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Katrina Lake

Katrina Lake

What was it like taking Stitch Fix public?

Taking the company public last fall, it was an incredible milestone. I think to have found this company, starting this company at a point where, ah, it was always hard for us to raise money, where we were shipping fixes out of our office for many years, it was a dream that someday we would have a business that would be on the scale of a billion dollars and a dream that we'd be able to take the company to a place where we'd be able to have public shareholders.

What's it like to be a leader in the tech industry?

It was also I think really rewarding to get to be part of I think what was a significant milestone for women. And it was something that maybe earlier in my career I was more resistant to. And I wanted to be known as being a successful CEO and not being a successful female CEO. But the reality is, I think there aren't enough role models out there, and there aren't enough examples of people to be able to look to as, you know, younger entrepreneurs, And young people are deciding what future is right for them. And, so, I really came to embrace the idea of really being able to represent a milestone, not just for me and not just for Stitch Fix, but for women. And it's really meant a lot to me to be able to hear so much positive feedback I think from the entrepreneur community and from the broader community. And so it was a really important moment for, for myself, but also my family, for the company, and I think for the broader ecosystem.

Advice for young entrepreneurs?

The advice that I would have for somebody who is just starting as an entrepreneur, frankly, and any role, is really to be shameless and curious. I think the idea of being a lifelong learner is something that can benefit you your whole life. And one of the things early in Stitch Fix that I would do is, I would create a list of just like amazing people, just people that I wanted to meet, people that I could learn from. And I was just on a journey of learning and trying to find the people that are going to help me to understand my business better, help me to hire the right people. And that journey of learning led me to hiring great people, led me to adding people to my board, to recruiting people I never dreamed I'd be able to recruit. And I think all of that comes from being able to be curious about everything, and also just being shameless and pinging people on LinkedIn and asking people for intros. And the worst somebody is going to say is no. And so I think that shameless curiosity is something that, um, I think can benefit everybody.

Overview

Katrina Lake, Stitch Fix founder and CEO, tells J.P. Morgan what it was like to take her company public and offers leadership advice to entrepreneurs and the technology industry.