Anomalie selects Greater Phoenix to expand its wedding dress disruptor company
Anomalie is changing the game in the wedding dress industry. This company does it differently by bringing a transparent, tech-inspired approach to what brides wear on their special day.
We spoke with their team to learn more about the company and why they selected Greater Phoenix to expand their operations.
Can you tell us more about Anomalie?
Anomalie makes custom wedding dresses that fit brides’ style, size and budget. The company was founded by a bride (our CEO, Leslie Voorhees) who was frustrated with wedding dress shopping. Having spent her entire career in supply chain management, she researched top wedding dress factories and made her gown directly with them for significantly less than she would pay at a boutique. Many of her friends got word of this, and asked her to make them dresses.
Two years later, Anomalie is the fastest-growing company in the wedding dress space, vertically integrated with top wedding dress workshops to bring a degree of affordable customization never seen before in the industry. We started in San Francisco, California, but are planning to aggressively expand our incredible team in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Currently, Anomalie is made up of 50 employees from companies like Vera Wang, David’s Bridal, Apple, Uber, Airbnb, and Stitch Fix. We have raised venture money from early backers of companies like Warby Parker, Casper, Stitch Fix, and Glossier.
Why did you choose to expand to Scottsdale, AZ?
Expanding to Arizona, and Scottsdale specifically, was a no-brainer. The city is easily accessible from San Francisco by flight, has huge talent pools coming from Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University to grow our workforce, and has an “Open for Business” mentality that we were looking for to grow our precious business. With the addition of our local General Manager, John Hamby from Uber, we were convinced that Scottsdale would be the place to grow our business.
What other markets were in consideration and what ultimately led to the decision of Scottsdale, AZ?
We originally had our sights set on potentially landing in Dallas and then the City of Phoenix introduced us to John Hamby, who was at Uber when we met him. John convinced us to move to Scottsdale, put a hiring plan together for us and convinced us to hire him as our General Manager.
What types of position will Anomalie be hiring?
We started the company in San Francisco, but Scottsdale is a huge part of our future. The Scottsdale area is going to be the core operational hub for our company. We plan to scale the stylist and design, hiring to serve brides as we grow. Over the next year, we plan to hire for functions like engineering and data analytics.
What makes your company different and unique?
The wedding dress industry is like video rentals in the 1990’s. It is nearly 100% brick-and-mortar, with one large player (Blockbuster in the video rental analogy, David’s Bridal in the bridal case) and a dispersed set of mom-and-pop shops. This construct results in low selection and high prices for brides: each boutique must maintain their own inventory and must factor their overhead into the cost of the dress.
Anomalie is more like Netflix. We consolidate our production/inventory (partnering with top workshops) and customer service (in Scottsdale) to bring more customization and lower prices to brides. Additionally, we have invested heavily in a tech interface to make the process more delightful and self-service for customers.
How would you characterize your company’s growth over the past couple of years?
Our growth strategy is simple: we bring more customization, value and body-inclusivity to brides. And we pair this with incredible service. We have been so lucky to have incredible early customers, who have told their friends (which fuels our growth).
In the past year, 100,000 brides have created an Anomalie account – which entails taking a 20-question stylist survey and sharing inspiration pictures of their dream dress. We are creating thousands of dresses this year for brides in every U.S. state and Canada.
Our proudest accomplishment is that every day, we hear from brides that they had felt left out of the joy in wedding dress shopping until they found Anomalie. We are on a mission to bring more customization, value and body inclusivity to bridal.
What are your plans in the next 5-10 years?
Right now, we are laser-focused on creating custom wedding gowns for a growing percentage of U.S. brides. The wedding dress is the most emotional and important garment a woman buys, and we must get every dress right. Over time, we plan to sell other items and services to the bride and her wedding party.
Our guiding principle is affordable mass customization. The processes and technology we are developing to create hundreds of thousands high-quality wedding dresses can eventually be used to create other high-end garments for our brides after their wedding. We are paying close attention to hiring and retaining the right people, growing a “best ideas win” culture, and heading towards being the name that is synonymous with wedding dresses.
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