The last time we spoke with Katrina Lake, the Stitch Fix CEO had recently taken the online personal styling company she founded public, a feat that made her the only woman to lead a tech IPO in 2017.
Despite a rocky start — the company didn't IPO at the price Lake wanted — the months since have brought a series of wins: The release of two new product divisions (Extras and, soon, Kids), a 30% increase in active clients, and two consecutive quarters of beating Wall Street's revenue expectations. There have also been some growing pains: Stitch Fix shares fell slightly in late May after Lake said she didn't see Amazon's new foray into fashion, Prime Wardrobe, as a threat at the Code Conference.
Wall Street has long loved subscription businesses. From Costco to Netflix to Dollar Shave Club, the successful ones lock in customers who provide a steady, predictable stream of revenue.
The latest subscription love interest is Stitch Fix, the fashion service that had its initial public offering in November. Investors were skeptical, partly because it came after Blue Apron, a meal-kit subscription service that has largely tanked, and partly because it wasn’t clear whether a subscription model could work for clothing. After all, do consumers really need constant wardrobe updates?
That might depend on which consumers you ask
Katrina spoke at CODE Conference 2018, Recode's annual tech conference. She discusses diversity, IPO pricing, and Amazon, among other topics. Watch the video and read the full transcript of Katrina's session.
Are the challenges of modern day retail solvable with data science? Personal styling service Stitch Fix thinks so.
The San Francisco, Calif.-based company has forged a new kind of retail business model that uses data and AI to serve curated, personalized fashion boxes to its customers.
Fifteen floors above San Francisco’s historic shopping district, Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake is scrolling through her client queue, selecting clothes for a 47-year-old mother in Southern California. Lake is in the midst of a busy month. In addition to running the 5,800-person company she started out of her apartment seven years ago, work is taking her to Berlin and New York City. But she is still taking time to style “fixes,” the personalized boxes of clothes that her company has shipped to more than 2.5 million people in the past year.
At Stitch Fix our business model is simple: We send you clothing and accessories we think you’ll like; you keep the items you want and send the others back. We leverage data science to deliver personalization at scale, transcending traditional brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retail experiences. Customers enjoy having an expert stylist do the shopping for them and appreciate the convenience and simplicity of the service.
At Vanity Fair's Founders Fair Katrina Lake, CEO and Founder of Stitch Fix, talks about the company's growth since going public. She says the company only had less than $50 million of capital before debuting at the Nasdaq and that's partly because of the lack of female venture capitalists.
In conversation with Bloomberg's Emily Chang, Stitch Fix C.E.O Katrina Lake discusses how conceptualizing the future of retail inspired her to become an entrepreneur.
"My hope is that the next generation of girls see that being a CTO is absolutely possible and available to them. You can't be what you don't see and when I was growing up, there were too few women in technical fields. It's so important that women know that a career path in technology (STEM) is available and I'm a big advocate for supporting other women in technical fields. I want women and girls everywhere to see a world of possibility -- regardless of what their interests are. - Cathy Polinsky
On November 17, 2017, Katrina Lake cheered behind a podium centered at the Nasdaq MarketSite Studio in Times Square. The words Stitch Fix, the name of the online personal styling service she founded in 2011, were emblazoned on the massive screen behind her as she rang the bell opening the stock market. In that moment, her company was officially public, solidifying rumors about Stitch Fix’s valuation (at the time, $1.46 billion!) and making Lake, 35, a bona fide multimillionaire.