Nearly Newlywed is an online boutique founded by Jacqueline Courtney, who sells luxury designer bridal dresses from the new collection available to brides-to-be at discounted prices. She appeared on episode 411 of the popular TV show Shark Tank in the hopes of making a $35,000 deal at 10% equity.
How Did She Come Up With The Idea?
Jacqueline began her pitch by talking about how she grew up in Iowa, fell in love with all the glitz and glamor she saw in magazines, and moved to New York to be a part of it. She started working as a fashion publicist and had the opportunity to dress editors and celebrities.
She learned that they borrowed all the outfits they wore on the Red Carpet, and that’s where she came up with the idea for Nearly Newlywed.
She gave a brief presentation of her website and explained her business model. Once customers sign up and make an account on the website, they can go through the dresses listed, choose from new dresses, samples, and pre-owned ones and order the one they like best.
The company runs on a consignment basis, and for every consignment, the company keeps 40% of the sale, which is a pretty good profit margin. The Sharks wanted to know how many sales her company had made, and until the Shark Tank pitch, her company had only sold 4 wedding dresses.
The website also offers people to sell their once-used wedding dresses once they have been approved by quality control that they conduct themselves. Once approved, the dress goes up on the website listing with pictures and descriptions and a price set by the seller.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
The pitch didn’t go as Jacqueline hoped, and she went home with no deal.
The Sharks questioned her about how she intended to grow. Courtney explained that she enjoyed some free press from her business launch and word of mouth on social media. Mark Cuban was still skeptical and said that the traffic was built because of the initial PR rush and sustaining it is often very difficult. Courtney detailed several journalistic exposure opportunities.
Barbara Corcoran described Courtney as “articulate,” but she didn’t think her business idea was promising. She liked it but felt that it was too early and the model hadn’t been proven. She was out of the deal. Daymond John felt that it was a tempting offer as the margins were 7000%, but he didn’t think it fit his business model, so he was out.
Kevin O’Leary liked Courtney and didn’t see too many flaws with her business model. He made an offer to give her the $35,000 but at 40% equity in return.
Mark Cuban didn’t agree with Jacqueline’s style, so he was out.
Jacqueline asked if anyone wanted to make any more offers but politely declined Kevin O’Leary’s offer as she felt the 40% stake in the company was too high.
Our Review of Nearly Newlywed
We feel that it is a pretty great idea as most girls compromise on their dream dresses because of their high prices. These dresses need to be worn only for one day, and if there was a dress that a girl has her heart set on, what’s better than to get the exact dress at a fraction of its original cost.
Rather than purchasing such an expensive dress or giving up on their dreams, they can shop for their desired dress at an unbelievable price from Nearly Newlywed.
While the Shark Tank pitch did not go well, and Jackie left with no offer from the stage, she did go on to pursue her company and partnered with Kleinfeld’s Bridal in New York, which was a wedding supply company. Nearly Newlywed makes %5 million in revenue annually and is still a running company.
The website is quite easy and straightforward to use and handles all the steps. The buyers just have to pay, while sellers are handed the money while the rest is taken care of by the website.
Once someone purchases the dress, the website handles cleaning it and shipping it to the customer. They have five days to try the dress and decide if they want to keep it. If not, they can send it back, but there is a delivery fee of $25 involved.
Pros of Nearly Newlywed
- It allows you five days to try the dress and check to see if its right for you; otherwise, you can return it
- The dresses are high-end designer ones
- The discounted price is unbelievably low
- There is the option of reselling the dress back to Nearly Newlywed for half the price, allowing for a further discount
- It is ideal for girls who have their hearts set on a dress but cannot spend all their savings on a dress they have to wear for one day and never again
- Women selling their used dresses can put up the prices at their own will, but they cannot be lower than $500
Cons of Nearly Newlywed
- First-time brides may hesitate to wear a pre-worn wedding dress
- The site charges a high commission
- The site charges a listing fee
Who is Nearly Newlywed For?
Nearly Newlywed is aimed at brides to be who really want to wear a luxury designer dress on their wedding day but cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on them just for a day.
It is also an excellent platform for women to sell their once-worn wedding gowns by listing them up on the website. It is a very simple process where they have to describe their dress in detail, mentioning as much information as possible along with lots of pictures. The better the descriptions, the more likely it is to sell.
Are There Any Alternatives?
The following stores also offer preloved bridal gown options and are competitors of Nearly Newlywed. Each one has some different features, but they all share the same concept.
- Chic Couture Online
- Chan Luu
- Loved Twice Bridal
- Le Laurel
Our Final Thoughts
While Nearly Newlywed did not score an offer on Shark Tank, it did become a successful model that is being used today. Being on Shark Tank definitely gained Jacqueline more followers and gave her boutique more exposure.
We think that she has the drive to make her business a success, and it is currently one of the top online boutiques for preloved, new, and sample wedding dresses in the United States.