Back in 2010, Elyse Walker was managing a store and a site at the same time. What she first saw as a promising avenue became a challenge a few months after the launch of the site. Despite the many things she was unaware of when it came to e-commerce, she held her head high and focused on the potential. An opportunity came soon enough.
When Walker learned that the founders of Revolve Clothing, Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas, launched a new project under the name Forward, she thought of calling them for a proposal: a site that ventured into designer products using the same strategy that made Revolve an established fashion destination. Walker, equipped with her knowledge in retail and the connections she has maintained with designers, then joined forces with Revolve and soon established ForwardbyElyseWalker.com in 2011. The duo focused on building the team as well as logistics and operations while Walker took care of the buying and merchandising aspect of the business.
Shop FWRD On-Sale Designer Goods
The beginning of FWRD
It was in 2012 when Walker decided to combine the boutique she named after herself with Forward Forward, after which FWRD.com became live. It is now a top online destination for those with a constant hankering for luxury products such as designer clothes, bags, footwear and other accessories. The website is meticulously curated by a dedicated team to cater to the needs of today’s fashion and Internet-savvy clientele.
With FWRD, Elyse Walker is not only the founder and the main person but also the brand, as she brings to the website her experience and skills in buying, fashion sense, and relationship with some of the most esteemed designers there are.
Aim for better customer service
Despite the merge, Elyse Walker to this day still maintains a brick and mortar shop in Los Angeles. She thinks that despite the difference in size and scope, boutiques such as hers have an edge over department stores: customer service. She compares it to the experience of going to a favorite restaurant where everybody knows your name and the staff are all familiar to you, too: you are a priority and the service is personalized. In boutiques, a single client is given more attention so that the personal styles and preferences can be taken into consideration. This, to her, is a more luxurious and fruitful experience than going to a department store where the inventory may be big but not all customers can have their concerns accommodated.
She aims to deliver the same with FWRD. You may be seated comfortably in front of a computer or with a phone on hand, but the attending staff is replaced by an approachable team accessible through phone and email all days of the week. Content is also curated so that the customer may browse through current styles and read through styling guides if they are unsure where to begin.
FWRD is always a work in progress, but lately the team has been preparing to accommodate more customers outside the US. Not much has been documented about their strategy, but FWRD’s goal is to make shopping with their site for international customers as easy as it is for their American counterparts.
Shopping with FWRD
If you’re ordering from the US, FWRD offers two-day shipping with an option to do overnight shipping for an additional $20. If you’re residing in Southern California, then you have better luck as same day shipping is available for select zip codes in the area if the order is placed on or before 12:00 p.m. PST.
Meanwhile, international shipping varies, with FWRD giving a time frame of 3-6 days before receiving the order. All items are priced in USD.
FWRD’s online community
FWRD is now among the growing number of e-commerce companies making the experience of shopping inside a brick and mortar boutique accessible to those who have Internet connection. It’s best suited to those who have the means to spend but are limited by time or geography to go and visit physical stores themselves. FWRD prides itself in a collection from high end couturiers to budding and elusive designers, with styles ranging from the very classic to the avant-garde.
FWRD has become a haven for the Internet savvy, as the company sometimes summons its family of influencers to cover items made exclusive for FWRD, particularly those featured in high fashion events (check them out on social media sites by searching #lookFWRD). They are handpicked by FWRD for their authority and credibility, but really, they’re also just showing how fun it is to be part of the team. These are usually easily accessed through the website, so as to cut down the process of purchasing and getting the item right away.