Sisters Elise Whang and Emily Dang are the founders of SnobSwap, the only online destination to shop all the best consignment boutiques. Providing up to 75% off designer wear, Snobswap carefully curates the most coveted boutiques in the country that offer high-end, authentic and trendy pieces.
MiLLENNiAL caught up with the sisters to learn why they decided to leave their successful careers in law and finance to launch a fashion startup in Washington D.C..
What sparked the idea to create an ecommerce consignment store?
Emily: Elise and I were addicted to consignment shopping ever since we were very young. There’s something thrilling when you walk into beautiful consignment store and discover that rare Chanel handbag or vintage Isabel Marant jacket for a really amazing price. And there is always a story behind each piece, from beautiful Suno coat of an editor at Vogue to discovering satin Louboutins that Kim Kardashian used to wear (true story).
The quality and craftsmanship of pre-owned luxury is something that you can’t get with fast fashion these days and you know it’s a forever item that will be worn with love for years to come vs. a trendy item that will be discarded after one wear and end up in a landfill.
And so we dreamt of accessing our favorite consignment boutiques online while working late hours climbing the corporate ladder. We left behind their careers in law and strategy consulting, to pursue our passion and launched SnobSwap.
Tell us about SnobSwap and the type of consumer you are attracting.
Elise: SnobSwap is the only destination to shop pre-owned luxury from the best consignment boutiques in the nation. We carefully select and thoroughly vet each consignment boutique on SnobSwap for curation, merchandising and authentication.
Our customers are both stylish and savvy – they love pre-owned and vintage designer luxury yet know how to score a great deal on SnobSwap.
What are the dynamics of working with your sister? Give us some pros and cons of working with family?
Emily: I love working with Elise. The pros of working together are endless. We’re able to balance each other, support one another and share our passion for SnobSwap. While Elise and I are sisters, we also have very different personalities and strengths, which works well for the areas of business we each lead. I guess the con of working together is because we’re sisters, we’re brutally honest with each other, which can be good and bad. At the end of the day though, I wouldn’t pick anyone else to start a business together.
What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in order to get to where you are now?
Elise: One of the biggest challenge of launching any start-up and growing our business, especially as women, is there will always be those that may doubt you. Whether it’s an investor that asks you overtly why you’re not home with your kids (also true story) or the pessimists that believe the sky is always falling, it only makes us work harder to prove them wrong.
What were you doing prior to launching your own business?
Emily: I worked at the Gap, heading up North America Strategy and Elise was an accomplished attorney at the FTC.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions of being an entrepreneur?
Emily: Being an entrepreneur is not all rainbows and unicorns. Friends always assume that we’re living our dream and because you’re your own boss, life is easy – you can work anytime anywhere. In many ways it’s true – it is a dream and a blessing we’re able to do what we love. But starting a company takes a lot of grit. You have to be a little crazy to work the hours we work and have the passion to get through the rollercoaster that is startupland.
To learn more about SnopSwab or check out their consignment wear, visit SnobSwap.com.