Polyvore has made its name as a site for creating collages that represent the lifestyles they want to lead, complete with beautiful outfits accessorized down to the right handbag and perfect perfume. So far, that has appealed to a very specific demographic: Some 50 percent of Polyvore users are women under the age of 34, according to the latest data from the company.
But today, Polyvore is taking its biggest step ever to expand beyond that longtime core demographic with the official launch of a section dedicated to home decor. Polyvore for Home, which will get its own designated tab at the top of the Polyvore home page, means that users will now be encouraged to create collages around home decor items — and they will be able to click through on those images to purchase items outright.
In a phone call this week, Polyvore co-founder and CEO Jess Lee told me that this is a natural evolution and a homecoming of sorts for the Polyvore team. “While this launch is probably one of biggest things we’ve ever announced, we actually started out in home decor,” she said. Polyvore co-founder Pasha Sadri actually initially built Polyvore while he was remodeling his house, as a product to help him sort all of the options available. “He was overwhelmed with the choices of doorknobs and cabinets, so he made the Polyvore prototype initially to help him drag and drop and mix and match his options.”
It’s a good story that Polyvore is getting back to its early roots, but it is not coming back to an empty house (so to speak) — there are a number of established sites who have long been focused on the interior design market. When asked how Polyvore for Home expects to compete with established decor-focused sites such as Houzz, Lee said that she believes her company’s focus on showcasing products that can be easily purchased will provide a good edge. “Polyvore is really focused on shopping… there are a lot of sites that are more about inspiration, but we’re the site that really incorporates the shopping process.”
Lee also noted that Polyvore is focused more on highlighting and selling simple decorating pieces than on the process of home remodeling or renovation. “We’re focused on the more accessible part of shopping for your home.”
Home is indeed a natural extension of what Polyvore does, but it could also be a key move to court users beyond its existing fashion-focused young user base and into a more rooted and older crowd. Though Polyvore users today have an average annual household income of $77,000, courting home decor-minded people could push its usage among older and even more affluent people if it really takes off. It will be interesting to see what the traction for Polyvore for Home is like amid the larger landscape.