It looks like Science Inc. is on a roll. A couple weeks after launching Eventup, the LA tech incubator announced another product launch, this time targeting the parents and their kids. Called Wittlebee (ain’t it adorable?), this subscription commerce service is run by former MySpace exec, Sean Percival, who’s goal is to help save parents time and money when clothes shopping for their young ones. As a newly-minted father just this past year, Mr. Percival is digging into his experience as a father and Wittlebee helps solve a problem that he thinks is a genuine problem: he wanted to create something that would “disrupt” the various industries that parents often find themselves depending on–thus his reason for getting into children’s clothing–it’s one of the most expensive and difficult things for parents to keep up with.
Definitely it’s not surprising to see this as a genuine problem since your children will grow at a fast pace and it’s impossible to keep up! And if you do want to go shopping for new clothes for your child, you’ll have to bring them with you and that whole experience can unfortunately be a bit stressful. And let’s not forget if you have relatives or friends buying children’s clothes for you–it might not even match their personality. And that’s basically what Wittlebee is gearing up for. It’s like the parent-friendly version of the Trunk Club, but geared for children.
So how exactly does Wittlebee work?
In three simple steps, any parent can get their child signed up and can receive their very first shipment in a matter of days. To ensure that your child gets exactly what matches him or her, Wittlebee has a style profile that will allow you to share some details about yourself, your child, and how you would like to dress them. It doesn’t make sense to give your kid’s measurements to someone, only to receive a package with punk rock gear when you’re much more conservative. Wittlebee will actually take the time to match the clothing the your child’s needs.
When you’ve completed this profile, you’ll get a call or email from one of the Wittlebee’s “stylists” to make sure all your questions are answered and that you’ve gotten everything squared away. I believe it’s going to be at this point where you will take care of any payment and membership items. This will probably be the best time for you to clarify any statements you made in the profile to make sure that your child is sent the most appropriate attire.
Then, in the end, you’re going to get a box from Wittlebee in about a week. This customized box will contain clothes specifically suited for your child and will keep coming every month. You can pause or cancel your membership at any time. Each box will contain up to 8 items. Don’t expect anything specialized from Wittlebee as right now they’re focusing on the basic needs for the child: onesies, t-shirts, leggings, and socks. No outerwear or outfits (yet). Oh, and sorry kids 6 and up–Wittlebee is only for “wittle” people that are 5 and under, although they say that they’ll soon extend the range to 12 years old.
When interviewed by TechCrunch, Mr. Percival said that he’s sensitive to the needs of time-strapped parents. “The shopping experience with young kids can also be very challenging. With Wittlebee we save parents time, money, and reduce those ‘mall meltdown’ moments.” And parents are definitely paying attention to this. With at least 500 subscribers currently paying for Wittlebee service, at $40 per box, the estimate is around $20,000 in revenue in just a month’s time!
Traditional businesses like Kids ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us should now pay attention to the likes of Wittlebee as it’s helping to make sure that parents are taken care of. It’s services that are disrupting the industry like this that shows that they are sensitive to the needs of the consumer and will do whatever it takes to help make life easier for these people. In the same TechCrunch article, Mr. Percival is quoted as saying that his future plans include setting up additional verticals and working on selling other kid-friendly items like books. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon paid attention to this and started quaking in their boots. Wittlebee looks to be one smart startup that could potentially corner the children’s market and put a lot of people out of business.