Sharply's showroom in Ballard.

Bellevue businesswoman founds Sharply for busy professionals

Generally speaking, men don't like to shop for clothes.

Generally speaking, men don’t like to shop for clothes.

Or at least that’s what the founders of Sharply are betting on.

Sharply, an online men’s fashion site founded in late May, is designed for the working professional man on the go. Molly Kuffner, a Bellevue native and one of the site’s founders, said most of the men she knows don’t like the time and confusion of shopping. She wants to take the guesswork out of the picture.

“We can tell him about some key items he needs to have in his wardrobe,” she said. “Denim, a nice pair of chino shorts to wear during golf meetings, some great sunglasses.”

The site isn’t complicated, instead offering selections for men above and below the waist from carefully curated smaller vendors. This allows Kuffner and co-founder Joe Blattner to monitor the quality of the clothes and establish close relationships with the vendors.

“We work with vendor partners who believe in our story and we believe in theirs,” Kuffner said.

Kuffner worked with Nordstrom for 22 years and has experience working with a textile supplier at Schumacher.

Blattner, a Seattle real estate developer, was the inspiration for the company.

“He and I went to college together, so we’ve known each other a long time,” Kuffner said. “He told me about stumbling into stores in California and not really knowing where to start.”

The founders met at Washington State University and remained friends for years after.

Blattner knew that Kuffner had a long history with Nordstrom and knew the clothing retail market. They partnered, met with vendors and launched the site. Sharply has a showroom in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, but doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location to sell its wares.

Kuffner said that a physical location could be in the future, but for now the web was Sharply’s focus.

“It was born out of the idea that men don’t really like to shop,” she said. “So the website is an easy and simple experience.”

The men’s apparel, e-commerce brand is looking to bring in more options for clothing and accessories as well. Right now the options are relatively high end, with T-shirts, jeans, chinos, watches and sunglasses. Kuffner said the assortment of small brands will grow as word gets out about the company.

Sharply’s customer base, according to Kuffner, are busy, professional men between the ages of 25 and 45 who know they need to look good, but either struggle with shopping or don’t want to spend the time and effort to find good looking clothes.

“We want our customers to come to Sharply and leave with a new favorite shirt,” she said. “Or just a new favorite label. We want to be the go-to stop. We wanted to build something for regular guys so they can look and feel good about what they wear.”

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