Katrina Lake is the founder and CEO of Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service for men, women, and kids that exists to help people discover the clothes they love, that fit them and their lifestyle perfectly. Passionate about helping women achieve everyday confidence, Katrina founded Stitch Fix to help women everywhere discover and explore their style through a truly client-focused shopping experience. Stitch Fix is a service powered by machine learning and serves 3 million active clients in the US. In 2017, Katrina took Stitch Fix public; she is, to date, the youngest female founder and CEO to take a company public. In 2019, Stitch Fix ranked 5th on Fast Company’s Most Innovative List, as well as #1 under Retail.
In the last year, what has been your proudest accomplishment?
I am most proud of Stitch Fix’s strong and consistent performance in the public market since going public just over a year ago. We’re demonstrating our ability to deliver growth and profitability, and we’re confident in our ability to continue on this path enabled by our highly scalable personalization platform. I am also proud of our upcoming expansion into the UK, which will help grow Stitch Fix’s total addressable market, and the launch of our first brand campaign. This year we announced our plans to introduce our personalization platform to UK clients. We are excited to partner with brands to create a compelling assortment for UK men and women and leverage our existing data science capabilities to serve the unique preferences of our UK clients. Additionally, we launched our first integrated brand campaign in February to connect with new and existing clients and drive increased awareness and consideration of our brand. We see a lot of potential in adding brand to our diverse marketing mix and reinforcing why our brand matters and I look forward to the impact this will have on our business.
How has your ethnic identity impacted you personally or your career?
My family is an inspiration to me. My mom immigrated to the US for graduate school and would later help my grandmother achieve her lifelong dream of coming to America as well. I grew up in a bi-lingual, bi-cultural household where my mom only spoke Japanese and my dad spoke English, so I speak both. As kids, we’d alternate between bringing onigiri and sandwiches to school, which was normal for me. In San Francisco, I went to predominantly Asian public schools but when we moved to Minnesota in my teens, I went to a fantastic private school but was one of just a few Asian people in my class. It really changed my perspective to experience and better understand feeling like a minority and I think made me a better, stronger person as a result. I’ve been lucky to have been surrounded by role models who helped me believe in myself and where I learned by example about taking big risks to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Who are some of your biggest supporters and trusted advocates throughout your journey?
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (StubHub) Bill Gurley (Benchmark), Steve Anderson (Baseline), Sarah Friar (Square & NextDoor) + our clients!