Why I started FAWN
By Josh Israels
Founder, CEO + Lead Explorer
I am very much a resident of San Francisco. I love this city, and I love my neighborhoods – the boutiques, the bakeries, the bookstores, flower shops, coffee shops, all of it.
I love exploring things no one else has (and then telling others about it). I love hearing the stories of where products come from, how they were made, where they were sourced. More often than not, I even end up becoming friends with my favorite store owners.
In the last couple of years, I’ve witnessed a number of my favorite stores struggle. I couldn’t help but wonder why. In a day and age where access and “marketing” tools are pervasive – Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, Influencers, etc. – why were my favorite stores fighting so hard for “traffic” and “sales”?
What I found was surprising. Small businesses just don't have the right tools to talk directly and easily to their customers, i.e. people like me. While there are tools that provide businesses with the ability to market locally, they are not built for small business owners who lack the skills and know-how to use them. In fact, these digital tools actually suck out the most important pieces of the owner’s livelihood: cash and time.
That’s why I decided to create FAWN. I saw a need to make it easy for local merchants to connect with their best customers and their neighborhood. I wanted to empower people to shop locally from anywhere. I wanted to help the stores in the neighborhoods that I love be able to talk to everybody the same way they talk to me: authentically.
FAWN means that local merchants now have a very simple way to participate in commerce and engage locally. It also means that shoppers like me now have a beautiful way to tap into the places I love and aspire to discover. To “FAWN” is to constantly be on the lookout for cool things to love. And just like you, FAWN has a nose for what's real.
Basically, FAWN is about exploring, shopping locally, and purchasing with purpose again. It’s also about connecting with merchants who love what they do.
Our team is starting with San Francisco and will begin to launch in cities across the US in 2018.
So join us and let’s FAWN over cool stuff together.