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How Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake Learned to Embrace Her Power The founder of the $2 billion business shares how she's grown as a leader, how she pays it forward, and how she handles bad news.

By Stephanie Schomer

This story appears in the March 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix has changed the way consumers shop. The online styling brand launched in 2011, winning over female customers with personalized selections of clothing sent directly to their door. (No more mall visits!) The brand then expanded to men's and kids' clothing and, since going public in 2017, has seen annual revenue approach $2 billion. Meanwhile, founder and CEO Katrina Lake has gone through her own evolution. She's thinking about growth differently — less about speed, more about long-term sustainability — and has learned the importance of keeping her staff updated on all news, even the bad kind. She's aware that as a young female CEO, all eyes are on her, but she's learned to pay it forward to other young founders and embrace her role in the shifting landscape of startup culture. Because with every Stitch Fix win, she knows she's helping create change.

Stitch Fix had a great 2019, increasing revenue 29 percent to $1.6 billion. Since going public in 2017, have you changed the way you approach your goals and efforts to continue improving?

Operating at this scale and being public — and feeling like we're competing for dollars and shareholders with all these incredible companies, some of which have been around for decades and decades — has given us a longer-term view of the company. Where do we want to be not just next year, but in 10 years? I see the business now more through the lens that a public market investor looks through. And that's a different mindset — to go from an entrepreneur who'll build and grow something really fast to somebody who's running a company that intends to create value year after year for a long period of time.

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