Finally, Have to Have has digitalized shopping with friends. The website, founded by Kimberly Skelton and Carla Holtze, allows users to shop online, save items to their Have to Have profiles, and have others take a look. Have to have also tells you when products you want go on sale.
Items are transferred with the Have to Have bookmarklet button, which can be attached to any browser dashboard and allows users to transfer items to their Have to Have profiles with just a click. Once added to the dashboard, friends can see your selections; they can share their opinion or even buy the items for you, right out of your profile.
Fueled spoke with one of the founders, Carla Holtze (above, right), to find out more.
Jeremy Rothschild: How would you describe what Have to Have does to people that have never heard of it?
Carla Holtze: It’s your registry for your lifestyle. It allows you to save all of the products that you want from any online retailer into your online profile which you can share it with your friends. You can follow what your friends to see what’s trending and what they’re looking to buy, and you can click to buy from the sites you’re on. So, for instance, if I’m following you on Have to Have and your birthday’s coming up, I can look at your profile, see exactly what you want, and buy it for you. You get what you want, and it makes everyone happy. If I’m browsing a bunch of different websites, I can tag what I want right there, and save it. Then we [Have to Have] can tell you when it goes on sale.
JR: How do people share their shopping lists on the site?
CH: You can send a list specifically to different people. If you have your birthday list set up, and want to send it to someone who’ll buy you a gift, you can share it. You can post it on Facebook, you can share it on Twitter, and share it through all social media. It’s a public and social site, so people that are following you can see what you’ve done and your lists as well.
JR: Do the notifications go right to your Facebook profile?
CH: Only if you’ve checked that you want that to happen.
JR: How does Have to Have profit from people using the button, if people are still buying clothes from other stores?
CH: We have affiliate relationships with a large number of stores, and we get a percentage of sales that we helped to facilitate.
JR: It seems like Have to Have is something that would appeal to women primarily. How has it been getting men to use the button?
CH:I’m chuckling because every woman that we speak with says that it’s the best solution for her husband or boyfriend because they can find out exactly what to buy for her and shop more efficiently for themselves. When they can check out their girlfriend’s or wife’s profile, it’s exactly what they want. It makes them look like the hero when they bring home exactly what that person wants. It’s a huge time saver. Men can also store their favorite clothes in their profile, and remember to reorder them every few months, very efficiently. Men want a quick and easy shopping experience, and the quicker they can get it done, the better.
JR: Do you think that Have to Have could work for non-clothing items when online shopping?
CH: Absolutely. We’re focused right now on apparel and accessories, but you could add items like a car or your favorite bottle of wine if you wanted.
JR: What stores have seen the most action with the button?
CH: Bloomingdale’s. We’ve done some really interesting cross-promotion with Bloomingdale’s, and they actually have a brand profile page set up on our site.
JR: What types of clothes have been shared the most by users?
CH: Dresses, shoes, accessories. A little bit of everything.
JR: Have you ever thought about having people use Have to Have in stores, through an iPhone app?
CH: We’re working on it! It’s in development.
JR: What advice would you give a startup that’s trying to get its name out there?
CH: Get brand ambassadors. Get as many people as you can to promote your product; people with credibility within the target audience you’re trying to reach. And form partnerships with relevant entities.
JR: How do you see the company growing in the future?
CH: The application on the mobile phones and iPad will really help us grow and create a different, cross-channel experience that every shopper will simply have to have.
JR: What’s your favorite Have to Have feature?
CH: I really like the ability to look at lists, and our designers have done a great job with them. It organizes your life so efficiently, and makes gifting for others so much easier.
JR: What’s your favorite site to use Have to Have on?
CH: Aside from Have to Have itself, I’m a huge fan of Net-a-Porter.
JR: If you had to pick one bar in New York City to spend an evening, which one would it be?
CH: The Raines Law Room, on 48 West 17th Street. I love it. It’s got a great vibe and great drinks.