Poshmark started eight years ago as a way for women to offload their extra clothes and make money, like a more social eBay where people could comment and share the clothes they liked. It has since become a retail empire that racked up an estimated $140 million in revenue in 2018, thanks to its 20% cut of every sale, and expanded into categories like menswear, makeup and kids.
Now, just ahead of a rumored IPO in fall 2019, Poshmark, one of Forbes‘ Next Billion-Dollar Startups, is undertaking its biggest market expansion yet: home decor.
“The biggest piece here is to continue to prove that Poshmark’s social commerce approach works beyond just fashion,” says CEO and cofounder Manish Chandra. “People thought this was only applicable to fashion, and you can see it really starting to transform.”
Home decor will be its greatest test yet as it sets up Poshmark to compete against major retailers like Wayfair to billion-dollar startups like Houzz. In the past eight years, Poshmark carved out a niche as a go-to place for fashion that goes beyond Amazon’s click-and-buy experience to feel more like window shopping on your phone. It started as a place for people to sell their used clothing directly to each other (Poshmark holds no inventory of its own), and the community grew to over 40 million people. Now fashion entrepreneurs have launched their own labels, which they sell new through the app, and some have even launched physical boutiques to replicate their online success.
Replicating that rabid user base will be hard, given its fashion-oriented community, but home decor does some have natural advantages. For starters, it’s naturally more visual and easier for people to define an aesthetic, says Chandra. “We expect it to have a different kind of success,” Chandra says.
With the launch of home decor, Poshmark users will be able to sell everything from curtains and comforters to storage supplies and picture frames. The company stops short of large furniture, though, since all items have to travel through the mail, although Chandra isn’t ruling out furniture in the future. It will depend on whether Poshmark’s community takes to swapping home decor as well as it has trading fashion.
For a CEO who loves to buy all his clothes through his company’s app, down to his socks and shoes, the timing couldn’t be better. He just bought a new house and plans to let his kids decorate their rooms from what they discover on Poshmark. “This has been a long time coming, but it’s finally here,” Chandra says.