Welcome to the Startup of the Week Series. Today we are introducing you to Oh Tepmongkol, a Forbes Next 1000 Honoree and the CEO and Co-Founder of OHZONE, an early-stage fashion tech startup that transforms real clothes into detailed, virtual versions. The goal of OHZONE is to ensure that real life fashion creators have equitable access to consumers in the e-commerce and the metaverse.
The company has received several accolades and recognitions this past year including Top Fashion Tech 2021 by Retail Tech Insights, Top 200 for Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Sustainability Challenge 2021, and being featured in Vogue Startup Spotlight. Here are two examples of in real life (IRL) fashions transformed by OHZONE's patented 3DREALTM technology. First, A FARFETCH/ OHZONE Mockup, which contains a dress and bag that been transformed into digital fashions. Click on "View the Look" button below the model to get an even more detailed look. The second is a Virtual Reality example that does not require any headsets. Both examples provide you with concrete examples of OHZONE capabilities.
In this blog, we learn about the inspiration behind Oh’s innovative application, as well as her advice for other startup founders.
The Vision Behind and Realization of OHZONE
The idea behind OHZONE emerged from Oh’s desire to maintain a favorite past-time with her daughter who was attending college on the opposite coast: shopping together. However, shopping online turned out to be a disappointment. It was difficult to assess the true quality of the clothes they were looking at. Simply put, the online images were failing to capture the subtlety that one gets to see when you are able to look at and touch the real deal.
Oh recognized that she could apply her background in 3D algorithms and video graphics to create a better online shopping experience. Her goal was to make shopping for digital fashions as intimate and engaging as the in-person version.
After creating a prototype, Oh tested the first version of OHZONE on her daughter, and it was then that she realized she had a winning idea on her hands. As she says, “When we first built our prototype and showed it to my GenZ daughter, she and her friends played with it for two hours straight during a Thanksgiving dinner. That experience confirmed that we created something magical.”
Oh’s advice for fellow entrepreneurs
Oh has been able to scale up OHZONE by putting together a fully operational company, comprised of engineers, marketers, and salespeople. In addition, OHZONE is now able to create true-to-life digital fashions by using their award-winning and patented technology called 3DREALTM. Getting to this point required Oh to be scrappy and resilient. For example, while she perfected her product, she also had to generate a sustainable inflow of customers. Both needed to happen in tandem to attract financing.
Her advice to entrepreneurs who are in their startup’s development phase is to make every ‘eth’ counts and keep the faith that they are moving in the right direction. Getting up every day and being excited about your tasks is the key to staying motivated and sharp.