Interview with Gabriela Kaminski from SIZZE Interview with Gabriela Kaminski from SIZZE
The startup SIZZE from Berlin helps fashion online shops to minimise costs and response rates and to control production quality. The AI-based solution automatically measures a large number of garments quickly and with high accuracy. With the implemented body measurement, the buyer has the possibility to compare his body measurements with the measurements of the garments.
What has led you to become involved in innovative technological developments for the fashion industry? How did the idea of inventing digital AI-based garment measurement come about?
Unfortunately, I had problems with employees again. Either the packers didn't come at all or the computer scientist was always calling in sick. The result was that I worked about 14 hours a day for the online shop. My husband advised me to open a wholesale for children's fashion – it went even better and took up as much of my time. So I also sold this shop profitably. I was bored, but due to very serious illnesses I could not act as I wanted to. One day my husband asked me if I would like to sell the full boxes of clothes I had put down on eBay. I denied, because I knew that I would have to measure the clothes. At that time it was still very time-consuming. In order to save myself the work of measuring, I looked for an app for measuring clothes, but did not find one. So the idea of digital clothing measurement was born. I searched for patent attorneys to find out whether a measurement in this digital form already existed. After a few days I knew that I had found the egg of Columbus – SIZZE was born.
On your website it says that you have already founded several companies in the fashion business sector. In 2019, together with your husband Jochen Kaminski, you launched SIZZE, a new AI-based solution for the fashion online trade. Could you describe in more detail how SIZZE works?
I was a very successful entrepreneur for over 20 years. In Frankfurt/Main I ran a luxury boutique for children's clothing at the Opernplatz for many years. Because of the constant trouble with the employees I decided to sell the boutique.
However, as doing nothing is not part of my nature, I started selling things from the cellar. Starting with worn clothes, used shoes, etc. I turned over € 24.000,00 in one year. Driven by my success, I then crept through the house to find more items for sale. Fortunately my husband stopped me and recommended that I open an online shop for children's clothes. I chose the platform eBay. But of course I could not sell Armani & Co. there. The search for retailers for children's fashion turned out to be a long and tedious process, but finally succeeded. After only a short time I was one of the biggest online traders for children's clothes on eBay.
Who is the solution aimed at? What makes this technology so unique?
The global fashion online trade pays many billions for size-related returns. However, if shoppers have the opportunity to measure themselves and compare their measurements with the measurements of the clothing, it is not necessary to order several sizes of an article or even return it, because it does not fit. At first my husband and I didn't know whether we needed an app or software. We hired an agency for app development in Berlin. The developers gave us a lot of hope and told us that the development was no problem. The development took a year and the results were disastrous. By now we knew that the development was AI, ML and software. The agency's developers were overwhelmed by this and were completely unfamiliar with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Through a lot of luck we found our current developer, Anton Krashennikov. He is an ace at developing software that is AI-based. Now it was time to start all over again. Anton explained to us down to the smallest detail how the structure of the software had to be. The user takes a photo of the garment and receives the exact measurements of the article within seconds. If the user uploads e.g. 1000 photos, they receive all measurements within about three minutes. The software also integrates a body measurement function, so that the online fashion retailer can make both features available to buyers. Ergo, the customers measure themselves and can compare their measurements with the measurements of the different sizes in the shop and order a perfect fit. This software also posed a great challenge to our very capable developer and we often thought that developing SIZZE was not possible. This is certainly also the reason why such software is not yet on the market worldwide. We plan to make four versions of our licence available to our customers every month. The variants differ in the number of uploads. Of course we also consider smaller online shops. The worldwide patent is pending and unfortunately takes time. Some fashion online shops already use the possibility of body measurement for buyers. But what use is the best body measurement, if the measurements for the clothes are missing?
In your opinion, is Berlin the right location for fashion tech innovations like SIZZE?
Fortunately we have our residence and office in Berlin. For startups one of the best conditions in the German Silicon Valley. The geographical proximity to competitors and developers is a clear advantage.
Has the corona pandemic affected your start-up and professional life?
Corona affects our industry little or not at all. Our developers work from home and our future customers – the fashion online trade – are booming like never before. Our goal is to start testing for our customers in October. The many requests we receive encourage us again and again and show us that we are on the right track.
What are the next goals for SIZZE? What is on the agenda and what do you wish for the coming year?
The next stage will be to launch SIZZE in Germany at the beginning of next year. Once the SIZZE brand has established itself in Germany, we intend to conquer the international market.