It’s the day you’ve been dreaming about and thinking about since you were a child; the day that countless movies make out to be the most special day of our lives…your wedding day. Unfortunately, families bicker and fight over how the wedding will look, but why can’t it just be a seamless and stress free experience? Well with Menagerie, you can heavily increase your odds. With their wedding vendor service, they are giving you the power to make the most sensible wedding decisions that are often times too much to handle.
CEO Tiffany Stone brings the aisle to AlleyWatch, in telling us about the newest tech enabled wedding planning option available.
Tell us about the product or service.
Menagerie is the online marketplace for individuals to discover and book the best local wedding professionals.
Founded in August 2015, Menagerie is leading the transformation of the wedding industry by providing each individual with a personalized vendor discovery experience and the ability to instantly book wedding services. Our online marketplace is removing the costs and barriers with building a wedding business by providing professionals with a free profile to showcase their work and online management solutions to connect with clients and grow their business.
How is it different?
Menagerie is the first online wedding platform to provide an end-to-end solution that allows individuals to not only discover and curate wedding vendors, but also book and pay them. Unlike existing wedding players, Menagerie is not a content platform, online wedding directory or e-commerce site, but a true marketplace that resolves the fragmented wedding planning process by connecting brides and grooms directly with wedding vendors through a unique discovery experience and equipping wedding vendors with tools to grow their business and clientele.
We are determined to lead the evolution of the wedding category!
- Wedding 1.0 was online wedding directories and advertising
- Wedding 2.0 was content platforms
- Wedding 3.0 is Menagerie – marketplace of creative services
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
The overall wedding industry is a $55 billion market in the United States, with over 2 million weddings a year.
Based on average cost of a wedding in 2014, couples spend the most on their weddings in the following areas in the US. Five of the six most expensive areas to get married are in the New York/Tri-State area.
- New York – Manhattan $76,328
- New York – Long Island $55,327
- New Jersey – North/Central $53,986
- New York – Westchester/Hudson Valley $52,954
(via The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study Statistics)
What is the business model?
Menagerie is free for both individuals and wedding professionals.
Wedding professionals are able to showcase their work, connect with clients, and leverage Menagerie’s free online management solutions to grow their business. Brides and grooms are able to create a profile and browse, save and manage vendors for free. A fee is only taken at the time of booking a vendor.
What’s been the most difficult thing when launching your startup and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was and always will be Time. There are so many ideas and things we want to create and share with our community but we have to stay focused and patient.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We have only one goal and that’s to create a uniquely seamless and reliable wedding planning experience by creating an end-to-end solution. In the process, we hope to empower wedding professionals, brides and grooms.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
I’d love to meet with Ben Lerer of Lerer Hippeau Ventures. As an accomplished entrepreneur (cofounder of Thrillist Media Group) and investor, I believe he would be very helpful in providing guidance on building products and businesses from the ground up. His experience with digital media strategy is also a quality we are looking for an investor as it relates to our acquisition strategy.
Thrillist also happened to be one of my clients when I worked in valuation!
What is the one piece of startup advice for entrepreneurs that you never received?
This seems obvious but not always the first advice someone gets…Determine your engine of growth and business goals early on, and start thinking about how to align your sales & marketing strategy and technical needs based on this and your goals.
Why did you launch in New York?
I love the New York tech scene and believe that there is a large community that not only supports entrepreneurship here, but also specifically women entrepreneurs and consumer businesses. I’ve also made many friends from my experiences working at startups here. While originally from the west coast, I’ve found my place in the east coast!
What is your favorite fall activity in NYC?
My favorite fall activity in NYC is either running through Central Park (the prettiest time of the year in my opinion) or consuming as much pumpkin flavored foods and drinks as possible!