For those struggling to find the perfect music festival garb, interview ensemble or game day outfit, Swayy has come to the rescue.
In October 2017, then-sophomores Rajya Atluri and Clio Harralson founded Swayy, an online platform that offers a curated shopping experience for outfit-sensitive events such as themed parties, study abroad trips and internships. The website offers a wide selection of clothing separated by theme, each item personally selected for collections by Atluri and Harralson.
Atluri, now a business honors and Plan II junior, said that the idea for Swayy came from hearing her friends’ frustration about the different events they had to attend and shop for.
“(They said) that it was annoying to have to go to all these different websites and find everything,” Atluri said. “I remember thinking, ‘I wish there was just one website to find everything that I wanted and was geared specifically toward college women.’”
Atluri got together with Harralson, a Plan II and management information systems junior to discuss the issue. At the time, both were in an entrepreneurial management class. Harralson said that the class material aided in their journey to found Swayy.
“It was definitely helpful to be in an environment where we learned all the steps on how to think of an idea, how to develop it and how to actually act on having that idea,” Harralson said. “It gave us the confidence to just put the product out there and see how it did.”
Douglas Hannah, the professor of Atluri and Harralson’s entrepreneurship class, said that this sort of tenacity is exactly what he hopes to instill in his students.
“I want my students to walk away with the confidence that they can build world-changing ideas, innovations and organizations and the tools to make them a reality business,” assistant professor Hannah said.
A year later, Atluri and Harralson certainly have transformed their idea into a reality. The site not only includes an array of collections, but incorporates Spotify playlists to jam to while shopping online and campus calendars where university organizations can add events for shoppers from individual campuses to see. Swayy also has a network of student ambassadors from various campuses that increase brand recognition.
Swayy’s value, however, reaches beyond clothing, music, calendars and the brand itself.
Business honors and finance sophomore Kendall Matthews said that Swayy’s allure stems not only from the problem it solves, but from the women who worked to solve the problem.
“They address a need that is really prominent,” Matthews said. “Swayy is also really neat because it was created by members of its target market: College girls working on it for college girls.”
To its founders, Swayy is more than just a website. Atluri said that she and Harralson aim to instill confidence in women and influence other female entrepreneurs through Swayy.
“Being female entrepreneurs in an
environment where there are not a lot of women founders, it’s cool to see women and other people who say, ‘Seeing you guys do this makes me want to do something like this,’” Atluri said.