McCann is the founder of Hear Us Roar, a two-sided marketplace for ‘plus-size’ or ‘curvy’ women’s clothing.
Launched three months ago — and born out of McCann’s own experience as a model for the past 10 years — the retail platform connects local fashion designers who make women’s clothing in larger sizes with customers who are looking for exactly that kind of clothing.
Hear Us Roar currently sells items from 10 designers, holding some of the stock itself and drop shipping other items. The goal is to build the platform into a global marketplace that can also shine a light on Australian fashion designers.
What is the name of your product and what is the problem it is trying to solve?
Hear Us Roar is an online destination for curvy women, curating the best fashion from around the globe.
Did you have a startup or your business prior to this? If so, what is it and how far along are you now?
Before the program had an idea and the bare bones. After the program, my business has a body and will be officially launching in September 2017.
What is your professional background? What have you been doing in your career leading up to this moment?
I’ve been a plus sized model in the Australian industry for last 10 years. I have also been in sales and advertising roles in various industries for the last eight years.
Are you still in a full or part-time position, or are you working for yourself or stay-at-home?
I am in a full time position that has flexible working hours, which is in the tech space. I am currently hoping to implement what I learn there, into my business. My goal is to be working 100% for myself by early next year.
Why did you choose to do the Tech Ready Program?
I was recommend through a potential investor for my business. She referred me to Christie because of her reputation in the tech space and also her understanding, being a non tech founder, who is running a tech business. I was told to do the program, as it would be life changing and Christie would be an asset to my business and she has been!
Why do you think the Tech Ready Program is so important and for who?
My number one thing is support, from those in the cohort, the mentors, Christie and the entire program. It was also very important for me to be able to tap into the knowledge of all the mentors. If I had a question(s), I knew I would have a place to go ask them, and not feel alone.
The program helped me to clearly define my goals, find major holes in what I was doing, pulled them apart and put them back together.
The Tech Ready Program is important for women who want to validate and develop their idea, who don't know where to start, need structure around their business, they should reach out to Tech Ready.
What is the next part of your journey now that the Tech Ready Program is done?
I am proud to announce that I have just raised my first round of seed funding and am still investor hunting. I have major growth plans for my business. I also just got accepted into the UTS Hatchery accelerator. So big growth plans!
Update February 2018: Blaise won the UTS Hatchery accelerator program and will be speaking on stage at the Tech Ready Women X Marie Claire event in May 2018.