The Tech Start-Up Born From a Love of Shoes and Celebs
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because this app is going to revolutionize your closet.
By Christine Stoddard
OZY and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have partnered to bring you an inside look at how entrepreneurs are coming up with innovative methods to help the communities around them. Enjoy the rest of our special series here.
Sometimes when you’re watching TV, you see an outfit you love. In fact, you love it so much that you want to make it your own. But before Ana Bermudez invented her app, TAGit, actually finding those must-have clothes from your favorite shows often turned into a wild-goose chase. Bermudez’s inspiration for the social registry app was simple: She had TV-fueled shoe lust and needed to get her fix.
“I wanted to buy every pair of shoes I saw on TV, but there was no easy way to identify or buy the shoe from my couch,” Bermudez says. “After many failed attempts to find shoes that I saw on TV, I decided to create TAGit, the mobile app that TV viewers use to buy items from their favorite TV shows.”
Part of what enabled her to bring her app to a global audience was an Accion program that is funded by JPMorgan Chase and is specifically aimed at increasing access to critical funding for underserved small-business owners like women and people of color.
“The JPMorgan Chase–backed Accion loan helped my business stay in business,” she says. “Like many startups, TAGit ran out of funding and needed working capital to continue its operations. Without Accion, TAGit would have had to cease operations. I would have had to go back to a corporate job, and TAGit would not be the success it is today.”
She encourages other female entrepreneurs to shoot for their dreams and face challenges head-on.
“The entrepreneurial journey has many ups and downs, but the experiences and professional growth make the journey worth it,” Bermudez says.
She holds a quote from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor near and dear to her heart: “Don’t let fear stop you. Don’t give up because you are paralyzed by insecurity or overwhelmed by the odds, because in giving up, you give up hope. Understand that failure is a process in life, that only in trying can you enrich yourself and have the possibility of moving forward. The greatest obstacle in life is fear and giving up because of it.”
At Cruxy & Co., a U.K.-based strategy consultancy that specializes in identifying — and overthrowing — business obstacles in the fintech space, female founder Carrie Osman (her official title is Chief Provocateur) believes that women’s talent needs to be a bigger part of the future for tech.
“Women should have the confidence to jump with two feet in,” she says. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see female tech entrepreneurs like Bermudez succeed: She didn’t let the “boys’ club” vibes of the tech world stop her from pursuing her dream — and, yes, getting those shoes.
- Christine Stoddard, OZY Author Contact Christine Stoddard