The fashion mogul is now bringing style to office supplies.
Chris Burch will make your tape dispenser beautiful.
Chris Burch As an Ithaca College student in the 1970s, he co-founded Eagle's Eye, an apparel company he later sold for $60 million.
Noah Maffitt Before joining Poppin, he was an executive at Live Nation, a concert promoter and online ticket hub.
Chris Burch is best known as the fashion mogul who co-founded, with his then-wife, Tory Burch, the Tory Burch apparel line, worn by A-listers such as Michelle Obama and Gwyneth Paltrow. Now, the venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur wants to add style to a different category: office supplies.
Burch, with Ken Seiff, founder of Bluefly.com, and Noah Maffitt, a former executive at OfficeDepot.com, has been developing Poppin, an online store stocked with affordable yet well-designed office supplies in a palette of 20 bright colors.
Unlike Staples and other big-box office-supply stores, Poppin, which recently launched an invitation-only beta test, designs and makes its products. It also has a more personal approach to customer service. Customers are assigned a concierge, whom they can contact directly by phone or e-mail. "If one of our pens leaks on a customer's Chanel jacket, her customer service agent will have the power to buy her a new jacket," says Maffitt, Poppin's CEO. The online store, which already boasts Google and Pandora as customers, is set to launch publicly this summer with a selection of office supplies geared primarily toward small and midsize businesses. "We think the office environment should be beautiful, fun, and happy," says Maffitt.
The Goods is focused exclusively on products and services for business owners. We won't ignore the latest netbook or the hottest smartphone, but we'll also examine the services, software, and Web-based tools that can help make your business succeed. NADINE HEINTZ, a senior editor at Inc., edits The Goods, as well as Quick Hits. Send suggestions, comments, and deals to firstname.lastname@example.org.