January 10, 2013, 11:33 AM

A social twist on direct selling helps net Kitsy Lane $3.5 million in funding

The company appoints Shoebuy.com founder Scott Savitz to its board.

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Putting a social spin on the direct sales model popularized by Avon Products Inc.and Tupperware has helped Kitsy Lane raise $3.5 million in a Series A funding round.

Leading the funding round was Data Point Capital, a venture capital firm founded by Shoebuy.com Inc. founder Scott Savitz, along with Longworth Venture Partners and Point Judith Capital. Savitz is also joining Kitsy Lane's board of directors. Shoebuy.com is No. 90 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Kitsy Lane offers a free platform that enables consumers to build their own online jewelry and accessories boutiques where they sell Kitsy Lane’s wares. The platform provides boutique owners with marketing and merchandising tools that integrate owners’ Facebook accounts to enable them to highlight their boutiques’ merchandise on their timeline and in their friends’ news feeds. It also offers free e-mail marketing tools that enable store owners to send customized messages to their customers.   

Kitsy Lane handles the boutiques’ order processing, shipping and customer service. Boutique owners earn commissions ranging from 15% to 25% per item. And, if a boutique owner refers another consumer to open her own shop on the platform, the referring owner receives a flat 15% share of the new shop’s commissions.

“We’re trying to produce an online version of the direct marketing business in the tradition of Avon or Tupperware,” says Andy Fox, founder and CEO of Kitsy Lane. “We’re giving boutique owners everything they need to create, build and grow an online business.”

Kitsy Lane has had more than 23,000 boutiques launch on its platform since its launch last July.

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