This morning, my first day as CEO of Stitch Fix, I sent the following email to our employees.
Stitch Fix team,
I woke up today filled with excitement, optimism, and an open heart for what is ahead for us on this exciting journey. When I joined Stitch Fix 1.5 years ago I saw extraordinary potential – a company whose core DNA is first and foremost about personalization: improving each of our clients’ lives through creative human touch plus data science; a team who struck me as humble, curious and hungry; and while 10 years in the making, a sense that this was only the beginning.
As I look forward, I am humbled to officially step into the CEO role, and to have the opportunity to continue to build this world-changing company alongside each and every one of you. On this first day, I wanted to share a reflection about where we’re going, the vision that is fueling me, and I hope all of you, too.
For the past ten years, Stitch Fix has been transforming the way people find what they love. We’ve helped millions of clients to be their best selves, while pioneering an entirely new concept for ecommerce. Katrina’s vision and extraordinary leadership brought us to this point. I’m grateful for the advice and coaching she has given me, and incredibly impressed at her openness to change, embracing ideas that will make our company and our client experience even better. I’m thrilled that she will still be here to help guide us, both through her role as Executive Chairperson and as an employee focused on sustainability and social impact.
Our time is now. Over the last 18 months we have crafted and begun executing a strategy to meet the future head-on, becoming the destination for personalized shopping, styling and inspiration. And serendipitously, consumers are ready for our offering. For years, retail apparel was stuck in brick-and-mortar stores, moving slowly online, largely because it is a “complex choice” category. This complex choice conundrum is what plays most to our strengths, and in the last year alone with consumer behavior catapulted into the future, we saw between $30-50 billion of apparel shift online, with an expectation that this shift will continue. This enormous change represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to create the blueprint for the future of retail.
We have the vision and the roadmap to once again be the pioneer in the apparel industry, and lead in this moment. We have a clear plan to dramatically grow the number of people we can reach by expanding our service through direct buy, new styling services, a broader assortment supported by new inventory models, and a more content-rich and social experience. Inventing this future can take us from the over four million clients we serve today to tens of millions more.
But of course, a strategy alone will not take us there. It will become reality because of the people who work in this incredible company. This is an audacious undertaking, and our team has the courage and adaptability, willingness to embrace change, and an ever-present customer first mindset to make this a reality. I look at our success with recent innovations across both Fixes and direct buy, like Fix Preview and the ability to Shop by Category, our ability to bring the wonderful brands we work with along as we experiment with new inventory models, and the dedication we put into new programs like Elevate, and know we can conquer new heights together.
Along with the work each of us is doing, as a company, we are making significant investments to evolve our ways of working to power our future. Our “work, restyled” initiative brings a scalable, flexible, and equitable model for us to work together post-pandemic, acknowledging our more hybrid and remote norms. We are evolving our company values – doubling down on what is most unique to Stitch Fix, and adding the tenets for our future – to guide us in this next phase of growth. And we are investing in the work we still need to do to move diversity, equity and inclusion forward. Katrina often said that she wanted Stitch Fix to be a place where you would be excited to work for the rest of your life, and I share that goal.
We aspire to be an extraordinary organization rather than an ordinary one. This ambition means that not every day is easy, but every day is worth it.
As I type this, I’m glancing at a paper weight on my desk that says, “Everything is possible.” That’s one of my mottos, a personal philosophy that guides me every day, as does working with all of you. Thank you for everything you do—your hard-work, passion and enthusiasm for building our future together. I am grateful to be on this journey with you.