Shopping Site Puts Charity in Fashion

The idea came to her in the middle of the night nearly one year ago.

Now, Erin Ballard has turned that midnight thought into a reality — a way for you to fill your closet, and feel good in the process.

Enter Veux (the French word for “want”), a new tech startup launching this month that gives back 5 percent of sales from its designer clothing website.

By registering an email address, Veux sends a weekly, curated collection of women’s clothing and accessories, as well as children’s apparel, to your inbox. From there, a portion of each sale contributes to the designer’s choice of charity.

“The designers featured on Veux are not people you can find at Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom. They’re New York, L.A., and some Dallas designers that are newer, more forward-thinking brands,” Ballard said. “The aesthetic is different and for the woman who doesn’t want to look like everyone else.”

The Park Cities mom of four hasn’t taken a traditional entrepreneurial path. Ballard applied for Tech Wildcatters, a local business accelerator, and beat out nearly 400 other startups to build Veux from the ground up.

“It was all about the recognition. When I started at the accelerator in March, all of the sudden we were a brand. We were a company,” said Ballard, who previously worked as a real-estate agent. “Being a woman-owned, single-founder business, it’s hard to navigate through the pitfalls of entrepreneurship. They helped to make sure I wasn’t making the usual startup mistakes.”

Tech Wildcatters, located in downtown Dallas, pools money from private investors to develop primarily technology-based startups. The group provides entrepreneurs with access to office space, help creating business plans, and more importantly, mentors.

“They have an idea that is right there on leading edge of material trends in consumer buying, fashion, and charitable giving,” said Park Cities resident Hal Rose. “I’ve been working with entrepreneurs and venture groups with Tech Wildcatters for over four years now, but what really impressed me was that she’s a working mother, not a traditional startup entrepreneur, creating this business on top of an existing career and raising kids.”

Along with some friends who volunteer to shop with her, Ballard handpicks the clothing and designers for the weekly collection on Veux.com.

The site, which hosted a preview sale in early August, will be highlighting Soles for Souls and Charity Water, as well as additional charities, during its official launch in early September.

“It just feels like the time is right,” she said. “The feedback has been great and I’ve never in my life been happier than I am now. And we haven’t even launched yet.”

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This story originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Park Cities People.

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