Though LaFleur said it was obvious that this model was where the company's future growth would come from, she admits there were a lot of operational headwinds when it first started.
"Customers are saying, 'I want polka dots and pinstripes,' and if you don't have polka dots and pinstripes you can't send it," she said.
After one month, the company shut down the test to retool its design, production and other operational strategies. Eight months later, in October 2014, the new business model officially launched.
After initially struggling to grow sales, MM.LaFleur's sales increased a whopping 570 percent last year, with nearly 40 percent of its customer base making a follow-up purchase within four weeks. For 2016, the company is on pace to bring in $30 million in revenue. And just five years into existence, the business is breaking even.
In addition to its online shop, MM.LaFleur operates a showroom in its New York City headquarters, which it's in the process of expanding from three to six dressing rooms. The company has also tested pop-up locations in cities such as Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, and is considering opening a permanent store in D.C. It recently launched an at-home styling service in New York City, and later this year, will expand its assortment into shoes and bags.
"What we've always wanted to do since day one is be the one-stop shop for professional women," LaFleur said. "It's baffling to me why they're such an overlooked category."