Katrina Lake is an American businesswoman, the founder, and CEO of Stitch-Fix. Stitch fix is a company that offers fashion-based subscription services.
According to vox.com, Katrina was the youngest and the first lady to take an Internet Company public for the period.
Besides investing in Stitch-Fix, Lake has also ventured into other investments, including shark tank projects.
Please keep reading to learn more about the early life, career, net worth, shark tank investments, and other important information about Katrina Lakes.
Katrina Lake was born and raised in San Francisco and Minnesota. Though she hasn’t disclosed lots of information about her parents, sources indicate that her mother was a public school teacher. At the same time, her father was a doctor at the University Of Minnesota and the University of California, San Francisco.
At her early ages, Katrina was not so much into business. She wanted to become a doctor like her father.
According to Los Angeles Times, Lake attended Stanford University to study medicine. However, her entrepreneurial spirit couldn’t let go of her.
She was thrilled by how economists used data and statistics to present ideas, which caused her to major in economics even after tackling her pre-med courses at Stanford University. Below is what she had to comment about the same:
“I was pre-med in college; I even took the MCAT. When it came time to graduate, I was volunteering in a hospital. I decided to get a job before applying to medical school. I got a job in consulting, and I did that for two years. I loved analyzing businesses and getting to understand how they worked. I thought there were so many interesting challenges in apparel retail,” says Katrina, thecut.com.
After graduating from Stanford, Lake joined the Havard Business School for her MBA.
Career and Success
After attaining her bachelor’s degree, Lake worked with Parthenon and several other companies, where she got the inspiration to enter the business world. And, this inspiration caused her to join the Havard school of business to pave her way in business.
“My thinking was the best-case scenario, I’ll be able to start my own business, and that’d be great; worst case scenario, I have Harvard MBA, and that’s not bad either,” said Lake, poetsandquants.com
Lakes identified a gap in the clothing industry during her second year of learning. She was upset by how people spent their time searching for clothes online or sorting clothes in the supermarket to get something they liked. The experience was tiresome and time-consuming.
“I felt so strongly that the way people were shopping was not going to be the future. I was like, there’s no way that the future of buying jeans is going to be spending a day at the mall or even searching online…” said Lakes, thecut.com. She felt the urge to effect change in the industry and came up with Stitch-Fix to offer a long-lasting solution to the shopping problem.
Lake’s idea behind stitch-fix was to have a single shopper (herself) shop on behalf of a community and deliver the products to their doorsteps.
During the early stages of implementing her idea, Lake would ask people in the Boston area and its surroundings to answer style surveys.
She would then use the surveys to buy clothes using her credit card, pack them in boxes (called fixes), and then deliver them to clients’ homes.
The clients, in turn, would pick their favorite clothes, then write her a check bearing their credit number and the number of clothes they were willing to keep. She would record the information she got from the clients for future referencing on customer preferences and dislikes.
Stitch fix wasn’t a success in the first time. Indeed, Lake faced a great challenge in mobilizing money to grow her business. This was because most investors disliked the idea of using checks to collect client information.
The method of payment collection (waiting for customers to pay a month after delivery) was another turnoff for most investors.
However, Lakes didn’t give up her business because most of her clients loved her idea. After struggling for some time, Lake landed a venture capitalist: Steve Anderson, who poured $750,000 into Stitch Fix.
For all this period, Lake had been working from her house in Cambridge.
The demand for women’s clothing kept growing until Lake could no longer offer her personal–shopping services from her apartment.
She opened a new warehouse to help in stock management and hired executives from Netflix and Walmart to help with the expansive company operations. She also came up with a sophisticated payment method. By then, the company was closing $ 730,000 in sales.
Lakes and her team took the company public six years after its inception when it gained more than $120 million.
Katrina Lake’s Net Worth
According to Forbes, Katrina is worth $1.1 billion, ranking her among the self-made female billionaires in the US. She earns a Significant percentage of her wealth from her stitch fix investment.
She lives with her family in their private mansion in San Francisco. Though not mentioned, Forbes states that Lake has ventured into other investments, which are part of her wealth.
Shark Tank Information
Lake showed up in shark on season 11 of the ABC show, episode 14, where she joined hands with Lori Greiner to invest $ 400,000 for a 10% share in a young growing company that deals with children’s glasses. The managers of the famous ABC show had invited Lake as the guest shark tank judge for the period.
Katrina Lakes Best/Worst Shark Tank Investments
After closing a deal with Pair Eyewear, the business has been booming. According to looper.com, the company raised $ 12 million in series A funding and a 30% growth in sales. They further received $ 60 million in series B funding. The company further expanded its product line to produce eye frames for adults and lowered its prices, upscaling the sales even more.
Katrina invested in only one shark tank project (the pair eyewear company), which was a success because the company has been generating more profits since then.
Katrina Lake is happily married to John Clifford, an investment professional. The two have two sons whose names are undisclosed.