Meet Mary Orton.
Successful investment banker turned professional fashion blogger and, now, style app developer.
In the middle of her move back to New York City from San Francisco to grow her entrepreneurial business, Corporate Fashionista caught up with Orton to find out why she and her husband, Rich Scudellari, founded Trove, how the mobile app works and what they hope to accomplish, plus her approach to career style.
Kristina Moore: What is Trove, and how does it serve the busy professional woman?
Mary Orton: Bringing together the best in style inspiration and mobile commerce, Trove is the ultimate style destination where users can seamlessly discover, shop and share their favorite looks from around the world. Whether you need a chic look for an upcoming event or advice on a simple wardrobe refresh, finding sartorial inspiration isn’t always easy. Style-savvy consumers — especially busy professional women — are constantly in search of fresh ideas, but navigating countless websites, social platforms and retailers is exhausting. With a single swipe on Trove, users can glide between content from top blogs to discover new trends, learn the latest styling tricks, and shop the hottest items.
Moore: What inspired you to create the Trove app? Is it iOS and Android friendly?
Orton: Trove was inspired both by my experience as a style blogger [Memorandum] and my experience as a consumer. I felt that there was a huge need for a mobile-first content platform that made style content easily accessible for consumers to view, save, share and shop on their phones. Existing social media platforms limit bloggers’ ability to properly share their content and make it shoppable, and furthermore, existing platforms do not provide them with detailed insight into what is truly resonating with their followers. There is an enormous amount of incredible content being produced by style bloggers all over the world for their desktop blog sites, but until Trove, it was too cumbersome to view and fully engage with that content on mobile (where they now spend 90% of their time online). Trove provides an effortless experience for both blogger and consumer, facilitating greater engagement and discovery with this shoppable style content.
Right now, Trove is available in the Apple App store and we are working on an Android version.
Moore: What kind of response have you gotten from fellow personal style bloggers?
Orton: The response from bloggers has been incredible. Between bloggers reaching out asking to be on the platform and bloggers on the platform sharing stories about how they have seen an uptick in traffic and affiliate earnings, we have been truly amazed by the engagement and excitement by bloggers across the board.
To be a successful style blogger, you not only have to have a unique creative vision, but you also have to be a very savvy business person. The way in which style bloggers produce content, interact with their followers, and run their businesses is nuanced and far more complex than you might suspect. So having a platform for style bloggers built by a style blogger that intimately understands these unique creative and business challenges has proven to be immensely helpful and has really resonated within the community.
Moore: Why the move to New York as the place vs SF to grow your business?
Orton: NYC is the epicenter of fashion and retail. For a technology company geared towards these industries, NYC is the best place to grow the business.
Moore: How do you approach a new season when it comes to your own career style? Any fall/winter favorites you would recommend?
Orton: In general, my style is sort of classic with an urban edge. When it comes to career style, I invest in timeless staple pieces and then typically incorporate seasonal trends via accessories and styling tricks. This fall and winter, I’m especially loving velvet, bodysuits, block heels and the resurgence of bright colors that we’ve seen on runways, and am excited to incorporate these into my wardrobe in and out of the office.
Moore: Do you have a go-to look when you’ve got an important work opportunity?
Orton: It really depends on the work event, but in general, I’d probably go for a high-waisted wide-leg pant, a menswear-inspired flat, and a collared silk blouse.
Moore: What’s in your office fashion emergency kit?
Orton: I’m a huge fan of Pinch Minimergency kits and I always keep one in my desk and/or in my bag. They’ve got everything you might need in an emergency — sewing kit, safety pin, stain remover wipes, deodorant wipes, breath freshener, dental floss, Advil — everything!
All images courtesy of Trove.
Influencing Style is a regular column focusing on style and the professional woman.