Capital Factory’s Saturday Startup Spotlight series features intimate chats with some of the latest founders taking hold of the startup ecosystem today. We’re returning this week with the co-founders of Swayy: Rajya Atluri and Clio Harralson.
If you’re worried about the current state of the fast fashion industry but want to continue changing up your closet with exciting outfits, Swayy has a solution for you. They’re a carefully-curated clothing aggregator, with an emphasis on creating customized shopping experiences.
Learn more about their experiences as student founders balancing startup life with school work, and what their goals are for Swayy’s influence with the environment.
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Can you pitch your company to us?
Rajya: Swayy is a peer-to-peer clothing rental service, offering items that are new to you. We help women find the clothes they need while saving time, money, and the planet. Our clothing rentals, powered by the sharing economy, have the potential to reduce the negative environmental effects of fast fashion— that’s really why we’re passionate about this.
What is the current goal you’re aiming to achieve?
Rajya: Right now we’re focused on getting more customers to use the site. We’re launched at UT Austin right now, so that’s a great place for us to start because there’s a huge market.
Clio: We’re working on setting up a locker delivery system instead of having it delivered to your door, sort of like the Amazon lockers. That’s one of our more immediate goals, but that would make it a lot easier for our customers to have the flexibility to pick up clothes on their way back from classes, for example.
As startup founders, what challenges are you facing as you navigate the entrepreneurial world?
Rajya: I think it’s definitely hard being a student founder. We’re both doing our senior year at UT right now, and we’re always trying to balance school with our startup. We don’t always do it perfectly.
Clio: It’s easy to want to put school aside to work on Swayy because that’s more exciting for us and something we’re more passionate about. It’s challenging to make that balance, but it’s also good. We like our classes and being in school too.
What connections are you looking for at Capital Factory? Who would you like to meet?
Rajya: We’ve met and talked to a lot of people who are doing B2B, but meeting B2C people is really key for us.
Clio: Especially retail tech, because I feel like that’s still a relatively small field so it’s hard finding mentors or connections in that space.
Rajya: A lot of the other retail tech companies are B2B, they’re selling software solutions like AI to eCommerce stores. There’s not a lot of B2C retail tech that we’ve been able to meet in Austin.
What do you want our community to know about Swayy?
Clio: We both really love being college women who are making a company that helps other college women. It’s great getting to see the work we’re putting in actually help our peers, and it’s also fun because we’re working on a product that we want for ourselves.
Beyond that, we don’t just get to help our peers, we also get to help find a solution to this bigger environmental problem: the consequences of fast fashion.
Rajya: Something that’s been talked about a lot is how climate change and the deterioration of the environment is going to impact our generation, and people our age want to do something about it.
We think living sustainably shouldn’t just be an option for people who can afford expensive monthly subscriptions or plans, it should be an affordable and convenient option to serve as the alternative to fast fashion.
Thank you for chatting with us, Rajya and Clio!
Does their determination towards environmental issues seem up your alley? Are you interested in making real changes in the retail tech industry?
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