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Deena Varshavskaya is the founder and CEO of Wanelo (“wah-nee-lo,” from Want, Need, Love), the world’s largest mall, curated by people. Millions of shoppers use Wanelo to discover and buy from over 20 million products and over 350,000 stores, which include big brands and independent boutiques and sellers you’ve never heard of, all in one place on your phone. Deena started Wanelo after being frustrated with shopping in traditional malls. Her personal style didn’t fit a simple category, and she wanted to shop in more unique places. She decided to create a social network that would make it easy to discover amazing stores and products from anywhere online. Deena worked on Wanelo for more than two years using her personal savings to build the site and attract its first users. In 2011, she moved to San Francisco, and she launched Wanelo in 2012 after receiving 40 investor rejections before finally closing her first round of funding. Deena has been named one of the "Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs" for two years in a row by Goldman Sachs and was recognized by Forbes as one of "The Power Women Who Are Reinventing The Way You Shop Fashion Online." She has also been highlighted in Fast Company’s "Most Creative People in Business" list and is named as one of 15 “up-and-comers to keep an eye on” in Vanity Fair’s "Next Establishment" list. The National Retail Federation recently recognized Deena as an “Influencer” reshaping the retail industry. Originally from Siberia, Deena moved to the U.S. at the age of 16 and dropped out of Cornell University two classes short of graduating. She currently lives in San Francisco and can be followed on Wanelo, Twitter and Instagram at @siberianfruit. Check out her exclusive interview with PSFK & HP/HP Matter here!
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