CCEW Hosts Diego Berdakin, Founder, BeachMint

By Emily Hopkins, Oklahoma Daily. Read the original article.

Diego Berdakin talked with The Daily’s Emily Hopkins about his social commerce company, BeachMint, that couples celebrities and famous designers in order to create collaborative pieces with the celebrity’s style. Berdakin will be hosting a solo session, "Disrupting Fashion, Technology & Media," during the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth’s "The Now and the Next Symposium" at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Oklahoma Memorial Union’s Scholars Room.

The Daily: How did you get the idea for BeachMint?

Diego Berdakin: My partner Josh and I were very intrigued by the convergence of media and commerce — specifically, all of the disruption around social commerce.

The Daily: Why were you interested in combining fashion, social media and technology?

Berdakin: When we started BeachMint in 2010, only 4 percent of commerce happened online, and 96 percent was bricks and mortar. Knowing that a lot more than 4 percent of commerce will take place online in the very near future, we thought anyone that wasn’t focused on this category was crazy.

The Daily: Why collaborate with celebrities/celebrity stylists?

Berdakin: Celebrities help bring trust, authenticity and a specific point of view to a brand. We’ve been very lucky to work with some of the best and most influential celebrities in the world.

The Daily: What makes BeachMint and its six vertically integrated lines unique from other e-commerce sites?

Berdakin: There are a lot of differentiators among us and the other “pure-play” e-commerce companies. However, one of the more noteworthy is that we design and manufacturer all of our own goods, so it’s not just about convenience since you can’t buy our merchandise elsewhere.

The Daily: Why do you think consumers are drawn to this particular type of online shopping model?

Berdakin: In the real world, celebrities have personal stylists that help to curate the world of fashion for them. Unfortunately, stylists aren’t accessible to most the world. I think people really like having access to that kind of personalization, and our model makes it accessible to everyone.

The Daily: What did you learn from your failed start-ups in the beginning that you were able to apply to your current success with BeachMint?

Berdakin: I’ve certainly had my fair share of failed start-ups, and every one of them has carried important lessons. I’d say that focus is certainly one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.

The Daily: Why do BeachMint and its verticals use subscriptions? What kind of advantage does this present?

Berdakin: We think that building a strong relationship with our customers over time allows us to better service them and better understand their demands for merchandise and inventory. Ultimately, this predictability makes it more likely we have the stuff they want when they want it.

The Daily: Why did you revolutionize how fashion and technology interact?

Berdakin: As an entrepreneur, you kind of start from scratch. You’re much more likely to think, “Why not?” I think we’re just scratching the surface of how these two fields will be interacting.

The Daily: Why is social media such an important aspect of your brand?

Berdakin: Social media has changed the dialogue between brands and customers from long and generally unidirectional to fluid, real-time and bi-directional. I think social media is important to everyone’s brand, and some folks are just late to the game to join the conversation.

The Daily: What brings you to Oklahoma?

Berdakin: One of my closest friends and collegiate peer Andrew Porwancher became a professor at the university a couple years back after leaving Cambridge. [I’m] very excited to visit any school and student body that could lure him away from Cambridge.



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