Gina Mancuso is the owner of LoveThatFit, a new online, virtual fit technology that is set to revolutionize the way we go shopping for clothing. Currently in private beta, the company is looking towards a beta launch this summer, with a wide release slated for the fall, in time to showcase winter fashions.
A former professional equestrian, Mancuso turned her international riding experience into her first successful business buying and selling horses from Holland and Germany. She sold that business after the Euro came onto the scene and went back to school at the University of Miami. While living there, she launched and operated her second business, a boutique fitness studio, which she also sold for a profit after a year and a half.
The inspiration for LoveThatFit came from the fact that Gina, like so many of us, hates trying on clothes. She decided to create a positive shopping experience that would virtually mirror the best aspects of the real thing. Utilizing an individual API for every retailer that uses it, the program embeds directly into their existing website, allowing shoppers to mix and match outfits and use the store’s interface to buy clothing, compare past and future purchases, and share notes with friends and family.
Users can create accounts from any smartphone, tablet or laptop. They can enter their own measurements, which are then compared to specific data on each and every piece of clothing in the store’s catalog. Although the program is currently operating in 2-D, by the time it launches in the fall, it will be in 3-D, offering a complete and accurate virtual representation of each user’s body
Mancuso began development on the company last summer with some private funding. Working now with CTO James Walker, experienced online architect and web developer, they are currently in the process of raising their seed funding, and have partnered with Third Wave Fashion, a fashion tech company, to help get them through the next round and build out their team. She’s excited about the possibilities with this technology, and talks about potential applications for home or even automotive design down the road…
Mancuso’s experience as a serial entrepreneur is serving her well. She has learned the value of patience in getting her through the early challenges of finding the right technology fit and finding that essential funding. Having already developed many fashion connections during her riding days, she is now well poised to build a strong marketing and sales network going forward.
Most rewarding for her is the process of creating something that didn’t exist before. “You believe in it and see it – it’s exciting to see it come together… it’s a really fun experience.” She also derives great inspiration from being a mother to her 3-year-old daughter. “It drives you… and makes you stronger.” Despite the sleepless nights, she embraces the multi-tasking, and finds that she has actually become more single minded and focused. “As a mother, you learn that there’s no option – you get up and you do what you have to do.”
Mancuso’s advice to young entrepreneurs? “Don’t take no for an answer. A lot of people will tell you that you can’t do it, but trust yourself and trust your instincts… Keep taking baby steps and thinking about the final product and you’ll get there.”
How’s that for some inspiration?
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Deborah Oster Pannell is a writer who specializes in the arts, culture, special events and creative projects of all kinds. As Director of Communications for the tech start-up eventwist, she also manages their blog. Some of her favorite work is featured on modernlifeblogs.com, lizkingevents.com, and her own blog, shesaysyes.wordpress.com. Currently she is launching Project Mavens, a literary, editorial design collective, with partner & writer Lillian Ann Slugocki. On Twitter @projectmaven.