Shoperatic LLC is a peer to peer sharing marketplace connecting female performing artists and is also a hub for original content related to today’s professional performing arts industry. Shoperatic is home to the Opera Diva Dress Collection (ODDC), where users can buy, rent and sell apparel to fellow performing artists. The site also provides a centralized location for artists and vendors to advertise services and products that are applicable to the performing arts industry and engage in discussions and share advice about pertinent career needs.
The Evolution of Shoperatic
In 2013, soprano Suzanne Vinnik was contacted by another soprano looking for a way to clean out some gowns from her closet that she had worn for previous concerts. Suzanne likewise had experienced the same issue with her over-stuffed closet in her one bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side.
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, and not being able to repeat gowns, which often resulted in 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 a performing artist needs at a given time.
Suzanne decided to create a small private Facebook group called the 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 on a connected platform. During the first week of the group, Suzanne sold and rented out several gowns from her personal closet. Her own investments in style and fashion began helping her pay for expenses in between performing opportunities.
As of May 2017, the group stands at over 9.5k members (up 1.5K in 3 months), connecting per-forming artists from all across the world, ranging from college students to some of the biggest stars of today’s opera scene. The group is currently managed by Suzanne and her business partner, personal shopping and fashion merchandising guru and fellow soprano,
Sara Duchovnay. There have been well over $500,000 in transactions when the group was at a quarter of its current membership as found in a survey of its users.
Examples of the group’s spirit of community and far-reaching impact linking like-minded per-forming artists include soprano Christine Goerke polling group members about logistics related to her outfit choice at an upcoming performance of Elektra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; and soprano Angela Meade selling a large quantity of her gowns to aspiring singers using the platform. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham sold ten gowns from her closet to six singers in three days and noted “This page is a treasure, populated by you fantastic, artistic, brilliant, talented, fun, kind and inspiring women. Brave Tutte!!! Post pics, wear them in good health and music.”
Suzanne is both a published writer and photographer having shot hundreds of opera singers in the past year who have performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opera, Seattle Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and throughout the world. The pair of sopranos recently collaborated on a series of articles for popular opera blog, Schmopera. The pair are frequently invited to speak and give interviews about this new wave of feminism, collaboration over competition and entrepreneurship taking place in opera.
Shoperatic LLC operates as an altruistic business and its core values will always be dedicated to embracing the collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit of the performing arts community, while offering an empowering place where artists can support one another’s business ventures. Recent entrepreneurial successes supported and grown through the group include MatchaMe Cosmetics, customized shoes by identical twin sopranos Cherisse & Cherissia Williams (“SPARKLE TWINS”), Golden Pineapple Candle Co., Post-It Portraits by Claire Kuttler, Tracy Cox’s Neon Beautiful Design “Fringies”, Kaleigh Rae Photography and others. The company is also dedicated to giving back to others through charitable causes, such as its partnership with Sing for Hope, The Metropolitan Opera’s Holiday Vendor Sales which benefited the AGMA (American Guild of Musical Arts) Relief Fund and Project Sunshine which provided unsold gowns to high school students.
In future years, Opera Diva Dress Collection (Shoperatic LLC) will continue to link even more individuals to leverage the value of their pre-existing industry-related goods and services as well as serving as a centralized location for discussions, content, and other related offerings today’s performing artist needs to succeed, with the launch of the Shoperatic website.
Future Plans for Shoperatic
The Opera Diva Dress Collection’s current model is not equipped to withstand future growth as the group does not provide a sortable feature for dress listings and there is a high volume of posts each day to sort through.
Future plans include expanding the private Facebook group to the Shoperatic site, which will feature the Opera Diva Dress Collection as its main offering. The Opera Diva Dress Collection will have features to purchase and rent gowns and related opera merchandise through the site from peers. Shoperatic will also partner with and provide recommendations for leading providers of related services including designers, luxury brands, beauty professionals, stylists, nutritionists, photographers, web designers, tax professionals and related goods including travel, fitness, and beauty products.
Content on the Shoperatic site will include key articles about career development, fashion and health for female performing artists while empowering the community to think beyond the operatic stages. The website is currently underway and is expected to launch in Summer of 2017 after BETA testing.