Fitzroy rethinks discovery for toy shop owners

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Like many entrepreneurs, Stefanie Botelho needed a solution for a problem she faced: She was buying a lot of gifts for children, but it was tough to find something unique and special. For a college project, she built recommendation engine Fitzroy to solve that problem and later adapted it for retailers as an online wholesale marketplace. This week, Botelho joins Retail Gets Real to discuss her mission to “support different.”

Fitzroy connects emerging, independent brands that want to grow with niche stores that want to offer a unique customer experience. “In a lot of ways, technology is democratizing our lives,” Botelho says, “but that actually makes it harder for the smaller voices to rise above the noise.” Fitzroy’s simplified process allows creative people to spend more time creating what they love and helps independent retailers focus on the experience they offer.

“Retail is going through a transition and that’s the best time to join something.”

Stefanie Botelho

This isn’t wholesale like it’s been done before — for retailers, the Fitzroy shopping experience is designed to look and feel the same as shopping for consumer products. Retailers sign into the platform, browse through hundreds of brands, add items to their cart and check out seamlessly. “That way their wholesale purchasing is just as easy, fun and modern,” Botelho says, “as consumer purchasing is today.”

Every one of Fitzroy’s members have a physical presence in the retail world. Botelho finds that successful independent stores have an intense focus on customer experience, community, product and enticing customers to visit their stores. “Retail is going through a transition,” she says, “and that’s the best time to join something.” Botelho thinks when direct-to-consumer brands that started as pure-plays look to scaling the business, they turn to offline physical experiences.

Listen to the episode to learn about some cool new toys and trends. Want to hear more stories like this one and meet Stefanie Botelho? Don’t miss Shop.org, September 12-14, in Las Vegas. Register today!

Jennifer Overstreet is a co-host on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.