Two MIT graduates launch luxury online consignment start-up in Boston’s Back Bay
A seemingly unlikely, but not impossible shift co-founders Deke Hu and Amy Shin left their technical careers in asset management to start the fashion-focused Newbury Street with $50,000 in private funding.
The e-commerce site, named after Boston’s famous shopping street, hopes to provide a solution for a growing secondary luxury market, and an alternative to traditional consignment storefronts by offering broader product visibility for its buyers and sellers.
“Our goal is to find customers authentic, gently used popular designer brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton for hundreds or thousands of dollars less than retail prices,” said Shin.
The 2-person startup has steadily grown to a team of 4, and plans to move from Shin’s Boston home to new offices in the near future. Newbury Street is showing positive signs of growth despite the tough economy, and is hopeful for 2013. It has been profitable since inception in July 2012.
“The demand for luxury goods is strong, but people are looking for different ways to access them,” said Shin. “People are less inclined to pay full retail price, and utilize sites like eBay and CraigsList, but there can be issues with authenticity and accountability when buying from independent sellers. Buying from Newbury Street gives people a way to buy authentic items at a substantial discount with peace of mind.”
The concept of consignment may not be new, but expanding it to an international platform may be. One third of Newbury Street’s sales last year are from international customers, adding several European celebrity clienteles along the way.
Newbury Street sells authentic and pre-owned designer handbags, footwear, and accessories. Also sells vintage, limited edition, and rare designer pieces.
271 Newbury Street, Suite B1
Boston, MA 02116
Contact: Amy Shin
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