Over the last decade, subscription services have become the new norm. Netflix, Grammarly, Audible, and Spotify are just a few of what seems like millions of subscription services that we’ve all grown to love and depend on. But what about subscriptions for style?
That’s exactly what Sajad Zahedi, AmirSaber Sharifi, and their colleagues must have been thinking when they came up with the idea for Vyrent, an online subscription marketplace for luxury watches. Their company motto, “Don’t own. Access instead.” says it all.
We wanted to hear more, so we sat down with Sajad Zahedi (CEO) and AmirSaber Sharifi (CTO) at Vyrent. They told us all about their unique business and the struggles and frustrations they’ve faced.
So what exactly is Vyrent, and what do you offer your customers?
Sajad: Vyrent is an online luxury watch subscription service that actually began through a large, traditional luxury watch retail company. Right now, we give our customers access to perfect luxury timepiece for their needs, whether it be for a specific event or just everyday life. In the future, we plan to enter the jewelry rental arena by collaborating with Walmart. We’re excited about the prospect and we can’t wait to see what this will do for our company’s expansion.
Why make the jump from traditional retail to a subscription service?
Sajad: I’ve watched the trends, and it’s hard to ignore that subscription service is the wave of the future… and the present. The growth is exponential. Plus, lately, people seem to care less about ownership and more about experience. On top of all that, there really aren’t any subscription services in the niche luxury business. With our app, people who wouldn’t ever have considered wearing a luxury watch can do just that. And we do it at a fraction of the cost of owning one. We even offer our customers the chance to own it down the road.
Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced at Vyrent and how it affected day-to-day operations.
Amir: We used to have an in-house graphic designer. She had some experience in the UXUI field, and she eventually got a job with Boeing and moved to California. Our team had put together the initial concept of Vyrent’s new app, but since we no longer had access to an in-house designer, we decided to hire an agency for the project. Unfortunately, we experienced communication issues from the outset which we believed led to a less-than-desirable outcome. We were frustrated that the firm outsourced our project and that those who listened to our ideas turned out to be “middlemen” and not app designers. The result was a huge gap between what we expected and what we received.
What did the Vyrent team decide to do about this issue?
Sajad: Vyrent believes a sophisticated app and website are the keys to any company’s future scalability, so we had to choose another route. We ended up purchasing the Premium Monthly Package from Designity. Since had a very large and complex app design project, we were a bit concerned about how long this project would take to complete. Thankfully, after our first kickoff call with our creative director, Aboozar (here is another blog about him), we had all of our questions answered and he laid out a comprehensive timeframe that reignited our excitement about the project.
Describe what it was like to work with Designity.
Amir: Aboozar knew that our deadline was tight, but with daily communication, we were able to meet it. It was nice to have someone so responsive in charge of our project. He also immediately assigned the wireframe work to Sara Suzuki, a dedicated designer. She was also wonderful to work with-- always available to attend our weekly video calls if necessary.
Sajad: And we were shocked that a project that should have taken at least four months ended up taking only 45 days while still meeting and exceeding all of our expectations. I also think Designity has created a very intuitive process to collect feedback from clients and implement them quickly. In other words, we were impressed at every turn with the team at Designity.
What is the next step?
Sajad: After such a successful experience, our team unanimously decided to use them long-term. To be honest, it’s more affordable to have a plan with Designity than to hire an in-house designer or to deal with an agency that outsources projects to the lowest bidder. We see Designity as our marketing and design partners and, so far, they haven’t let us down.
An Innovative Company with a Common Frustration
We loved getting to talk to these guys. What we’ve learned? That no matter how unique a business idea may be, some aspects of company growth are common to us all. A stellar website, a functional and attractive app, a large client-base… these are all areas where we can’t afford to waste time and money. We were happy to help Vyrent, an innovative company in the luxury niche, to get the job done and get it done well.