Fashion Forward

Sam Sisakhti, MA’07
Mike Lovett
Sam Sisakhti, MA’07

Sam Sisakhti, MA’07, quit his first 9-to-5 finance job in just four days. The Brandeis International Business School graduate had a business idea he wanted to pursue, now.

Today the idea, the e-commerce fashion site UsTrendy, is one of the five fastest-growing businesses listed in the second edition of the Internet Retailer Guide.

Not that the road to success has been easy. “My first meeting was with a well-known entrepreneur I knew through a family friend,” Sisakhti says. “I expected him to be supportive, but he completely tore me apart. At another meeting, someone threw my business plan in the trash in front of me.”

Initially turned down by more than 150 Silicon Valley investors, Sisakhti didn’t let negative feedback cloud his vision. “The fear of stopping is what kept me going,” he says. “The fear of falling into a career I didn’t want, of settling for the ordinary, pushed me forward.”

He’d noticed that the fashion industry didn’t have many outlets that let up-and-coming designers reach consumers. With a target audience of online shoppers interested in buying creative pieces by designers who aren’t yet a name brand, he saw an opportunity “to bring two worlds together,” he says.

UsTrendy, which has been featured in The Boston Globe and Forbes, attracts more than 1 million visitors each month, and recently launched a digital platform that provides customers with a personalized shopping experience.

“People don’t have time to look at tons of products,” says Sisakhti. “We’re paving the future of e-commerce by incorporating click history and social media to connect consumers with items they’ll want.”

As a Brandeis IBS student, Sisakhti received career guidance each week from visitors to senior lecturer Charles Reed’s entrepreneurship class. Now the Boston resident is one of the experts standing at the front of the classroom, sharing lessons.

“I don’t let it go to my head,” Sisakhti says. “The minute you start patting yourself on the back is when you start to slide down. But, at the same time, no one will ever execute your idea better than you can. Depend on yourself and the integrity of your idea. Failure or success is always on you.”

— Samantha Lawsky