Beyond One Size Fits All: Aurelia Edwards’ Personalized E-Commerce Revolution

Author
Hua Wang
Published
June 23, 2024

Aurelia Edwards, founder and CEO of Standard Measure Technologies, has been making waves in the tech industry with her work in virtual measurement technology. With a strong emphasis on personalization, her company is revolutionizing the way brands and e-commerce platforms offer their products to customers. Aurelia shares her insights on the use of digital technologies to go global and her thoughts on various policy issues affecting the tech landscape.

Digital Technologies and Global Reach

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Standard Measure Technologies utilizes digital technologies to bring personalization to the forefront of the shopping experience. As Aurelia explains, “We’re building a virtual measurement technology that allows customers to take pictures through their phone, and we can extract measurements that they can use for beauty products or jewelry.” This innovation is powered by technologies like computer vision, machine learning algorithms, and photogrammetry. These tools enable the company to detect and measure users’ fingernails in real-time, providing accurate sizing for beauty products and jewelry.

For years, the market has operated on a “one size fits many” approach, which leaves many consumers feeling unseen and unrepresented. “People often don’t see themselves reflected in the models and advertising,” says Aurelia. “Introducing a highly personalized approach through precise measurements is crucial as we move toward a future of made-to-measure and custom products.”

This shift is particularly significant with the rise of virtual try-ons and other personalized shopping experiences. “I’m excited about how e-commerce is evolving,” Aurelia shares.  “It’s about creating a shopping experience where everyone feels represented and valued,” she concludes.

AI Innovation

Expanding on their use of AI and machine learning, Aurelia notes, “We’ve trained over 70,000 images with our algorithms to find not just the landmark points of your finger, but also to do the entire contour of the nail and measure the nail thickness.” This precision and attention to detail are what set Standard Measure Technologies apart in the burgeoning field of immersive retail and virtual try-ons.

Global Team

“Our team is based in various locations around the world, bringing together a rich diversity of perspectives and expertise. I am based in Florida, while our fractional CTO operates out of Las Vegas. Our head of engineering is also in Florida, and our head of computer vision is in Ukraine. Additionally, we work with offshore developers from Argentina, Poland, and Pakistan,” says Aurelia.

This global perspective enables Standard Measure Technologies to create a more robust and versatile product. “Our international team brings invaluable insights that help us build a well-rounded, fortified product suitable for various markets,” Aurelia adds. “It’s this diversity that allows us to not only understand but also anticipate and meet the needs of customers worldwide.”

Private Sector Support

Aurelia’s company has attracted support from global tech giants. Aurelia was part of the first cohort of the Apple Entrepreneur Camp, a technology lab for underrepresented founders and developers with app-driven businesses.  “Apple has been an amazing partner, especially when it comes to PR. We were featured on WWDC in 2021 and recently gave a keynote for International Women’s Day,” she shares. Other notable supporters include PayPal, Meta, AWS, and Visa, providing both financial support and valuable resources to propel the company forward.

Public Sector Support

Looking ahead, Aurelia is excited about Standard Measure Technologies’ launch in Japan and a new partnership with a major virtual try-on company in the beauty and accessories space. They are leveraging the International Trade Administration’s Gold Key service to expand their presence in the Asia-Pacific. “The Gold Key service has been instrumental for us,” says Aurelia. “It provides personalized assistance from on-the-ground associates in key regions like Japan and South Korea. These experts help us navigate local markets and connect with potential customers.”

Navigating Policy Landscapes

Data Localization

Aurelia’s journey to global expansion is not without its challenges, particularly in navigating the complex world of international policies. When asked about data localization requirements, Aurelia expresses concern: “The higher prices makes it challenging to remain competitive,” says Aurelia. “We want to do business globally, but the high costs make it difficult without passing on those expenses to our customers, which we are keen to avoid.”

The performance of cloud technology can vary greatly depending on the region. “Latency can change based on the number of servers and the volume of users,” Aurelia explains. “If a region has fewer servers or higher traffic, the technology might not perform as well. This inconsistency can hinder our operations and customer experience.”

Mandatory Disclosure of Source Code

Aurelia is also wary of policies that mandate the disclosure of source code and algorithms to the government. “I don’t believe that the government can keep the data safe, and sharing everyone’s information is not the best way to find bad actors,” she argues. Instead, she advocates for more effective monitoring methods that do not compromise proprietary technology.

IP Protection

Reflecting on the importance of intellectual property protection, Aurelia highlights the challenges small companies face in defending their patents. “IP protection is crucial, but it’s only as effective as your ability to defend it. We need policies that cap legal fees to create a fair playing field,” she suggests.

De Minimis and 301 Tariffs

“Removing the de minimis tax exemption would make it really hard for smaller businesses to flourish. Bigger companies can absorb that, but every dollar matters for small companies,” says Aurelia.

“Packaging is a significant part of our operations, especially for promotional events like conferences and trade shows. We source this packaging from China, as the beauty industry heavily relies on Chinese manufacturing. Unfortunately, the 301 tariffs impose a burden on small businesses like ours,” explains Aurelia.

“The tariffs can make or break a company in its early stages,” Aurelia emphasizes. “These additional costs are particularly challenging for small businesses operating on tight margins.”

In summary, tariffs create significant financial strain on small businesses. As Aurelia succinctly puts it, “301 tariffs and the removal of the de minimis tax exemption not only increase our costs but also threaten our competitiveness and sustainability in the market.”

Policy Advocacy

Small businesses should care about policy because the decisions made today can significantly impact their operations in the future. “We don’t know what we don’t know,” says Aurelia. “Staying informed about policy developments allows us to anticipate changes and make proactive decisions.”

Policies can create roadblocks that small businesses might not foresee. “A lot of decisions we make now are going to affect us later. If we knew about certain policies three years prior, we could have advocated against them and achieved more favorable outcomes,” Aurelia explains.

Getting involved in government-level discussions is crucial. “It’s important for small businesses to have a voice in policymaking. Understanding what’s coming down the pipeline helps us prepare and adapt, ensuring that we can continue to grow and thrive,” Aurelia emphasizes.

Standard Measure Technologies

Aurelia Edwards