Entrepreneur Spotlight: Another Come Up
Lexi and Corina – Another Come Up
We sat down with the founders, Corina Marshall and Lexi Ramirez, of Another Come Up (AKA Another) to hear about how they are taking small steps to create more fun, ethical, and transparent ways of indulging in sustainable ways. These two met through Columbia Business School’s Retail Luxury and Goods Club, and shortly discovered their love for fashion, beauty, sustainability, and technology. Today, Another is bringing a community together of brands and individuals who feel the same way.
Can you share the story behind the creation of Another Come Up? What inspired you both to embark on this venture?
Corina – I love this question! I’ve spent over eleven years working for renowned apparel and beauty brands, I loved what I was doing, but I frequently saw some alarming things when it came to overproduction, destruction, and lack of transparency with consumers. In 2021, Another was founded, however I realized that I wanted to learn more about navigating startups, so I focused on learning as much as possible while at Columbia Business School and consulting for several startups before committing to Another full-time. This was a great choice, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in starting their own venture one day. Soon Lexi and I were approaching graduation, and that’s when we were able to go all in with Another. We are both extremely passionate about merging retail, technology, and sustainability to create more ethical ways of shopping and giving brands and consumers the insights that they need to create a happier experience all around.
Lexi – Upon applying to Columbia’s Business School (CBS) I vowed to pursue a career that I was passionate about. Prior to business school, I had the privilege of working across various operations, finance, and business development functions but never in industries that aligned with my personal interests. After interning in operations and business development roles for tech startups, flirting with the idea of founding a company of my own one day, and working with Corina on a non-profit fashion show, I decided to double down on this dream. During my first year at CBS, I became increasingly involved in the Retail Luxury Goods (RLG) Club, where I eventually became a VP and more importantly where I met Corina. The RLG Club was truly a catalyst in helping me realize that I could fuse my functional experience with my personal passions in retail, fashion, and sustainability, and establish a truly rewarding career for myself. I have been a long proponent of sustainability. I threw out all my ‘unclean’ beauty products after reading No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O’Connor & Alexandra Spunt and pursued an Environmental Systems and Society minor in undergrad.
How does Another promote transparency around sustainability, and what are some of the key criteria you consider when selecting brands to feature on your platform?
We believe that providing education about what’s happening in the apparel, beauty, and environment is the backbone of what we are building. We look for brands who are aware of the negative implications of destruction and brands who are willing to take any sized step to make a positive difference. We look for brands that are forward-thinking and open to learning how they can make an impact in the current environment when it comes to taking more ethical approaches to selling before a product is sent to be destroyed.
Creating unique shopping experiences at feel-good prices is an exciting concept. Could you discuss how Another achieves this and how it sets you apart from traditional shopping platforms?
We offer our members the ability to shop their favorite brands on our platform or new brands that they may not have yet discovered at exclusive membership prices. We understand that indulging can be exciting. We go beyond just offering products. Another is filled with amazing members who gather and are passionate about finding savvy ways to indulge without the burden that comes with fast-fashion or not knowing where a “chic” or “trendy” piece comes from or how a company will destroy perfectly fine products.
How do you ensure that the brands showcased on Another align with your vision and resonate with your target audience?
We typically look for brands who have clearly adjusted their mission to become more eco-conscious over time. Another loves working with brands who are founded by passionate individuals and just good people. One criteria that we have is that we have to actually enjoy working with the people behind the brand. This works great because we know that our community of members thrive on supporting good people, good brands, and extraordinary purposes. We immediately know within minutes of meeting with their team if they care about how their business is operating when it comes to ethical and sustainable practices followed through with purpose.
In the rapidly changing fashion and beauty landscapes, trends come and go. How do you strike a balance between promoting innovative brands and catering to consumers’ diverse preferences?
The beauty with Another is that there will always be just that another brand featured. We keep reinvigorating our members with limited times to shop the brands that are featured during a specific time. We rotate and keep a variety of brands in our portfolio, so that it remains exciting. It is also an opportunity for our members to discover new brands along with staying true to some of their favorite existing brands.
What has been the most significant obstacle you faced with Another, and how did you overcome it?
We are in the process of building something even more exciting for our members and brands. This new addition has been something new for all of us here, but we’ve made incredible progress and keep pushing forward. Another is always evolving, and it is a continuous journey, we face obstacles everyday – but we have a solid team of extremely smart, supportive, and talented individuals who always find creative solutions to some of the most difficult obstacles. The best part is that we’re always learning and celebrating small successes and failures that we can learn from!
Emphasizing eco-consciousness in the shopping experience is commendable. Can you share some specific initiatives or partnerships that Another has undertaken or plans to undertake in order to make a positive impact on sustainability within the fashion and beauty industries?
Sustainability is truly ingrained in Another’s DNA. The core of our business model is set around helping brands ethically and sustainably manage their inventory levels. With respect to the online shopping experience, we intend on encouraging brand partners to use sustainable packaging via our site’s shipping and packaging transparency key. Moreover, while we have yet to commit to a physical retail location, we’ve already begun researching the most sustainable methods of retrofitting, stocking, and merchandising our physical locations (e.g., partnering with conscientious brands and using upcycled materials for in-store displays, etc.)
When do you hope to have the site fully set up?
We are planning to fully launch the site in mid-October – just two short months! We are in the process of planning some VERY exciting things for our members. As of now we have a solid waitlist and paying members who we are planning gatherings for! It’s a very special group. We are also continuing to produce education around retail, sustainability, and everything in between.
What advice would you give to individuals looking to make more eco-conscious fashion and beauty purchases, and how can platforms like Another support them in this journey?
We urge the eco-conscious shopper to focus on quality over quantity and to remain patient. Naturally, the cost of a great long-lasting and sustainable pair of shoes will be priced higher than a similar looking but synthetic ‘fast-fashion’ pair therefore taking a patient investor mindset when possible is key. Fortunately, Another was founded to help remedy this issue, by supporting the eco-conscious shopper in obtaining high quality merchandise at membership prices. Lastly, we’d like to urge eco-conscious consumers to be empathetic to the brands making their best effort to be more sustainable. A brand’s journey towards sustainability will seldom be perfectly linear but consumers can still support those brands striving for progress and being transparent in their quest.