Stitch Fix is a styling and clothing subscription service/company that started only three years ago and has grown from only one person to ten employees to over 600 employees now. I'm sure you can imagine their start-up story was so inspiring to learn about, especially for me! The entire time I felt like - this is what three years can look like?!? Watch out for Nickel & Suede!
Here is the breakdown of how Stitch Fix works from the customer perspective. You sign up to create a personal profile on their website and take a very detailed survey about your personal style. You describe how you like things to fit, what colors you will or won't wear, your size, your spending preferences, and the kind of clothing you are looking for. It's extremely detailed! The results from your survey go into a fancy algorithm that helps a stylist choose clothing for you.
To schedule a fix, you pay a $20 styling fee which you can apply to any items that you keep from your box. Stitch Fix employs stylists to choose five items for you for each fix. The five items could include shirts, dresses, skirts, pants, scarves, jewelry, or handbags. You get your fix in the mail on the day you scheduled it and open it up to find what your stylist picked for you. It's like Christmas!
You can try on each item in your own home and decide which to keep and which to return. You only pay for what you keep, but you do get a 20% discount on the whole purchase if you keep it all. With every box, you also get a personal note from your stylist and a styling card with ideas about how to style each item in the box. There is a prepaid return envelope in the box as well, so returning unwanted items is extremely easy. You can schedule a fix anytime you like (although the wait list can be a few weeks), or you can sign up for a monthly or bi-weekly subscription. If your friends or family sign up with your referral link, you can also get $25 credit toward your next box.
Since my trip, I know so much more about how Stitch Fix works and have such a respect for the company. I have heard a lot of complaints from people about the cost of the items, which start at around $20 and go up from there. Some of their denim is $150 or more, and I understand that not everyone buys denim that's that expensive. But this subscription is also a service. It is definitely not a way to purchase discount or inexpensive clothing. There are so many people behind the scenes that are working to help you find your personal style and items that you love. After I left, I was surprised the items don't cost more!
When we were there, we met the buyers that pick out what clothing will be coming in for each season. We also met some of the lead stylists, and they were all so talented at what they do. They clearly put so much work and effort into choosing and styling items that are up-to-date and work for some many women's individual style. I loved hearing that even they get monthly fixes in the mail. Almost all the employees do because it is just so fun to be styled by someone else!
When we toured the warehouse (which was about the size of a Costco!) it was AMAZING to see how many different styles of clothing there were. They literally have something for everyone. And it is all really good quality as well. They regularly send things back to the manufacturers if the items don't meet their standards.
When you schedule a fix, somewhere in the country, your stylist sits down to look at your profile. She can see everything in your survey, every note you have left, and the Pinterest board that you have linked to in your profile. The computer program gives her a pool of items to pull from that meet what your survey results matched. Each time you send items back and give feedback about why, she can see that. Each time you update your profile, the algorithm responds. It really is designed to help you get the clothing that will work for you! I also found out that if you keep around three items from your box, you get the same stylist next time - if you keep less than three, you get someone new.
So my own experience with Stitch Fix? I first tried it in the spring and, although I like to choose my own clothing, I was intrigued by it. After I got my first box full of surprises in the mail, I was kind of hooked. I LOVE the element of surprise that comes with your monthly box. It really is better than Christmas for me because as a mom, Christmas surprises are lacking these days. Stitch Fix has really helped me try clothing that I wouldn't have necessarily have picked off the rack, and many of the pieces that I have kept have been blouses for date nights and nice events that I rarely buy for.
I have never kept everything in my box, but I always keep at least one item. Some boxes (I've had 6) have been awesome and some a total miss. And I've heard from some of you that you have had the same experience. But on my trip I found out what I can do to make my experience each month even better. So here are my tips for making Stitch Fix work for you:
- Try it! You are only out $20 at the most for trying it. If you keep nothing, you lose your $20 styling fee; if you keep only one thing, you might be out $40 total and have one awesome new item.
- Give feedback! If you return things in your first fix, give detailed feedback as to why. Was it the color, print, style, size, or cost? If you keep things in your fix, give the same amount of detailed feedback as to why you loved it and kept it.
- Go back and update your style profile. When I first filled mine out, I said animal prints were okay - but then I started getting blouses with birds printed on them. (Not my style!) I updated that preference when I realized I actually didn't like something that I thought I did.
- Update your Pinterest board. This is a great way to communicate the styles you are loving with your stylist.
- Give it time. I honestly think you should give it a try three times with clear communication back to your stylist. From what I saw, they honestly love working for and with you and truly want to help their clients find things they love. Give them a chance to learn about you!
So my last few thoughts. This service is not for everyone. But it is for:
- busy women
- women who don't like to shop
- women who don't have time to shop
- women who want help finding their personal style
- women who love to get surprises in the mail
- women who want to expand out of their style rut
- women who want to add quality items that they love to their closet
- treating yourself
It really was so amazing to learn about this company and see it all for myself. I think it would be so fun to work for them - but really working with them is just as fun! I hope that answered all your lingering questions about the company. I will post, probably tomorrow, more about my trip, but I just wanted to really give you some context about what Stitch Fix is before I delve into my trip.
Any questions I missed? Leave them in the comments below and I'm happy to answer them!
*Photo credit to the amazing photographer at Stitch Fix and Molly from Still Being Molly. Loved having a professional taking photos with us!
** This post was not sponsored, but my flight, food, and lodging on my trip were all paid for by Stitch Fix. I also get a referral credit for anyone who signs up under my referral link. Thank you for supporting the companies that I love and that help support this blog!