How to Run a Fashion Company: Behind a Scenes during Rent a Runway

Since 2009, Rent a Runway has given a business a eventuality to lease oppulance and high-end dresses for special occasions—for a fragment of a sell cost no matter where they live in a United States. Racked stopped by a company’s 18,000 block feet bureau and room space in downtown New York for a visit—to see where all a sorcery happens and to discuss with co-founder Jennifer Fleiss about rising and using a conform start-up.

Racked: We beheld we lay in a tech department—do we feel like Rent a Runway is a conform company? Do we feel like we work in fashion?

Jenny Fleiss: we feel like we work in an e-commerce company—and unequivocally a startup. It’s some-more of a use company, we think, than it is a conform company. We see ourselves as giving Cinderella moments to women some-more than usually renting a dress or giving an tangible product. The conform attention positively is all around us, and we consider it’s unequivocally partial of a day-to-day, though it unequivocally depends on your purpose in a company. So, a shopping organisation feels a lot some-more like they work during a conform company, probably.

Because we understanding some-more with a operations, removing all a dresses out a door, some-more a business side of things, we do a lot of work with a tech team—I do a lot of plan government with them and we do a lot of work in running things like those barcodes we showed we upstairs or carrying a whole unilevel tracking of all a inventory. And we’ve been employing a ton, so I’m welcoming people to a group, and, as we grow, creation certain people are staid in, and removing a beat of what’s going on.

Racked: At a Karen Harvey event, we listened we and your co-founder Jennifer Hyman speak about corporate enlightenment and how critical it is to we to encourage a arrange of certain workplace environment.

Fleiss: we consider what’s unequivocally critical to Jenn and we is to have a place where people are vehement to go into work bland and carrying a organisation of people you’re vehement to be around. I indeed demeanour brazen to entrance in to a bureau everyday, that is a best thing ever, and we wish to make certain everybody here has that feeling—that happiness, luckiness to be here. So a family component to enlightenment is something we trust in. It’s a ability to be honest with people, to have good conversations, unequivocally good feedback, to wish to spend time with them, to suffer spending time with them in and out of a office.

We have a ton of organisation events. We’ll go play ping pong or we’ll go bowling or we’ll lay on a post for a cruise lunch. We’re carrying a millionth member celebration entrance up—we’re going to a South Street Seaport, and people will pierce their families from home—they’ll pierce their husbands and kids too. So it’s a unequivocally family-oriented culture. And we consider that entrance from a financial world, where it was unequivocally male-dominated an a lot some-more corporate and strict—there were so many politics in some ways—it’s unequivocally lovely to have unequivocally splendid women around, who are women critical about their careers, to have a unequivocally fast-paced enlightenment where you’re constantly changing and innovating and doing things and to also unequivocally have a unequivocally kind and comfortable and welcoming enlightenment where everybody here cares about one another. And while you’ll get feedback from critiques, it’s unequivocally to lift we adult and to lift a whole organisation up.

Racked: How do we learn about formulating a certain workplace? Is this something we can learn in business school?

Fleiss: We review a lot of box studies and books and we consider the Zappos culture, for example, is something we do admire for sure. We visited a lot of companies, we talked to a lot of entrepreneurs as well. we consider infrequently usually vocalization to founders of other companies is an critical element. And we consider Jenn and we any have small pieces of what we favourite or didn’t like about a aged practice and attempted to pierce them here and encourage them here.

I consider Jenn and I, a attribute with one another, was also a good starting off point, since we started off as friends—so, friends first—and thereafter we had this family component of, well, Jen is like my second father in a way, we spend a lot of time together, Rent a Runway is a child and we felt that approach from early on. There’s also a feeling of how propitious we are to be doing this, and to have, everyday, a expansion of a company, to be means to get to do this.

We teased early on that we wanted to write handwritten records to all a business saying: “Please, keep renting usually so we can go to work everyday” since we usually feel that lucky. And we consider that’s unequivocally permeated a lot of a enlightenment here.

Racked: What’s your standard day like?

Fleiss: It’s so opposite everyday. Today we came in, we have a assembly with you, we have a comparison government assembly thereafter where we’ll go over pivotal metrics in any area of a business to get an overview of what’s going on. we have a assembly with a integrate of people who work during other companies with operations focus. So a man who runs operations for Duane Reade is entrance here, I’m going to learn from him about how he would demeanour during a operations and ideas he has. I’m vocalization with someone from Diapers.com about their operations after on. I’ve got a call with from an confidant who sits on a house to speak to him about some of a new expansion we’re experiencing and a room pierce in particular. we have an talk with someone—because we’re literally interviewing 5 people a day—I have an talk with someone for a tech team, we have an talk with someone for operations, and thereafter who knows what else I”ll be pulled into. we have a assembly with someone from a analytics team, that is a organisation of 3 people here that’s unequivocally a core of a company. we substantially accommodate with them 4 times a day.

Racked: What do they analyze?

Fleiss: They do all from revelation us how many register to buy—which styles to buy, how many of that styles, how many of that sizes—to looking during it from an operations perspective, what’s a turnover from a day it leaves a room to a day it comes back, to looking during that locations a room should be in to optimize shipping to all a customers. They will demeanour during selling analytics, to see what a dump off rate has been during checkout; comparing dual ads we’ve run and saying how they’ve been doing; are we tracking in terms of a member merger by partnerships contra paid merger contra ubiquitous approach acquisition. So they unequivocally demeanour during all opposite a business and it’s a unequivocally profitable apparatus to have.

We don’t ever wish to make decisions usually formed on a buyers’ whims. It’s an critical component to have there for a artistic sense, though there’s a critical component of carrying the scholarship to behind it up and say, “What do we see in terms of trends?” What’s renting with a users, what’s renouned with a users, and how can we unequivocally precedence that and contend this cost point’s doing unequivocally well, this cost point’s not, let’s buy more, and how can we develop formed on a data.

With something like inventory, that is such a large responsibility for a company, it’s unequivocally important.

Racked: What are we saying as rising trends this spring.

Fleiss: we consider in general, red is a many renouned color. Gold sequins, generally around a holidays, is unequivocally popular. But a ubiquitous indicate is that it’s those matter colors—black is a slightest renouned color—and one-shoulder is a many renouned silhouette. It’s this thought that it’s something you’re reduction expected to buy. Usually it’s a matter piece. But this is agreat approach to examination and try it out.

Racked: What’s it like being a start-up in New York?

Fleiss: The startup community, generally in New York, has an extraordinary kind of camaraderie—beween women’s breakfasts we go to, a advisory house and a people on it. For example, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson from Gilt Groupe is on a advisory board. There’s usually a good network here and people are so useful to one another. Catherine Levene who usually started her possess startup, who used to be a COO of Daily Candy, is on a advisory board. There’s usually such a welcoming community. and there’s so many events to unequivocally encourage people entrance together on this. So that has been, again, something unequivocally opposite than any other attention that Jen or we had worked in. That’s special, for sure.
· Rent The Runway [Official Site]

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