You may have heard of these brands, but do you know the founders behind them?
Each week we highlight three businesses and the female founders who made them happen. This week, meet Adi Tatarko from Houzz, Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix, and Leah Busque of TaskRabbit.
Adi Tatarko is the CEO and Co-Founder of Houzz, a home design and remodeling platform that started in 2009. Today, Houzz brings together homeowners and professionals through different tools to make the design and remodeling process simpler and more straightforward.
When she and her husband, Alon Cohen (who is also a co-founder in Houzz), were in the process of remodeling their home, they faced a lot of challenges. They realized a gap in the market and saw the opportunity to create a company that would make the remodeling process more streamlined. Adi was working in a small investment firm at the time with plans of one day managing that firm. She worked on Houzz on the side during the evenings, not even thinking that it could grow into what it is today.
If you’re looking to take on a design or remodeling project, Houzz is a great way to get started. From initial inspiration, guidance and advice to helping you find the perfect professional for your project, it’s really a one-stop-shop.
You’re able to browse through photos of homes, and with just a click, you can contact the designer of whichever project you like. You can also click items within images and see their prices and order them straight from Houzz. The coolest part? You can take a picture of something, and the site will search for items similar to that picture in the Houzz store. And if you’re not sure what you like, you can take a picture of a room and virtually place items into it. It makes the whole remodeling process ten times easier.
Houzz now has 2.4 million designers, 20,000 retailers partnered, and 19 million home design idea photos! The company was worth approximately $4 billion in 2017, and Adi Tatarko made the Forbes 2019 American Self-Made Women list at #49.
Katrina began college at Stanford University in 2001 and graduated in 2005 before heading to Harvard Business School for her MBA. It was during her time at Harvard that she realized there had to be an easier way to shop. That concept soon became Stitch Fix, a brand she launched out her apartment while working in Marketing and Blogger Outreach for Polyvore.
Stitch Fix uses stylists and data science to personalize outfits and send them directly to a customer’s doorstep. On top of the outfits you get with each delivery, you also get tips from personal stylists along with outfit suggestions. You first take the “Style Quiz”, request a delivery, get your “Fix”, and then you give feedback so your stylist can get to know you better. Not to mention, they also offer free shipping and returns on things you don’t love.
When Stitch Fix went public in 2017, Katrina became the youngest female founder ever to lead an IPO. Today, Stitch Fix has around 3 million customers and counting, and Kathrina was number 55 on Forbes 2019 Self-Made Women list.
Leah Busque Solivan is the Founder and former CEO and Executive Chairwoman of TaskRabbit, an app and website that connects users with people or “Taskers” to do various tasks.
Leah attended Sweet Briar College, receiving her BS in Math and Computer Science which paved the road for her future creations. Directly after college, she began working as a Software Engineer at IBM from 2001 to 2008. During her time there, Leah found it more and more difficult to do her daily errands while also working full time. In 2008, Leah left IBM to begin her own app and company, TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit, which was acquired by IKEA in 2017, is a site/app where you can get a “Tasker” to run just about any errand imaginable. Through the platform, you can get people to clean for you, help you move, and even stand in line for you at the DMV.
If you want to be a “Tasker”, you can apply, have a background check ran on you, and start earning money by doing various tasks for people in your area. It is such a cool idea, and an easy side hustle for anyone looking to make a little extra money.
Leah was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. She was also nominated for TechCrunch’s ‘Founder of the Year’ Award and ‘Best Mobile App Crunch’ in 2011. Today, she is working as a partner of FUEL Capital.
Alyson Pittman is a contributing writer for WBD and a JR marketing associate for Excite Creative Studios, an Atlanta-based creative agency.
Alyson graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. She was in multiple organizations at KSU where she held leadership positions. As a part of the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Alyson held the Social Coordinator position and planned/promoted large events.