Former beauty queen creates app to help aspiring pageant contestants buy affordable gowns

Trisha Bantigue has spent more than five years competing in the world of beauty pageants.

And now she wants to combine her knowledge of the pageant world with what she does in the tech industry.

“In the beginning I was 19, a broke college student and it was really hard for me to find a gown. And it was almost and stressful and disheartening to join the pageant. I don’t want anyone else to have that obstacle in terms of obtaining that goal.”

With the help of her fellow beauty pageant contestant and software engineer at Pinterest — Kathy Zhou — the ladies created the app “Queenly”.

“Queenly” allows verified beauty pageant contestants to sell their dresses to other users for a considerably lower price compared to a brand new gown at most stores.

“We’re currently offering 100 percent seller earnings because our goal right now is to grow our user base.”

“We’re not taking commission yet. So we really want to establish that initial flow of transactions. And we really want to reward our initial users that are taking a jump with this new company, with us!”

 They designed the app to be useful to all contestants. 

“As a buyer we have a really intensive search feature where you can search specifically on the color, the silhouette of the gown, the designer, and the size, obviously. And what we offer compared to other platforms is that our size list is inclusive. So it goes up to 32, so from 00 to 32 which most companies or platforms stop at 20 or 18.”

In the first six months of its initial launch, Bantigue and Zhou are already getting positive feedback from more than one-thousand users.

And while there is a big potential of profit from this app, they both agree that “Queenly” was not created for the money.

“Tech is always about crazy ideas that become the norm in society. And for us, this is something that I think about a lot. That hey wouldn’t it be great that one day girls can look back and say wow I can believe that before Queenly people use to just buy a dress, pay a lot of money for it, wear it once, and then leave it their closets.”

“We want to revolutionize this industry the same way Uber revolutionized the transportation industry or AirBnB revolutionized the hotel industry. So that’s what we are going for.”

Bantigue and Zhou are currently collaborating with crowdfunding service WeFunder to network with advisors and investors to grow the business.

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