every social media has an impact depending the way you use it and depending who you would like to reach out to. The answer is use everything, but if you do… do it right. You cannot post the same message to all channels and it has to be truthful and authentic. For us social media created a huge impact on the word of mouth awareness. For Reloaders, I think twitter is still the most inspiring social digest when it comes to business and industry discovery. Quora is another big one if you want to drill into specific issues and questions. To promote your business, Facebook is still the number one channel to connect fast to the right kind of audience.
Who is your greater influencer/mentor?
That’s a tough one! I strive to have many influencers, as well as follow people’s careers closely. There are tons of people that can be your mentors in different times in your life. Besides, my father and brother who are my business mentors, Nikos Kakavoulis and Phaedra Chrousos of Daily Secret have been great influencers from the beginning of my tech journey. Alexis Pantazis of Hellas Direct is an active advisor and supporter of us. Rob Deeming, ex CEO of Jetsetter and strategist at Gilt Group was a real mentor that helped me make Netrobe an international player and so is Shauna Mei of AHALife in New York.
You can find Netrobe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram
Read more about Christina Plakopita and her story at the Hellas Direct blog andCloedigital