A new childrenâ€™s clothing brand called Rockets of Awesome launched today, bringing some of the trimmings that weâ€™re more used to seeing in adult fashion, such as seasonal delivery and data-driven curation, to the kidsâ€™ market.
The founder is a familiar face in the New York City entrepreneurial scene: Rachel Blumenthal, who launched Cricketâ€™s Circle, an e-commerce and review site that helps expecting and new parents choose baby items. She is shutting down Cricketâ€™s Circle to shift her focus to Rockets of Awesome, says Blumenthal, who will focus on a wider range of children with the new company, taking on a $150 billion global childrenâ€™s apparel market.
Blumenthal said in a phone interview with New York Business Journal. One thing that came up again and again went beyond the baby years, and into the issue of shopping for childrenâ€™s apparel for boys and girls sizes 2-14. This, she found, was more of a pressing and lingering problem for parents as their children grow up.
â€œKids outgrow their clothes every two to three months, and shopping became a second job for parents,â€ said Blumenthal. â€œThe consistency and the frequency that they had to shop was an issue, and they had to sacrifice between value and style.â€
To solve this, Blumenthal is borrowing a page from Warby Parker and created a vertically integrated platform where the company manufactures and sells the clothing direct online. Shoppers receive a box filled with 12 items ranging in price from $12 to $46 with the average about $20. They keep what they want and return what they donâ€™t.
â€œWhat that means is being able to deliver a personal shopping service, with our own vertical in-house brand,â€ Blumenthal said. The brandâ€™s senior vice president of design and merchandising is Zia Taylor, whose 20 years of experience in childrenâ€™s fashion includes leading teams at Gap Kids, Baby Gap, Oshkosh Bâ€™gosh, JCPenney, and 77kids by American Eagle.
To personalize the service, the company says it is pioneering â€œdynamic retailâ€ by offering a â€œhighly curated deliveryâ€ box of season-specific outfits, with delivery taking place four times annually. The choices will be based upon a combination of customer behavior data that reflects past purchases, plus an assessment of childrenâ€™s preferences, based on a style quiz. With each delivery, the selections become more accurate.
Blumenthal acknowledges some parallels to StitchFix, a similar service for women, but says that Rockets of Awesome is different in a few ways. For one, there are no membership fees. Secondly, thereâ€™s an ecommerce experience that allows shoppers to order the same items they decide to keep in different colors.
Simultaneous with the launch, Rockets of Awesome is announcing that it has raised a $7 million seed round, with participation from LAUNCH, Forerunner Ventures out of San Francisco, as well as General Catalyst Partners, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.