Leepa Store is a revolutionary project in the field of second-hand fashion, which is just getting off the ground. So far, Leepa operates as a team of three people, David Petrbok, David Feldstein and Mikhail Gladyshev, who are the co-founders of the company. In addition, they have regular interns to help with marketing and operations, based on a collaboration with the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Economics.
The Story of Leepa Store
The co-founders, Miky and David, started their journey in the corporate world, but yearned for something more meaningful of their own. So David dusted off his long-standing idea for a swap with tinder mechanics and invited Miky to join the collaboration. The project began to grow, and it wasn’t just the founders who saw potential in it. They started joining different communities, invited the third co-founder David Feldstein as a programmer, and eventually managed to create a web application. But the main problem was that they couldn’t monetize the project.
Then the pandemic hit and Miky and David started organizing digital events. One of the first was a second-hand fashionweek. They invited ambassadors, second-hand and upcycled brands to participate. But this event completely changed their view of the slow-fashion market. They fell in love with the vibe that is associated with the more premium second-hand fashion, so they decided to create a project in this sector. During the researche, they discovered that second-hand fashion is even set to outgrow fast-fashion by 2030!
But they saw this as one big barrier. A client who wants to buy pieces in second-hand stores has to spend a lot of time either in brick-and-mortar stores or on x number of second-hand websites. This entails a lot of discomfort and this is something the guys decided to overcome. At the same time, it turned out that many brands have great products but don’t know how to promote them.
Leepa decided to help these brands and created a way for them to increase their sales by working with other brands.
Miky and David noticed that there was probably no easy way for people to empty their wardrobe and get money for it without having to worry extra about anything. So they decided to create Leepa Circle, where people can sell their clothes easily and efficiently.
The whole process is very easy. If someone decides to empty their closet, they can register on the leepa.store website and upload photos and descriptions of their clothes. Leepa will then evaluate the selected pieces and let the seller know how much they would be able to sell them for. In this way they are able to influence their product range and offer their customers quality products. The seller then decides whether they are willing to sell them at the price offered. If he does, he can bring the clothes personally or Leepa will arrange shipping for him through a mail order company at his own expense.
The founders of the Leepa Store try to provide their customers with the fastest possible delivery, even if they cannot yet compete with the speed of the big e-shops. Leepa distinguishes itself by bundling orders from its partners, consolidating them and then shipping them to its customers. These routes are already relatively optimised and as a result they can offer increasingly faster and more efficient delivery.
Leepa also aims to make the sale of second-hand clothing a fashion trend and to make people see second-hand as a trendy and modern way of shopping.
It is important to Leepu that they are able to offer their customers an easy and efficient way to sell clothes, as well as quality and trendy products. Their innovative approach and focused work has enabled them to achieve success.
What surprised Leepa on the trip?
Leepa Store originally thought that working with this project would be much more challenging than it actually turned out to be. The company is trying to optimize its processes to handle the work as efficiently as possible. The most challenging part is working for Leepa Circle, as they do not yet have enough staff to efficiently check in all the clothes on offer. They wash, iron, photograph and flip through the catalogue themselves and this is very time consuming.
Despite the difficulty of working with Leepa Circle, they have managed to successfully develop the project and have a huge potential to become one of the biggest and most successful companies in the field of second-hand clothing sales.
What does the cooperation with Tanganica mean for Leela?
For us, it’s primarily about saving time. There are two of us for the whole company, we are a start-up and time is really valuable for us. We have some regular meetings to discuss the collaboration, but we don’t really care that much. Tanganica gives us space to do more necessary things without neglecting our promotion.
What advice would Leepa give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
When it comes to the question of starting your own e-shop, it is important to remember that the Czech Republic is a strong country in the world of e-commerce in terms of the number of e-shops per capita. Considering that it is estimated that there are around 50 to 60 thousand e-shops, it is important to keep in mind that if one selects only e-shops with a turnover of over one million crowns, the number of these e-shops drops to 7 to 8 thousand. Given the large number of e-shops in the market, it is important to try to create a strong brand and differentiate yourself from the rest. So I recommend looking for something unique or focusing on an area where there is strong demand.
- from Leepa Store Mikhail Gladyshev