Katrina Lake

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Katrina Lake
Katrina Lake

Alma materStanford University
Harvard Business School
OccupationFounder and CEO of Stitch Fix

Katrina Lake (born 1983) is an American businesswoman who is the Founder and CEO of Stitch Fix, a fashion-based subscription service. Stitch Fix was established in 2011 in San Francisco[1] and went public in 2017.[2] Lake, who is the youngest woman ever to take a company public,[3] was the only woman in 2017 to lead an initial public offering in technology.[4][5] Lake holds a 16.6% stake in Stitch Fix.[5] In November 2017, immediately after the offering, Stitch Fix was valued at $1.6 billion.[6] As of August 2018, the company was valued at approximately $2.8 billion.[7] In 2017, Forbes named Lake one of American's richest self-made women.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Lake was born to a teacher and physician in 1983, and grew up in Minnesota and San Francisco. She initially wanted to become a doctor before she became an entrepreneur.[9] She began on the pre-med course, but became very interested in economics and business.[10] She has described herself as "risk averse".[11] She received her bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 2005.[9][12] In 2011, she completed her MBA at Harvard Business School.[13]


Lake worked at Polyvore and management consultancy The Parthenon Group.[14][4] Lake's sister worked as a clothing buyer, and would send outfits to Lake.[1] She describes her fashion sense as "classic with a twist".[15]

Customers of Stitch Fix order "fixes" of five items, selected for them by professional stylists, as a one off or at scheduled intervals, and are subsequently given three days to choose which items they want to keep.[16]

Lake was inspired to create an e-commerce company that "pairs an army of stylists with an arsenal of data to deliver clothing" in 2011.[17] She has combined data science with marketing to grow the business.[18] In 2012, Lake was introduced to Netflix VP of data science and engineering, Eric Colson, who initially dismissed the business model as "whimsical" but within months joined the company as chief algorithms officer.[19] In 2016-17, Stitch Fix had $730 million in sales.[9]

Lake was listed in the 2016 Fortune (magazine) 40 under 40.[20] Lake was the only woman to take an internet company public in 2017.[21] She has commented that she had to be more efficient with her finances as she raised "a fraction of the cash of most venture-backed companies".[22][23]

Personal life[edit]

Lake married John Clifford, an investment professional, in 2014.[24] Lake has a son and, as of July 2018, is expecting another child.[3][24]


  1. ^ a b "How This Millennial Founder Created a $730 Million Fashion Startup--With the Help of an Algorithm". Inc.com. 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  2. ^ "These Billion-Dollar Women Are Changing The Face of Silicon Valley". Marie Claire. 2018-03-27. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  3. ^ a b Draznin, Haley (July 31, 2018). "She's 35 -- and runs a $3 billion company". CNN. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "How a 34-year-old Stanford and Harvard grad built Stitch Fix into a billion-dollar company that just went public". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  5. ^ a b Gensler, Lauren. "Stitch Fix Shares Pop In IPO, With Retailer Raising $120 Million". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  6. ^ Hirsch, Lauren Thomas, Lauren (2017-11-17). "Stitch Fix shares retreat after IPO pop, close at $15.15". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  7. ^ "Stitch Fix stock quote". Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  8. ^ O'Connor, Clare (November 29, 2017). "Stitch Fix Stock Surge Puts CEO Katrina Lake Among America's Richest Self-Made Women". Forbes. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Lien, Tracey. "Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake built one of the few successful e-commerce subscription services". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  10. ^ "Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake Wanted to Work at the 'Apparel Retailer of the Future,' So She Founded It". Fashionista. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  11. ^ "10 Things You Didn't Know about Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake". Money Inc. 2017-10-31. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  12. ^ "Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix on Building Diverse Teams". Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  13. ^ "Katrina Lake - Harvard Business School Digital Initiative". Harvard Business School Digital Initiative. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  14. ^ "About Katrina | Getting Personal". katrinalake.wpengine.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  15. ^ Fortune Magazine (2015-07-21), Harvard MBA's Startup Success | Fortune's Brainstorm Tech 2015 | Fortune, retrieved 2018-02-22
  16. ^ "Katrina Lake is One of the 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry in 2017". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  17. ^ "How This Millennial Founder Created a $730 Million Fashion Startup--With the Help of an Algorithm". Inc.com. 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  18. ^ "Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake on how she keeps her 'shopping in a box' a formidable business". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  19. ^ "Katrina Lake Stich Fix". Inc. 2017-10-01. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  20. ^ "Katrina Lake". Fortune. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  21. ^ "Women in tech see today's Stitch Fix IPO as a milestone". Recode. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  22. ^ "Stitch Fix's Katrina Lake Did More With Less Cash". Bloomberg.com. 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  23. ^ "Stitch Fix's CEO says 'We've been underestimated before'". Recode. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  24. ^ a b "How Stitch Fix's CEO Katrina Lake Built a $2 Billion Company". ELLE. 2018-02-28. Retrieved 2018-11-01.

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