Headquartered in New York City, Refinery29 is the largest independent fashion and style site in the United States. When it comes to connecting millions of readers to the ideas, shopping, and community that can help them express themselves through the best of fashion, beauty, food, culture, and home, Refinery29 is their feel-good destination.
Staying at the forefront of fashion and lifestyle trends requires eyes and ears in the world's hottest cities. To keep its readers up on all the latest looks, stories and products, Refinery29 has trend-spotting editors located in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC and London. Having an agile editorial team around the globe was great for the site's content, but challenging when it came time for remote staff to share files with Refinery29's New York headquarters. Initially, the NYC team would save documents and photos onto a server in its office, while the various local editors would use personal Dropbox accounts. However, the more files that accumulated, the more difficult it became to keep track of where individual assets were saved. Moving the entire Refinery29 staff to Dropbox Business allowed everyone to have quick, easy access to files and a standardized way of sharing important content with each other. According to Director of Business Intelligence, Shawna Strayhorn, it quickly streamlined processes. "With Dropbox, you know exactly where to go to retrieve what you need," she says. "There's no more rushing to find someone to get assets so you can move forward on a project. It alleviates a lot of stress."
"With Dropbox, you know exactly where to go to retrieve what you need. There's no more rushing to find someone to get assets so you can move forward on a project. It alleviates a lot of stress."
Before content can go live on the Refinery29 website, the local editors must get photo approval from senior staff. Dropbox folders enable fast, easy sharing between the individual editors and the core team in New York. Kurtz explains, "Rather than uploading, downloading, and re-uploading photo selections, we can work right within Dropbox. It's really helpful." While the Dropbox Business desktop solution helps Refinery29's team of local editors work efficiently from their homes, the mobile app helps many of the company's NYC staffers operate out in the field. Using Dropbox, employees can quickly reference important files or collaborate with coworkers — right from their phones — when they're on photo shoots or attending corporate events. The Refinery29 marketing team also relies on Dropbox Business to organize and share assets. For each new marketing project, a Dropbox folder is created to house copy, imagery, and other necessary components. Strayhorn says, "Dropbox has really helped with the project management process. Now everyone knows where and how to find the right files for each campaign, and we're able to control access and manage versions more accurately." When it comes to exchanging information with external partners, Refinery29 uses Dropbox Business instead of email or FTP sites. Team members simply set up shared folders and add the appropriate photographers or content contributors so files can be shared back and forth.
On a day-to-day basis, Dropbox Business helps Refinery29 share more smoothly and operate more efficiently. But the merits of the application have become particularly clear to Refinery29 during some of the more intense situations. One of these was Hurricane Sandy which hit the east coast hard in late October of 2012. Kurtz confirms, "Dropbox saved us during the hurricane. No one had to struggle to remotely log in to a server from home. We didn't have to stop working-even for 5 minutes." Though far less nerve-wracking than a hurricane, accidental file deletion is another hurdle Dropbox Business has helped Refinery29 overcome. Kurtz says that often people don't realize they've deleted files, but thanks to the Dropbox restore feature, getting files back is a snap. "It's incredibly helpful to be able to restore lost assets so easily when so many people are touching the folders," she adds. During New York Fashion Week — one of the most critical times for Refinery29 — Dropbox helps staff members keep pace with the massive influx of information and photos coming in to be featured on the company's website. Because editors cover shows, street styles, and more that week, Refinery29 has to edit thousands of images. Using Dropbox Business, editors are able to make selections and get them live on the site within 4-6 hours. This past year, the company discovered that allowing editors to work remotely during Fashion Week accelerates content development even further. Kurtz explains, "In order to generate content quickly, we used to have to work from the office that week. But because of Dropbox, our editors were able to stay connected without actually coming into the office. In between fashion shows, they could work from home — or wherever was convenient — and get stories out even faster and more efficiently." Dropbox Business allows Refinery29 to deliver content fast-helping it maintain its momentum and success. Even under challenging circumstances or deadlines, Refinery29 keeps its cool with Dropbox by its side.