Orchard Mile’s Jennie Baik on the E-Comm Site, Montauk Bash, and Future Plans

by The Daily Front Row

Here to streamline the online shopping process (read: enable your online shopping addiction) is Orchard Mile. The site—which launched two years ago and functions like an online shopping mall—has big plans to revolutionize luxury e-commerce, specifically with the My Mile feature, which lets customers create their own personal shopping street. The site gets to know consumers’ tastes and retail habits by recording their clicks and searches, and curates a one-stop-shop experience with products from a variety of brands and stores. Co-founder and CEO Jennie Baik gives the scoop on the site, the summer bash in Montauk, and what’s to come!

Where were you before Orchard Mile?
I started three years ago with my co-founders, Julia LeClair and Mortimer Singer, who runs a company called Traub Associates, a luxury business consulting firm. I was running strategy for Burberry under Angela Ahrendts, and I became really obsessed with this idea of marketplaces. Eventually we got together and created Orchard Mile. The way that I explain it to my girlfriends is that it’s almost like having over 130 tabs open at once, but it’s one single shopping cart and one seamless experience.

What went down at the event you hosted at Montauk Beach House?
We took over the Montauk Beach House last Saturday. We invited some of our best brands to participate, and they actually gave free swag. It was super luxe. We also gave away gift cards for the site. Oribe set up a dry styling bar, in celebration of launching beauty on Orchard Mile. We gave away something every 30 minutes.

How do you select which brands you’ll feature?
A lot are incoming, which is exciting, but it certainly didn’t start that way. In any startup, you get a lot of pushback when you’re selling something. I totally get that. One of our biggest supporters was Oscar de la Renta. The CEO really believed that this was the best place for the brand, and he understood that we are letting brands be themselves: it’s their photography, their product description, their styling.

How do you stay connected to your customers?
People think that luxury is dead, but basically luxury has always been about service. We have the best concierge service out there. If you are looking for a Loewe bag and you can’t find it, we’ll source it for you. In every session we film the actions that are being done on the site so we can learn what’s going on.

Tell us about the editorial content.
A lot of people think that marketplaces can’t be discovery platforms. We think that people can go to the site and actually get inspiration. For example, our head of editorial, Nicole Kliest, came from WhoWhatWear, which is all about educating about fashion. Some of our consumers know exactly what they want, while others love to be inspired, so editorial is super high-priority for us. We are going to continue to build that out.

What’s the social media aesthetic?
It’s this idea of modern luxe. Our customer is a girl who mixes high-low. It’s about beautiful places. It’s about feeling warm and happy. Our creative direction for our Instagram is photos that actually make people feel good about fashion, not things that are so unattainable. I’m Asian-American, and we need to be including more women of color in all of our Instagram photos. If there is any shot, in any campaign, that uses a black model or a Latin American model or an Asian model, we try to use that one so we can get the site to look more inclusive rather than exclusive. That is our brand. That’s the point of view that we have.

How do you see Orchard Mile expanding?
We are going to continue to build out the “My Mile” feature. Learning click behavior will become better over time. It’s important to us to help you save time and have a seamless shopping experience. We’re working on another offline event for the fall, bringing on brands that people love.

BY KATIE KANE

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