Redemin founder Kelly Ernst wanted to find a technology solution for something that is in everyone’s closet: jeans. She launched Redemin in 2016 as an at-home try on service.
“Everyone wears jeans,” Ernst said. “No one likes shopping for them. Fitting rooms are the worst. The mirrors are unflattering and the attendants can be distracting. I thought, ‘You know what—there’s got to be some sort of tech solution for this.’”
Customers create a style profile online and then Redemin stylists pick and send three pairs of jeans to match the customer’s style, body type and budget. Customers have a week to try on the jeans in the comfort of their home, purchase the ones they like and return the rest for free.
“One of the core problems for people is that they have 14 pairs of jeans in their closet that they never wear,” Ernst explained. “They get home and try to actually wear them around and they don’t fit right or aren’t comfortable. That’s something we are solving, which means less clothing sitting in your closet that you don’t wear.”
Ernst worked on Wall Street in New York City as a developer before moving to Austin, but she had always been interested in fashion since working as a seamstress in college.
“I’m basically an engineer nerd. I have this robust tech background but it was creatively unfulfilling,” she said. “I had this moment about two years ago where I asked myself what I would have done if I could do it all again.”
“That’s where our sustainability focus comes in—build a wardrobe that lasts.”
Ernst decided to combine her background with something she was passionate about by finding a way to use technology and fashion together. Tired of New York weather and the increasingly expensive cost of living, she also decided to move to Austin.
“I moved here basically looking for nicer weather and nicer people,” she said. “One of the things I’m most proud of is the amazing team I cobbled together in a city that isn’t necessarily known for fashion.”
Ernst said that Rodhika Patnana and Ariana Principe reached out to her after hearing about Redemin, hoping to get involved. Patnana is now head of merchandising and Principe is now head of product.
“I was really, really fortunate that when I needed gaps to be filled, people came out of the woodwork,” Ernst said. “When the entire team really started to come together, I felt like I had something worth building on the customer side but also people who wanted to be involved on the nitty-gritty building side. That was so validating.”
Ernst said the majority of her customers so far are women in their late 20s and up. She said these are women who want nice clothes, but do not necessarily have the time to invest in shopping.
“We find that our customers are willing to give up a little bit of control in order to make their shopping faster, easier and maybe even less expensive,” she said.
Ernst said she has exactly eight pairs of jeans, and she wears all of them at least every month because they fit well, are in style and she likes them. That is the experience she wants to recreate for her customers.
“That’s where our sustainability focus comes in—build a wardrobe that lasts,” she said. “And that’s what we are trying to do, at least from the waist down.”
Redemin is officially relaunching in August after using the beta program since December to understand how customers are using Redemin services. The service is also expending into men’s jeans.
“Every guy I’ve ever pitched this to said ‘Oh my gosh, I need that,’ so we are looking to start shipping men’s jeans within the next 60 days,” she said. “This is a new market for us so we’ll be testing the waters.”