Katrina Lake: She’s Curating Your Signature Style

January 22 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: What’s Your Signature Style?

I came across a magazine article recently that urged readers to identify their signature fashion style. I posed that question to a male friend, who knowingly described his wardrobe as “comfortable meets lumberjack.” I’ve been wrestling with the idea for days and have yet to identify my own signature style. So, I turned to the experts. One style guru suggested I pick five items from my wardrobe I’d wear every day if no one were keeping track, then ask myself a few questions about each piece, about everything from the color to the silhouette to the fabric. Supposedly, the answers will help me identify my personal style, whether it’s boho chic, vintage French elegant or, more likely, Mama-needs-coffee casual.


For some women, their signature style is driven by their goals of ruling the business landscape. And we’re definitely making our mark, with the number of women founding companies between 2011 and 2016 increasing dramatically. And according to the Huffington Post, of the 15 women whose companies went public in those five years, 11 were founding CEOs. It proves female execs are taking more calculated risks, hanging out their shingles in a big way and changing the face of the business world, one IPO at a time.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Katrina Lake, Founder and CEO of Stitch Fix

Do you ever get the sense that others may know us better than we know ourselves? Let’s face it, ladies, it’s a heck of a lot more difficult to see ourselves sans bias, and that’s often even the case when it comes to our wardrobe ensembles. That’s why plenty of women rely on the seasoned style experts at online style service Stitch Fix, which recently underwent a growth surge that promises to make the company a full-blown household name.

Today’s ambitious Woman to Watch, Katrina Lake, is the brains behind the service, having launched Stitch Fix in 2011 while attending Harvard Business School. And the company’s popularity has skyrocketed ever since. A quick look at the business model shows why. Despite being an online styling service, Stitch Fix offers users personalized, curated experiences. And it’s the expertise of the real-life stylists, who select pieces that fit users’ individual style, that makes Stitch Fix a fashion must-have. After learning about your style, shape, budget and fashion needs, Stitch Fix stylists ship off five items for you to try on at home. You keep what you love and return what you don’t.

In late 2017, Katrina’s biz hit celeb status, completing its initial public offering and bringing the fashion company to new heights. The move was particularly significant, as Stitch Fix was the only female-led tech company to go public in 2017, raising $120 million to fuel the growth.

This 30-something entrepreneur didn’t always take the risky routes. Katrina initially went to college to become a doctor, but somehow, economics courses stole her heart and provided Katrina with the expertise she needed to later work as a consultant for The Parthenon Group, where she analyzed customer behaviors and other data for the restaurant and retail industries.

After that, Katrina busted her chops at a venture-capital firm, hoping to identify a cool startup to join. But then she had an epiphany: The entrepreneurs who were pitching her didn’t really have more experience than she did. So, she did what any enterprising do-it-yourself businesswoman does: She rolled up her sleeves, got to work and launched her own company, to smashing success.

Here’s to many more years of Stitch Fix making a fashion statement in the tech industry!


Today’s quote comes from Essence magazine’s Mikki Taylor. She said:

“Many women live like it’s a dress rehearsal. Ladies, the curtain is up and you’re on.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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