Sydney-based stylist and entrepreneur Shanya Suppasiritad has become the first recipient of The Two Grant, receiving a cash injection to help get her sustainable fashion startup Coclo off the ground.
The grant is an initiative set up by Aussie sisters Jess and Stef Dadon, who founded ethical, woman-friendly shoe brand TWOOBS, and also run fashion blog and podcast How Two Live.
Suppasiritad will receive $5,000 in grant funding, $2,000 in services from Melbourne legaltech startup Luna, and mentoring from the Dadon sisters.
Coclo is a fashion platform allowing users to rent a capsule wardrobe for five weeks. Fashionistas pay $149 to enjoy a set of about five items they can mix and match or pair with existing favourites.
All items are lent by others, who earn a bit of cash every time they’re borrowed.
A former personal stylist, Suppasiritad previously founded peer-to-peer fashion-lending platform Tumnus.
However, speaking at The Two Grant award event in Melbourne last week, she said she found there were some users who liked the concept but found it too time-consuming to go to other people’s homes to pick up items.
“They were too busy,” she explained.
Equally, one-time rentals tended to be utilised for special occasions, and don’t work for everyone.
“It never really resonated with me to spend a couple of hundred dollars to wear something once or twice,” Suppasiritad admitted.
Coclo is designed to be “kind of like a mini wardrobe”, which arrives in the post and can be returned conveniently.
The startup even manages all of the cleaning, and any minor repairs required.
Suppasiritad hopes to launch at the end of this year with between 50 and 60 capsule collections. Having launched the Coclo website just four weeks ago, she has already had almost 1,000 people sign up, she said.
Speaking to StartupSmart last year when they first announced the grant, the Dadon sisters said supporting other women entrepreneurs was the natural next step for them.
“It’s about finding businesses that are run by passionate, empowered women who are doing something that we’re excited about, and getting the ideas off the ground,” Stef said.
The pair themselves have benefited from some “amazing mentors”, Jess added.
“We’ve been so overwhelmed about how generous these people have been with their time,” she said.
“It’s our time to pay that forward.”
For Suppasiritad, while the funding and legal help will give Coclo an early boost, it’s the mentorship that has already been most valuable.
“For me, the thing that’s more amazing, that’s more important for me, is actually having someone believing in your crazy idea, and believing that you are the person who can take that idea somewhere,” she said.