Online Marketplace Treppie Helps Young Women Become Entrepreneurs
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Many people might be afraid to follow their dream out of fear of not making enough money or not being successful. Entrepreneur Jennifer Andrews wants to help young women overcome that fear and learn how to run their own businesses.
In November 2021, Andrews launched Treppie, an online platform similar to Etsy. Greenwood Village-based Treppie, however, helps empower young women through entrepreneurship and only allows young women to sell what they make on the e-commerce marketplace. Products range from jewelry and clothes to candles, pottery, paintings, bath bombs and more.
Those who sell their products on Treppie’s marketplace are called “Treppies,” and these business owners range from age 9 to 25. Andrews said by the age of 25, most Treppies know how to develop a product, write a product description, price their item and run a business. These are skills Treppie teaches its young entrepreneurs.
“Why not teach a 9-year-old that her creativity can be combined with learned business skills to create an actual, sold product?” Andrews told Built In via email. “We try not to put hard limits on those who join. Our motto is if you support Treppie’s mission, come on board.”
When someone signs up to sell their products on Treppie, they complete a Zoom session with Andrews where she shows them how to upload and optimize their products. Andrews said this includes coming up with a name for each item, writing a product description, determining how much it should sell for and more.
“As their storefront grows, we are in constant contact with the storefront owners working on how to refine their products in various ways based on sales and what they’d like to design,” Andrews said. “We are starting to find girls within our Treppie community that are going to lead some classes around their interests or strengths. So maybe one girl is great at photography or another at getting their costs low [to increase their] profit margin. As we continue to build our community of owners, we will ideally increase these offerings.”
The idea for Treppie came about while Andrews worked as a pediatric speech-language pathologist. After working in this role for more than 20 years and coming across young girls with creative talents but no outlet to sell or showcase their work, Andrews opened BossGirl Market. This live, in-person market allowed young women to sell their products at venues around the Denver metro and learn business skills.
Then the pandemic hit and in-person events closed. Shortly after, Andrews launched Treppie.
“I wanted the girls to continue learning entrepreneurial skills no matter whether they were — at home, at a live event, in Denver, California, Texas or Maine,” Andrews said.
In addition to making sure their young sellers understand the difference between cost and price and how to make a profit, Treppie aims to create a safe platform where young women can sell their goods.
“I noticed thousands of young girls selling their products on other platforms — Instagram and Facebook — unsafely, I might add. They’d be giving away their names and addresses, Venmo accounts and more info that minors should keep private,” Andrews said recalling her time working as a speech-language pathologist.
Treppie helps its young sellers stay safe by processing orders through the platform rather than via social media or Venmo accounts. Sellers also earn 80 percent of their revenue and get paid from Treppie a month post-sale, Andrews said.
The marketplace, which has more than 50 storefronts that are live or will soon launch, is currently available to consumers in the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Andrews said young sellers in the U.K., South America, Canada and India have expressed interest in selling their products on Treppie, but that the platform is not yet available in those countries.
As for the future of Treppie, Andrews said she is looking for investors to help scale the platform, which has been bootstrapped by Andrews thus far. The company also anticipates growing its current 15-person team within the next year.
When asked about the end goal for Treppie, Andrews said she’s not sure since the platform’s potential is limitless.
“[The] sky’s the limit. I just want there to be a safe, educational, community-based platform where young female entrepreneurs can find success in selling and shoppers have fun shopping while supporting the next generation of women business leaders,” she said.