You don’t need an M.B.A. to understand that the world of retail and the world of technology are colliding in new and exciting ways. People are fundamentally changing how they approach shopping, saving, and investing with their time and money. This has opened up brand new opportunities for companies like TechStyle, founded by the team of Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler. Ressler and Goldberg knew early on that they wanted to bring the power of data analytics and digital commerce to the world of fashion. Let’s take a walk through the history of TechStyle in order to come to an appropriate appreciation of the work that they are now performing.
The year was 2010 and Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg knew that they had a hot idea on their hands. Essentially, the tech-focused duo wanted to create a subscription style program that catered to shoppers who wanted to keep their fashion always cycling and always up to date. Ressler and Goldenberg honed their vision in on footwear and created the company JustFab. JustFab, as it turned out, was the first retail footwear shop that functioned on a membership program.
Were you to subscribe to JustFab’s membership program you would receive not just a 30% discount off of the rack, but exclusive promos, loyalty points, and free shipping. It only took two years for Ressler and Goldenberg to see JustFab turn into a hot commodity. From 2010 to 2012, JustFab was able to sell over 2.5 MILLION pairs of shoes. The concept was a hit, but what could Ressler and Goldenberg do with it to keep on growing?
The answer to their early success with JustFab was to continue growing by expanding into new industries. The JustFab team would go on to buy the companies’ ShoeDazzle and FabKids before expanding out to eight different countries including the U.K. as well as Germany. Eventually, JustFab would really hit their stride by partnering up with A-List actress Kate Hudson and her clothing brand, Fabletics. Ressler and Goldenberg saw their growth continue until 2016 when the duo decided to completely innovate and renovate. JustFab was renamed and rebranded as TechStyle which was a decision made in order to enhance their focus on the tech side of things. Ressler and Goldenberg embraced their data-oriented background and maximized the analytic portion of their company.
Nowadays you could head down to El Segundo in order to see TechStyle’s thriving corporate headquarters. The fairly new start-up now dominates a 120,000 sq/ft building with a packed house of active, bright, and collaborative employees. If you came in on a Tuesday afternoon you would see the mass of employees gathered up for Team Meeting Tuesday. During this weekly session, every employee is given the floor and the opportunity to make their voices heard, whether it be by sharing new ideas or giving comments on older ones. Shawn Gold, the Chief Marketing Officer at Tech Style, says of this effort, “Every tech company has that higher purpose of how they’re looking to disrupt an industry or have game-changing technology or experience.”
While TechStyle still has ways to go before they get comparisons to American Eagle or Apple, the company is on the right track. Conservative estimates show that TechStyle will earn nearly $700 million in total revenue this year while employing over 2,000 people. The company is rapidly growing and now there is talk going around about potentially turning to an IPO. Gold wouldn’t expound on the concept of an IPO as he simply stated, “That’s an option, but anything can happen.” Gold went on to briefly explain that they are “venture-backed” and soon investors will hope to celebrate in “a very significant way.”
Goldenberg started his career as an entrepreneur at just 13 years old when he created a website called Gamer’s Alliance which he eventually sold to the precursor that would become MySpace. Goldenberg requested a job on the new platform in exchange for the sale of the company which made him one of the youngest COOs of all time. Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg would go on to meet during their entrepreneurial careers and they were struck by both a kinship and a vision for the future.
Ressler and Goldenberg would show early on with TechStyle that they were more than just a simple concept. Ressler, along with Goldenberg, would begin to lean heavily on their analytic backgrounds in order to start creating algorithms that fundamentally changed the shopping experience for their customers. In 2015 these algorithms made waves as TechStyle launched a special, personal, styling system which helped to dramatically enhance the work being done for the company. Fabletics, as mentioned above, has quickly become one of the leading brands in the TechStyle closet, so to speak, thanks to this predictive algorithm that hooks shoppers up with products.