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A Platform for Stylepreneurs: Pinterest Meets Online Department Store With StyleOwner, fashionistas can help style-challenged friends and monetize their social networks

By Kara Ohngren Prior

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Personal Shopping Most people can use a bit of good fashion advice. Joel Weingarten realized that by combining a fashion recommendation from a trusted friend or family member with the power of social media, he could empower people to become entrepreneurs.

Weingarten traces the roots of StyleOwner back to his high school days, when he and a friend sold flowers off a truck to friends, family and neighbors. "I understood the power of direct marketing from a young age, and I saw StyleOwner as an opportunity to pursue a personal dream to start a business," he says. "As for my fashion savvy, I have an amazing team and leave most of the fashion advice up to them."

The New York-based startup, launched in October 2011, lets users create an online boutique and personalize it for their social network by curating from a catalog of more than 2,000 brands, including some from big-name retail partners like Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom (think Pinterest meets online department store). Boutique owners--or "stylepreneurs," as they're called on the site--provide friends with customized recommendations and make a 10 percent commission on each sale.

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