Caitlin and Rachel Treasure are two Gold Coast ladies with their hearts set on using technology to shake up the fashion world.
The sisters – both past students of All Saints here on the Gold Coast, along with their app makers, have launched a product that helps connect people selling and buying clothes.
“At the moment, we’re just a startup,” Caitlin told Blank GC, sitting at a Nobby’s café. She seems so calm, which is a surprise given she’s in her last days of year 12 while running two businesses.
The entrepreneurial spirit, she says, is something that’s always been a family affair.
“As a family we’ve always been coming up with business ideas,’ she said. “Everytime we go on holidays we find something cool – whether a shop or online thing or a company. We always think of random things we could do.”
“This one – we just thought it was something that could work. We love clothes, we have clothes. And when you’re actually involved in the industry it’s easier to set up a company,” Caitlin said.
The app, called Clothesline, is an idea the women started cultivating early in the year then launched in July.
“We’re really happy with how it’s going so far,” Caitlin said. And rightly so. With nearly 5000 users spanning the entire country, Clothesline is off to a solid start. Although Caitlin admits their challenge now is to get more sales going.
“We don’t have a lot of funds, so we’ve produced the most simple version possible and we’re just trying to build on that. We have lots of users going but need to fuel the sales,” she said.
But as with all good entrepreneurs, Caitlin and Rachel have a heap of ideas around how to make the app more engaging for people to buy and sell. And again, as with most entrepreneurs the challenges lie in funding.
“Until we can get more funding or more people involved, it’s a slow process,” said Caitlin, who has only just turned 18, while studying year 12.
“Probably all the girls in my grade were trials when we had our first version. Yeah, it’s been really, really busy,” she said. “And at times you feel like you’ve got so much going on but it’s great to be busy and have something to work on.
Caitlin tells me she and her sister are already working on another concept as well. Called Dress Next Door it’s an online portal for people wishing to rent or hire formal wear and designer clothes.
“That’s kind of where we saw it (Clotheseline) originally – formal wear – but our app makers are so busy at the moment,” she said. “So we’ve created a website called Dress Next Door. We’ve been able to set it up quickly and it’s really to see what the market’s like for the area.”
Only live for a week, the site already has 15 dresses listed. Caitlin said the end goal is to connect people by location so that users can share through community collaboration.
“I guess it’s got some sense of sustainability as well,” she said. “Not wasting your clothes but renting or buying from someone else.”
I’m curious as to how two 18 and 21 year olds end up running a fashion business with its roots in IT. Caitlin says her sister is moving from her law degree to IT next year and she herself will be doing the course too.
“Then we can start getting involved in the actual making of it,” she said. Caitlin also studied a diploma of business through school and did basic business and accounting studies in year 10.
And working with her sister?
“I love it,” she says, without skipping a beat. “She’s the only person I can fight with without it being an issue. We can argue about things or we can have completely opposite ideas but at the end of the day it won’t matter between us – she’s the perfect business partner for me.”
Download the app at clothesline.io or check Dress Next Door at dress-next-door.sharetribe.com.