September 2014

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Shop Talk

By Christina Darnell

Posted: Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014

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Since their youth, southern natives Hillary Crittendon and Laura Martin have dreamed of starting a business together. The timing just wasn’t right — until now. In December, they launched The SoGood app, a mobile platform that connects women with local entrepreneurs. One of their initial launch cities? Charlotte, N.C. We recently sat down with the innovators to chat about their new product.

So, tell me about The SoGood app.

H: We built the app as a place for women to discover and connect with local entrepreneurs based on recommendations from friends and local tastemakers. So what that means is that you could log onto the app and easily discover the interior designer that your cool, stylish friend uses, or the florist or custom stationer that a top event planner in our network recommends.

What inspired you to choose Charlotte as a launch city?

H: For me living in Charlotte, one of the things that excited us was the design community here. Also, there is a cool community of innovative men and women who are doing really neat things. As we met more and more people, it was validated that Charlotte was a great place for us to start.

And so far you’ve only launched in cities from the South.

L: What we see is a real gap in the market for technology products based in the Southeast. Our end goal is to be a national or global platform, but Hillary and I are both from the South, and we both knew there were a lot of interesting stories that weren’t being told. There were a ton of hidden gems.

After touring Charlotte, what were some of your favorite spots?

H: I love learning about being healthy, so we’ve connected with a great group of people in the wellness base. We work with Hilliards Studio Method, which is a great pilates studio, and Y2Yoga, which is a yoga studio that I love. There’s a company called Nourish, and they’re a healthy food delivery company. The Whole Tulip is another great wellness provider.

L: I have one, because I haven’t seen the concept except in Charlotte. Winestore. I thought it was so fun, and they have tasting sessions where you can go in and buy a sample anywhere from 25 cents to $2.

So what do you have planned next?

H: We are hoping to launch New Orleans and Nashville later this Spring, which will be fun. We’ll also be growing into Richmond and Charlottesville, where we have a couple business owners who have joined us, but we haven’t really done an official launch in those cities. And Raleigh.

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