March 18, 2013, 11:20 AM

Two Zappos.com veterans launch an e-commerce site for indie design

Fairejour.com sells clothes, accessories and home décor items.

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Two Zappos.com veterans have launched an e-commerce site called Fairejour.com that sells products made by independent designers. The site, which debuted in January, was founded by husband-and-wife team Alex Kirmse and Lianna Shen.

Shen, Fairejour’s CEO,  worked at online shoe and apparel retailer Zappos.com from 2009 until 2013. Among her jobs there were product manager, identity and loyalty platforms, and user experience generalist for 6PM.com, an apparel site operated by Zappos. Kirmse, Fairejour’s chief experience officer, worked at Zappos between 2005 and 2012, and was most recently head of mobile there.

Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, bought Zappos in 2009.

Unlike the mass market at Zappos.com, Fairejour.com has a relatively narrow focus, offering some 120 items—bags, shoes, jewelry, apparel and home décor—whose product descriptions often tell where and how the item was designed. Fairejour’s target shopper is a college-educated woman in her late 20s who travels often, including outside the United States, Shen says. “She doesn’t have kids yet and likes to indulge herself,” she says. “She’s looking for a unique product and likes to know how things are made.”

Shen expects to promote the new e-commerce site via word of mouth, including on social networks. “If we’re going to inspire someone, it’s probably not going to be through (search ads on) Google,” she says.

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