I think starting One Kings Lane was something that I was destined to do. Retail is in my blood. I grew up in a retail family and have worked in the retail industry my entire life. I have always been enamored with home design. So in 2008 when I was frustrated trying to decorate my home in Los Angeles I saw a huge opportunity to create an online destination that would inspire people and give them access to great products for the home all at a value. Voila, the idea for One Kings Lane was born.
In October 2008 I met my business partner, Ali Pincus. We both believed that the opportunity was huge and if we could help improve the way people shopped in the $1.5 billion home industry we could disrupt this industry. At that time, most popular e-commerce sites were really all about breadth and searching for specific items. We saw another opportunity and set out to create a place where one could find unique and special merchandise that was carefully vetted, curated, and presented in a way that would inspire shoppers.
One Kings Lane started out as a flash sale site, an online destination where shoppers could find great items for their homes at great value. The sales launched everyday with limited quantities for a limited amount of time. Today through innovation and listening to our customers, we have grown to become a marketplace full of unique items from brand-name products to vintage and antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces from high-end interior designers and celebrities. One Kings Lane is the place we had first envisioned, where we have married inspiration and access to unique wonderful products for the home.
From the day we launched our first sale on March 30, 2009 it was obvious that there were lots of people like Ali and myself who love their homes and had a passion for finding unique and special decor. Five years ago when we started we launched with 5,000 members and today we have over 10 Million. What’s more, our shoppers have shown tremendous loyalty to the One Kings Lane brand – five years ago 80% of our revenue came from repeat shoppers and that statistic remains the same to this day.
Today, just five years later, One Kings Lane is considered to be one of the more successful and fastest growing ecommerce sites in the world… and one of the most admired websites amongst our peers in the retail industry.
I have learned so much on this journey. However, I think the four key things I have learned at One Kings Lane are:
- Hire smart people that are passionate and enthusiastic about your vision
- Stay focused – there is a tendency to want to do so much but concentrate on what will get you the biggest bang for your buck
- Fail fast – be realistic about what is working and what isn’t and walk away from the non-productive initiatives
- Keep it simple – in today’s world of sensory overload, whatever you do make sure that someone gets it immediately
And have fun!
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