Katrina Lake Of Stitch Fix On Building Diverse Teams

by MR Magazine Staff

Katrina Lake has enjoyed storybook success as an entrepreneur. After graduating from Stanford University in 2005, she worked at a consulting firm and a venture capital firm before attending Harvard Business School. With her M.B.A. in hand, she moved to San Francisco and founded a technology company, Stitch Fix, in 2011. Stitch Fix has upended the traditional shopping experience. Customers fill out an online survey about their likes and dislikes, then a company stylist assembles a box of clothing and sends it out. Customers keep what they want for a fee, and return what they don’t want for free. The company grew fast, and last year, Ms. Lake took Stitch Fix public. Though Stitch Fix priced its shares below the expected range, the stock is trading above its offering price, and the company is now valued at nearly $2 billion. Ms. Lake remains chief executive, making her one of the most prominent female executives in Silicon Valley. Yet Ms. Lake has faced adversity along the way. She says she was constantly underestimated by investors, and has been publicly associated with an instance of sexual harassment allegedly committed by Justin Caldbeck, a prominent venture capitalist whose previous firm, Lightspeed Venture Partners, invested in Stitch Fix. (The firm and Ms. Lake signed a mutual nondisparagement agreement in 2013, and Ms. Lake has not spoken about the episode publicly.) Read more at The New York Times.