In February of 2011 Katrina Lake, at that time Harvard Business School student, began to ship personally styled outfits to customers from her apartment. This was the beginning of Stitch Fix.
Stitch Fix uses a combination of innovative algorithms and well-trained stylists to create a personalized box of clothes sent to your doorstep. You then keep and pay for the items you want, and then send back those you don’t.
So how did this one-woman operation grow to over 6,600 employees with a $2 billion valuation in 2018? Continued Innovation. After all, they are on Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies in 2019.
Stitch Fix built a strong foundation of women as their client base when it began. This led to a demand for maternity wear and petite clothing. Then there was a need for menswear which resulted in the creation of Stitch Fix Men. Then there was a strong demand for plus size clothing options resulting in the creation of Stitch Fix Plus. Finally, we have the addition of children’s clothing to the line.
The innovations started by Stitch Fix are the key to the success of these additional services. They did not change the product they are sending to their customers, they just expanded their target audience.
This steady growth and innovation have been the key to Stitch Fix’s success. Lake focused on building a strong consumer base within one target demographic and then building out from there.
Not only can Stitch Fix attribute it’s success to its innovation, but also the boom in the popularity of subscription box services. Forbes reported that subscription box purchases have grown by over 100% in the last 5 years. They also found that these boxes are typically bought by individuals between the ages of 25 to 44 years old.
Stitch Fix is not the first and only online personal styling subscription. However, because of their diversity in their product line, they are the leading online personal styling service.
From an apartment in Massachusetts to 4 offices worldwide, Stitch Fix has yet to stop growing and innovating, and it doesn’t look like they will any time soon.