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19 Sep

Ep. 63 – Katie Kitchens – Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of FabFitFun

“I think there’s always that struggle when you start a brand to feel like you want to have your hand in every single piece of the puzzle, but at some point, you have to, like you said, trust in the team that you built to help you take it to the next level.”

Katie Kitchens – Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of FabFitFun; Creating a Concept Around it’s Consumers; Building community; Work/Life Balance; Trusting a Team

Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Katie Kitchens and her journey as an entrepreneur; The early stages of FabFitFun; Creating a concept around it’s consumers

Katie’s finer points:

We launched the brand just really 7 years ago as a online magazine giving women everything they needed to feel good from the inside out.

“We were lucky to build a fast following and we realized we were writing about all these amazing products all the time. Why couldn’t we take it one step further and actually put them into people’s hands?”

“In 2013, Birch Box and Ipsy were both around and we love them and we still, but we thought we could do it a little bit different and a little bit better. These days, we are all about inspiring happiness and fulfillment through discovery.”

“For $49.99 a season, Fab Fit Fun members get a super glam gift box filled with over $200 of amazing full size beauty, fashion, fitness, tech, and home essentials. It’s really more than just the box itself. We give tips and tricks on how to best use the products.”

We hope to inspire women just to lead their best lives.

“We are big believers in testing everything. Whether it’s the time that a marketing e-mail goes out or the kinds of products in the box, we are constantly gathering that data and optimizing because of it.”

“I think it’s especially important in the beginning stages of a company. You have that opportunity to test. I think, as you grow, it becomes a little bit harder. Those mistakes become much bigger mistakes, when you are at scale. In the beginning, you don’t know what’s really going to stick.”

“We had talked about playing with the idea of a Fab Fit Fun clothing line or flash sales, but I think we realized that what our members really wanted were these products that we were talking about actually in people’s hands.”

“We have done boxes that are more … that are heavier in fitness, heavier on beauty, and surveyed results. Each time we survey the results, we create a better and better box. For us, one of the really nice things about Fab Fit Fun is our members are very engaged.”

“After the boxes go out, we send out a survey about all the products. We get about a 25% return rate on those surveys. That’s pretty unheard of in the world. The reality is, those surveys, that data, is used to help me curate the next box.”

We're also, I would say, pretty awesome at trend forecasting. A lot of that comes, I think, from being an editorial brand. We are, I think, always on ... riding on the cusp of the next big thing, and I think because of that, because of that insight, we were able to then know what's going to make sense.

Segment 2: (Length :04:00) – Talking with Katie Kitchens; Building FabFitFun as a community; Work / Life balance.

Katie’s finer points:

“We see Fab Fit Fun as a community. We don’t see it as a box. We really see it as a lifestyle.”

“The majority of subscription services out there are monthly. Every 4 weeks, you get another set of samples and they start to fill up your drawers. Pretty soon they fill up your waste paper baskets. It can feel a little overwhelming.”

For us, we work on a seasonal cadence. What we've found is that those 3 months building up to the box really helps to create that excitement.

“These days, it’s become a communal experience when women receive the box. They’re sending it to their office. They’re opening up with all of their coworkers. They’re doing … You wouldn’t believe it, but they’re doing online unboxing parties where our community actually comes together online, on social media, in our community forum, where they literally just sit together, go through the box, talk about what they love, talk about what they’re excited about, which I think is really cool . . .”

“They want to be the ones that are getting their Fab Fit Fun box first and then telling all their friends about it. There is, I think, that sort of cool factor. Again, it’s a way to share with our friends, share that they’re in the know. It’s nice.”

“I think, on top of that, having this editorial component where it’s not just sending people stuff, it really is helping them have greater experiences, whether it’s through the box or the online content that I think bridges … just really helps that synergistic appeal to the Fab Fit Fun experience.”

I mean, honestly, I think you really do have to work at work life balance. It's not something that I think comes naturally to most entrepreneurs.

“We are, I think, hard-wired to work constantly. For me personally, having a family has made it impossible to work the same way that I used to.”

“I mean, I did. I was at the office all the time. I was online all the time. Look, we’re not saving lives, but in the online space, there is always something that can be done. There is always something that can be improved. There is always ways to fix things throughout any hours of the day. I think if you really want to be successful, you have to give yourself a break.”

“Personally, I like my family. I enjoy seeing them every once in a while. For me, it’s been a real constant push to make sure to find time to turn off and to find time . . . I think I am a relatively good multi-tasker, but it’s not the same thing as being totally in the moment. Right? When you’re with your family, you want to appreciate them.”

Segment 3: (Length :04:00) – Having good people around; Establishing trust in your team; Work environments

Katie’s finer points:

“I would say that for the first many years, and still to an extent, Fab Fit Fun does run lean and mean. I look to some of our competitors and their team members are in the hundreds. We’re in the 50’s.”

“Many of those team members have been brought on in the last year or two.”

By investing in people who are, honestly, smarter than us in what they do, it's a driver of success.

“I think we realized, there are certain things I’m good at, there are certain things that my co-founders are amazing at, but we can’t do everything.”

“I think there’s always that struggle when you start a brand to feel like you want to have your hand in every single piece of the puzzle, but at some point, you have to, like you said, trust in the team that you built to help you take it to the next level.”

“I really do think we’ve brought on such amazing talent in the past year that that’s been such a huge source of growth for us.”

Look, at the end of the day, most of us, regardless of whether you like or hate your job, will spend more time in our office than we ever do with our family. It's just the nature of how it works. Hopefully you actually enjoy your job.

“I think, for us, that comes from a lot of different places. One is definitely the team. These are people that you spend 70% of your time with. You better like them. I think we work to create a team environment that really does feel like a family. I’ll admit sometimes it is a dysfunctional family, but it is a family always nonetheless.”

“I think that just comes from the passion that we all feel for Fab Fit Fun and making it as great of a brand as we can.”

There's a lot of flexibility. We understand work life balance. We don't micromanage. We give people the opportunity to get their shit done when they need to, and as long as they're doing the best job that they can, that's all that really matters.

“These are things that I think breed that team community and feel like people are excited to be because it’s not just about a paycheck. If it’s just the money, there’s always going to be another job where someone can go and probably get a higher paycheck. I think, for us, we want people who want to be here, who like the lifestyle that we’re talking about, who like each other, and I believe that that … for me, personally, it makes me excited to go to work. It makes me happy to spend my days here and hopefully the entire team feels that way as well.”

“Actually, in the next few months, what I’m so excited about is we are on the cusp of opening a New York office.”


Segment 4: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. - Socrates


Katie Kitchens – Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of the FabFitFun

  • Katie is an accomplished writer, editor, wife, mom, lip gloss enthusiast, Boggle champion and co-founder of FabFitFun.
  • After graduating from George Washington University, Katie joined the fashion, beauty, and nightlife guide Scheckys.com as their LA Editor. She has written for an unusually eclectic variety of magazines, newspapers and websites including the Los Angeles Times, Art and Living, Women’s Life, Dining Out, Pasadena Mag, LA Splash, Spoil Spot, Gimundo, Venice News and Girls Gone Wild Magazine.
  • Katie has worked in TV production on several shows including It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Jackass.
  • Currently as the Editor in Chief of FabFitFun, she is testing out protein bars, experimenting with exfoliators, swinging kettle bells, seeking out sex secrets, discovering fashion trends, investigating mood boosters, helping hangovers and much, much more, all in an effort to find everything women need to feel good from the inside out.
  • Katie founded the FabFitFun online magazine with Co-CEOs and brothers Michael and Daniel Broukhim in 2010. In 2013 the trio launched the FabFitFun box, which brings the FabFitFun experience straight to members’ doorsteps. Each season Katie curates an amazing collection of full-size, premium beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness, home and tech goodies.
  • The FabFitFun box has been an enormous success – starting with 2,000 members in 2013 and ending 2015 with over 100,000 subscribers. FabFitFun has quickly become the #1 multimedia, lifestyle-sampling platform in the U.S.
  • In addition to her roles in merchandising and editorial, Katie also oversees FabFitFun’s advertising and PR departments. The multimedia lifestyle brand features a robust number of opportunities — from digital, to events, to the world’s best sampling opportunity.
  • When Katie is not at FabFitFun, you can find her dancing with her adorable daughters Summer and Sienna, hiking with her dog Rocco, experimenting in the kitchen, breaking in her latest wedge, Zumba-ing, avoiding black licorice, and destroying her handsome, smart, charming husband at board games.


Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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