This article was written by Jessica Couch Originally posted on Fashinvest.com
In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day we’re sharing an empowering story from the women-led teams behind Covet Fashion and Glam 4 Good.
Covet Fashion is one of the most addictive mobile games centered around fashion.
That statement may seem like an exaggeration, but when you ask the app’s 3 million + users who, when it launched in 2013, kept it at number one on the Apple App store for six weeks straight — you start to so there may be some truth to that statement.
Blair Ethington, Covet Fashion’s senior vice president, general manger and the mastermind behind the app, says she never imagined a game that lets users create avatars styled with looks from real life designers like Yigal Azrouël, Rebecca Minkoff and Cynthyia Rowely would become a tool for women’s empowerment.
As one of the few women at the top of the male-dominated tech industry, Ethington said she hopes her work at Covet will spur on other women to join the field. As an integral team member of gaming company, Crowdstar, Ethington led the group that launched the app.
“It’s definitely an unfortunate thing, but my hope is that we’re changing the tides of that by bringing an experience like this to more women,” she said. “It will not only add value to their lives from an entertainment standpoint, but it will also open up their minds in terms of careers so that more women will pursue careers in technology.”
But above all, Ethington said the greater purpose of the app is to teach their users to care about the world around them.
“It’s continuing to be centered around empathy, having our users become more empathetic of other users and in general continuing to have an impact on their lives, not only from a virtual standpoint, but also from a real-life standpoint,” she said.
To bring that mission alive Ethington and her team recently partnered with Glam 4 Good, a foundation started by stylist and philanthropist, Mary Alice Stephenson, that focuses on using style to make a social impact to reward three deserving women with a day of pampering and a personal styling session with Stephenson.
The winners were nominated by their fellow Covet users.
Stephenson enlisted the help of celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson, who sits on the beauty board of Glam 4 Good, to give them makeovers at the Dream Hotel in New York City.
Gibson said he thought his job for the day was to act as somewhat of a therapist for the ladies. He said he wanted to make sure to accommodate the winners by giving them the same treatment he does with his celebrity clients.
“There is something special about the hair, but also how you make them feel,” he said. “Outside of physicians the hairdresser is a person who, other than a doctor, is licensed to touch.”
Amanda Lulewicz, senior manager of brand partnerships at Covet Fashion, said the app has gone beyond its mobile domain and has fostered its own community.
“Users have met with other players they met through the game while here in New York,” she said.
Although Lulewicz said this was an unexpected reaction Covet, it’s exactly the type of community they want to continue to encourage through its app.
Beyond it being a game, the app is becoming a supportive community for women with fashion as the medium. Users have created Facebook groups and meetups among other ways of communicating outside of the app, on and offline, she said.
To understand just how impactful the app is outside of a mobile device, we spoke to the three ladies chosen by their fellow Covet community members based on the hardships they have overcome
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