We offer a good experience for sellers, customers and employees.
“Where’d you get that dress,” I asked a friend. “Jane.com,” she responded. “Where’d you get that top?” I asked another friend. “Jane.com,” she, too, responded. Clearly, Jane.com, a boutique daily deal marketplace, is making a real splash in my circle of acquaintances and if their success is any indication, the world over. It’s no surprise, then, that Mike McEwan is one of this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year finalists in the Utah region.
After McEwan lost his job as a front-end developer for a company that was shut down by the FTC, he needed some way to cover his mortgage, make his car payments, and support his three children. After seeing a flash sales site he decided to build a site of his own that would appeal to the average shopper and cater to small businesses. So in April of 2011, Jane.com launched and became profitable within the first year of operation.
Though the company was nearly immediately successful, getting the site perfected was not without its challenges. It fell upon McEwan to handle backend development, something he had never done before. “I was trying to figure things out in a world I wasn’t familiar with,” McEwan says, explaining that he learned just enough to be dangerous. As more sellers signed up to sell on the site, the technology sometimes failed, keeping McEwan from offering certain sales to users. So McEwan hired a CTO to rebuild the now seamless system that allows 1800 boutiques to run sales on the site.
“The great thing about a deal is it’s there, then it’s gone,” McEwan says, explaining the high volume of users that visit the site. Jane.com runs up to 250 exclusive deals a day on clothing, accessories, home decor, toys, and furniture. “With a boutique you’re getting something unique you won’t find in a store,” McEwan says. A number of sellers sell only on the site. These sellers can sell a large quantity of products in a short amount of time. “Creating an opportunity for sellers has been huge,” McEwan says. “On our site they can make sales like they’re a big merchant.”
In addition to creating a positive experience for sellers, McEwan prioritizes the customer and employee experience as well. “We offer a good experience for sellers, customers and employees.”
A key to that good experience is the quality of Jane.com. “We like to build good products,” McEwan says. “If it’s about the product and about the experience then making something that works is a lot easier.”
McEwan and the other Entrepreneur of the Year finalists will be recognized at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Gala Saturday, June 4, at the Grand America Hotel. Tickets are available here.