I am constantly amazed at the extraordinary opportunities that come my way as a result of my two blogs and my most recent adventure certainly takes the cake. Stitch Fix actually invited me to their recent Tastemakers event, which was hosted at their headquarters in San Francisco. You already know that my love of this amazing company runs deep and it goes way beyond clothes. Yes, the clothes are nice, but I also adore Stitch Fix because they have literally given women across America access to their own personal shopper. The company was also founded by a woman, Katrina Lake, which makes me love it even more. And the positive culture of all aspects of Stitch Fix operations run deep and like nothing I have ever seen.
First let me back up a bit and let you know more more about the work trip of my dreams! It was a very full two days, complete with a tour of HQ, a trip to the warehouse, social media panel, photography tutorials, amazing food, a photo shoot … and yes, lots of clothes!
I'm including my Stitch Fix affiliate link in this post. I completely adore Stitch Fix and it has forever changed the way I shop for clothes. It has also significantly elevated my personal style. Whether you're just learning about Stitch Fix for the first time or you've been waiting to take the plunge, now is a great time to sign up and schedule your first fix. I receive a small commission each time someone signs up using my link, which helps to support the blog. I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoy sharing it with you!
I was one of 13 influencers invited on the Stitch Fix Tastemakers event. Going into the event, I didn't know most of the other women. I recognized a few names from my Instagram and social media feeds, but I had never connected with any of them and I was nervous!
As it turns out, I had nothing to be nervous about. How can you not fall in love with all of these women?
|Juli- paleomg.com||Africa – Africamiranda.com|
|April – aprilathena7.com||Jamie – creatingreallyawesomefunthings
|Monique – ambitiouskitchen.com||Andrea – howdoesshe.com|
|Kyrzayda – kyrzayda.com||Daniela – nanysklozet.com|
|Kimberly – sensiblestylista.com||Taralynn – simplytaralynn.com|
|Coco – millennielle.com||Rosanna – glamdapper.com|
Stitch Fix Headquarters
So, there we were, 13 bloggers and social media addicts hitting the streets of San Fransisco for a whirlwind couple of days. We all stayed at the Axiom Hotel, which was just a short walk away from Stitch Fix headquarters.
When we finally arrived at HQ, I think I must have been in shock because I didn't get any photos of the lobby! I was eventually able to jump start myself back into action and reach for my camera. Let me tell you, I was fascinated by every inch of space that we passed through. There were racks and racks of clothes everywhere we went. And of course, I was able to find an item that I own from a previous fix on almost every rack.
Our tour through the offices continued, and I must admit that I was captivated.
I especially loved the style boards they had set up as trend inspiration.
The trend I'm most excited about?
I think I may request an all “garden romance” fix when spring rolls around.
I simply could not get enough of my walk through Stitch Fix HQ. I fell way to the back of the group and kept trying to capture as much of the experience as possible because I was basically in heaven.
So what were the offices like? Have you ever seen the movie The Intern with Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro? It felt a lot like that! A huge office for a fashion startup run by a woman under the age of 40 with a lot of great team members. I could not get the movie out of my head the entire time I was there.
Stitch Fix Panel Discussions
Eventually, it was time to leave their current offices and walk a few blocks to the former Stitch Fix headquarters. The company has grown so much in such a short time, they are in the process of building additional floors at their current offices. In the interim, some employees still work at the old location. A few blocks later and we had arrived.
We gathered in the back of the offices for two panel presentations.
First up was their Merchandising panel with Stitch Fix executives:
Brittany Busacca- Trend Manager
Jen Benzian- Buying Director
Jena Wang- Exclusive Brands Director
Meredith Dunn- VP of Styling & Client Experience
The second panel discussion was all about social media with Lauren Michaels from Pinterest, Darlene Thomas from Facebook & Instagram and Lily Felder- Stitch Fix's own social media manager.
We learned so much and were a captive audience. It was so unbelievably generous for these women to take time out of their very busy days to educate us on the company and how we can improve our own social media presence.
They even had a rack of some fresh new styles that will be arriving in fixes very soon. I fell in love with this feminine and ethereal skirt. I personally don't have a use for it, but someone seriously needs to request it from their stylist. It was just lovely.
Meeting Layla, My Personal Stylist
After learning so much, it was time for the group to head out for lunch. And that's when the most surprising and wonderful three minutes of my entire trip occurred.
There I was, trailing behind the rest of the group heading toward the elevator, when I heard someone call out “Maria!” from behind me. I turned around, wondering who could possibly be calling my name since I was the last one in the group.
It was LAYLA!
You know. Layla.
My personal stylist! I instantly knew who she was and I'm pretty sure I shrieked when I finally saw who was calling out my name. Layla has been styling me since August 2014 and sent 30 fixes my way. She always includes the sweetest messages in my fix and she feels just like an old friend.
Our group was already late for lunch, so Layla and I only had a few minutes to chat, but those minutes were absolutely wonderful.
Lunch with Stitch Fix Executives
We were joined by several Stitch Fix executives including Julie Bornstein (Stitch Fix Chief Operating Officer – shown below in the white coat), Lisa Bougie (General Manager of Women’s), and Mike Smith (General Manager of Men’s).
The CEO and founder of Stitch Fix, Katrina Lake, wasn't present for any of the festivities. She was out on maternity leave and spending time with her new baby boy (which is a pretty fantastic reason to miss the event).
I sat right beside Mike Smith, the General Manager of Men's. You can see him in the photo below. As you know, Rob has recently become a customer of Stitch Fix Men and it was so insightful to chat with Mike about the new service for men. We talked all about the service, the quality of the clothing and how Rob's most recent fix was a home run.
Mike also sprinkled in lots of additional information about Stitch Fix and what happens behind the scenes. For example, did you know that even the Stitch Fix executives (including CEO Katrina Lake) style customers on a regular basis? They only sign their first name, so you'll never know for sure which of the 3,000 stylists assembled your fix, but if you discover that someone named Katrina, Julie, Lisa or Mike styled you; it just might have been one of the executives. Fun, right?
We didn't just talk the entire time. The food was also pretty spectacular.
Working at “The Hizzy” Stitch Fix Warehouse
We still had one outing planned for the first day of our event: a trip to “The Hizzy”, the affectionate name of the Stitch Fix warehouse in San Francisco. The warehouse was pretty massive and we were treated to a tour and a unique experience.
We began by walking through the warehouse and were given an overview of each area in the facility.
There were so many things to take in! So many boxes, so many clothes, so many fixes! Even a giant robot made out of cardboard boxes.
After our tour, they put us to work! Our first order of business was gathering items from around the warehouse and placing them in shipping boxes. The process was incredibly well-thought out and organized. It's way too complicated to explain how the process works, but 5 empty boxes and their corresponding paperwork are placed on a cart with a computer and a scanner. It was our job to locate the exact items for each customer's fix. We pushed those carts all over the place!
The next job was to take the items in each person's fix, do a quality check, and get them ready to ship. I have always admired how lovingly folded my own fixes are when they arrive at my door, but this experience gave me an entirely new appreciation for the job. There was always a lint-roller within easy reach of the station to keep the clothes looking their best. Once inspected, every item was folded and wrapped with such precision!
It was a fun experience, but I give serious credit to the people who do this job on a daily basis. We heard that most of the workers in the warehouse walk an average of 13 miles every day while at work.
Dinner at Cala
After such a busy day, we had a few hours of quiet time to ourselves, then it was time for dinner! We were treated to a fresh take on Mexican at Cala.
Shareable bites of trout tostada, sopes playeros, rockfish a la talla, and sweet potatoes with bone marrow salsa. I only know what half of those words mean, but I am certain that the food was delicious. For dessert, we had palanqueta with chocolate ice cream. I'm pretty sure palanqueta means “crispy chocolate goodness.”
And the conversation? Well, that was pretty amazing too! Several Stitch Fix team members joined us for dinner and we had so much to talk about.
And just like that, my first day with Stitch Fix came to a close. It was perfect and wonderful and everything I could have wished for.
I will be back very soon to fill you in on the second day of the StitchFix Tastemakers Event. For now, I'll just leave you with this one amazing photo. Exciting, right?!?
PS – Thanks to Stitch Fix for capturing the day's events so I didn't have to worry so much about taking my own photos. All of the food photos (and a few others from HQ) were captured using my little point and shoot camera. It does amazingly well in low lighting and is my go-to camera every time I travel.