Rachel Zoe, the celebrity stylist and designer of an eponymous apparel collection, has signed on through Rachel Zoe Ventures, as an investor in Joy, an online web site that has everything a couple need to plan and execute their wedding, from invitations and an all-in-one registry, to personal web sites and inspiration for honeymoon spots.
“Me and my cofounders were working at Microsoft
“We said, ‘Really, there is nothing?’ We knew technology and we knew design so we combined beautiful design with smart technology to make planning people’s most important life moment joyful,” said Joshi.
Zoe is not a passive investor. A partnership with Zoe and Joy is launching today with the stylist offering an Expert Curation of products she loves for the happy couple. “Fifty percent of couples said their biggest pain point was building their wedding registry and researching the items to choose. We thought, ‘Wow, can we do something that would be special,’” said Joshi. “We could find people who are so good in their individual fields, like an award-winning wine enthusiast or baker to tell you how to start baking and all the tools you’ll need.
“That’s where it started,” Joshi said. “Now, we have dozens of experts and many curations, including Rachel’s. She’s a style guru and she talks about how to decorate a living room and how to entertain friends and family, and what she uses. We want to be the master class for shopping.
“Then, there is obviously the red carpet moment we’re talking about,” Joshi said. “We decided to pick one special Joy couple to win a trip to Los Angeles and Rachel has agreed to style them. Hopefully, it will make someone’s dream comes true. Their wedding date has to happen before June. They sign up for Joy and we’ll just raffle and pick the couple.”
The sweepstakes includes a trip for two to Los Angeles for a VIP styling session with Zoe. Joy has allotted $5,000 for the wedding dress or outfit; $5,000 for the bride’s wedding wardrobe to be purchased during a one-on-one styling session with Zoe; relaxing spa treatments and dinner for two in L.A., and a $1,000 Nordstrom gift card and one-year CURATEUR membership.
Couples can enter for a chance to win on the Joy web site, withjoy.com/rachelzoe. The giveaway closes on February 28. The winner will be notified by email on or about March 15.
Joy is 100% free to use. The company gets commissions on some of the products listed in its registry, and becomes the retailer for other products, buying them at wholesale and selling them at retail.
“Many products we don’t sell ourselves, we send them to the store that carries it,” Joshi said. “Again, it’s a testament to the fact that we want these experts to tell us what they really like. You’ll look at the curation and say, ‘I want that too.’”
“I’m about to celebrate my 25th anniversary, and I remember my wedding day so clearly,” said Zoe. “How many fights I got into with Roger [her husband] during the process, how many times I yelled at my mother. I also was working so much at the time that I literally couldn’t deal with it. If there had been something like this it would have been an absolute dream. Joy really fills such a void in this space.”
Zoe is bringing her aesthetic to other areas of Joy. “I’m designing different invitations and note cards using different prints that were inspired by past collections in my archive,” she said. “I feel that Joy, as much as they do, this is only the beginning. Certainly, I could see myself creating mood boards and inspiration and things like that. It really is this incredible aggregate source for everything you could want as a bride. Planning the brunch, planning the night before, all of that. I would also give input on honeymoons – that’s kind of the best part.”
Joshi said the average wedding costs about $30,000. In New York, the amount is $70,000. Couples are waiting longer to get married and are saving up to pay for the wedding.
“The age was 24, years ago and it’s 29 now,” Joshi said. “Every year you have 2.5 million weddings in the U.S. Engagements are lasting much longer, and inflation is causing everything to cost more. People are very design-conscious. They care a lot. Their wedding is almost like a reflection of themselves.
“We try to make the couple look good,” Joshi added. “It needs to be uniquely about that couple. It’s a person’s most special day and we recognize that. People get so caught up in the whole planning of the wedding. That’s why we’re trying to take the stress out of it. You can listen to the best of the best and they will tell you what they personally use, which is why we’re excited about the partnership with Rachel.”
Couples are asking Joy to weigh in on other aspects of the celebration. “They’re asking us to help with the florist and transportation for the guests for destination weddings. We know so much about the couple and their interests.”
Joy is the only platform that allows couples to communicate with their guests. “The suite of tools are so friendly to a destination wedding,” Joshi said. “Everyone is coming from everywhere. You can send a quick message to everybody. Joy’s web site allows you to create a personalized schedule and itinerary for every guest, if you want, or every group of guests.”
Zoe said that’s why she’s so excited about Joy. “It’s just something I really believed in and saw the very clear need for,” she said. “It’s not something that’s price exclusive.
“For me, as an investor, I’m coming in and trying really hard to add value and partner with them,” Zoe said. “That’s been the biggest differentiator. It’s not just writing a check, we’re adding strategic value, whether it’s help with marketing, branding, structuring or operations. For me, it’s something I can really relate to. It’s very creative and very personal and styling-focused and entertaining-focused. It’s something that’s really right up my alley.”