Poshly.com founder Doreen Bloch shares the company’s journey from Minimum Viable Product to maximum style press milestone.
By Doreen Bloch (Founder & CEO, Poshly)

At Poshly, we believe personalization is the future of the web. From e-tail to online content, we believe digital experiences will become more and more tailored to the individual. Our team is working, in particular, to build innovative, data-driven personalization tools for beauty consumers and brands.
Why beauty?

The answer lies with something we are passionate about and with women around the world who can be seen testing foundation swatches or selecting shampoos for their hair type: beauty is personal. Consumers and brands alike are eager to minimize product clutter and understand what works best for each person’s look and needs.

Poshly’s personalization platform provides solutions to these issues, based on physical characteristics and lifestyle heuristics. Consumers have responded so positively to our mission, and it’s been exhilarating to be validated by brands, like L’Oreal, and press, like InStyle, that Poshly’s on the right track.

We weren’t always so sure about our mission though; just a few months ago, we wanted to understand whether consumers would at all be interested in providing information around their physical and lifestyle characteristics. To test our approach, we quietly launched Poshly’s first website in late June — devoted to beauty giveaways.

Poshly Giveaways began as an experiment, a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). How it works: Take fun, fast quizzes to enter to win free, full-size beauty products! Poshly Giveaways was like dipping our toes into the data-filled waters with what was initially an experimental site. We figured that after we got a strong data set to work with, we’d wind it down. But what we didn’t expect was for Poshly Giveaways itself to be so popular!

In July, just one month after our MVP soft launch, we were honored with L’Oreal’s NEXT Generation Award, an initiative that we first learned about through a tweet from Women 2.0. And this month, Poshly was selected by InStyle Magazine for the publication’s annual “Best of the Web” feature.

Seeing Poshly’s name in print among phenomenal web innovators like Melody McCloskey’s StyleSeat or Shauna Mei’s Ahalife is thrilling. The praise from consumers, brands, and press about Poshly’s MVP has encouraged us to consider the site as a fundamental product under our digital umbrella.

Now that our MVP validated aspects of our business, the Poshly team is delighted to begin working on more innovations for the beauty-meets-digital space.

No startup succeeds in a vacuum though; we have Women 2.0 and L’Oreal’s Women in Digital to thank for accelerating our progress as an early-stage startup, providing us access to resources and feedback in real-time that improve our firm.

There’s more to come from Poshly beyond fun, interactive beauty giveaways. But in the meantime, like InStyle says, sign up for Poshly, answer a few questions, and see if you win beauty goodies! We have fantastic giveaways going on now for Essie nail polish, mousse from John Frieda, lipstick from Illamasqua and more! And in the near future, we look forward to delighting you with exceptional personalized web experiences on Poshly… built just for you.

Women 2.0 readers: Have you check out Poshly yet? Let us know in the comments!

About the guest blogger: Doreen Bloch is the Founder and CEO of Poshly, and author of The Coolest Startups in America. Doreen is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where she was awarded the Jack Larson Fellowship for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Doreen is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, and she contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Huffington Post and more. Follow her on Twitter at @DoreenBloch.