A friend put together a super fun brunch yesterday with a group of fabulous ladies. She prepared a healthful spread, including green kale smoothies and set the stage for a fun morning. Katie's spread was equally as chic as she, and while the brunch was winding down we were commenting on the comforts of cozy sweaters, when Katie mentioned hers was from a service called Stitch Fix.
I'd only read about it in passing, but after the endorsement yesterday and seeing her fabulous find, I went to work to find out more about the fashion service. Here's how it works.
Head to StitchFix.com, where you strongly encouraged to honestly answer a ballot of questions such as pant size, height and weight. The service prompts a few drop down menus, as well as groups of clothing which covers style, budget, body shape and lifestyle (for example, how often do you wear business, casual, special occasion attire). The Style Profile is through, but takes no more than 10 minutes to review and complete.
The site employes stylists to personally select pieces for you, based on the questions answered, from more than 200 brands, including Sanctuary Clothing and Ella Moss, with the idea of introducing customers to new brands. The average price per piece is a reasonable $65. It's a personalized way to shop online, with the of luxury of having someone shop for you -- your own personal stylist.
The two year old company recently received funding to help expand the operations and cut back on the wait time. "If you go to schedule a Fix today, we have a three-week wait, which is a little longer than we would like, but our philosophy is we would rather have you wait three weeks and get a great Fix rather than pull together something that isn't great" said Founder and Chief Executive Officer Katrina Lake in an interview with Women's Wear Daily.
The service reaches hundreds of thousands of customers across the U.S. with the majority of their customers women in their early 30's and more than 70% of their customers return for a second Fix.
Stitch Fix sends you, the customer, a personalized box of five items, based on the answers you submitted for your Style Profile. You are charged a $20 stylist fee, which is credited to your purchase if you opt to keep an item from the shipment. If you return all five pieces, you are still charged the $20 stylist fee, which cannot be carried over to the next shipment. The unique and special benefit that I found appealing is their inclusion of Style Cards, which offer suggestions on how to wear each piece from the shipment. The customer has three days to decide whether to keep any or all of the items or return it to the company in the pre-paid self addressed stamped USPS mailing bag. Bonus: if the customer keeps all 5 items, they are given a 25% discount on their entire purchase. Another bonus? You can try on all of the items with pieces that already live in your closet to see how they will fit into your life and style, something you can't do when shopping in-store.
The business model, offers affordable prices, but does not allow for exchanges in sizes or the ability to request a specific piece. Commenting on their business model, Lake says "Our margins are comparable to what any of the other retailers would have, but the difference is in how fast we can turn the inventory. We are able to get through 85% of our merchandise in season at regular price."
I filled out my profile and scheduled my Fix for December 9, the earliest available day. I'll keep you posted on the shipment and will be sure to post photos of the pieces and my decisions on what I kept, what was returned and whether I joined the 70% return rate for my second Fix. If you're interested in joining, click here to fill out your Style Profile. If you've tried this service, let me know your thoughts or reactions to the on-line style concept.