Stitch Fix’s Jenn Kramer went from investment banking to fashion – Footwear News


Every day in June, FN features power players from across the footwear industry.

As Stitch Fix continues to grow rapidly, footwear is a major part of the company’s strategy. Jenn Kramer, purchasing manager for women’s shoes and accessories, talks about being supported as a working mom, taking risks and the importance of staying confident.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

“The challenges for women today are similar to those of the past: how to live up to society’s expectations that a working woman can ‘have it all’ between her career, family and personal life. I try to lead by example, by showing that it’s not about having it all, but accepting when certain things are not perfect. I try to be open and transparent with my team about the challenges of the new motherhood, rather than pretending that it’s easy to find a balance.

Have you encountered resistance when working under management or leading men? How did you overcome this?

“Having started my career in the even more masculine world of a New York investment bank, I learned to be self-confident and stand up for my ideas. I have also been fortunate to have worked with many great men in my fashion career. Specifically, I currently report to Mike Smith, COO and President of Stitch Fix, who has been a tremendous leader and mentor because he understands the balance between family needs and supports me. when I need me at home. He respects my desire to put my family first and encourages me to do whatever it takes to find that balance.

Tell us about a powerful moment of leadership that you experienced.

“Our CEO and Founder, Katrina Lake, was pregnant with her first son the same time I was, and we gave birth just five months apart. She was a great example of a working mom, and I was inspired to see her hold her son in her arms as she rang the bell at NASDAQ when Stitch Fix went public in 2017. She just had a second son, and I’m pregnant with my second too. She sets the tone at the top that Stitch Fix is ​​a great place for working moms.

What’s the best decision you’ve ever made? The worst?

“The best decision I have ever made in my career was to leave an industry that I wasn’t passionate about to pursue my interest in retail. It was incredibly scary at the time because I had no concrete plan and was leaving a comfortable role. But in the end, I’m so much happier and can’t wait to go to work every day. I don’t like to consider a decision to be the worst because no matter how bad it might sound back then, all of my decisions got me to where I am today and I feel very grateful and fortunate.

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