Featured Founder: Jennifer Burns of Wedzee
Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Petersburg who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed Jennifer Burns, Founder and CEO of Wedzee, the first-ever two-sided, C2C/B2C wedding focused marketplace that gives users an easier way to buy, sell and ship their new, used and custom wedding items securely nationwide.
What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?
I have worked in wedding & event planning for 12 years. Prior to Wedzee I founded an e-commerce site called Kadlee which sold various bridal gifts and was ultimately acquired in 2018. When planning my own wedding I encountered many frustrations trying to buy and sell items. This personal frustration coupled with the never-ending request from my clients of where to buy and sell inspired me to create Wedzee.
What pain point is your company solving?
Before Wedzee there was no dedicated marketplace to buy and sell new, used, and custom wedding items. Competitors solutions lack important functionality, security, or focus and some even limit you geographically. Wedding dresses and décor are better suited for a discovery buying process yet there was no national browsing solution. Wedzee provides brides with an online community to browse, like, share, shop and sell safely all in one secure site.
What gets you excited to go to work every day?
Being an entrepreneur is the most challenging and exciting career. I receive emails daily from complete strangers saying how needed this marketplace is to the wedding industry, and every day we are gaining more traction with new users and listings on the site. This is why my enthusiasm grows and why I am so excited. I enjoy the challenge and won’t stop until Wedzee is synonymous with the wedding industry.
Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?
The hurdle all marketplace sites have to overcome is tackling the business from both a seller and buyer standpoint. My focus has been the sellers first and initially seeding the site with items listed for sale has been very challenging. To overcome this we are reaching out to everyone selling items on social media and Craigslist and offering to list their items for free on Wedzee. So far we’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response but it’s a grueling process. With some branding and marketing we hope to drive more people to list on our site themselves.
Where do you see your company headed next?
We are finalizing our playbook and fine-tuning our pitch in hopes of securing our first round of funding. Once we have the financial backing Wedzee plans to launch a very powerful marketing campaign to take the wedding industry by storm.
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you’d share with another founder just starting out.
Starting a successful business is equally, if not more, about your ambition, drive, and determination than it is your ability to fill a void in your market.
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