Two Dallas startups want to cut clutter in closets by offering on-demand clothing storage and flexible hangers for every type of garment.
Husband and wife duo Ryan and Whitney Ball founded Clouset in April with the goal of creating a central place to store clothes when they are out of season or no longer needed.
Hangio was founded by college students who wanted the perfect hanger that could hold any type of clothing item without wrinkling or damaging them.
Clouset, based at Common Desk in Deep Ellum, has a facility near downtown Dallas that’s air conditioned and cedar lined with 24-hour security. Customers request specially-made bags, load them up with clothes, and then have them picked up on demand.
They pay a monthly subscription service to have the clothes stored.
“It’s an easier alternative to minimalism,” said Ryan Ball. “We’re just trying to make people’s lives easier by helping them with services related to clothing.”
The service is available in North Dallas currently, but they’d like to expand soon, he said.
The basic membership costs $50 a month and includes four clothing bags — enough to load up an entire closet — and four pickups and drop offs per year.
“It’s an easier alternative to minimalism.”
The smaller membership has two bags and costs $35 per month. It’s nicknamed the baby membership because it’s meant for parents who want to store a child’s clothes after they outgrow them and save them for the second baby.
Pickups and deliveries are typically done within 24 hours by the Balls.
“We do the driving ourselves, but talked with other courier services,” Ryan Ball said.
Right now he’s just trying to get the word out about the service.
“It’s a new concept. I think there’s a need for it,” Ryan Ball said. “Our challenge is converting that need into a demand.”
Ball declined to release customer information. Clouset is self-funded, for now.
“I’m sure at some point we’ll take on funding,” Ball said. “It’s challenging, for sure but it’s fun.”
His goal from the start was to create a minimal viable product that could be launched cheaply and efficiently.
“You build the bells and whistles as you grow,” he said.
Each clothing bag has a note section where you can list the contents, such as winter coats, ski clothes, or summer dresses. Users can log onto the website and pick which clothing bag they want delivered.
The service is similar to Callbox Storage, another Dallas startup, that’s an on-demand self-storage company. Callbox picks up furniture and other items and stores them at a central location. Clouset focuses entirely on clothes.
“We’re so specialized that I think having all of us in the same market is a good thing,” Ryan Ball said. “The competition is a good thing.”
Another competitor is Garde Robe, a New York City-based company that stores high-end clothes for celebrities, millionaires, and billionaires.
Clothing comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles and not all of it can hang on a traditional hanger.
Karisma Sheth and Ayodele Aigbe came up with the idea for a flexible hanger as part of the Entrepreneurship Program at Austin College in Sherman.
“I don’t think anyone changed that design in 150 years,” Sheth said jokingly of traditional hangers. “People value their clothes.”
Their idea finished in the top three and won them free dedicated office space at The Dallas Entrepreneur Center in the West End of downtown Dallas.
They wanted to make something durable, flexible, and versatile. The Hangio hanger can bend to hold everything from a dress, blouse, spaghetti-strap top, a scarf, or even a winter coat.
The two made a YouTube video that explains the need for the innovation and what it can do.
“I don’t think anyone changed that design in 150 years.”
Sheth just graduated with a business degree while Aigbe is a sophomore engineering student.
The two developed prototypes and passed them along to their friends for a week-long trial. Some of them didn’t want to give them back.
That’s when they knew they had a good idea on their hands.
Hangio hangers will also have a number on them so the owner can keep track of when they last wore something. That’s meant to encourage people to donate the clothes they don’t wear. In the future, they’d like to partner with a nonprofit for clothing donation.
Hangio’s flexible hanger technology is patent pending. The company also is seeking funding, looking for a manufacturer to make the product, and finding retail stores to sell it in.