The Shoperatic Story
The business that supports performing artists
One summer day in 2013, Shoperatic Co-Founder/CEO, Suzanne Vinnik was contacted by a fellow soprano who was looking for a way to de-clutter her closet and get rid of some gowns that she had already worn for previous concerts. Suzanne experienced the same struggle with her over-stuffed closet in her tiny one-bedroom apartment in New York City needing wardrobe for concerts, auditions, openings and donor events. As a true fashion-forward diva with a love for all things stylish, Suzanne knew firsthand the realities of needing to look your best when performing onstage. In an age when every event is photographed and appears on social media, she knew it was important to vary her performance wear which resulted in very expensive shopping bills. To compound this issue, closet space in major metropolitan areas is at a premium; most New York City closets do not allow for the high volume of clothes that a performing artist needs at any given time nor do suitcases when on the road singing full-time.
That day, Suzanne decided to create a small private Facebook group called, "Opera Diva Dress Collection", and invited a dozen fellow singers to join the group so they could trade, buy, sell, and rent gowns from each other. During the first week of the group, Suzanne sold and rented several gowns from her personal closet. Her own investments in style and fashion began helping her pay for expenses in between performing opportunities and connected her with fellow opera singers with incredible style and items in their closets. Suzanne reached out to other performing arts organizations and web developers about the idea of creating a peer-to-peer website where this group could operate but was told that the scope of work and development price would be prohibitive. Fast-forward to 2015 and this small Facebook group grew from a small group of friends to thousands of divas that made up a vibrant community. She knew this had potential to reach more people and decided to focus on building a business after numerous hours in a mentorship program through the Small Business Association of NYC and launching a photography/styling business that year in addition to continuing to perform throughout the world.
In February of 2016, Suzanne met Sara Duchovnay a fellow soprano and entrepreneurial diva with a love of fashion. Sara successfully operated her own e-commerce clothing resale business on a different platform. Within 24 hours, Suzanne and Sara set out on a partnership to take this idea and make it into a business. The two continued to grow the audience for the business and began building Shoperatic into a business. During the summer of 2017, Errin Hatter relocated to New York City where she helped the pair of divas create what would become Shoperatic.com with help of techie diva, Maya Kherani. The proof-of-concept website successfully launched in September 2017 and was responsible for putting nearly $400,000 into the pockets of opera divas who opened stores and began to fully embrace the sharing economy as #DivasWhoHustle.
It is hard to imagine classical music, specifically opera without Shoperatic. This altruistic business has reshaped how women in classical music support and interact with one another while building confidence through their endeavors offstage! You will rarely attend a performance, audition or event where opera singers congregate without seeing the Shoperatic influence!