Today, as you may have heard, marks a huge milestone for ModCloth. And with all big news comes change and lots of emotions.
For me, today is a bittersweet day. When I started ModCloth way back in 2002, in the summer between high school and college, I had big dreams. But I had no idea we would grow to become one of the largest independent online fashion retailers in the world.
I created this company for the simple reason that I love fashion, but I didn’t then feel like I was part of it. There wasn’t a company who spoke to me and made me feel good about who I was — so I decided to make it. In the 15 years since our founding, I am so incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished.
ModCloth grew from my dorm room to three offices across the country, employing hundreds of awesome people. We started the “real” casting movement; we were the first fashion company to take the No-Photoshop pledge, and we were one of the first brands to offer a true full size range (from xxs to 4x) of apparel to their customers. Many brands have followed us — which is great because these changes are positive for everyone. We’ve shipped millions of orders to millions of customers from around the world, delivered innovative digital shopping experiences through technology, birthed a fashion collection made with love by our team, and even opened our first permanent brick-and-mortar store this past November.
More than ModCloth’s accomplishments, however, I am most proud of our great employees (past and present), and you, our customers. Together, we’ve built an incredible culture and community.
When I talk to other entrepreneurs and founders, I feel like I’m bragging when I tell them about how special our community is at ModCloth. We have the smartest, most stylish, and interesting customers in the world. We are all striving to be the best version of ourselves. I know, because I’ve met so many of you: standup comics, costume designers, engineers, rocket scientists, stay-at-home moms, the list goes on and on! I feel so fortunate to call many of you my friends now.
You’ve told me how much ModCloth means to you and that, truly, means the world to me, especially when ModCloth has experienced the downs that come with the ups.
We’ve had layoffs over the years, which is the hardest thing in the world for any founder to lose team members. And most recently over the past few months we’ve watched our industry change dramatically. Through all of this, we’ve continued to focus on what’s most important to the community: to create and offer unique products at an accessible price with great care, and embody the important changes we’ve brought to the fashion industry.
Today marks the beginning of the next stage of ModCloth’s journey. I am excited to announce that we are joining the Jet.com and Walmart family. This will give us the necessary resources and support that we need as a business to grow. Growth allows us to reach more women, grow our community, and amplify our message. Our mission to help our customers feel like the best version of themselves continues. And our commitment to inclusivity continues. Our amazing team continues. And we can open more stores — in your hometown! I hope you will continue to join us as well on this next phase of our journey together.
People often ask me what the biggest lesson I’ve learned is after 15 years of growing a business from nothing to something. Only recently I’ve realized it’s this: in business as in life, the only constant is change. Change can be scary and bittersweet as it marks the end of one era, but it can also be exhilarating and full of possibility as a new one begins.
For those of you who have been reading and shopping these past 15 years, thanks for seeing through so many changes with us. Here’s to the next 15!