|Alma mater||Purdue University|
Julie Wainwright is an e-commerce entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of The RealReal, an online marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment.
Clorox and Berkeley Systems
Early in her career Wainwright began working for The Clorox Company in brand management and computer software. By age 30, she replaced Wes Boyd as CEO of Berkeley Systems where she was instrumental in changing the company's strategy by making it a leading interactive entertainment entity. As president and CEO of the company, she reduced a two year decline in productivity. She was among one third of the employees that were laid off from Berkeley when the company was sold to CUC in late 1996.
Reel.com and Pets.com
She then became President and CEO of Reel.com, replacing founder, Stuart Skorman. After 27 months, Hollywood Video purchased Reel.com for $100,000,000 and Wainwright left the organization to be replaced by Jeff Jordan. At this time she had almost 20 years of experience with software, technology and consumer-product industries. She was approached by John Hummer of HummerWinblad Ventures to run Pets.com.
Wainwright was CEO of Pets.com when it ceased operations 268 days after its initial stock offering - "one of the shortest-lived public companies on record" according to Kirk Cheyfitz, author of Thinking Inside the Box: The 12 Timeless Rules for Managing a Successful Business. After shutting Pets.com in November 2000, her husband sought a divorce. Wainwright said that this was a very difficult time in her life: "I had two major life crises in the same week, one public and one private, that sent me on a journey of self-discovery and healing I couldn’t have anticipated." In a 2015 article, Forbes gave The RealReal a FORBES-estimated valuation of $300 million saying “the startup is in a much better place than Pets.com ever was.”
Wainwright founded The RealReal in 2011, and the company shipped its first orders in June of that year. As of June 2017, The RealReal had raised $173 million in venture capital funding. The company’s focus on sustainability led to its becoming the first luxury member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 USA.
By December 2017, The RealReal employed 950 people and was estimated to be on track to have around $500 million in annual revenue.
Wainwright is an advisor to Springboard Enterprises’ New York Fashion Tech Lab and Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. She has been a board member of the Headlands Center for the Arts, Magic Theatre and San Francisco Art Institute.
The San Francisco Business Times recognized Wainwright as one of the most-admired CEOs of the year in 2014, and again in 2017 as one of the most influential women of the year. In 2016, Wainwright accepted the Fashion Group International’s award for Innovation in Retail e-Commerce on behalf of The RealReal and won Springboard Enterprises’ Northstar Award. She has been included in the Business of Fashion’s BoF500 for both 2016 and 2017, Vanity Fair’s New Establishment list 2017, and Forbes 40 over 40.In 2017, The RealReal received the award for Best-Performing Company in the small-cap category from WWD.
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- Mac, Ryan. "From Doghouse To Penthouse: The Remarkable Recovery Of The RealReal's Julie Wainwright". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
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- "CE100 USA". Retrieved 2017-09-11.
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- "The Fashion Group International's Night of Stars". Beauty Fashion Fragrance. 2016-10-31. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- "Springboard Enterprises 2016 Winners Circle".
- "Julie Wainwright is One of the 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry in 2017". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
- Johnson, Whitney. "40 Women To Watch Over 40 Celebrates Possibilities Ahead For Women". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
- Clark, Evan (2017-09-11). "Rihanna to Speak at the WWD Apparel + Retail Summit". WWD. Retrieved 2017-09-14.