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Genius: Wharton Grads' Startup Is the Warby Parker of Fingerless Gloves


Photo by Andrea Black / CC BY-SA 2.0

Innovation. Disruption. Impact. These words are rarely applied to fingerless glove companies, but three recent Wharton graduates want to change that.

Michelle Woo, Gilbert Casus, and Amelia Andrews all graduated from Wharton last year, but have been working on their startup since the end of their junior year. Their company Dexter Gloves is about to begin selling fingerless gloves to the public.

"It's basically the Warby Parker of fingerless glove companies," Andrews explained. "We offer a wide range of styles and fits of fingerless glove at a lower price point than all our competitors, and we've secured venture capital funding to open a trendy, unique retail store in New York."

Similar to Warby Parker's model for donating glasses, Dexter Gloves plans to give one pair of fingerless gloves to a person who needs them for every pair sold in stores. 

"Giving back is so important," Casus said. "There are countless people in the world who need the warmth of a glove but demand the agility of bare fingers. When you buy a pair of Dexter Gloves, you'll know that you're helping someone else be able to play the guitar or use a touch screen in moderately cold weather."

Like Warby Parker, Dexter Gloves will send you a number of fingerless gloves to try on in the convenience of your home. You can even take a picture of your hands and try the gloves on virtually. The company offers a number of styles in materials like leather, wool, cotton, fleece, and even suede.

Woo claims that the company's hope is that instead of owning just one or two pairs of fingerless gloves, consumers will be able to buy a multitude of pairs to wear for different occasions, moods, or outfits. "We designed our gloves to be affordable enough that you can own ten pairs," she said. "Everyone loves fingerless gloves, but they just weren't accessible enough. Now they will be."

Dexter Gloves' flagship store opens in New York City this April. It will be thirty seven degrees and full of finger food, touch screens, and small nuts on screws so that customers can experience the utility of fingerless gloves.

"We're so excited," Casus said. "We're going to be rich, I think."