Last year, on a whim, I bought a full length tulle blue skirt. Despite the fact that I had no business wearing a ballerina-esque piece in the suburbs, I fell in love with the Carrie Bradshaw design. And as someone who religiously watched Sex and The City reruns with dreams of moving to NYC, I couldn’t resist making the purchase.
Over a year later, my tulle blue dress hangs in the closet of my 5ft floor walk up, and I have no idea where to wear it. As much as I agree that the concept of ‘dress codes’ should be thrown out the window in our post-pandemic futures, this skirt isn’t your everyday attire -- and living in a new city, I didn’t know the best place to break it out.
My fashion conundrum isn’t a new one by any means. Taylor McClure, rising junior at UT Austin also found herself with a closet full of interesting pieces, new places to go, and no idea how they all matched up. So to help herself & her friends in similar positions, she began developing the WhereIt, an app designed to take the guesswork out of dressing. For this edition of the MMXXI story series, I interviewed Taylor about her journey in developing the app, how the process was affected by COVID, and how she hopes to see it develop in the future.
With everything going on this past year, what has it been like to have attended UT in 2021?
It's been an adjustment for sure! There's been so much change in the past year, beyond just going from in-person classes to online ones. Virtual learning is definitely a challenge. It's hard for me to find motivation for classes when I'm not in Austin or on campus, especially when that's why I chose UT in the first place.
With that being said, staying at home has forced me (and everyone else) to slow down. I've had a lot of time over the past year to reflect on my goals for the future and who I want to become. I can say with confidence that I am not the same person I was before the pandemic, and I think that's for the best! I've developed a lot of healthy habits over the past year with this extra time. Some of the things that have made a huge impact on my mental health have been journaling, going on daily walks, and meditation.
I would love to hear more about your WhereIt app. What inspired the app in the first place? And then could you describe the process of developing & finally launching it? How do you see the app developing in the future?
I was inspired to create the app out of my friends' own necessities, as well as my own. We had just moved to Austin for school, finding ourselves trying new Austin restaurants with no idea what to wear. An app seemed to be a simple fix - people could share photos of their outfits and tag the location, dress code, or type of event they attended.
An app seemed to be a simple fix - people could share photos of their outfits and tag the location, dress code, or type of event they attended.
Since I was spending the spring semester last year at home, it was the perfect time to develop the app. I worked alongside the wonderful K Business Solutions team from April 2020-January 2021 developing the app. Launching a business during a pandemic isn't easy! We communicated through zoom, text, and phone calls. There's a lot more than meets the eye in an app. On top of the app design, we worked on marketing, data storage, maintenance, compliance, and so much more. We still have never met face-to-face over a year later, but technology has been wonderful in enabling us and so many other people to continue pursuing their goals despite the world being put on hold.
We finally launched the app in January 2021. It was so rewarding to see our work come to fruition. Now, around four months after the launch, we are posting, posting, posting photos on the app so that it can become a resource for people around the country. We have so many ideas for new WhereIt features, so stay tuned for updates coming soon!
Any advice you would give to other young women who want to pursue an entrepreneurial path? Did you receive any great advice before embarking on your project?
If you have an idea that you're really passionate about, then no one will be able to make your vision a reality better than you can. Trust your gut. It won't all be easy, and there will be times when you think it's not worth it, but I promise there is nothing more rewarding than seeing everything come together in the end.
If you have an idea that you're really passionate about, then no one will be able to make your vision a reality better than you can.
Our Little Luxuries campaign focuses on celebrating small victories with the level of enthusiasm typically reserved for big accompaniments. What is a ‘small victory moment’ you’ve had recently?
I recently found out that I was accepted to a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain! The pandemic postponed my initial plans to go abroad, so I cannot wait to go next year. Studying abroad has been a dream of mine for years, and to finally have realized it is so exciting. Now, I just need to practice my Spanish!
Looking forward, what is something you’re excited for?
I can't wait to see WhereIt grow. I have a vision of it becoming the #1 resource for people when they're getting dressed. Like all great things, that comes with time. For now, I'm excited to see new users join and begin to share their outfits with the WhereIt fam!