Hukkster Makes Frugal Fashionable

Rachel Eisen

Katie Finnegan ’05 recently co-founded a new website called Hukkster. The basic premise of the web-site is to access the best deals online. As you shop online you can “hukk” a product and set the price you would be willing to pay for it. After that, Hukkster patiently watches your product for you until it reaches your desired price. It is a pretty ingenious idea that puts you in control of the price you pay.

“Like most shoppers, [Finnegan and co-founder Erica Bell] were completely overwhelmed by the emails that arrived in our inboxes every day pushing special offers. We didn’t have the time to sort through all these emails for the diamond in the rough,” Finnegan said. “Hukkster solves this problem for those who love to shop but are short on time. It empowers shoppers to make smarter decisions within their existing shopping routines.”

Finnegan was the perfect candidate to at-tack this retail problem experienced by the everyday shopper. She started out with mer-chandising internships at Polo Ralph Lauren and American Eagle Outfitters during her Colgate summers. Then, out of college, she worked at American Eagle Outfitters and J.Crew and received an MBA from Duke.

Despite all the paths and experiences since Colgate that helped her create Hukkster, Finnegan still holds her Colgate experience in high regard.

“I would say that throughout all of my careers, my ability to critically think and question the norm has made me successful,” she said. “This is something, I believe, that comes from a strong liberal arts education.”

But even more than her critical thinking skills, the Colgate community actually gave her the courage to jump headfirst into her start-up. Back in April, she came to speak on a panel on her experience in entrepreneurship over the Entrepeneur Weekend when Sir Richard Branson visited.

“On that panel I was given the opportunity to ‘pitch’ our business to a room full of current students, alums and parents. The response was overwhelming! After seeing the reaction from a room full of strangers, I knew this was more than just my personal passion. I left my ‘day job’ in management consulting just two weeks after that weekend up at Colgate,” Finnegan said.

Since quitting her day job, she admits that heading a start-up is not the easiest experience in the world, but she remains confident in her abilities and her company.

“Every day is a roller coaster. There are amazing days, but then there are let downs, and you can’t let that crush your dreams,” Finnegan said. “When something doesn’t go our way, instead of throwing in the towel, my co-founder and I always look at each other and start coming up with ‘Plan B.’ Erica and I are confident in our knowledge of the retail industry and I knew we were the right people to solve this problem!”

Having recently participated in New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and being fea-tured in the Wall Street Journal, Hukkster is gaining traction in both the fashion and business communities. Hukkster is also launching its site for public use this month.

Contact Rachel Eisen at [email protected]