Ella Gorgla started the e-commerce site I-ella.com in 2010 with the mission to “solve a problem most women have - a closet filled with clothing that they seldom use,” explained Gorgla. Today her online fashion market place has been named Time Inc.'s "Top 10 NYC Startups to Watch," and has over 60,000 members that buy, borrow, swap and sell their goods. The digital diva, who will also be a panelist at this year’s Focus 100 symposium, chats with us here.
ESSENCE.com: How is your site offering a fresh perspective or filling a void on the web?
ELLA GORGLA: I-ELLA is always exploring various ways to innovate the online shopping experience. We recently launched, The List - a monthly subscription program where members receive a surprise gift bag filled with curated designer fashion and free product samples. Over 400 members signed up for the list within the first two weeks. It's like having a personal stylist send you a personalized selection of the latest fashion trend to your door each month. We're extremely excited about The List!
ESSENCE.com: What has been the most challenging and most rewarding part about starting I-ella.com?
GORGLA: Raising capital was the most challenging part of launching and building the business. The most rewarding is the constant support and praise we receive from our members.
ESSENCE.com: What are your five favorite websites to keep up with the latest in fashion?
GORGLA: Who What Wear, Refinery 29, Net-A-Porter, ESSENCE.com and I-ELLA (it's always interesting to see what women have in their closets).
ESSENCE.com: Which online retailers would you recommend for the best shopping experience and selections? What stands out about them?
GORGLA: I may be a bit bias, but I-ELLA has some fantastic deals. And, if you don't like the price of an item, you can always make an offer.
ESSENCE.com: Which fashion apps can you not live without?
GORGLA: Still searching...
ESSENCE.com: How do you keep abreast of what's new and fresh online?
GORGLA: Its just part of our duty - our daily lives. Attending informational events, meeting with other entrepreneurs and reading excessively.
ESSENCE.com: What was the most important thing you learned when starting your business that you can share with budding entrepreneurs?
GORGLA: Don't give up too soon.